Skip to main content


Rick Chavolla

Trustee, Consultant, Board Chair for the AICH

Rick Chavolla is of the Kumeyaay Ipai Tribal Nation and Chicano and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned his B.A. from Boston University and his M.A. from Boston College. After graduation Rick worked for three years as a National Park naturalist and wildland firefighter. He then began a 30 year career in higher education, teaching classes and directing centers and initiatives to advance multiculturalism, social justice and institutional decolonization. The positions he has held include Assistant Dean at Yale, where he was founding director of the Native American Cultural Center; Director of New York University’s Center for Multicultural Education and Programs; and Director of Native Initiatives at Pitzer and Pomona Colleges. He now serves as a consultant with diverse entities ranging from universities to museums to non-profit organizations to governmental offices in developing strategic ways to Indigenize those institutions. Additionally, he serves as Board Chair for the American Indian Community House (AICH) of New York City, on the Executive Board for the United Nations NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and on the Telluride Institute Board of Trustees.

Dan Collins

President, Trustee, Professor, Arizona State University

As president of the Board of Trustees of the Telluride Institute in Colorado, he has helped to develop and administer a number of environmentally-based curricula in the Colorado River Basin. His recent work, “The Colorado River Re-Storied,” focuses on locative media, participatory research methods, and documentary video with an environmental focus. Dan holds an MA from Stanford in Education, an MFA in Sculpture/New Forms from UCLA, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Arizona State University. Dan is the founding Co-Director of the PRISM lab (a 3D visualization and prototyping facility) and heads the first-year art program in the School of Art (artCORE) at Arizona State University. As a member of the Intermedia faculty at ASU, Dan teaches courses in the School of Art and the new Digital Culture program in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA). Over the past two decades, Dan has collaborated on a variety of discipline-based research projects that harness digital media for 3D visualization, prototyping, and archiving.

Rio Coyotl

Trustee, Certified Public Accountant, Fungo Atomico

For six generations, Rio and his primogenitors have been walking barefoot around Telluride and the surrounding area. Childhood memories include living in a tepee a few miles east of the South Fork of the San Miguel, listening to scripture from the late mycological phenom, Gary Lincoff, soaking in the hot springs with his, frankly, more convivial father, Art Goodtimes, and kicking up dust, horseback in the solitude of the West End desert. If you can’t find him performing financial audits for KPMG or doing small business consulting, try the base of the mountains, where he can usually be found, reverently procumbent in the mycelia, mind occupied by the Fungo Atomico.

Karinjo Devore

Trustee, Founding Board Member & President of AIMF

Karinjo Devore, Founding Board Member and President of AIMF, is based in Aspen, Colorado. Her background is in International Program Development and Consultancy, as well as, journalism. She has authored numerous articles on traditional world cultures and environmental issues in publications including National Geographic, GEO Magazine, Washington Times Magazine, Outside Magazine, and Modern Maturity. As a program developer and consultant for sustainable development and indigenous culture, she served for a decade as Regional Representative of the Fund for Research and Investment for the Development of Africa (FRIDA), an NGO devoted to promoting economic growth in the poorest of developing nations. She served as a consultant to the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and helped establish a weaving and mohair industry that became Lesothoʼs second largest employer. She partnered with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) during the “Year of Indigenous Peoples” to create an Aspen-based program “Earth Voices” to celebrate the arts of indigenous cultures. She also Co-produced a five-year series of conferences on sustainable mountain development in Hokkaido, Japan, Aspen, Colorado, and Chamonix, France with Sister Cities International and UNEP. This work led to the establishment of the Aspen International Mountain Foundation (AIMF) in 2001. Karijno has been an avid skier with a mountaineering and ski racing background.

Sara Friedberg

Trustee, Lodging Coordinator for Telluride Science Research Center

Sara grew up in Telluride with a deep rooted love for the natural world from her botanist mother who always had a love for science. After graduating from the Telluride Mountain School in 2013 she left Colorado to go to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA where she graduated with a BA in Geology. During college Sara became devoted to rafting and spent most of her falls rafting the Salmon River in Idaho. After being a ski instructor for a winter in Steamboat Springs, Sara moved back to Telluride full time where she is now working for the Telluride Science Research Center.

Art Goodtimes

Trustee, former San Miguel County Commissioner, Poet,Talking Gourds Director, Facilitator of the Festival Management Team

Art retired in 2017 after serving for 20 years on the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners, the first and only Green Party county commissioner in Colorado. A co-founder of the local enviro group, the Sheep Mountain Alliance, he has won numerous environmental awards and been a member of dozens of boards and commissions on the local, regional, state and even national levels. Twice director of the local arts council in Telluride, he has also worked as a pre-school teacher/director in California, as well as a journalist, editor, and now weekly op-ed columnist for the on-line and monthly for Cortez’s print newspaper, the Four Corners Free Press.

Former Institute president and long-time trustee, Art directed the Telluride Mushroom Festival for its first 25 years and helped spearhead the founding of three Institute initiatives: the Talking Gourds poetry program, the Ute Reconciliation program; and the Prospect Basin Fens Project.

