What is INSTAAR?
We conduct interdisciplinary research and education on the past, present, and future of Earth systems in service of a just and thriving future.
INSTAAR’s future is one where our research intersects with justice, and our voices are united with those of the communities we serve to understand and protect the Earth systems of which we are all a part.
As the University's oldest institute, the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) has a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues. With deep roots in Quaternary history, polar regions, and alpine environments, today we embrace a broad global perspective on our planet’s past, present and future, with a focus on bellwethers of environmental and social change. Our field sites are located across all seven continents, the world ocean, and the atmosphere, and include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from the tropics to the poles.
INSTAAR has an international reputation for leadership in far-reaching projects, environmental monitoring, precision data sets, integrative modeling, and long-term relationships with place and people. INSTAAR research is deeply embedded in places where we have often worked for years or decades. We strive to be trustworthy partners who have reciprocal relationships with local communities. We bring these research-based strengths to our exceptional graduate education and mentorship, and to involving undergraduates in the research process.
Students become researchers the moment they join INSTAAR. Graduate students conduct research in biological, chemical, and physical processes operating in continental and ocean environments. For students with interests in Earth and environmental science, INSTAAR provides unique opportunities for integrative training, research experience in the field and lab, and access to a wide variety of analytical and computational facilities beyond those of their home academic departments. Faculty, staff, and students help each other develop science expertise, gain entrepreneurial skills, and foster a welcoming culture and community.