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

Board of Directors

Catherine Ingraham, Ph.D., President of the Board of the Wright-Ingraham Institute, is a Full Professor in the Graduate Program of Architecture at Pratt Institute, a program which she chaired from 1999-2005. She also has been a Visiting Faculty member at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, since 2016. Ingraham earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University and was an editor, with Michael Hays and Alicia Kennedy, of the critical journal Assemblage. Ingraham has lectured at multiple national and internationals schools of architecture and published widely in journals and book collections. Her books include Architecture, Animal, Human (Routledge Press, London 2006), Architecture and The Burdens of Linearity (Yale University Press, New Haven 1998). She is currently working on two books, Architecture, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness and Worlds Between. Ingraham has won numerous fellowships and awards, including the Canadian Center for Architecture Fellowship, Graham Foundation grants, and MacDowell residencies. Catherine leads the StudyTank program at the WII.
Brendan G. Doyle is an alumnus and former staff member of the Wright-Ingraham Institute’s Running Creek Field Station (Colorado, USA). During the 1970s, he assisted in producing the Institute’s Food, Fuel and Shelter conference and proceedings. He staffed the Institute’s Running Creek watershed planning and stakeholder outreach programs. As a member of the Board of Directors since 2006, he has supported re-chartering and organizing the Institute as a public charity and educational organization. During 2018-2019, he co-led the Institute’s re-launch of the Field Stations program with Kevin Bone. More recently, he sponsored the Board’s strategic planning and budgeting initiatives. He currently serves on the Board’s Development Committee and as a Trustee of the Thomas L. Parker Charitable Trust. Brendan formerly served as a policy analyst and senior advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His portfolio included air, water and drinking water regulations, infrastructure finance, research and development and community-based emergency preparedness planning. Brendan is currently the proprietor of PLANTERRA Landscape Planning and Design based in Portland, Oregon. Brendan holds a BA in Environmental Design from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning and Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Master’s in Professional Real Estate from Georgetown University.
Anna Grady is Vice President for Human Resources at NRG Systems. Anna is an accomplished leader in Human Resources and Administration, specializing in employee relations, organizational strategy and development, change management, strategic workforce planning and recruitment. Anna’s broad experience and pragmatic approach to developing employee engagement techniques, communication strategies and leadership development initiatives helps steer how WII approaches all HR-related matters, in accordance with our values, culture, and operational philosophies. Anna lives and works in Vermont. Anna also leads the WII’s Grants program.
Frederick Marks, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Six Sigma Green Belt, is currently a Visiting Scholar and Research Collaborator at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. Mr. Marks has been a licensed architect for over thirty years and has a planning & design specialty in healthcare and laboratory science facilities. He holds degrees in architecture and business administration with a major in real estate & urban land economics. Mr. Marks is a founding Board member and Past-President of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) in San Diego, CA. He is a former Assistant Director of the National American Institute of Architects (AIA) Professional Interest Committees, and a former National AIA Board Knowledge Committee member and advisor to the National AIA Research Summits. He is a Past-President of his local AIA chapter and currently serves as its representative to California Committee on the Environment (COTE). Mr. Marks is currently an advisor to the National Institute of Building Sciences, the Delos WELL Living Laboratory, the National ASHRAE Standing Guideline Project Committee, and the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center Mind/Brain Institute. Mr. Marks attended the WII Field Station program in 1975 as a student.
April Martin Yi has two decades of experience as a nonprofit executive, business development strategist, and fundraising and philanthropy expert. She is the principal at MartinYi Consulting and works with numerous nonprofits on leadership development, program management, and fundraising. As a nonprofit executive at regional and national organizations, she has partnered with numerous academic, environmental, and youth-centered organizations on the design and implementation of business strategies and funding models that support sustainability and support healthy growth. Working collaboratively with large and small teams she has developed and led projects from start-up, full implementation, to scale-up. As an enterprise leader April has developed and cultivated staff, created and implemented development strategies, designed and analyzed SWOT research, formulated a competitive market analysis, and evaluated outcomes to determine the next steps. April has a deep passion for work that directly impacts marginalized communities and engages stakeholders in meaningful stewardship that leads to long-term impact and partnership. April is a 1999 graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland University. She earned a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2002 and is an Environmental Leadership Program alumnus.
Frank Miller is a design-build architect experienced with residential, commercial, manufacturing and educational building types. Frank has expertise in urban/architectural design guidelines, master planning, digital design methods, architectural education, and research in renewable energy. He is interested in the intersection of art and science in the built environment and has a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design and a Master’s of Architecture from MIT, where he has also taught as an assistant professor. Frank lives with his family in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area.
Ray Rasker, Ph.D., is the co-founder and former Executive Director of Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group and think tank that works to improve community development and land management decisions. He grew up in Mexico City in a Dutch household and came to the U.S. as a student. After obtaining a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Agriculture from Colorado State University, he went on to study economics, earning a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry (economics), Oregon State University. Ray has written extensively on rural development and the role of environmental quality and public lands in economic prosperity, with emphasis on the American West, and is well known in policy circles in the U.S. and Canada. Ray lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Key Staff

Lea Rekow, Ph.D., is executive director of the Wright-Ingraham Institute. Lea is the co-lead BifrostOnline and is on the steering committee for the Humanities for the Environment Circumpolar Observatory. She formerly taught sustainability through immersion learning at FGCU, and was founding director of Green My Favela in Rio de Janeiro. She has been an advisor to the Integrated Media and Art and Technology programs at Cal Arts, a member of the Institute for Australian Geographers and of New York Women in Film and Television. She has previously held positions as executive director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe (NM), executive director of Gigantic ArtSpace (NY), media director at the former Center for Peace and Human Security (NY), adjunct professor of media and communications at Pratt Institute (NY), director of Harmonic Ranch (NY), producer at Simon & Schuster (NY), and cultural advisor for Advance (Australian consulate in NY). She has also been a special envoy for the European-based Open & Agile Smart Cities, an advisor to the European Urban IxD program, a research fellow at the Center for Art and the Environment (NV), and a consultant for the international sustainability network GlobalCAD. Lea has sat on numerous advisory panels including for NYFA, SVA, Parsons, Amnesty International, the MacArthur award, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her research focuses on creative, transdisciplinary sustainability practices that usually involve reclaiming degraded space in areas where people are living under extreme socio-environmental stress.

Megan Ahearn serves as the Operations and Communications Manager for the Wright-Ingraham Institute and works with the administration of the Field Stations program. She has broad experience, both domestically and internationally, with non-profit organizations that focus on environmental sustainability and social justice. Formerly, she served as the program manager for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, dubbed “socially-responsible design’s highest award.” She has a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, and a background in Anthropology. Megan attended the exploratory Field Stations faculty workshop in Colombia in 2018.

Kevin Bone is the director of the WII’s Field Stations program. Kevin was a professor of architecture at the Cooper Union from 1983 until 2018, teaching design, building technology, advanced concepts, and sustainability. For over twenty years he worked to integrate issues of environment into the curriculum at the college. He is the founding director of the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, where he developed the Institute’s programs and organized academic events on issues of environment, architecture, and resources. Bone has published and exhibited on topics ranging from architecture to infrastructure to energy and landscape. Bone is a principal at Bone/Levine Architects. For over twenty-eight years his practice has pursued a mix of contemporary architectural design, technical consulting, and historic preservation. He was previously on the board of directors of the Wright-Ingraham Institute, including serving as the WII president, and is leading the development of a new generation of Field-Stations programming.

What We Do

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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.

Organizational
Statements

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.