Thank you to Gov. Hickenlooper for those kind words. He has always been very supportive of the University of Colorado.

I too, would like to welcome you.

I would like to acknowledge several people who are with us today:

  • U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner
  • Major General Jay Lindell from the Governor’s office, Colorado’s Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion.
  • Three members from my Advisory Council are here with us today.
    • Pamela Drew
    • Betina Koski
    • Earl Wright

Success in space has profoundly transformed the human experience in all its dimensions – how we communicate, get our news, find our way, and individually engage in local, regional and global commerce.

For 50 years, CU-Boulder has been a leader in the Earth and space sciences. As you just heard the governor say, we have sent instruments to every planet in our solar system and we are among the world’s leading universities in producing astronauts.

We explore every dimension of our own planet, from the depths of the ocean to the top of our atmosphere.

So, what will the next 50 years bring?  

Our world is facing significant issues, with a changing environment, increasing populations, and limited resources. The intersection of people, resources, and our planet is where CU-Boulder can use its expertise in space-based observation and exploration to address our world's most pressing problems. 

The initiatives you will hear about today under the umbrella of "Our Space, Our Future," fuses CU's unique strengths in Earth, space, and social sciences with new technologies and partners, to address the rapid pace of changes for our planet, resources, and environment. 

Through our aerospace capabilities and data analytics, we will generate unprecedented interactions across disciplines and communities to support emergent knowledge for Colorado, our nation, and our world.

This will result in:

  • An integrated scientific and engineering alliance throughout the Front Range, which will lead the nation in the exploration of space and from space.
  • An environment in which academia, industry and government work together to solve problems of national and international importance.
  • Increased federal and commercial partners engaged in CU-Boulder Earth and space exploration efforts.
  • New pathways for educating and training students to meet the national needs in emerging Earth and space exploration businesses.

So where do we start? Today, you will hear about two specific Initiatives that mark cornerstones of this Grand Challenge.

The Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing Initiative will develop new, integrated sensing systems particularly on the frontiers of unmanned aerial vehicles and observations from small satellites.

It will provide previously unobtainable clarity so we can be at the right place at the right time—for critical applications that might include emergency response, a photographic record of receding glaciers or expanding deserts, or delivering a package to your door.

Taking the lead is Dr. Brian Argrow of our Aerospace Engineering Dept.

Second, Earth Lab will harness the wave of Earth observations from space and integrate them to answer questions about the pace and pattern of environmental change, from our backyards to our world. The principal investigator is Dr. Jennifer Balch, in our Dept. of Geography.

We as a university will continue our intense focus on space exploration. Much of that originates from our Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics led by Distinguished Professor Dan Baker. LASP is currently leading the science operations on the MAVEN mission to Mars.

CU-Boulder is committed to driving research and discovery in space and Earth exploration, and it is funding a number of projects in education and training, philosophy, and art and media. 

As the Governor said, this is an exciting area of growth for the state, and together we have significant work to do in the service to our country and the world. Thank you.