Portrait of Nikki Lovenduski

Lovenduski named interim director of INSTAAR

Sept. 1, 2023

CU Boulder has named Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Nikki Lovenduski interim director of Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) effective August 28.

Out of its nest box for the first time, a young chickadee squints in the sun and stretches its wings.

Chickadees crossbreed, despite biological barriers

Aug. 29, 2023

Researchers in the Taylor Lab study interactions between higher-elevation dwelling mountain chickadees and the closely related lower-elevation dwelling black capped chickadees. A recent study in Global Change Biology investigates barriers that prevent the two species from mating and what happens when they do mate and produce offspring.

A group of paleontologists, wearing backpacks and sun hats, walk down a gully of eroding sedimentary rocks with a open vista of grassy plains in front of them. Photo by Rick Wicker DMNS

Ecosystems after the asteroid

Aug. 21, 2023

Julio Sepúlveda (INSTAAR Fellow and GEOL Associate Professor) is part of a team of scientists from seven collaborating institutions who were awarded a new research grant that will fund an investigation of the ecological and environmental changes that occurred on land after the asteroid impact and mass extinction event at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary.

Eleven INSTAAR admin staff crowd around one very large table for lunch

INSTAAR's admin staff gather for a day of team building and fun

July 28, 2023

INSTAAR's admin staff gathered in late July. Their day began with a round of "two truths and a dare", storytelling, and lawn games like badminton. If you haven't heard Patti's story about finding a rattlesnake during a big outdoor concert this summer, you should ask her! After a tasty lunch,...

Meredith Zettlemoyer kneels in a patch of alpine plants, a clipboard propped against her knee.

Scientists at the Mountain Research Station investigate changing behavior of an alpine plant

July 26, 2023

A group from the University of Georgia is looking at alpine cushion plants—compact green mounds with small leaves and ephemeral flowers that hug Niwot Ridge and are found in many alpine areas across the world. They are studying how the flowering time and reproduction of these plants is changing as the climate warms and snowmelt advances.

Jocelyn Catterson and Holly Barnard stand in front of Catterson's large painting on display in the Colorado capitol building rotunda. They are smiling and have their arms around each others' shoulders.

The intersection of art and science workshop at Rio Grande Farm Park on Friday (Alamosa News | Valley Courier)

July 19, 2023

Del Norte artist Jocelyn Catterson and INSTAAR/Geography prof Holly Barnard will lead a workshop "Water Art + Science" on Friday at Rio Grande Farm Park, on #groundwater in the San Luis Valley.

Nine researchers stand close together facing the camera, smiling and holding butterfly nets, clipboards, and water bottles. They stand in a grassy clearing surrounded by trees, under a blue sky.

A world-class field research station in CU Boulder’s backyard (CU RIO)

July 18, 2023

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station has a three-pronged mission—host some of the most influential and long-running ecological research in the world, give students a peerless education in mountain environments, and link the public to learning about important ecosystems.

Albert Kettner

Albert Kettner steps into INSTAAR acting director role

July 18, 2023

Albert Kettner, associate research professor and associate director of INSTAAR, has stepped into the role of acting director of INSTAAR as of July 10.

A wildfire burns along a forested ridgeline, sending billows of grey-white smoke into the air.

‘Zombie fires’ are occurring more frequently in boreal forests, but their impacts remain uncertain (The Conversation)

July 17, 2023

Are zombie fires something to worry about? As a team of scientists who have dedicated our careers to understanding changing boreal fire regimes, we decided to find out for ourselves.

A smiling Sara Padula holds a Chickadee in her hand

Q&A with Sara Padula, first recipient of the Sarah Crump Graduate Fellowship

July 14, 2023

We are proud to announce Sara Padula as the first recipient of the Sarah Crump Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship provides summer support for a graduate student researching Earth or environmental science in Arctic, Antarctic, or alpine regions. We caught up with Sara to ask about her research, her summer, and life as a scientist.