Published: Oct. 10, 2018

A massive research and education effort on energy and environmental issues led by CU Boulder engineering faculty is ending after a five-year run with significant results relevant to Colorado’s growing energy industry.

The $12 million AirWaterGas project was funded by the National Science Foundation to study the environmental, economic, and social tradeoffs of oil and gas development and their relation to public policies and regulations.

The broad project included detailed scientific research into air and water quality and sponsored many public outreach events along the Front Range. Researchers from a variety of disciplines and institutions, including regional universities (Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University) and research organizations (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Renewable Energy Laboratory) participated in the network. 

CU Boulder Professor Joe Ryan served as the faculty director for the project. He said his team’s goal was to have more science considered in decisions about oil and gas regulation. Overall, there were several important findings from the project to that end: