Santa Fe is the oldest (1610 AD) and highest (7,200 ft.) state capital in North America. Nestled at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this quaint town of 70,000 is perched high above the Rio Grande in north-central New Mexico. In less than half an hour, it is possible to travel from downtown Santa Fe to the national forest, where skiing above 13,000 feet is available from November until April. Santa Fe is a major center for Native American culture, a mecca for both active and retired scientists and avant-garde artists. Due to the proximity of the Los Alamos National Lab and the establishment of the world-renowned Santa Fe Institute, founded by George Cowan (WPI Class of ’41), the city has attracted world-class researchers, including several Nobel-prize winners, in the fields of physics, biology, economics, and political science.