Skip to main content

Description and Rationale

Telluride Institute Environmental Studies (TIES) encompasses an array of environmental programs of the Telluride Institute. This umbrella organization provides a unique resource center for scientists, STEM educators, schools, students, and local citizens. The program includes a team of professional environmental science educators and staff and a toolkit of exemplary research and learning methodologies developed over a 23 year history working to protect and increase understanding of the San Miguel River watershed.

TIES is designed to foster insights about the environment-energy-society nexus that will increase the awareness of local citizenry and the effectiveness of our environmental policies in adapting to, and mitigating the impacts of, human behavior and climate change.

The Telluride Institute continues to expand its TIES portfolio through significant investments that 1) integrate our ongoing programs; 2) emphasize research and education in watershed health and sustainability 3) institute a formal program of undergraduate and graduate student fellowships and research initiatives with our University partners, 4) expand our grant writing capacity to include major federal and foundation support, and 5) build regional and international connections through strategic partnerships (e.g., MSI, Town of Telluride, Open Space Commission), and targeted awards with the EU and our sister organization in the Czech Republic (Centre for the Future).

Please check out the video (rough edit) of Dr. Bernie Tershy and Dr. Harmony Patricio’s talk at the Wilkinson Library on the evening of March 14.  Called “Ending Extinctions,” the presentation provided a great overview of their past and current work in developing strategies for protecting endangered habitat and fauna.


To advance environmental science and education and foster the cultural conditions and actions needed for ecological resilience and human health.



TIES serves as an umbrella for all of the Telluride Institute’s environmental studies programming including the Prospect Basin Fens Project, the Watershed Education Program, the Watershed Expedition Series, the science and field studies components of the Mushroom Festival, the high mountain initiative called Mountain Resilience Coalition, and our partnership with Arizona State University and the EPA called SCAPE.