TSRC 2016 Newsletter

Overview of 2015 Season

Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC) had a very successful 2015 season. Not including conferences and specialty meetings, TSRC hosted a record number of workshops (50) and scientists attending workshops (1314). In a change from recent years, in 2015 TSRC operated out of the Telluride Elementary School, a historic venue closer to the center of town. As some remember, TSRC has early roots in the Elementary School.

It was a great homecoming, and scientists expressed strong enthusiasm for the return to this updated but traditional venue. The chairs are larger now, and the room brighter, but the Elementary School promotes the informality that is a unique quality of TSRC.

As part of the move to the Elementary School, TSRC installed the fastest Wi-Fi system in the region. This benefits our scientists as well as TSD students and teachers. Planned improvements for 2016 include raising the screen heights in a few of the rooms and introducing a new configuration in the picnic tent to encourage interaction among workshop groups.

Tips for 2016 season

We encourage everyone to register early for the coming season in order to secure lodging, which is becoming increasingly competitive each year. Be aware that most 2016 workshops have an early bird registration date of February 15, 2016. Register now to reserve your lodging. We also recommend that participants book their flights early to save money. Consider setting a flight alert to obtain the best airfare rates, which can be done on many travel sites. Please contact Kristen Redd, TSRC's Managing Director (kristen@telluridescience.org), with any registration or lodging questions. While TSRC's registration system uses and enforces https security and your credit card information can safely be entered there, never email us your credit card number. Always call with that type of sensitive information to ensure maximum security.

Link to the current meetings page
Link to the
registration page
Link to the
lodging information page
Link to the
travel information page

Location of the Telluride Elementary School (the venue for most 2016 meetings and a different location from the 2014 workshops)

Announcement of 2015 Annual Report

TSRC will release its 2015 Annual Report in March 2016. The report will summarize the organization’s accomplishments, assess its impact on science, the Telluride community, and the general public, and give a transparent review of its operations. This 2015 Annual Report will be used to support TSRC’s future fundraising efforts. We look forward to sharing this report with you, and receiving your feedback.

Summary of Board Retreat

The TSRC Board of Directors met at the end of August 2015 to discuss the state of the organization, challenges, opportunities, and future goals. The Board is committed to preserving the special qualities of TSRC. These include a focus on molecular science within an environment that is friendly, supportive and community oriented. TSRC’s goals are to generate new ideas, advance collective scientific understanding, and build collaborations. The Board expressed support for managed growth that will protect these unique qualities of TSRC workshops and conferences.

The Board also expressed a strong commitment to affordability. This is key to the continued success of our organizers in securing strong participation for their programs. Affordability will ensure strong participation from the next generation of scientists, with whom the future of molecular science lies. In addition to negotiating wholesale lodging rates with lodging providers, TSRC is exploring other solutions to lessen the total cost. TSRC is also committed to keeping registration fees low by minimizing administrative and operational costs.

While TSRC seeks a stronger partnership with the Telluride School District in providing the central venue for our meetings, the Board remains committed to exploring the possibility of establishing a permanent facility. We are actively exploring business models that would allow TSRC to build a permanent facility and yet remain financially viable and true to the organization's mission.

Hearing Our Constituency

Over the summer, many TSRC scientists expressed a desire to become involved in strategic and governance planning. The Board recently voted to create a “TSRC General Members” group: active scientists who would devote time to advise the board on critical issues. This model has been very effective at the Aspen Center for Physics. TSRC workshop organizers from 2015 and 2016 will have the opportunity to nominate one organizer from their workshop to represent them as a General Members. Each summer, we will hold a lunch meeting of the general members in Telluride.

Staff & Board Changes

This past year saw many changes: In January John Straub and Jack Simons, long-known to the TSRC community, joined Millard Alexander as officers of the Board of Directors. In April, Mark Kozak, who had been Development Director, became Executive Director. Kristen Redd, a member of TSRC’s staff for the past several years, was hired as the Managing Director. Chris Rauchnot became the Operations Manager. In January 2016, Millard Alexander (President) and Jack Simons (Treasurer) will step down as officers. For continuity, they will remain ex officio members of the Board. John Straub will take over as President, Eran Rabani as Treasurer, and Michael Feig as Secretary.

