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Colorado Water Workshop

The Colorado Water Workshop began in 1976 as a collaborative effort between a Western State Colorado University history professor and "Gunnison Country" historian, Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, and a Gunnison water lawyer and Western graduate, Richard "Dick" Bratton. They felt that Colorado needed a place - high up near the Continental Divide, which divides the state in more ways than just geographically - where the various factions and interests involved in water issues could come to explore options "off the record". learn more...

The Headwaters Conference

Every fall, Western State Colorado University hosts a gathering of scholars and writers, poets and journalists, public officials and community activists, social and natural scientists, and the general inquiring minds from the mountain region for a weekend of interdisciplinary and cross-cultural interaction on an issue of concern in the Headwaters Region. Papers are presented, but every effort is also made to make the discourse accessible through "Forum Theater" dramatizations, poetry and music, and generally a full gamut of the varieties of human communication. learn more...

Spring Symposium

This year’s symposium, the 16th annual, contrasts the roles of individuals and institutions in forging a post-carbon society. How do we respond to an environmental crisis that is unprecedented in its planetary and multigenerational scale, yet seemingly lacking the visceral immediacy needed to trigger an adequate self-preservation response?  We face both 1) a global civilization premised on an unsustainable energy source and 2) massive climate disruption resulting directly from the use of this energy source.  The need to rapidly transition towards a sustainable and carbon-free future is clear. However, individual action can feel like a token gesture—one in 7 billion--and our institutions of government, business, religion, and education appear unwilling or totally incapable of taking responsibility. The crisis we face calls for action, but what can you really do?  Do individual actions matter if our institutions won’t change?  And how can individuals leverage the substantive changes we really need from our institutions? learn more...

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