Skip to main content


Congratulations to our 2013 Telluride Institute Bridal Veil Living Classroom participants:
Mikaela Balkind, McKenna Brumley, Sarah Fulton, Erin Kean, Sierra Merrick, Briana Santa Ana, Brooke Skelton, and Elizabeth Vickers.

And a BIG thanks to Alpine Bank for their generous support of BVLC last year!

The Bridal Veil Living Classroom provides hands-on scientific exploration for students. The program is a summer science intensive for high school students and college intern field assistants, located in a fragile sub-alpine basin approximately 5 miles southeast of, and 2000 feet above, the town of Telluride.

Students earn high school and college credit for spending eight to ten days in the field collecting biodiversity data for an ongoing Long Term Biodiversity Monitoring Project*, conducting individual field-based research projects, and following through with regularly scheduled fall study sessions. Mentor oversight during summer field work and subsequent fall research and work sessions provides students with necessary supervision and guidance for successful completion of real scientific projects, papers and presentations.

The program provides an in-depth hands-on scientific learning experience, in which data collection and species identification skills are acquired, along with a broad understanding of important ecological concepts and environmental stewardship.

Topics covered in the field by intriguing regional experts include: biodiversity, botany, forest ecology, aquatic insects, water quality, ornithology (birding), threats of climate change in the alpine ecosystem and art in nature. Individual research projects are structured according to students’ realized interest in those subjects, and are carried out with meticulous mentor oversight in a low student-to-mentor ratio.

Past students of Bridal Veil Living Classroom have often been inspired enough to seek out educational and career paths in the environmental sciences and conservation, and Bridal Veil Living Classroom has helped to open doors to their future.

Not only is BVLC an eye-opening experience to inspiring environmental stewardship and an appreciation of science, it is also fun! Overnights take place in Bridal Veil Basin and a true sense of camaraderie develops between participants.

For the summer of 2013, Telluride Institute anticipates expanded the Bridal Veil Living Classroom to include several options for continuing education students to become involved. The setting and structure of the program provide an excellent basis for undergraduate and graduate level studies in natural sciences, historical land use, environmental education and beyond.

Link to Research Studies.

Link to Photo Gallery.

For further information, send an email to BVLC Founding Director, Alessandra Jacobson.

The Bridal Veil Living Classroom is generously sponsored in part by the Alpine Bank of Telluride, Colorado.