Telluride Science: Annie Carlson Joins as Director of Donor Relations

Telluride Science: Annie Carlson Joins as Director of Donor Relations

To support the Depot Project or learn more about Telluride Science and Innovation Center, please visit here or contact Annie Carlson at

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Mark Kozak, Annie Carlson and Sally Puff Courtney in front of Telluride’s Historic Depot Building, the future home of Telluride Science.

Telluride Science is the regional nonprofit that annually welcomes some of the world’s smartest people to town. They come to our box canyon to solve many of the planet’s most pressing challenges: cancer, Alzheimer’s, solar and hydrogen fuels, batteries, nanosensors, carbon capture, artificial intelligence, even Covid. Truth is, with a network that now extends to over 5,000 scientists, Telluride Science is already a major player at nexus of chemistry, energy, biomedicine, material science, nanotechnology, and environmental science, crucial to finding solutions in those critical spaces.

Which means the nonprofit is hard on a path to brand Telluride as more than a world-renowned ski resort, more than a cultural center, but also as a center for scientific innovation.

Case in point (and despite extraordinary challenges throughout the ongoing pandemic), Telluride Science managed to rock the summer/fall season with a series of workshops that addressed cutting-edge challenges. In fact, over 1,200 scientists around the world participated in 46 workshops in 2021 and, while far fewer were able to make the trek to Telluride, hybrid technology allowed scientists to continue their boundary-pushing work.

With the October 2020 acquisition of the National Historic Landmark known as the Telluride Depot, Telluride Science is poised to become an even more magnetic incubator in the rarefied community of game-changers. A full restoration and renovation of the beloved building will transform the Depot into the Telluride Science and Innovation Center, a year-round hub for events that bridge science to include applied innovation and industry, venture capital events, healthcare practice discussions, and other intellectual offerings.

Annie Carlson, Director of Donor Relations, Telluride Science,

The capital campaign to support the renovation of the Depot into a state-of-the-art facility is just beginning, and to guide the campaign to success, Telluride Science is pleased to announce the hiring of Annie Carlson as the new Director of Donor Relations. The 27-year local has deep ties to the community. The depth and breadth of her experience as a former staff member of the Telluride Tourism Board (TTB), the Telluride Foundation, and the Telluride Ski Resort makes her a natural fit for the position.

“I am very excited be a part of the next chapter of Telluride Science, which includes transforming the Depot into the Telluride Science and Innovation Center. I am inspired to work for an organization that has such a positive impact beyond our box canyon walls. It is mind-blowing to think that research conducted in our tiny town of Telluride could potentially lead to the next cure for cancer or get us one step closer to creating solutions to combat climate change. Having a dedicated, year round -home for scientists is critical to this mission.

Carlson will oversee the campaign to ensure that the vision of Telluride Science becomes a reality. To date, the organization managed to save the Depot, one of the most historic and iconic buildings in the region from private development. And, for its first action as steward of the landmark, Telluride Science demonstrated its commitment to the community by leasing the space to the Telluride Medical Center to use as a stand-alone respiratory clinic throughout the pandemic.

As soon as the Medical Center vacates the premises the project to create a permanent home for Telluride Science goes into hyperdrive, the renovated venue to become a home for policy innovation and educational programming for the general public, including students. The beautiful building will also be available as a community gathering space for private events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, and more, with an eye on cultural inclusiveness.

“We are one step closer to making the Telluride Science and Innovation Center a reality. This state-of the-art innovation center will host scientists throughout the year, curate innovation workshops to drive advancements in technology and policy, and offer educational programming to students and the general public,” explained Telluride Science Executive Director, Mark Kozak.

The plans laid out by SALT Architecture are already approved; construction is expected to take approximately 18 months. Building renovations are slated to start in September 2022, a date which will (hopefully) coincide with the completion of the $5.5 million capital campaign spearheaded by Carlson. The need for financial support for this project is clearly pressing and timely.

“I have been involved in a number of nonprofits during my 47 years in Telluride, but I have never been presented with an opportunity to support something as important as science’s impact on the world right here from Telluride,” said Sally Puff Courtney, Telluride Science Board Member. “This is my chance to be involved with the next frontier and to make a difference for future generations.”

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