Our Mission

The Wright-Ingraham Institute explores integrated interfaces between natural and cultural systems that foster critical inquiry and insights into those systems. We are committed to fostering opportunities for the study and articulation of these interfaces by bringing multiple disciplinary points of view together. These take the form of immersive site-based learning exchanges and educational experiences, peer-to-peer research programs, extensive grant giving commitments, and producing conferences, symposia and publications. To advance our mission we collaborate with a diverse range of universities, colleges, First Nations peoples, land use and social protection initiatives, and conservation organizations.

Our Story

The Wright-Ingraham Institute is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) education and research institution established in Colorado in 1970 by its Founding Director, the late Elizabeth Wright Ingraham. Elizabeth was a prolific author, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a champion of women’s issues, and a highly regarded innovator who served on numerous boards and committees throughout her illustrious career. She is credited with the design of approximately 150 buildings throughout the Southwestern United States and was posthumously inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Wright Ingraham at Running Creek Field Station, circa 1973.

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright, and strongly influenced by the teachings of George Bernard Shaw, Elizabeth was passionate about architecture, community, conservation, and creating synergistic relationships between natural and built systems. She created WII to promote, direct, encourage, and develop opportunities contributing to the conservation, preservation, and responsible use of human and natural resources. Under her direction, the Institute opened the Richard T. Parker Advanced Center for Research in 1973 at its Running Creek Field Station site. The field research and educational workshops, developed to study the ecosystems of the Front Range of Colorado, remain cornerstone to WII’s programming mission.

Our Team


Catherine Ingraham, PhD, President

Anna Grady

Brendan Doyle

Frank Miller

Key Staff

Lea Rekow, PhD, Executive Director

Megan Ahearn, Operations Manager & Communications Coordinator

Program Directors

Kevin Bone, Field Stations

Anna Grady, Grants

Catherine Ingraham, StudyTank

What We Do

Programs & Research

Growth Strategy

The next three to five years present the Wright-Ingraham Institute with an important horizon toward which we will set our sights to grow incrementally with the goal of building both our programs and our infrastructure. We envision a future in which our basic core operations are covered by a modest annual distribution from our endowment. Programs, projects, communications, and event-related expenses will be covered through a combination of earned income from individual gifts, program fees, and other support. To date the Institute’s programs have been initiated by the WII Board members and incubated under their leadership. We envision continued engagement of Board members in program development in coordination with senior staff who will provide program leadership. Over the next three years our growth strategy centers upon developing the infrastructure to direct, manage and sustain our programs and projects with incremental additions to the Institute’s staff, expansion of our income strategies, deepening our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, and evolving our programs to ensure a wider impact and increase the number of individuals and institutions engaged in our work.

Read about our current fundraising goals here and more about the Wright-Ingraham Institute here.


The Wright-Ingraham Institute’s Organizational Statements represent the core beliefs of our Institute. They inspire and guide our choices in the way we operate and deal with people. They help determine how we approach our decision-making processes and how we implement our programming.