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The Mountain Research Station (MRS) is an interdisciplinary research facility of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, devoted to advancement of study of mountain ecosystems. Our mission is to facilitate research and education to better understand the unique patterns and processes of biotic and physical systems in mountains, and how environmental changes may influence these patterns and processes.
Research at the MRS is performed by a multitude of investigators from numerous organizations, including NSF sponsored programs such as the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Program, the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Program, the National Ecological Observatory Network, and multiple individual investigators. The MRS is in charge of the Mountain Climate Program, established in 1952, established to provide long-term climate data from the montane, subalpine, and alpine zones of the Colorado Front Range. Four main meteorological stations have been maintained continuously since the inception of the program.
The MRS runs undergraduate field courses, and provides site support for visiting K12, undergraduate, and graduate courses. Additionally we organize research conferences, including the Guild or Rocky Mountain Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists meeting held in the autumn.
Climate change may have profound effects on mountain forests and alpine tundra, and the benefits they provide to surrounding communities such as water, recreation, and forage. Warming of 2-5 °C is expected in the Rocky Mountains over the next 50 years.
Since 2009, a warming experiment run on Niwot Ridge by the University of California, Merced has been experimentally determining what...