Telluride Institute is pleased to announce the 2016 summer high school Valley Floor Living Classroom program scheduled to begin in June. This field-based environmental biology course is accredited for high school students to earn college credit and high school credit. The college credit is being offered through Western State Colorado University, Extended Studies Department, as a 4 credit science general education approved class. Students will learn applied ecology concepts and study relevant environmental issues affecting the Telluride Valley Floor Open Space through completing a research project. Dr. Karl Topper will lead the program and provide personalized support for the students.

For further information, email

Am I eligible?

  • The program is open to all sophomore, junior and senior students that can meet in Telluride at the designated dates and times.
  • Students must be able to have an internet accessible computer and access to a word processor.
  • Committed to completing all of the course requirements (e.g. homework, developing a field based research proposal, complete the research, write a scientific report, and present the results, etc.)
  • Willing and able to work out in the field (where we may get dirty, wet, hot, and have fun!)
    Students and their family must be committed to registering for the college credit.

How do I enroll?

Complete the student application. The earlier you complete it, the better!!
Enrollment is a competitive process as there are a limited number of spots available. This is so that each student receives the personalized support to help them achieve success.
Student Application

How much does it cost?

There is no enrollment cost for the program thanks to private donations, the Just for Kids Foundation, and the Telluride Open Space Commission. However, students will have to pay the college tuition which should cost approximately $300 for the 4 credit course. If the family has financial needs for this cost, please contact us. Students will have to provide their own transportation to Telluride and bring lunch.
Course Schedule