We first met Raelen nearly a decade ago when she was a 6th grade student in Silverton. And while she wasn’t really interested in science at the time, she was required to take science fair.

A bit reluctantly, Raelen chose to study snowshoe hairs and the more she learned, the more questions she had. Through our ongoing partnership with Silverton School, MSI staff were there to inspire her curiosity and support her research throughout the process. Though her project presented its fair share of hurdles, she powered through and won an award for her hard work. And Raelen was hooked.
Through science, Raelen came to love and understand the San Juans in a deeper, more intimate way. And like us, the more she knew, the more she cared and the more she wanted to know.

Raelen continued on to pursue Science Fair for the remainder of her high school career, going all the way to National’s and interned with MSI during the summer between her freshman and sophomore year, helping us to water quality monitoring, fen monitoring. 

Now in college, Raelen reconnected with MSI and she’s diving deep into the story of MSI for our 15 Stories campaign. You can follow Raelen and her interviews here or on our Facebook page facebook.com/mountainstudies, and our e-newsletter.