TSRC 2018 Spring Newsletter

A Message From Your Staff

TSRC has always been a scientist organization – founded by scientists, governed by scientists and driven forward by the intellectual curiosity of scientists. We, the TSRC staff, want you to know that we see ourselves as stewards of your organization. We work for you. It is our mission to create a sustainable, effective, and affordable center so you can collaborate with your peers, think of new ideas, and, as a group, advance science and technology. We always want your feedback, so we can respond to what is working and what is not.

Thank you for allowing us to support your scientific efforts. Please enjoy the spring newsletter, and, as always, please reach out if you have any questions or if we can assist you with anything regarding TSRC. We look forward to seeing you in Telluride.  

– Kristen, Cindy, and Mark

The Depot Project Update

A dedicated home and year-round facility has been an interest of TSRC for many years. In 2016, the TSRC Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG) evaluated our former plans to develop a 30,000 square foot facility on a lot “donated” by the Town of Telluride. This project had been estimated to cost between $20M-$30M. The SPWG recommended the release of the lot back to the Town for the following reasons: (1) the building is too big for our needs; (2) hesitance when considering whether TSRC could expand programming enough to keep the facility year-round and still stay true TSRC's brand; (3) uncertainty about the ability of TSRC to raise $30M; and (4) questions concerning the possibility that the new space may not possess the same feel that our scientists have valued.

Per this guidance from the SPWG, TSRC has now waived its right to pursue the Agreement-to-Lease with the Town of Telluride.

Why does TSRC need a facility? What will a dedicated facility accomplish?

Each year, TSRC workshop programming grows. Meanwhile, our leasing period at the schools has shortened to seven weeks, and so we have been forced to host more scientists per week than is optimal. Currently, we host up to nine workshops and 225 scientists per week. In order to preserve the scientist experience that TSRC is known for and reduce the amount of lodging required by TSRC each week, the SPWG recommended that we limit the number of workshops each week to six with up to 150 scientists in total. Reducing the number of scientists each week will help to us to offer more affordable lodging options.

In 2017, the Ah Haa School for the Arts was preparing to negotiate the purchase of a 10,000 square-foot space in a new building when they approached TSRC about purchasing their current home in the 6,500 square-foot Historic Telluride Depot. The TSRC Staff and Board believe that the Depot is a perfect fit for our needs. It possesses the sense of place that inspires creativity and facilitates collaboration while being small enough to be affordable and utilized on a year-round basis.

The Depot renovation and restoration design creates three new programming rooms while retaining the large “Gallery” as a place for eating and socializing (restoration plans). With the new facility, TSRC would lengthen its current 7-week, 50-workshop season which runs from mid-June to the end of July to a longer summer season stretching from mid-May to late August. For five weeks during the summer, TSRC would also rent three rooms at the Elementary School (two blocks away) to accommodate six workshops per weeks for just five weeks. The weekly picnic would be held every week at the Depot.

During September and October and then over January, February, and March, TSRC hopes to host one workshop per week. In 2018, we will have hosted four workshops during these times of year. The fall and winter are quieter times of year in Telluride and provide a perfect atmosphere for workshops along with less lodging pressure.

Throughout the year, unused programming rooms will be made available to other nonprofits in the community, with a priority given to organizations that promote science & technology, STEM education, and innovation.

Fundraising to purchase and renovate the Depot is going very well. Over a five-month period from last fall to early winter 2018, TSRC raised $2.3M in donations and pledges designated for the purchase and renovation of the Telluride Depot. The complete project will cost approximately $8M. Financial contributions from our scientists are very meaningful to both small and large donors as they represent our scientists' support for the project. TSRC’s board members have contributed almost $450K to the capital campaign. The vast majority of pledges have come from local “Founders Circle” members of the community who have committed to $100K over a four-year period. These donors are thrilled to have TSRC in the community, and they hope that a permanent home will promote more interaction between our scientists and the community. It is our hope that we can give back to Telluride in honor of their great generosity.

Thank you to all the scientists who have already donated to the effort. If you would like to give, please send a check to TSRC, PO Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435 or donate online on TSRC's GoFundMe site.