Former poetry editor for Twin Peaks, Earth First! Journal, Wild Earth, and the Mountain Gazette, he currently serves as poetry editor for Fungi magazine and the on-line anthology Sage Green Journal. He was appointed as the first Western Slope Poet Laureate (2011-12). His latest poetry books are Dancing on Edge: the McRedeye Poems (Lithic Press, Fruita, 2019), Looking South to Lone Cone (Western Eye Press, Sedona, 2013) and As If the World Really Mattered (La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2007). He performs his poetry widely in the region.

Evan Iverson

Director, Trustee, Scientist

Evan is the Director of Science and Research for the Telluride Institute. He is also a Trustee and on the Executive Committee. Evan moved to Telluride in 2016 to pursue his interests in environmental science and to build the Telluride Environmental Science and Engineering Laboratory (TESEL), for which he is the Director. Evan has a strong interest in systems biology, particularly for high-mountain soils, wetlands, and forests. He also does work in microbiology, plant morphogenesis, mycology, and biodiversity/biocomplexity. Work at TESEL also includes the development of specialized instrumentation for unattended in situ environmental monitoring and the application of physics and engineering principles to address climate resilience, particularly related to small-scale renewable energy. Evan is also interested in STEM education through project-based learning, and is a volunteer at the Pinhead Institute and a leader for the establishment of a Telluride Community Makerspace.

Evan holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico, and MS and PhD degrees in Applied Mathematics, with a focus on computer science and physics, from the University of Arizona. He was at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 13 years where he conducted research in computational physics, computer science, nonlinear dynamics and chaos, complex systems, and artificial neural networks. In 1990 he joined Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where he led R&D in remote sensing, computer vision, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and digital signal processing. In 1998 he became a Vice President and served as the Manager of SAIC’s Imagery Technology and Systems Division from 1998 to 2006. This was followed by a year serving as Chief Scientist of SAIC’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Operation. In 2007 he joined Rincon Research Corporation and served as Chief Scientist and Program Manager until transitioning to Consulting Employee and moving to Telluride.

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk

Trustee, Education Curator, Former Co-Chair BEITC

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk was born and raised in southwestern Colorado and is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Towaoc, Colorado. At an early age she advocated for the well-being of the land, air, water and animals. She attended schools in Cortez and has received degrees from Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana, and American InterContinental University, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. She spent ten years in the Information Technology field working for Chief Dull Knife College, the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribes of Colorado.

Regina has traveled extensively throughout the country presenting and sharing Ute culture through song, dance and numerous speeches. In October of 2013 she was elected to serve in leadership as a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council. She is a former member of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and the Bears Ears Inter-tribal Coalition, among many other committees and boards.

Regina strongly believes that the inner core of healing comes from the knowledge of our land and elders. Currently she is serving as the Education Director for the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, Colorado. She is honored to continue to protect, preserve and serve through education, creating a better understanding of our land and culture — a great foundation for a better tomorrow.

Pamela Lifton-Zoline

Vice-President, Founding Trustee , Author, Artist

Pam is a writer and environmental educator who has a long history of projects created at the intersection of speculative fiction, environmental education, and politics. Zoline is admired for her experimental approach to both the form of the short story and the genre of science fiction, especially for using the language of science to interrogate the scientific world view. Her 1967 novel, Heat Death of the Universe, is structured in a loosely encyclopedic style, with 54 numbered paragraphs narrated in a deliberately matter-of-fact third-person voice. As the narrative veers back and forth among scientific explanations, descriptions of household events, and philosophical speculation, the cumulative effect is of a mind and a culture on the verge of collapse. Zoline has also written a children’s book (Annika and the Wolves), libretti for two operas (Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult, The Forbidden Experiment), and original science fiction radio plays for the Telluride Science Fiction Project.

John Lifton-Zoline

Founder & Emeritus Trustee, Architect, Planner

Born 1944, in the UK, John Lifton has worked professionally as both an artist and a scientist, and in both the public and private sectors. Masters degree in Architecture, University College London, 1966. At the age of 24 he became the youngest licensed architect in Britain. Lifton’s computer interactive environments were exhibited throughout the UK and Europe. His work Green Music, in which music is generated algorithmically in real-time from the natural electricity in plants, was shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975, Muzicki Biennale Zagreb in 1977, and, installed in the conservatory in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, appeared in the 1976 movie The Secret Life of Plants. From 1974 to 1977 he taught graduate students at the Royal College of Art in London, in both the departments of Environmental Media and Design Research, and carried out a research project on computer simulation of cognition in the early stages of architectural design for the Science Research Council of the UK.In 1977 Lifton moved to Telluride, Colorado as Director of Planning for the Telluride Ski Area. As such he headed the design team for the Telluride Mountain Village, a resort development of 8,000 population. Since 1982 he has been working in private design practice and land development. In 2006 he and his wife Pamela Zoline founded Lifton Zoline International LLC, and commenced a resort development project in the town of Slavonice in the Czech Republic.

