A monthly newsletter that includes a collection of important news and updates from Telluride Science.


Happy New Year! 2023 is off to a great start. A steady flow of storms has transformed Telluride into a winter wonderland and provided some much needed snow to open a majority of the terrain on the ski resort.

The new year brings in a new board president for Telluride Science, as Rob Walker (read more about Rob in Spotlight for Science below) takes over the reins from Judy Kim. We are extremely grateful for the guidance and strong leadership that Judy provided during her tenure as president. Rob has served on the board since 2019 and as treasurer since 2021.

The new year also brings a new partnership with the Telluride Venture Network. TVN has curated an online course for our scientists who are interested in commercializing their ideas. The course will be held this spring and will cover the fundamentals of starting a business and what a scientist/engineer needs to know before taking their idea to their institution’s tech transfer office. If this is well received and attended, TVN will offer additional bootcamps.


The bottom level of the Depot is entirely cleared out to make room for one large classroom/gathering area and a catering kitchen (which will be at the west end of the building beyond the elevator shaft pictured in the middle of the photo.)

Renovations at the Depot are going well! The building is almost entirely gutted. Check out our progress here with some photos of before and after the demolition work.

While we are making great progress, we still need to raise an additional $4.5M to transform this historic building into the state-of-the-art Telluride Science & Innovation Center.

If you have friends or colleagues who might be interested in supporting the Telluride Science & Innovation Center, please email Annie Carlson.


Rob enjoying the outdoor classroom in Telluride.


Board President Telluride Science

Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Montana State University

How does torpedo fuel burn under water where there is no air? Why do solid oxide fuel cells produce twice the amount of electricity with minimal carbon dioxide emission? These are the types of questions that Rob Walker is striving to answer through the application of optical spectroscopy – the use of light to study chemical structure, organization, and reactivity. “If there is an interesting question related to chemical change in difficult-to-access environments, we are interested,” said Rob. Studying the chemistry responsible for torpedo fuel combustion or how solid oxide fuel cells directly convert fuels to electricity seems challenging, but not to Rob and his research group. Rob’s team uses a variety of optical spectroscopy methods to develop tools to study chemistry in these difficult-to-access and chemically aggressive environments.

Rob is now serving as the president of Telluride Science and has been a strong supporter of the organization since 2008, first as an attendee and then as a co-organizer of both Complexity in Chemistry and Physics of Lipid Membranes and High Temperature Energy Conversion workshops. He quickly realized how impactful and productive Telluride workshops were due to the unique format. “The small size, open exchange of ideas, emphasis on unpublished work, and focus on identifying new challenges is unlike anything you will find anywhere else.” 

More About Rob


How has Telluride Science impacted your career?

I am a much better and more broadly knowledgeable scientist because of Telluride Science workshops. These workshops naturally incubate far-ranging discussions about important issues that you don’t read about in journal articles. More importantly, these conversations with peers are not limited to 20 minutes or an hour, but rather take place all day, all week, and in and outside the classroom. The full science immersion is like nothing else, and those experiences have had a lasting and profound impact on me.

Is there a grand challenge that your field of study could potentially solve?

There are so many grand challenges related to health and climate, and they’re all important. Public health, climate change, a green economy, environmental resilience. . . . people will prioritize differently and all of them will be correct. For me, the grand challenge most important to me is energy. The transition to hydrogen and renewable fuels will take decades. However, we need to reduce carbon emissions now and we need to do so while using infrastructure that’s in transition. We hope that our research will lead to more durable and efficient devices that are capable of using conventional fuels today (with twice the efficiency) and hydrogen/green fuels in the future. We are also starting to think of how technologies enabled by our work can also remove CO2 from the air. We feel that’s a win-win outcome.

Complete Q & A


JohnKim alley view.jpg

If you are interested in hosting a scientist for five or six nights at an affordable rate in your guest house, condo, or home this winter or next summer, please email Annie Carlson.


Finding affordable lodging for our scientists is a big challenge. We are so grateful to the following people for offering to host a scientist:

  • Andi Alexander
  • Vadim Backman & Luisa Marcelino
  • Meg & Jay Bodnar
  • Miles & Nicole Cook
  • Sally Puff Courtney & Jim Harley
  • John & Sueanne Kim
  • Dave & Kelly Jemison 
  • Jim & Joanne Steinback


Telluride Science enjoyed a successful year in 2022 and excitedly looks to the future.




Live Life at Your Peak

January 21, 3-5 PM

We all know that as we get older our bodies change and that affects our quality of health, wellness, and happiness. Come learn from Gayle Frazzetta, MD, FAAFP, CCD about how hormone optimization can help us be at our MOST. Feel free to bring a friend or your significant other if they have an interest in the topic.

Email Annie for more information and location details by January 13.



January 13

Telluride Science Ski Date

January 18

Mountainfilm for Locals

January 20

Telluride Science Ski Date

January 21

Telluride Science Hormone Optimization Salon Talk

January 27

Telluride Science Ski Date

Koto Lip Sync

Telluride Science ski dates are informal ski sessions with Executive Director Mark Kozak, Meet on Fridays at the sundial next to Tomboy Tavern in Mountain Village at 11 am.

Telluride Inside & Out has a robust event calendar with an abundance of information on events and things to do in Telluride and Mountain Village.

Instagram  Twitter