Experience Mountain Science Program (xMSP)

*The Experience Mountain Science Program (xMSP) is now accepting applications!!

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) accepts high school students in grades, 10, 11, and 12 as of the 2016-2017 school year. Students participate in a two week, rigorous, and fun internship program exploring careers in the sciences and natural resources. Students from San Miguel, Ouray, Dolores, San Juan, La Plata, Archuleta, and Montezuma counties may apply. 

Interns gain hands-on experience contributing to real-world environmental science projects. Students work side-by-side with a small group of other interns from across the San Juan Mountains. Interns work closely with mentors from MSI and with other science professionals.  Students interact with natural resource managers and researchers in the field to learn about ecology, hydrology, wildlife, and forestry. They will dive into topics such as air and water quality, climate change, mine reclamation, fen restoration, and forest health.

Interns receive an orientation to the issues and research being done in the San Juan Mountains; become introduced to field research methods; and become trained in first aid and back-country skills.  

Due to the many logistics and planning requirements of this program, participation necessitates commitment to the entire program, a spirit of adventure, and parent or guardian support. See xMSP flyer for program dates.

In 2016, the xMSP program had three three-day sessions from July 19-21, July 26-28, and August 2-4. Each week session visited a new community, highlighting efforts for science and communities to work together to solve problems and innovate solutions. We visited Silverton, Durango, Pagosa Springs, and Telluride. Activities involved field projects, service learning, and travel to backcountry locations in the San Juans.

We are grateful to  Coutts and Clark Western Foundation, Ballantine Family Fund, the Comminity Foundation, and National Forest Foundation for their support of and partnership in development of the Mountain Science Internship Program. We are actively seeking additional sponsorship that will allow for 10 students from San Juan Mountain communities to participate.