Rory Cowie


Meet Rory Cowie, MSI Program Director and mastermind behind understanding the EPA Superfund site. 

MSI: What do you love about living and working in the San Juan Mountains?

RC: Traffic means wildlife crossing. I get to play where I work. I can be in the desert or alpine within a short drive from my house.

MSI: What kind of projects do you work on for MSI? What is your favorite project that you work on and why?

RC: I work on all things water but my primary responsibility is to conduct hydrologic research on and help develop a site conceptual model for the Bonita Peak Mining District, an EPA Superfund site near the headwaters of the Animas River. I like working to solve extremely complex hydrogeology problems that create ecological and human health risks in the surrounding communities of the San Juan Mountains.

MSI: What is your most memorable, rewarding, challenging, or awkward experience from your time at MSI?

RC: The most rewarding was getting to take Governor Hickenlooper, US Senators Gardner and Bennett, and the EPA administrator Scott Pruitt inside the Gold King mine and show them the work that we at MSI do on a daily basis to address the legacy impacts of mining on our freshwater resources.

MSI: What do you think is the most exciting change MSI has undergone in the last 15 years? (or in the time you've been with MSI?)

RC: Hmm...Well my gut tells me the most exciting part is that we established enough trust and recognition with Silverton community to be invited to a seat at the table for planning meetings with the development of the Bonita Peak Superfund district over the past 2 years.