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Greetings from the Watershed Education Program Directors, the Watershed Education Program wrapped up a successful fall season in early November.

Programs conducted this past autumn included the following:

  • Norwood 6th -Water Use Trip
  • Telluride 4th -Jud Wiebe hike- Life Zones and Geology
  • Telluride 4th -Cultural History-assisted in planning
  • Telluride 4th -Ames Power Plant tour- assisted with- 58 students, 1 day
  • Nucla High School 9th -Cultural History
  • Norwood 4th -Cultural History
  • Naturita 3rd -Watershed/Geography
  • Naturita 4th –Geology
  • Naturita 5-6th -Aquatic Ecology
  • Norwood 7th -Fish Ecology
  • Norwood HS Biology- Fire Ecology
  • Telluride 6th -Ecology of Valley Floor
  • Telluride Honors Chemistry- Soil and Water Chemistry & Mining Reclamation


The plentiful snow is adding to our growing excitement for our overnight snowshoe trips with area schools. This year, WEP is working cooperatively with the United States Forest Service and using the Matterhorn Cabin as our base camp. Middle and high school students from Paradox, Norwood and Naturita will be learning about snow science, snow safety, winter wildlife ecology, and winter adaptations by plants and animals. Students and their teachers will participate in hands-on activities and data collecting, under the guidance of experts in the field from the forest service and avalanche school.

We are thrilled to host mountaineer Hilaree Nelson as our guest presenter for our winter Watershed Expedition Series on February 18, at the Sheridan Opera House, from 6:00-8:30 PM (see story on Telluride Institute website events announcements). She will be sharing video, slides and heartwarming stories about her expeditions to some of the most remote parts of the world. This event also co-sponsored by the Wilkinson Public Library and Sheep Mountain Alliance.

Big News! In March 2020, Dr. Garrett Smith will be taking the reins as Director of WEP. Garrett will be working to build the capacity of the Telluride Institute Environmental Studies programs, including WEP, and adding a more robust citizen science component. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities for becoming involved.

 To donate to our free programs, click here. Thank you!

We wish everyone a wonderful, snowy, powdery winter!
Vicki Phelps and Garrett Smith- WEP Co-Directors

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