2015 Telluride School of Theoretical Chemistry (TSTC)

 In mid-July, more than 30 doctoral and postdoctoral students came to Telluride to take part in the 2015 Telluride School on Theoretical Chemistry, the fourth school in this biennial series. Students were selected from a large applicant pool representing many of the U. S.'s top research universities. The four teachers for the 2015 School were Troy Van Voorhis (MIT; electronic structure theory); Phillip Geissler (UC Berkeley; statistical mechanics), Joan-Emma Shea (UC Santa Barbara; bio-molecular simulations), and Tom Miller (Caltech; chemical dynamics). This intense week-long advanced school is the only one of its kind in the U. S. The next school will be held in 2017, to be led by Professors Shea and Miller.

STEM Education

In addition to the biennial TSTC schools, TSRC’s will host in 2016 a similar, advanced graduate level school in Fundamental Science for Alternative Energy. In addition, TSRC scientists participate in several STEM programs through TSRC’s local partner, Pinhead Institute, a Smithsonian Affiliate. These popular programs include Scholars in the Schools, Punk Science, as well as hosting a regional high school junior for a summer research Pinternship. Currently, TSRC is exploring ways to support the Telluride School District in the area of STEM education.

If you have an interest in participating in any of these STEM education programs or starting a TSRC summer school, please let us know!

Town Talks 2015 & 2016

The Town Talk series is TSRC’s way of reaching out to the local communities of Telluride and Mountain Village. Through these talks we can share the importance of molecular science and its impact on our world as well as creating awareness and appreciation for TSRC’s mission and our love of Telluride. TSRC would like to thank all the 2015 TSRC Town Talk speakers: Omar Farha (Northwestern University) “Bioinspired Sponges: New Materials, New Chemistry for Protection”; John Tully (Yale University) “Steve Berry: Scholar, Educator and Visionary”; Todd Krauss (University of Rochester) “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy”; Lois Pollack (Cornell University) “Nanobiotechnology: How ‘Small’ Devices Enable a Better Understanding of Life”; Rohit Pappu (Washington University) “Neurodegeneration from the Ground Up”; Joseph Subotnik (University of Pennsylvania) “The Efficiency of Photovoltaics and the Greenhouse Effect”; Selina Wang (UC Davis) “What’s in Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil”; and Forest Rohwer (San Diego State University) “Personalized Medicine for Coral Reefs and People.”

We still need speakers for three dates in 2016: June 21, July 5, July 12, and July 26. If you know of a potential speaker who will be at TSRC during one of those weeks, please send us your nomination. Self-nominations are welcome!


TSRC recently hosted New Challenges for Theory in Chemical Dynamics (January 10-15th, 2016) for the fifth time since 2008. This workshop, organized by Millard Alexander (University of Maryland) and Ward Thompson (University of Kansas), covered new techniques for the investigation of molecular interactions and potential energy surfaces, and the study of the dynamics of molecular systems ranging from simple to complex. The goal was for cross-fertilization and the exchange of ideas between the sub-disciplines of quantum chemistry, quantum dynamics, and large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. This group loves coming back to Telluride for the alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and for its incredible natural beauty in the winter. TSRC would like to hold more winter meetings and urges potential organizers to inquire with Mark Kozak.

Important Notes!

  • Register now for 2016. Lodging if filling up! Early-bird registration ends February 15th!
  • Please Propose New Workshop and Summer School Ideas! We can still accept suggestions for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
  • 2016 Scholarships: Two Paul Barbara Scholarships and 20 Peter Salamon Awards are available for 2016. The application deadline for all scholarships and awards is February 15, 2016. The 2015 Paul Barbara Fellowship Recipients were Manuela A. Gross from the University of Cambridge and Sebastian Buchenberg from Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg.
  • We Want Your Input & Advice: Your input is always welcome on any topic: summer schools, workshops, operations, food, or other topics.
  • New TSRC Website Coming Soon: We are currently in the midst of a comprehensive redesign of the TSRC website with the goals of enhancing the "look and feel," improving navigability, presenting a vibrant picture of the center's activities, and creating a vital archive of the organizations activities and impact. As one of many enhancements to the registration system, participants will be able to establish continuing accounts that store information over time, greatly facilitating registration. We hope to see the new site online this spring.




Telluride Science Research Center
Post Office Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435
Tel: + 970.708.4426
Email: info@telluridescience.org
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