Ilana Stern

Ilana Stern has lived in Durango since 2002, and in Colorado since
1989 (save for three years living aboard a sailboat).  She has a MS in
Atmospheric Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 
and works for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on
making climate model data available to researchers.

I love MSI because it combines two things that are close to my heart: 
the Colorado mountains and science and education.  Oops, that's three

Robert Milofsky

After graduation, from June 1991 to June 1992, he worked with Edward S. Yeung as a postdoctoral research fellow at Ames Laboratory (Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa USA) developing laser-induced fluorescence detection schemes for CE.  In 1992, Dr. Milofsky joined the faculty at Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO.  Presently, he is an full professor of chemistry at Fort Lewis College.  Dr. Milofsky has authored more than 20 publications (many with Fort Lewis College students) in the peer-reviewed literature on topics including electrically driven liquid phase separations, photochemical reaction detection, chemiluminescence detection, synthesis of long-chain primary alcohols and the use of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for the analysis of simulated Martian soils. In addition to his publications, Dr. Milofsky has given more than 40 presentations at national and regional meetings of the American Chemical Society (ACS), research universities and DOE laboratories on topics including detection of primary and secondary atmospheric pollutants, detection of steroids in biological fluids, and the use of luminescence and photochemistry for trace analysis of atmospherically and biologically important species. Numerous grants from agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Petroleum Research Fund, the Research Corporation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus foundation have supported Dr. Milofsky’s research efforts.  In addition to his scholarship and teaching activities at Fort Lewis College, Dr. Milofsky has served as a commissioner (appointed by the Governor) on the Southern Ute/Colorado Environmental Commission, as a consultant to several local companies, as a science fair judge and as a research mentor to several science fair students.  

In addition to his professional work, Dr. Milofsky and his wife Amy are passionate backcountry skiers, hikers, mountain and road bikers and trail runners.  Both have traveled extensively including multiple trips to East Africa (climbing, safari and service related trips), the middle East, Asia (including China, Bhutan, Thailand, Cambodia, South Korea, Mongolia and India), Europe, South and Central America and the Antarctic peninsula . These travel experiences, combined with Dr. Milofsky’s background in atmospheric chemistry (and time spent at CU Boulder and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science – CIRES) have heightened Dr. Milofsky’s interest in gaining a better understanding of the ecosystems of the San Juan Mountains and SW Colorado.  Dr. Milofsky is passionate about scientific research, and dissemination of scientific data to the public, in order to allow people to gain a better understanding of their environs.  The mission of and work conducted by MSI mesh well with Dr. Milofsky’s background, interest and enthusiasm in environmental science.  

Beverly Rich


Beverly Rich is from Silverton. She is lucky to have been born there. Her father was a miner, as was her husband, Bill. She recently retired after being the San Juan County Treasurer for 24 years, an elected position. She is Chairman of the San Juan County Historical Society, an award-winning organization which is active throughout San Juan County with many preservation projects. She also sits on the San Juan Regional Planning Commission, a body which makes recommendations about land use in the Town and County. She is also proud to sit on the boards of the Mountain Studies Institute, the Trust for Land Restoration and the Center of Southwest Studies. She lives in Silverton in a lovely Victorian house with her little dog, Annie. Her hobbies include reading, walking and making beer.

Judy Graham


Being above timberline with only basic shelter, Judy experiences vastness as only nature expresses it through the horizontal line of the sea or the pyramidal shape of a mountain.  These high alpine images as metaphors are what my paintings are about.  Whether I chose the metaphor and sought the images in high places or the alpine environment embodies the metaphor, I am not sure.  I do not know if the object innately has meaning or if we project meaning on to the object.  Color and light as I use them in my painting suggest clean air and unspoiled land and a longing for purity in a physical sense, though purity at a deeper level is what is coveted and the lack thereof mourned. I notice and dislike the mind/body/spirit splits, the mutual exclusivity of science and spirituality and the divisions between cultures and ethnicities.  I yearn for connectedness and constancy.  Because geological time is imperceptible to me, I see nature as an ever-enduring infinity.  This alludes to a spiritual realm in which there are neither splits nor divisions--hence the subject of landscape.

What can be drawn from a mountain, as one collects data about water and snow? What is a walking meditation above timberline? Is there transformation through elevation? What can mountain creatures such as the lone lion or the compulsively social elk, (herd animals) tell us about ourselves?