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Tahoe-Baikal Institute


Tahoe-Baikal Institute (TBI) was established in 1990 to help preserve Lake Tahoe in California and Lake Baikal in Siberia, as well as other significant and threatened lake ecosystems around the world. This preservation is realized through environmental education programs, research, and international exchanges of students, scholars, and practitioners in science, policy, economics, and other related disciplines outlined below.

Summer Environmental Exchange (SEE) Every summer since 1990, TBI has hosted a 10-week environmental exchange program for 16 to 20 North American, Russian, Mongolian, and other international undergraduate, graduate, and young professional participants. Participants spend five weeks at Lake Baikal (Russia) and five weeks at Lake Tahoe (California and Nevada) meeting with top scientists and environmental policy-makers, developing and presenting research projects, and conducting ecological restoration work. Click here for more details and to access all application materials for the 2010 Summer Environmental Exchange Program.

Watershed Management Nineteen years of the SEE program have shed light on the tools, techniques, and political processes that best enable people to manage watersheds such as Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal. In 2002, TBI embarked on new programs to bring the lessons of watershed management learned at Lake Tahoe to experts working on natural resource protections around the world.

Sustainable Economic Development The goal of TBI's Sustainable Economic Development program is to improve the quality of life at Lake Tahoe and Baikal without jeopardizing natural or scenic resources. TBI has been working over the last decade to promote sustainable development research and programs that focus on improving the quality of life at Tahoe and Baikal while preserving both lakes' natural and cultural assets. In particular, TBI aims to promote eco-tourism at both lakes.

Cultural Exchange In these times of global tension, TBI programs allow people to make friendships and connections across political, cultural, and religious divides. Cultural exchange is a fundamental part of all TBI programs, especially the SEE program, which brings together young people from as many as six countries each year. In addition, TBI puts on cultural events in the Tahoe Basin each year, both during and outside of the SEE, that allow residents to learn more about the culture of Siberia, Mongolia, and other areas around the world.


Since 1990, TBI has developed numerous international and environmental education, research, training and exchange programs involving students, scholars, and practitioners in science, policy, economics, and other related disciplines. All TBI programs work to:

1. Develop environmental leadership skills among young adults and professionals; 2. Promote innovative, multi-disciplinary watershed management and protection methods and techniques; 3. Promote sustainable economic development, and eco-tourism in particular; and 4. Encourage cross-cultural exchange.

How to Support

Become a Volunteer!

TBI could not operate without the countless friends and partners who volunteer to help with TBI programs, research, and exchanges every year. If you are interested in working with TBI programs, contact us by phone, fax, e-mail, or mail. Volunteers typically get involved with a number of activities both at Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal including:

- Hosting summer program students and professionals. - Donating in-kind services or materials such as transportation, food, equipment, computers, tools, materials, printing of programs and t-shirts. - Donating expertise as a speaker or discussion leader, a field project leader, a consultant on a program or project; host TBI staff for a presentation; provide course-work or internship.opportunities that supplement the TBI program. - Sponsoring social events for TBI participants. - Assist with generating publicity for TBI programs.

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