The Institute for Applied Sustainability

The Institute for Applied Sustainability has joined with the Coldharbour Institute in Gunnison to offers a holistic suite of courses that develop the practical skills and knowledge needed to create more sustainable and economically resilient communities, and provide training for green jobs.  

2016 Summer Catalog for Institute of Applied Sustainability

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Jeffrey Ewert
Dates: Saturdays, May 21st - June 25th 
Time:  May 21st - 28th 8:00am - 10:00am, 
            June 4th - 25th 8:00am-12:00pm
Location: Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $85
Required equipment: Binoculars and birding guide (contact instructor at for information). This course introduces students to the exciting field of birding. The course includes identifying species in the field with your field guide and how to record a sighting in a professional manner. Students learn basic bird anatomy and taxonomy, use of optics, identification clues in the field, identification of song and call, and creation of a Grinellian birding journal. The course takes place in two classroom settings, and two field settings to introduce students to the wonderful world of birding!


Jeffrey Ewert
Dates: Mondays, June 6th - 27th
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $75
Materials: Students should bring their own fly rod and reel, some rods are made available. 
This courses teaches students the basics of fly fishing in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The course covers the fundamentals of fly fishing equipment including rods, rod weights, line types, leaders, tippets, flies, and accessories. Students receive one-on-one instruction on casting, application and types of flies and knots, and how to read waters to find fish. This course gives students a foundation to begin to successfully fly fish in the Gunnison Basin.


Jerry Kaiser
Dates: Saturday, June 11th - Sunday, June 12th &      
            Saturday, June 18th - Sunday, June 19th Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: TBD
Price: $100
The course familiarizes students with Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and camera use. The course begins with a review of the various types of cameras on the market, from cell phones up to large format cameras. The course is aimed at DSLR cameras and outdoor photography, including selection of cameras and gear; how to use them without the “automatic” mode, and what to do with the photos you take. Days 3 and 4 splits between some field work with your camera and the instructor, followed by field/classroom work to review some of the photos that were taken. The goal is to familiarize the student with the many capabilities of the DSLR and with Photoshop for photographers, so that they can proceed with their photographic interests in the future with a broad based knowledge of the basics of the field.


Briana Wiles
Dates: Wednesday, June 29th - Thursday,
            June 30th Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Location: Taylor 101 & Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $55 + $30 material fee
If you did not have a chance to take the full Mountain West Foraging Plus Medicine Making course in the Spring of 2016, here is your chance to take a condensed, yet still informative, version. High Altitude Wildcrafting provides the basic skills to correctly identify some of Gunnison’s local flora for foraging and medicine making ventures. This course comprises of one 3-hour indoor session to introduce students to western herbalism, and one 3-hour outdoor session to help students begin to identify local flora.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.


Derek Marin
Dates: Wednesday, July 13th - Friday, July 15th
Time:  9:00am - 2:00 pm
Location: Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $75
This is a course is based on Permaculture or better described as “Permanente Agriculture”, based on the concepts created by Bill Mollison and his book ‘Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual’. These principles focus on sustainable living, regenerative agriculture, food forestry, animal husbandry, landscape design & mapping, organic principles, ecosystem cultivation, earth works, natural patterns, bio-intensive systems, & water management. The application of this science is done in symbiotic patterns that mimic nature’s natural systems. These principles are used for ecological restoration in urban, rural farm, and wild spaces. This course taps the basic concepts of Permaculture & Perma-Gardening in a high altitude setting, which participants can apply at their home. The first half of each day is dedicated to theory and the second half implementing a small ‘Perma-Garden’ plot that demonstrates the basic concepts of Permaculture. Students should be able to replicate and modify the design to their own spaces whether it be a small-scale kitchen garden or a broad acre farm.


Derek Marin
Dates: Wednesday, July 20th
Time: 9:00am - 2:00pm
Location: Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $60 + $10 Material Fee
This is a beginner’s workshop in Mushroom Cultivation. The course covers how to grow shiitake and oyster mushrooms for home gardening purposes. Students will learn how to inoculate logs with mushroom spawn and are provided with basic instructions for growing these varieties of mushrooms with various methods. Each student leaves this workshop with 3 to 5 ft long inoculated log (shiitake or oyster) and an oyster mushroom ‘quick kit’. 


Bart Lynch
Dates: Saturday, July 30th - Sunday, July 31st
Time:   9:00am - 1:00pm
Location: 725 S. 9th St. Suite A, Gunnison, CO Price: $75
Gunnison has an abundance of Canada Thistle, which has generally been thought of as a noxious weed. Canada Thistle is known to take over many land types, from roadsides, ditch banks, riparian zones, pastures, irrigated cropland, to the most productive dryland cropland. Learn to process the fibers from this local plant for the purpose of sheet formation, and forget all notions of Thistle as a noxious weed.


Blaine Pickett & MJ Pickett
Dates: Wednesday, August 3rd
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Coldharbour Ranch*
Price: $50 
This holistic introduction to organic, sustainable food gardening teaches students skills needed to start and maintain an organic food garden at High Altitudes and Cold Climates. Concepts taught through this course include: basics of growing food, season extension concepts, organic, sustainable growing practices, the identification of potential impediments to organic food production, and gain a deeper appreciation for local food systems.



Contact Information

Suzanne Ewy
Lecturer -MEM; Coldharbour Institute Chair 
Phone: (970) 943-2023