Be a changemaker

Environment & Climate Institute logo

Team up with high school students and leading experts in climate and environment topics in Southwest Colorado to engage in real-world and community centered projects. Take a deep dive into agriculture, forest health, environmental science, water quality, renewable energy, and more.

The Environment & Climate Institute (ECI) kicks off the school year with a 5-day summer program where students from local school districts work together to complete projects in their communities. Through consultancies by leading environmental industries, students will grow in leadership, autonomy, and self-confidence as they put their minds and hands to work in helping their communities move towards more sustainable practices. During ECI, students will also have access to FLC student mentors, leadership training, and academic success programming.

A free program for all high school students

Environment & Climate Institute students setting a plant start in a restoration project

ECI is open to all high school students who attend Bayfield, Durango, Silverton, Archuleta, and Ignacio school districts. And it’s free. Participating students will have the opportunity to stay in student housing at Fort Lewis College (meals provided) and to meet like-minded peers who are passionate about their communities and their roles in sustaining them.

*Space in housing is prioritized for students who live furthest from Durango, CO. If capacity is reached, students who live closest to FLC will be asked to participate in the event only during the day. Transportation will be provided if requested. To be inclusive to all our partnered school districts, each school will have a cap on the number of students who attend based on school population size. Students will be placed on a waitlist if their school districts reach capacity.

Guide the future of change

Be an Environmental Advisor

Environment & Climate Institute participants working on a restoration project

Use your skills as a high school educator and your passion for the environment to lead tomorrow's changemakers. You'll help connect high school youth to innovative, experiential opportunities that lead them to successful academic and professional careers working for our environment.

As an ECI advisor, you'll have access to professional development opportunities throughout the school year, and be compensated with a stipend for your participation in the year-long program.

Find out more

If you have questions about the program, please contact:

Mark Schenberger

ECI is possible thanks to a partnership between the Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative and Fort Lewis College.