See Our Partner Facilities

The research of our faculty and students is supported by facilities in Guggenheim and in our partnering units, on the CU Boulder Campus in the Front Range area. Here are some examples:

Biogeography Lab. Guggenheim. The Biogeography Lab of the Geography Department is directed by Professor Thomas T. Veblen and supports research in the areas of forest dynamics, disturbance ecology and dendroecology.

The principal facilities of the Lab include two computerized tree-ring measuring systems, field equipment and instrumentation to support research in plant ecology and dendrochronology, and basic support for GIS applications in vegetation science.

Currently, the Lab supports research by two postdoctoral research associates and six graduate students, assisted by approximately five undergraduate students.

CU-MRS. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Above Ward, Colorado. The Mountain Research Station (MRS), directed by Bill Bowman, is an interdisciplinary research facility of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, devoted to advancement of study of mountain ecosystems. Our mission is to facilitate research and education to better understand the unique patterns and processes of biotic and physical systems in mountains, and how environmental changes may influence these patterns and processes.

The support facilities of the MRS include laboratories, offices, classrooms, cabins, a dining hall, and a bathhouse. Laboratories include the Kiowa wet-chemistry lab, several plant, soil, and chemistry labs within the larger John W. Marr Laboratory Building, and the Tundra Lab located at 3500 m on Niwot Ridge. The MRS also manages the 1200 ha Niwot Ridge Biosphere Reserve for the US Forest Service as a site for research and education.

The MRS supports many research programs including the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site. The NWT-LTER study area straddles the Continental Divide about 35 miles northwest of Boulder.

The MRS receives academic contributions from the Boulder campus departments of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology; Geography; and Geological Sciences.

DOM Lab. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, East Campus, RL-1. This laboratory is managed by Mark Williams and Diane McKnight. It specializes in measuring the amount and character of dissolved organic matter from diverse ecosystems.

Major equipment includes Shimadzu TOC analyzer, Antec 9000 DON analyzer, Agilent 8453 spectrophotometer, FluroMax2 fluorometer, fractionation columns, and Ulter-filtration.


KESDA Lab. Guggenheim RM 6. KESDA Lab is an instructional computer lab with advanced software and hardware used to teach technique (skills) courses in geography. 

Kiowa Lab. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, East Campus, RL-1. The Kiowa Environmental Chemistry Laboratory is the environmental chemistry laboratory for the Niwot Ridge / Green Lakes Valley Long-Term Ecological Research Program. The laboratory analyzes air, snow, water, and soil samples collected by faculty and graduate students from alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems for major solutes and nutrients.

Equipped with an ion chromatograph, a spectrophotometric flow injection analyzer, a specrophotometric segmented flow analyzer, a microplate reader, a Picarro Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy for analyzing stable water isotopes, several muffle furnaces, and an atomic absorbtion spectrometer.

The lab is managed by Christine Siebold and directed by Mark Williams and Diane McKnight.

Meridian Lab. Guggenheim, room 301B. The Meridian Lab is directed by Professor Barbara P. Buttenfield and pursues research to develop and evaluate new software tools for Geographic Information Science. These software tools support visualization and modeling in geographic analysis and cartography. Research projects include a variety of topics: designing algorithms to generalize base map data, creating self-organizing data catalogs, building multi-scale databases, interviewing rural Colorado planners about obstacles to adopting geospatial technologies, and working out the mechanics of item-level metadata.

Software tools are developed and evaluated for:

  • Interface design and usability evaluation
    • Transaction logging, focus groups and surveys of Web-based GIS systems
    • Subject testing of graphical displays
  • Multiple representations
    • Map generalization and multi-scale views on spatial databases
    • Animation and multimedia presentation of geospatial data
  • Metadata recording and browsing
    • Automatic georeferencing of metadata from existing catalog records
    • Establishing needs and requirements for geospatial metadata archives
  • GIS modeling
    • Determining sensitivity of GIS model outputs to data resolution
    • Distributing GIS processes and operators

Currently, the Lab supports research by six graduate students, assisted by one undergraduate student.