Mountain Resilience Coalition

Cultures around the globe have long looked to the mountains for inspiration. Mountain regions provide the basis for human livelihood and ecosystem services, making up twenty percent of the earth, thirteen percent of human communities, up to eighty percent of water consumed by humans, and twenty-five percent of biodiversity. Yet these pinnacles of vision and sources of life are in danger, with glaciers melting, over thirty percent of mountain people suffering from food insecurity, and clean water at risk. In this era of climate disruption, it is time to look again to the world’s mountain communities as beacons of a more resilient story, stretching from the planet’s headwaters to all communities downstream.

The Aspen International Mountain Foundation, Telluride Institute, and Western State Colorado University’s (Western) School of Environment & Sustainability have formed a triad of Colorado-based organizations called the Mountain Resilience Coalition. The Mountain Resilience Coalition partners with the vulnerable yet visionary places that form the United Nations (UN) Mountain Partnership’s North and Central American and Caribbean region. We seek to give voice to all communities in the region and to model positive change at the table of UN events dedicated to mountain community health. This intersection of nonprofit and university commitments offers communication networks, expert research, and get-it-done project collaboration across cultures.

Download:  MountainResilience_wLevels


Please join us for a series of “mountain resilience” films concurrent with the 2018 MountainFilm Festival.  We are calling the project “MountainFringe.”  It features films by WSCU professor Jack Lucido, videographer Kaard Bombe, and John D. Liu and many more.  See the attached MountainFringe Schedule3.


Telluride Institute’s Dan Collins plays VJ at the Ghost Town venue, Telluride, CO, May 25 – 28, 9 – 10:30 pm.

India Night


India Night

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Western, Kelley Hall

Join us for the Grand Opening of the new School of ENVS in Kelley Hall for a fund raising dinner with facilitated conversations about the “Mountain Resiliency” India Trip and Raffle of Great Gunnison Items!

Proceeds to go to supplementing travel expenses to establish a Sister City relationship between Gunnison and Majikali, India.

Dinner conversation topics:

• Installing a water system in the Himalayas, and Himalayan water issues in general
• Enhancing Western’s emerging role in the United Nations Mountain Partnership
• Developing a Sister City for Gunnison
• Incorporating mountain resilience strategies in the Gunnison community upon our return for $15 advance tickets

$20 day of
$10 kids
$5 raffle tickets

Come and enjoy good food, prizes, and conversation about the trip.


Mountain Resilience Coalition Kick-Off

On March 7, 2018, representatives from the Aspen International Mountain Foundation, the Telluride Institute, and the School of Environment and Sustainability at Western State Colorado University, hosted a kick-off event at the Lifton-Zoline residence in Telluride, Colorado for the new “Mountain Resilience Coalition” (MRC).  An overview of the MRC vision was provided by Karinjo Devore (AIMF), Audrey Marnoy & John Lifton-Zoline (TI), and John Hausdoerffer (WSCU) and examples of possible projects were shared by current students from WSCU.  Please share the video below: