Portrait of Shelly Sommer
Communication & Outreach Director

Office: SEEC C216
Pronouns: she/her

What do I do around here?

Initiate and manage broad-based communication and information programs, building networks that help get the work done across institutional and academic/community boundaries.


  • Use evidence-based practice to create and curate content that shares INSTAAR's vital research on global change and sustainability with varied communities.
  • Act as content strategist.
  • Develop identity and branding that accurately reflects INSTAAR.
  • Curate INSTAAR's social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.


  • Foster institute-wide approach to outreach and engagement.
  • Engage various external audiences with INSTAAR science.


  • Conduct research to understand INSTAAR and CU compared to counterparts.
  • Measure impact and reputation over time.


  • BA (History of Science): Pomona College, 1991


2017: Imagining the Supernatural North, Edited by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Danielle Marie Cudmore, and Stefan Donecker. Edmonton: Polynya Press (University of Alberta Press), 2016 [book review]. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research,49(4): 700. doi 10.1657/AAAR0049-4-book2

2015: Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012. By Barbara C. Matilsky. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013 [book review]. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 47(1): 185. doi 10.1657/AAAR0047-1-book1

2013: Civilizing the Wilderness: Culture and Nature in Preconfederation Canada and Rupert’s Land, by A. A. den Otter. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2012 [book review]. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 45(2): 298–299, doi 10.1657/1938-4246-45.2.298

2013: Sommer, S. and Windnagel, A. (eds.): Pivot points, focal points: Proceedings of the 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy, June 11–14, 2012, Boulder, Colorado. Glaciological Data no. 34. Boulder, Colorado: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

2011: Arctic Discourses, edited by Anka Ryall, Johan Schimanski, and Henning Howlid Wærp. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010 [book review]. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 43(4): 661–662, doi: 10.1657/1938-4246-43.4.661

2010: The INSTAAR Information Center: An earth and environmental sciences collection. Colorado Libraries Journal, 35(2).

2006: Editor with Tasha Wade, A to Z GIS: An Illustrated Dictionary of Geographic Information Systems. Redlands, Calif.: ESRI Press.

2006: Strengthening the library through user education. In Silvia Sarti and Michela Cecconi (eds.) Building Polar Networks: A strategy for the future: Proceedings of the 21st Polar Libraries Colloquy, May 8-12, 2006, Rome: 122–131.

2006: With Allaina Howard and Gloria Hicks, Can two nodes be a network?  Cooperation helps two libraries provide better service. In Silvia Sarti and Michela Cecconi (eds.) Building Polar Networks: A strategy for the future: Proceedings of the 21st Polar Libraries Colloquy, May 8-12, 2006, Rome: 231–238.

2005: Appendix 8: Bibliography. In Handbook for LTER Education (Draft) 2005, p. 53–61. Long-Term Ecological Research Education Committee. Accessible online at http://intranet.lternet.edu/committees/education.

2002: Editor, Geographic Information Science and Technology in a Changing Society: A Research Definition Workshop. Columbus, Ohio: Center for Mapping and the School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University.