Donors To Date

Founders Circle

Ron & Joyce Allred

Bobby & Polly Stein

Adam & Diane Max

Alan & Marcia Docter

Lou Mintz & Beverly Crilly

Carol & John Keogh

Mark & Sandie Shambaugh

Mike & Sharon Talbert

Billy Harbert

Aela & Don Morgan

Don & Amy Smith

Wendy Sisler

Tim & Mary Erdman

Reeves Family

Jim & Alexis Pugh

Samueli Foundation

Miles & Nicole Cook (Miles is a TSRC Board Member)

Patrick & Marisa Dwyer (Patrick is a TSRC Board Member)

Sally Puff Courtney (TSRC Board Member)

Board Members and Immediate Past Board Members

James Skinner, University of Chicago

John Straub, Boston University

Michael Feig, Michigan State University

Bern Kohler, Ohio State University

Nancy Levinger, Colorado State University

Ron Estler, Fort Lewis College

David Reichman, Columbia University

Jody Miller, Telluride resident

Millard Alexander, University of Maryland

Eran Rabani, University of California, Berkeley

Jack Simons, University of Utah

Audrey Marnoy, Wagner Skis, Mountain Village resident

Local Donors

Deupree Family

Deborah Erdman

Charles & Sue Cobb

Gary & Debbie Freedman

Nelson & Sharon Sharp

John & Laura Shields

Day Family

Fred & Gail Kittler

Johnston & Scotty Adams

Kathy Green

Cindy & Rick Fusting

Richard Young & Dr. Bonnie Beamer

Kreamer Family

John & Mandy Petree

Dorothy Steele


Ron Elber & Virginia Yip

Stephen & Carla Berry

Peter & Sally Salamon

University of Chicago - Institute for Molecular Engineering

Tamar Schlick

James F Stoddart

David & Deniz Leitner

Rob Coalson

Eric Bittner

William H Miller

Thomas Kleyman

Gustavo Scuseria

Qiang Cui

William Reinhardt

Arthur Palmer

Paul Kent

Tim & Susanna Lodge

David Goldenberg

Sonya Kreidenweis

Zlatko Bacic

Rigoberto Hernandez

Ken Ritchie

Diane Barber

David Osborn

Ilya Vakser

Michael Gilson

Stephen White

Stefan Klumpp

Yasuhisa Mizutani

Scott Showalter

Niall English

Judith Herzfeld

Dan Gezelter

Chris Jarzynski

Jacek Klos

Carsten Ullrich

James Sims

Scientist Communication Training with Judy Muller

During the summer of 2019, TSRC will present one-day workshops in an effort to support our scientists who wish to improve their communication skills. The board and staff of TSRC is excited to announce this new collaboration with Emmy and Peabody award-winning television correspondent and professor emeritus of broadcast journalism at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Judy Muller. Ms. Muller is a former instructor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and possesses vast experience in translating complex ideas into concise and impactful messaging.

Ms. Muller and her partner, George Lewis, a former leading technology and innovation correspondent for NBC, will teach participants how to distill messages with clarity and passion and how to connect with specific audiences. The workshops will conclude with practice interviews on camera and immediate professional feedback. TSRC is seeking grant funding to cover the costs of these workshops so that this resource may be available and easy to access for all interested scientists on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each session will be limited to 12 participants. Please email Cindy Fusting and let us know if you are interested in participating so that we may appropriately plan for workshop time and space.

Lodging Success!

This year’s push towards earlier registration and lodging selection has paid off. Starting with the 2018 season, the TSRC Board elected to move the application of the Early Bird Discount from the registration fee to the lodging expense. This change better reflects the board’s desire to help TSRC participants find preferred lodging and the best possible rates. Lower cost accommodations sell out quickly, so it’s imperative that cost-conscious participants select their lodging as early as possible. The $100 discount is TSRC’s way of encouraging early lodging selection and reducing total costs to participants. With the Early Bird Lodging Discount and TSRC discounted rates, many of this summer’s participants were able to secure lodging in a shared condo for less than $450 for six nights of lodging. That’s $75/night! In Telluride!

The TSRC Board and Staff are working on a plan to further improve the lodging selection experience and reduce costs for 2019. Please contact Kristen Redd with any comments or suggestions.

Call for New TSRC Workshops

Annually, TSRC hosts approximately 50 workshops. To ensure that the workshops remain at the forefront and reflect new trends in molecular science and to diversify programming, we are inviting new proposals to be considered beginning in the 2018 season.

