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Chickadee on a branch

New grant to study life-and-death trait of chickadees (Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine)

Aug. 24, 2021

CU Boulder and University of Nevada Reno professors win $2.7 million grant from the NSF to study spatial cognition in chickadees. The new grant will allow the researchers to study natural selection on a complex behavioral trait, a difficult task that could potentially expand the ways natural selection is studied broadly, while also shedding light on how it relates to a changing climate.

Windmill on dry grass

A river runs dry: Farms and ranches along Colorado River in jeopardy (The National)

Aug. 2, 2021

A two decade-long drought fueled by climate change has farmers and ranchers worried about their future, reports a National News story that quotes INSTAAR Keith Musselman.

Map of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta

Humans want stable landscapes; but rivers need to move (Univ. of Texas at Austin)

July 23, 2021

River deltas change over time, and the freedom to shift river location is important to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. However, humans are used to the stability of fixed infrastructure, so they struggle dealing with dynamic landforms like river deltas. But rivers changing course and evolving over time is a good sign for the delta and the environment around it. In a new commentary published in Earth’s Future, a national team of experts including Irina Overeem examines the ongoing conflict between stability and sustainability in heavily populated river deltas, such as the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna in India/Bangladesh and Mississippi in the U.S.

Plumes of smoke pour out from the Colorado foothills from the Calwood Fire

Wildfires in U.S., Siberia are unusually intense, setting emissions records (Axios)

July 22, 2021

Wildfires across parts of the U.S., Canada, and Siberia are burning unusually intensely and emitting larger amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than typical during midsummer, scientists say. The fires are thriving in areas experiencing extreme heat and drought conditions. They are both a consequence of climate change and an accelerant of global warming.

Rows and rows of silver tubes holding ice cores in an NSF freezer facility

Cores 3.0: Future-proofing Earth sciences’ historical records (Eos)

June 24, 2021

Core libraries store a treasure trove of data about the planet’s past. What will it take to sustain their future?

Huey Creek in the McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER, Antarctica

Slow research to understand fast change (EurekAlert!)

May 28, 2021

The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network has generated 40 years of careful, reliable science about the Earth's changing ecosystems, which may prove to be just what's needed in this rapidly shifting world. By harnessing decades of rich data, scientists are beginning to forecast future conditions and plan ways to manage, mitigate, or adapt to likely changes in ecosystems that will impact human economies, health and wellbeing.

Aerial view of CU Boulder's east and main campuses with the foothills and continental divide

CU Boulder remains near top in 2020 global university rankings (CU Boulder Today)

May 26, 2021

CU Boulder's earth science and atmospheric science disciplines remained ranked No. 1 globally in ShanghaiRanking's report, the 2021 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS). The university also scored highly in a dozen other academic categories in those rankings, highlighting the breadth of impactful CU Boulder research.

Dried and cracked mud

Severe drought, worsened by climate change, ravages the American West (New York Times)

May 20, 2021

Heat and shifting weather patterns have intensified wildfires and reduced water supplies across the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and North Dakota. Keith Musselman quoted.

Photo of Bob Anderson

Two CU Boulder profs elected to National Academy of Sciences (Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine)

May 7, 2021

Geologist (and INSTAAR) Robert S. Anderson and astrophysicist Fran Bagenal recognized for ‘distinguished and continuing achievements in original research’.

Open landfill in the vicinity of Gorak Shep (5,140m), two hours walk south of the Everest basecamp.

Managing Everest’s waste problem (Nepali Times)

April 26, 2021

Report on a management plan for solid waste in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal, from a paper led by Alton Byers published in Mountain Research Development.