Telluride Science: Bigger, Brighter (For All) Future at The Depot!

Telluride Science: Bigger, Brighter (For All) Future at The Depot!

The Telluride Science & Innovation Center at the Depot is poised to become a magnetic incubator where the world’s smartest people come to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Fundraising for a complete renovation of the historic Telluride Depot, the former home of the Ah Haa School and the new home of  the Telluride Science Research Center, (aka Telluride Science or TSRC), has just begun. Further details about the project and opportunities to become involved will be forthcoming. Contact Telluride Science Executive Director Mark Kozak at 970-708-4426 or with questions or to donate to this exciting new community center and center for science research worldwide.

In the Age of Corona, Telluride Science’s popular Town Talks had to be canceled. However, in lieu of the series, moderator Judy Muller and her partner George Lewis, both award-winning journalists, produced and hosted podcasts featuring TSRC’s scientists, a number on the subject of Covid-19. Go here to listen to those eye-opening conversations. 

Scroll down to watch a video featuring Nancy Levinger, chemistry professor and Distinguished Scholar, Colorado State, and Telluride Science’s current board president.

With a network that extends to 5,000 scientists, the Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC or Telluride Science), is a major player at nexus of chemistry, energy, biomedicine, material science, nanotechnology, and environmental science. In fact, the institution is crucial to science and technology solutions in those critical spaces.

Founded in 1984 by R. Stephen Berry and Peter Salamon as a think tank for scientists, over the years Telluride Science has become increasingly influential in the molecular science academic and research communities around the globe. To this day, the nonprofit remains the largest independent molecular science center in the world.

With the acquisition of the historic Telluride Depot building as its permanent home, Telluride Science is now better positioned to become an even bigger influencer in a rarefied community of game-changers, a mouse that roars, the sound amplified by the mountains that frame our box canyon.

“As a mechanism for advancing science and technology, what excites me most about Telluride Science is that the renowned scientists who regularly gather at TSRC repeatedly say their time in Telluride is the most productive they spend annually outside their own institutions,” explains TSRC’s executive director Mark Kozak.“The reason meetings are as productive as they are? At Telluride Science we believe that very small workshops (of less than 25 people) that focuses only on new ideas and unpublished research, combined with a very friendly, communicative, and naturally inspiring environment is the most effective setting for fostering creativity, innovation and collaboration.”

Each year Telluride Science hosts about 1400 scientists and engineers across 500 international and domestic institutions.

“We are effectively a force multiplier in our ability to scale productivity across all these institutions annually,” continues Kozak.“That makes Telluride Science one to the most impactful investments in science anywhere in the world. Additionally, that impact spans many different fields, from cancer to Alzheimer’s, to coral reefs, even to better and more sustainable solutions to energy generation and storage technologies. Owning the Depot will allow TSRC to address our ever-expanding demand from the science community, while optimizing the experience throughout the entire year. Having a home of our own for a year-round programming space to host both science and innovation workshops will also further amplify Telluride’s reputation as a global driver in generating ideas and solutions that address some of society’s and the planet’s most critical challenges.”

Kudos for the successful acquisition of The Depot goes to many forward-thinking individuals in the greater Telluride community who have long understood the potential of the organization, i.e, branding Telluride not only as a ski resort and cultural center, but also as a locus of scientific innovation. A force among those community leaders is Sally Puff Courtney of LIV Sotheby’s Real Estate International.

“I spent three years of my life raising funds for TSRC’s acquisition of The Depot. Why? Because I am passionate about the organization and its impact. It is not overstating the facts to say that TSRC has the potential to change the world as we know it through the work their scientists are doing everyday on the job – and when they meet in TSRC’s think tank in our little mountain town. I am honored to be part of the board and organization.”

TSRC acquires the Depot, more:

On October 16th, the stewardship of the Telluride Depot officially changed hands. Telluride Science purchased the iconic property from the Ah Haa School for the Arts as that institution simultaneously closed on their new facility at the corner of Fir and Columbia. (See related story about Ah Haa here.)

The concurrent closings are harbingers of good things to come for the Telluride region. While the Ah Haa will soon have a space specifically designed to suit their needs, Telluride Science has preserved the Depot as a public resource and secured a permanent home where they can continue their work supporting the advancement of science around the globe.

As an early expression of the nonprofit’s commitment to the community, Telluride Science agreed to delay their occupancy of the Depot in order to make the building available to the Telluride Medical Center. To whit, to support of the community’s pandemic response needs, Telluride Science is renting the Depot to TMC for at least the next year so that healthcare providers can isolate their respiratory evaluations safely indoors and away from normal ER and primary care activities.

Once TMC vacates the property, however, Telluride Science will begin a full renovation to transform the building into the state-of-the-art Telluride Science & Innovation Center.

Committed to preserving the renovated Depot as a flex-space resource for the Telluride community as well as a home to Telluride Science, the facility will remain open to the public and available for community programming and rentals. At the same time, the facility will provide new opportunities for Telluride Science to expand its scientific programming and extend its proven workshop formula to assist other innovative groups involved in pushing forward the boundaries of technology, industry, healthcare, education, and more.

Drawing from the many visiting bright minds, there will be exciting new public programming for the greater Telluride community as well.

The economic impact of past Telluride Science activities has averaged $12M annually. The new facility will allow for significant growth of that impact.