Student use of open office spaces at SEEC has been down since the pandemic. New funding seeks to make SEEC spaces safer, more engaging, and more inclusive.

Recipients of President’s DEI Awards, Grants honored at reception

May 12, 2023

CU System awards and grants to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) were also honored at an April 20 event. INSTAAR has received a grant to address inclusive open workspaces. Through participatory scenario development, ethnographic walks, and semi-structured interviews, SEEC community members will reflect on inequitable and unwelcoming spaces and conceptualize just future concepts.

Smoke from a wildfire is visible behind a permafrost monitoring tower at the Scotty Creek Research Station in Canada's Northwest Territories in September. The tower burned down in October from unusual wildfire activity. Photo by Joëlle Voglimacci-Stephanopoli.

Belching lakes, mystery craters, ‘zombie fires’: How the climate crisis is transforming the Arctic permafrost (CNN)

Nov. 14, 2022

Thawing permafrost—the frozen layer of soil that has underpinned the Arctic tundra and boreal forests of Alaska, Canada and Russia for millennia—is upending the lives of people living in the Arctic and dramatically transforming the polar landscape. The vast amount of carbon stored in the permafrost is an overlooked and underestimated driver of climate crisis. Permafrost thaw needs to get more attention—fast.

  An iceberg in Ilulissat, Greenland. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting rapidly, and that melt will accelerate as the Earth heats up. Ryan Kellman/NPR

Climate tipping points and the damage that could follow (NPR)

Nov. 11, 2022

If Earth heats up beyond 1.5 degrees C, the impacts don't get just slightly worse--scientists warn that abrupt changes could be triggered, with devastating impacts. As the 27th annual climate negotiations are underway in Egypt and the world is set to blow past that 1.5°C warming threshold, NPR asks climate scientists including Merritt Turetsky about three climate tipping points--points of no return that could cause big changes to the Earth's ecosystems.

Colorado State House Science Committee meets around the table with CU science leaders

U.S. House committee, Colorado congressional delegation visit campus (CU Boulder Today)

May 4, 2022

On May 3, members of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and Colorado congressional delegation joined leaders and scientists from CU Boulder, including INSTAAR Director Merritt Turetsky, to showcase university research and federal partnerships.

Logo for the For Pete's Sake podcast

Permafrost peatlands and mental health with Dr. Merritt Turetsky (For Peat's Sake podcast)

March 18, 2022

Merritt Turetsky joins the For Peat's Sake podcast on Spotify to talk about permafrost peatlands. We talk about the unique qualities of permafrost peatlands and the sad reality that many of them are disappearing due to anthropogenic (aka human-caused) climate change. Merritt explains the state of the science and we also chat about mental health, the importance of self-care, and setting boundaries.

Coastal erosion reveals the extent of ice-rich permafrost underlying active layer on the Arctic Coastal Plain in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska

Warming permafrost puts key Arctic pipelines, roads at “high risk,” study says (Washington Post)

Jan. 11, 2022

In coming decades, the shifting terrain that accompanies the warming of the permafrost caused by climate change will put most human-made structures in the Arctic at risk. Nearly 70 percent of the infrastructure in the Northern Hemisphere's permafrost regions—including at least 120,000 buildings and nearly 25,000 miles of roads—are located in areas with high potential for thaw of near-surface permafrost by 2050, according to new research. Quotes Merritt Turetsky: "I am writing a eulogy for the ecosystem that I love. The permafrost has been there for thousands of years in some places, and it will never come back."

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska

The great Siberian thaw (The New Yorker)

Jan. 10, 2022

Permafrost contains microbes, mammoths, and twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. What happens when it starts to thaw? Merritt Turetsky weighs in.

Closeup of a fire

Climate scientists grapple with wildfire disaster in their backyard (Axios)

Jan. 3, 2022

The wind-whipped firestorm that tore through parts of Boulder County, Colorado, on Thursday struck at the heart of one of America's top climate science and meteorology research hubs. Merritt Turetsky is among those interviewed.

Residents gather in a community workshop hosted by the Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities (CSLC) at CU Boulder.

Persistent places: A new project pulls together diverse groups to define and map climate change

Oct. 15, 2021

A project that unites land managers, citizens, and scientists to jointly understand how Colorado Front Range ecosystems and public lands are responding to pressures from people and climate change has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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?