A Chickadee, in bold black and white, stands in profile on the tip of an evergreen branch

Mountain chickadees have remarkable memories. A new study explains why (CU Boulder Today)

April 17, 2024

A multi-university team of researchers, including four members of CU Boulder's Taylor Lab, have identified nearly a hundred genes associated with the birds’ spatial memory, or ability to recall the locations of objects. Their paper, published in the journal Current Biology, also suggests a potential trade-off may exist between having a solid long-term memory and being able to quickly ditch old memories to form new ones.

Peyton Thomas (center) with Cassandra Brooks (left) in Alaska.

Peyton Thomas wins Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity

April 5, 2024

INSTAAR researcher Peyton Thomas has been awarded the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity from CU Boulder. A fish physiologist who studies the impacts of a changing climate on fish growth trajectories, Thomas is a postdoctoral scholar at INSTAAR and in the Environmental Studies program.

Noah Molotch shows analyses of snow-water equivalent for California at NASA JPL. Photo copyright by and courtesy of PIER GAGNÉ, Radio-Canada.

A new look at western water

April 4, 2024

The Mountain Hydrology Group will be developing a new snowpack data set to inform water supply management in the western United States, thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Katie Gannon

Kathryn Gannon is awarded the Sarah Crump Graduate Fellowship

April 2, 2024

INSTAAR is pleased to announce that incoming PhD student Kathryn Gannon is this year’s recipient of the Sarah Crump Graduate Fellowship. Gannon will work with advisor Bella Oleksy to explore murky questions around greenhouse gas emissions from seasonally ice-covered lakes.

Alli Cook, with campus partners, samples water from a campus storm sewer.

Aiken Fellowship report – Allison Cook

March 7, 2024

Allison Cook, a master’s degree student in the Environmental Engineering program, is passionate about tracing and control of pathogens in the urban environment for stronger public health. With her fellowship, she is investigating E. coli concentrations in storm sewers near Boulder Creek. Her research will help identify the source of the E. coli, which will help mitigation efforts.

Bowden combusts urban materials in the lab under controlled conditions.

Aiken Fellowship report – Mackenzie Bowden

March 6, 2024

Mackenzie Bowden, a PhD student in the Environmental Engineering program, is investigating contaminants from fires at the wildland-urban interface that work their way into streams and present risks to downstream communities and ecosystems.

Spencer on the summit of Cerro El Plomo (17,795') in Central Chile.

Aiken Fellowship report – Millie Spencer

March 6, 2024

Millie Spencer, a PhD student in Geography, is part of a team of Mapuche, Chilean, and U.S. scientists that has received consent from several Mapuche-Pehuenche communities outside Temuco, Chile, to share scientific perspectives and community knowledge about glaciers and water supply. Her fellowship has provided funds for travel and lodging while conducting her work in Chile.

A brown lizard's head sticks up above branches and leaves

8 in 10 North American lizards could be at risk due to deforestation (CU Boulder Today)

March 6, 2024

In a study published March 5 in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists from CU Boulder and Tel Aviv University in Israel revealed that deforestation combined with climate change could negatively impact 84% of North America’s lizards by the end of the century. Nearly one in five could face population decline. Keith Musselman is one of the three authors.

On a calm sunny day, a large polar bear jumps from one sea ice floe to another

The Arctic could become ‘ice-free’ within a decade (CU Boulder Today)

March 5, 2024

The Arctic could see summer days with practically no sea ice as early as the next couple of years, according to a new study led by Alexandra Jahn. The findings suggest that the first ice-free day in the Arctic could occur over 10 years earlier than previous projections.

A researcher's hand gently clasps a mountain chickadee fledgling by its feet.

Students may learn ecology (and much else) in the wild (Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine)

Feb. 29, 2024

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station is offering six field courses this summer, giving students the opportunity to study a wide range of disciplines in nature