When Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library brought Woody Tasch and Michael Brownlee to Telluride for a presentation on slow money and transition towns, more than 140 attendees were introduced to the idea of nurture capital.  According to Tasch and Brownlee, “the 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.”  Next week, the theme of carrying capacity will be on display at the library through a discussion and film centered on the topic of water.
Beginning on Monday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m., the library will screen a free film about the water crisis titled Running Dry.  Centered on raising awareness regarding the global humanitarian water crisis, this film tackles the political, environmental and economic impact of drought around the world and in the Southwest.

On Tuesday, March 27 the University Centers of the San Miguel and the Telluride Institute will continue this dialogue with an evening of watershed education focused on the San Miguel River entitled Finding Solutions.  Hosted by Laura Kudo, program director of watershed education at the Telluride Institute and Dan Collins, professor of art at Arizona State University, this evening will explore the carrying capacity of the San Miguel Watershed by looking at the social, political, and economic impacts of the river.

Laura Kudo will discuss her work with Alessandra Jacobson, educating the public about our local watershed.  Kudo will also outline how the study of water will be incorporated into an environmental science course being offered this summer by the University Centers of the San Miguel.  During this course, students will learn about four different life zones by exploring 80 miles of the San Miguel River.  Accredited through Colorado Mesa University, this course is part of the Telluride Summer College and will be offered July 9 through July 20.

During the second half of the discussion, Dan Collins will lead attendees in an interactive mapping exercise.  “Mapping is simply a representation of place, but in recent years, I have used mapping as a way of empowering communities,” explains Collins.  The idea behind this “mediated sculptural display” is to create an interactive community atlas of the watershed built by the community that lives along the San Miguel River.  According to Collins, “this map is not a top down description of place, but instead is a record of the public’s participation with the landscape that we all share.”  Initially, a prototype of this interactive display will be located in the Wilkinson Public Library and then satellite displays will be placed throughout the watershed in places like Naturita, Norwood and Sawpit.  When combined, each station will interact together to provide a real-time reference of resources located along the watershed.  In essence, a user can access everything from geology and forest cover to cultural practices and artistic expressions that exist along the watershed.  As Collins explains, “the river is our currency, it is what gives value to this place and there is an obvious parallel between sharing the water and sharing information.”

To learn more about the working of this interactive atlas and how Dan Collins intends to increase awareness on the carrying capacity of our watershed, you can listen to an Interview with Dan Collins.  Attendees to Tuesday’s program are encouraged to bring a picture, story, or experience that they can upload to the interactive map.  The program, Finding Solutions, will be hosted by Robyn Wilson of the University Centers of the San Miguel, and is part of a partnership with the Telluride Institute and the Wilkinson Public Library.

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