Throughout last summer, teams of University of Colorado Boulder scientists and students worked to map Mesa Verde’s diverse biological life in a partnership between the national park and CU Boulder’s Museum of Natural History.
The discoveries could be the foundation of a future museum in the Far View Center, closed in 2013 when the new visitor center opened.
CU, along with the other museums and universities, has conducted historical and anthropological research in the park, yet its natural environment – especially at a microscopic level – has gone largely unexplored until now.
During the research, CU Boulder students staffed tables to teach park-goers about the plants and animals that call the region home.
It’s just one way that CU Boulder is part of your community.
Likewise, Cortez and Montezuma County are part of our community.
Fifty-seven CU Boulder alumni live in Cortez and a dozen students from Montezuma County are enrolled at the Boulder campus.
Montezuma County students are an important part of our geographic diversity, sharing classes, perspectives and opinions with students from 50 states and 132 countries.
Students from Cortez High School are part of our Upward Bound program that prepares Native American students for college.
Students live in campus residential halls and take classes during a six-week summer academic program that delivers a complete college experience.
Only about 1 percent of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees nationwide are awarded to Native American students.
The Upward Bound program works to change that statistic.
Seventy-six percent of the program’s participants last year immediately enrolled in a college or university after high school, well above the average for Native American students.
The program inspires students to realize the possibilities of higher education and how they can contribute to their communities and society.
For 450 fourth-graders in the county, fossils and ancient history are coming to life thanks to the CU Museum of Natural History’s free fossil and archaeology kits and teacher training.
These resources provide hands-on learning that are taught as part of state science and social studies standards.
We enjoy working with students of all ages in Montezuma County, and we look forward to continuing our educational partnerships in your community.
Philip DiStefano is the University of Colorado Boulder chancellor, appointed in 2009. He has served the University of Colorado Boulder for 44 years.