Jos Lifton-Zoline

Trustee; Member, San Miguel County Planning Commission

Jos completed her Bacceloreate degree at Smith in 2000 and her Masters of Music and Music Education at Columbia University in 2010. She currently lives with her husband, Ken Olsen and their two kids, Forrest and Ingram, in Norwood, Colorado. She was recently appointed to the San Miguel County Planning Commission.

Laurie Lundquist

Trustee, TI Treasurer, Environmental Artist

Laurie Lundquist is an environmental artist with deep interests in both the natural and engineered systems at work in the landscape. Laurie’s connection to Telluride stems back to 1992 when she and Dan Collins initiated the first Deep Creek School summer session. The school ran for eight consecutive summers, bringing art students and faculty from universities far and wide to the mountains to live on site in tents. While in residence at Deep Creek Students and faculty engaged in an intense dialogue and art making process around the topics of: ecology, technology and the body. The Telluride Institute played a great support role for the Deep Creek School, in Laurie’s words “that synergy continues with the mindful ecological programming that TI has sustained for 30 years.” Laurie studied Landscape Management at Penn State University, attended the Skowhegan School of Art in Maine, received a BFA from the Maine College of Art and an MFA in Sculpture from ASU. She has been working as a public artist for over 20 years. She has collaborated with nationally acclaimed architects, engineers and planners to integrate art into the overall design of civic projects. Her public projects call attention to the site in ways that are aesthetically engaging and environmentally responsible. For further information, visit:

Vicki Phelps

Trustee, Science Educator

For the past 26 years, Vicki has taught middle and high school science and math, all subjects in intermediate school, and KG-8th grade visual arts. She has facilitated many outdoor environmental education and watershed studies in her district. As a botanist and landscape supervisor at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Vicki taught classes in ethnobotany, desert ecology and xeriscape gardening. She has trained at CU-Boulder’s ICEE (Inspiring Climate Education Excellence), funded by NASA, ran a middle school River Watch water quality monitoring program, and was an Adopt-a-Watershed program teacher. She has facilitated two “bioblitz” surveys of flora and fauna on a riparian restoration project on the Dolores River with local schools, university students, their professors, government agencies, and nonprofit groups. Vicki has served on the boards of the Telluride Institute and San Miguel Watershed Coalition. She has a BA degree in Biology with a minor in art from The Evergreen State College, a secondary science teaching certification from the U of AZ, and elementary certification and a masters degree in Education from Adams State College.

Sascha Stipsits

Trustee, Writer, Filmmaker, Journalist

I was born in Mödling, a small town south of Vienna, and moved from there into the world at the age of 18. After various studies in London, I travelled to Tibet, to the Indian sub-continent, to Australia and Japan before finding my second home in the Navajo Reservation in the 4 Corners. Today I commute between Slavonice in the Czech Republic (where I am involved with Centre for the Future & Institut Slavonice) and the rest of the world, depending on my work. I live from writing, directing & producing documentaries, Journalism, and media work in the broadest sense.

Peter Waldor

Trustee, Poet, retired Insurance Executive

Peter Waldor is the author of five collections of poetry: Who Touches Everything – which received the National Jewish Book Award in Poetry – The Unattended Harp, Door to a Noisy Room, The Wilderness Poetry of Wu Xing, and State of the Union. He was the Poet Laureate of San Miguel County, Colorado from 2014 to 2015. His work has appeared in many journals, including the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Colorado Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Mothering Magazine. Waldor has worked as an executive in the insurance business for thirty years – for a small family insurance agency with his father and brother, at his own agency, and for three years working for a large public company, when he was exposed to the intersection between the political and business worlds.

Kris Holstrom

Trustee, San Miguel County Commissioner, Farmer, Government Facilitator for Festival Management Team

Kris Holstrom is currently San Miguel County Commissioner from District 3. She is the owner of Tomten Farm, a high-altitude demonstration and education farm at 9000’ above Sawpit, Colorado. Kris grew up in Ft. Collins, Colorado and has lived in San Miguel County since 1987. From 2007 through 2013, she was the Regional Sustainability Coordinator and Executive Director of EcoAction Partners, a non-profit focused on sustainability issues in the San Miguel Watershed. Prior to that she worked for the Telluride
Institute as its Sustainability Director. Kris has a B.S. in Forest Management from Utah State University and an M.S. in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. She has a diverse background having held many different positions in the region from cleaning houses to operating a small saw mill. She co-founded and is Board President for SWIRL – the Southwest Institute for Resilience – a non-profit that supports community gardens, greenhouses and the Telluride Farmers Market. Kris has spent over three decades educating the public and youth about sustainability issues including renewable energy, food security, waste reduction and “out of the box” systems thinking to contribute to regional solutions to current challenges.


Daiva Chesonis – Advisory Board, Poet, Member of the Festival Management Team
Craig Childs
– Advisory Board, Author
Sally Davis
– Advisory Board, Artist
Elizabeth Gick
– Advisory Board, Landscape Planner
Alessandra Jacobson – Advisory Board, Founder of Bridal Veil Living Classroom
Amanda Kotlyar – Advisory Board 
Audrey Marnoy 
– Advisory Board, Business Consultant
Meghann McCormick – Advisory Board, Artist, Business Consultant
Helen Rowe – Advisory Board, Environmental Scientist