We are especially interested in proposals for new workshops in the areas of energy science, nanoscience, materials and polymer science, and atmospheric and environmental science, but other new topics in molecular science that are not covered by current workshops will be considered as well.

TSRC provides great support, making it easy to organize a workshop. Participants value these workshops as a place to discuss cutting-edge science at the highest levels in an intimate and informal setting.

Please share this opportunity with colleagues who might be interested in proposing a new workshop.

To be considered for 2019, we request proposals no later than August 31, 2018.

Details of TSRC’s proposal process can be found on TSRC’s website.

Consider organizing a fall or winter workshop! We recently hosted two winter workshops and will be hosting two workshops this fall! All organizers and participants who have spent time with us outside of the busy summer season have relayed that these are some of their favorite workshops.

Town Talks 2018

With great thanks to our presenting scientists, we have an extraordinary lineup for the 2018 Town Talk Series. The full calendar may be found here. New this year, presenters will be mentored by Judy Muller, an award-winning journalist and former instructor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Ms. Muller will assist our scientists in crafting audience-engaging talks and will serve as interviewer and moderator for the audience Q&A.

TSRC's Annual Report

The organization will be releasing the 2017 Annual Report in early summer of 2018. Past annual reports can be found on TSRC’s website.

TSRC Staff Changes

TSRC welcomed Cindy Fusting as Managing Director in 2018. Cindy joins Mark Kozak and Kristen Redd as the year-round support staff for TSRC. As Mark leads the charge toward securing TSRC’s new home at the Depot, Cindy is working to ensure that TSRC continues to operate with the high level of organizational support our scientists expect and deserve. The additional staff support has allowed Kristen to assume the title of Lodging Director where she is focused on ensuring a positive lodging and registration experience for all TSRC participants.

This summer will bring the return of longtime seasonal staffers, Sara Friedberg, Kole Shugars, Gorio Osha, and Hailey Redd. These friendly faces will surely be familiar to past TSRC participants. Sara will take the lead as the Program Staff Manager for our daily food service staff, and Kole Shugars oversee day-to-day facility operations.

Board Changes

In January, TSRC transitioned to a single-year term for board presidents. James Skinner, University of Chicago, serves as President for 2018. Michael Feig, Michigan State University, is Secretary and President-Elect, and Bern Kohler, Ohio State University, is Treasurer. We are deeply indebted to our Past-President, John Straub, Boston University, for the great service and dedication over the past two years that he served as president as well as for his continued contributions to the board.

New scientist members of the board include Susan Rempe, Sandia National Laboratories, Judy Kim, University of California, San Diego, and James Crutchfield, University of California, Davis. We are excited about the perspectives they will bring to the board.

Also in January, Sally Puff Courtney, joined TSRC’s Board of Directors. Sally is a local resident who has lived in Telluride for almost 40 years. She has already played an instrumental role in our fundraising efforts. Sally is very proud of TSRC and sees it as a crucial part of the Telluride community. Jody Miller, another Telluride local, joined the board last May. Jody is a important K-12 STEM advocate for TSRC and liaison to our partner, Pinhead Institute. We are very glad to have her on board.

Former Board President, Millard Alexander, University of Maryland, former Treasurer, Jack Simons, University of Utah, former Treasurer, Eran Rabani, University of California, Berkeley, and Audrey Marnoy stepped down from the board at the end of 2017. Millard, Jack, Eran, and Audrey have been dedicated to seeing that TSRC always remains healthy, viable, and a resource for the global scientific community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of them.

Important Notes!

  • Register now for 2018. Registration is still open and lodging is almost full!
  • 2018 Workshop Location. The majority of workshops will be held at the Telluride Intermediate School in 2018. This is a different school than the Telluride Elementary School where the workshops were in 2015 and 2016. Be sure to check your workshop page for the location of your meeting.
  • 2017 & 2018 Scholarships. The 2017 Paul Barbara Scholarship recipients were Dawn Merriman, Duke University, and Henrik Larsson, Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Kiel. The 2018 Paul Barbara recipients are Caitlin Bresnahan, Louisiana State University, and Pablo Martinez-Bulit, University of Windsor. The Peter Salamon Award recipients for 2017 can be found here.
  • We Want Your Input & Advice: Your input is always welcome on any topic: summer schools, workshops, operations, food, or other topics. Please feel free to share you comments and good ideas. We appreciate your support.




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