Mountain Studies Institute's (MSI) mission is to empower communities, managers, and scientists to innovate solutions through mountain research, education, and practice. We promote science and education to benefit environments and communities in the San Juan Mountains. A sustaining premise of MSI is that collaborations among researchers, educators and policy makers with an interest in the San Juan Mountains and other mountain systems worldwide can provide increased knowledge and understanding of mountain environments and communities and the issues that affect them.
MSI is an independent, 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002 in Silverton, Colorado. A sustaining premise of MSI is that collaborations among researchers, educators and policy makers with an interest in the San Juan Mountains and other mountain systems worldwide can provide increased knowledge and understanding of mountain environments and communities and the issues that affect them.
Through applied research, education and stewardship programs, we strive to go beyond scientific inquiry to the meaningful application of knowledge and information that makes a difference for the quality of life for mountain communities and for the environment in southwest Colorado.MSI was created to foster the expansion of knowledge about mountain systems and their environmental challenges; to ensure that such knowledge is readily available to decision-makers in mountain communities; and to fulfill an economic diversification strategy for Silverton and San Juan County.
MSI encourages the interdisciplinary study of the scientific, cultural, human and historical aspects of the San Juan Mountain environment so that we may improve our understanding of mountains as a system. MSI provides research and learning services to researchers, land managers, college and university students, educators, public agency staff and scientists, elected officials, and members of the public within and beyond the region.
MSI fosters and promotes partnerships whenever possible. Partnerships benefit the specific program goals of MSI and ultimately the development of good science and public policy by creating a community of scholars with diverse expertise. MSI places great value on sharing information, and will continue to seek collaborations with other researchers and organizations in the investigation, collection, analysis and distribution of scientific information in numerous appropriate formats.
"MSI's efforts providing Animas spill data provided an invaluable voice of reason in the hurricane of this emergency. Thank you" Jack Burk, Mancos River Conservancy District.
"Mountain Studies Institute is an inspiring organization to intern for because their projects and data collected are meaningful to the residents of the San Juans. MSI helped me strengthen my skills and my passion to use science to make a difference." Lara Getz, MSI Intern.
"MSI has been a great partner in facilitating the preservation of our cultural resources along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway- their efforts are notable for sustaining the restoration of the standing buildings at the Animas Forks townsite." David Singer, Silverton Restoration Consulting, 2014
"I have spent many years of my life in the woods and always assumed that what I saw was healthy and beautiful. I am learning that this is not the case! Our forests are not in good shape and I am really excited to be learning the tools and techniques to help our forests become healthier for the future." Jaimie Park, Citizens for Forest Health Brigade volunteer monitor, Pagosa Springs, CO.
"I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Intern's presentations on Friday. What an enthusiastic and creative bunch in the Four Corners Federal Lands Intern Program! I was quite envious of their wilderness trips and photos. Their presentations have inspired me ...Thank you for all of your hard work on this program, what a great way to recruit young people into the natural resource arena. I hope we can continue this valuable program." Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest Supervisor, 2014
"Water quality sampling with MSI was my favorite part of the summer." Soren Braford Lefebvre, Silverton Elementary School Student, Silverton, CO.