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A Look Ahead
State of the Rockies
Colorado College’s annual conference focuses on conservation in the Rockies

By: Brendan Boepple,
Colorado College State of the Rockies Project Program Coordinator and Shannon Thomas,
Rockies Project Researcher
for Mountain West News
March 13, 2013

Colorado College’s annual State of the Rockies Conference will focus on conservation in the Rockies with specific discussions on issues of citizen science, water friendly futures, and winter recreation.

The conference runs April 8 and 9, and all conference events will be held on the Colorado College campus in Richard F. Celeste South Theater in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center; click here for a campus map. All events are free and open to the public.

The two-day spring conference is sponsored by the Colorado College's State of the Rockies Project, now in its tenth year, in which faculty and students examine the fragility of the Rocky Mountain region and its resources.

Details from the 2013 State of the Rockies Report Card, which assesses future conservation initiatives surrounding the Colorado River Basin, will be revealed at the conference. A full report will be posted in April on the State of the Rockies website.

Below is a brief look at the conference, which is titled "Conservation in the Rockies: Issues of Citizen Science, Water Friendly Futures, and Winter Recreation." Full details of conference events and speakers can be found on the Rockies Project Conference website .

The conference will kick-off in Colorado College's Richard F. Celeste South Theater at 7:30 p.m. on April 8th with a discussion on citizen science in the Rockies. Independent investor and co-founder of several nonprofits, Dr. J. Thomas McMurray, will moderate presentations from Dr. Scott Loarie and Brendan Weiner. Dr. Scott Loarie, a post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science, will focus on crowd-sourced citizen-science data. Brendan Weiner, program director of Adventures & Scientists for Conservation, will provide information on pairing adventurers and science.

On the following day, April 9th, at 7:30 p.m., the 2013 Rockies Report Card will be unveiled with student researchers sharing their findings from this past summer’s research.

Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler will present citation to the 2012-2013 Colorado College Champion of the Rockies: The Honorable Richard Lamm, three-term former Governor of Colorado.

Gov. Lamm will then discuss the early Colorado environmental movement and the 1976 Winter Olympics controversy.

The final speaker of the event will be Ms. Ceil Folz, President and CEO of Vail Valley Foundation, who will focus on Vail Resorts hosting the February 2015 World Cup Ski Championships.

The conference, a culmination of the 2012-13 State of the Rockies Project, ties together a year of student-faculty collaborative research, a monthly speakers series focusing on basin issues and the publication of the annual State of the Rockies Report Card.

Brendan P. Boepple is the program coordinator for Colorado College's State of the Rockies project.  Shannon Thomas is the project researcher for the State of the Rockies project.

The State of the Rockies Project Annual Spring Conference: 2013

"Conservation in the Rockies: Issues of Citizen Science, Water Friendly Futures, and Winter Recreation."
April 8-9, 2013

Colorado College Campus
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Official schedule

For more information on the conference, call Colorado College at
(719) 389-6000

About the State of the Rockies Project

The State of the Rockies Project is a student-faculty collaborative research effort in its tenth year at Colorado College. With the motto of "research, report, engage" the Rockies Project seeks to deepen the connection between the CC campus, community and the Rockies region.

The activities and results of the Rockies Project including the April 2013 Report Card and April 8-9, 2013 Rockies Conference can be accessed here.

"W e’ve got to go after cheatgrass. We can’t just spend all our efforts on the suppression side."

Ron Dunton, assistant BLM director for fire and aviation and the top official at the National Interagency Fire Center in Idaho, about the new federal wildfire policy designed to protect sage grouse habitat, and the invasive grass that has spread across the West, creating fuel for wildfires.
- Idaho Statesman

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