Science People Can Use!
The Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) is an independent, non-advocacy, not-for-profit 501(c)3 center for research, education, and outreach. MSI operates its headquarters and a high-altitude field station in Silverton, CO. MSI also has an office on campus at Fort Lewis College in nearby Durango, CO.
MSI's mission is to enhance understanding and sustainable use of the San Juan Mountains through research and education.
While the Institute focuses on a distinct mountain region, its activities have broader applications to the study of mountain systems across the globe, including mountain environments, mountain people and their interactions. MSI serves students, educators, researchers, land and environmental managers, elected officials and the public within the region and beyond.
MSI uses research and education as a sustainable economic development model for mountain communities. The Institute initiates partnerships, such as the San Juan Collaboratory, which brings MSI together with the University of Colorado at Boulder, Fort Lewis College, and San Juan Public Lands Center (USFS/BLM)
What does MSI do?
- Directly participates in research and monitoring projects that fill identified management and planning information needs.
- Facilitates the work of scientists and educators from colleges, universities, government agencies, and non-profits - which benefits the San Juans by increasing local knowledge and stimulating the economy.
- Connects scientists with each other and with regional stakeholders through conferences, workshops, research retreats, and networking efforts.
- Designs and manages outreach and training activities and materials, often related to our research projects. These materials and activities translate and present the science so that people can use it for management and planning.
- Provides educational opportunities for students, including college internships, college mini-grants, and programs for younger students.
- Provides educational programming for visiting classes and field camps.
- Offers an educational series called "Moving Mountains", including seminars, field trips, forums, workshops, and conferences.
- Partners with Fort Lewis College to increase student learning opportunities in the Mountain Studies Minor.
- Grants Administration
- Proposal Development
- Public Lands Permitting
- Hiring and Supervision of local field/lab assistants
- Field Site selection
- Summer Lab Facilities
- GIS Mapping
- Scientific Database
Examples of Past Educational Programs for college and university students, K-12 teachers, and the general public
- Natural History and Geography in the San Juan Mountains
- Science of Astronomy and the Practice of Skywatching
- Natural History and Ecology of the San Juan Mountains
- Mountain Geography for Educators
- Geotechnologies (Geographic Information Systems/GPS)
- Snow Systems
Examples of Specialized Education Programs
- Mountain Studies Minor, Fort Lewis College
- Winter Ecology/Snow Science Field Camp support (provided by MSI and the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies)
- Ecology, Sense of Place, Wetlands, Water Quality, History and Cultural Awareness, etc.
- Class and Meeting Rooms with Audio/Visual Equipment
- Computers and Wireless Internet Access
- Community Kitchen
- Summer Lab