Published: Aug. 28, 2023

The University of Colorado 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.

Nikki Lovenduski

Nikki Lovenduski

Lovenduski was appointed to serve as interim director following the departure of previous director Merritt Turetsky in July. Albert Kettner, associate research professor and associate director of INSTAAR, has served as acting director of INSTAAR since July 10.

“Having been a key contributor to INSTAAR and CU Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) for more than a decade, Nikki is poised to provide the leadership and insights to maintain INSTAARs position as a globally renowned hub for alpine and arctic research,” said Massimo Ruzzene, vice chancellor for research and innovation and dean of the institutes.

Lovenduski, an associate professor in ATOC, joined CU Boulder in 2010 as a faculty fellow of INSTAAR and an assistant professor in ATOC. She teaches courses in global climate change, oceanography, ocean biogeochemical dynamics, carbon cycling and the evolution of scientific ideas. She has served as ATOC's director of Graduate Studies since 2020.

Lovenduski has mentored more than 60 undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers across multiple departments, serving as advisor or committee member. She helped lead and grow INSTAAR's largest working group: the JEDI Task Force (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion).

Lovenduski received a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2007. She received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001.

"INSTAAR owes a debt of gratitude to Albert Kettner for keeping the institute running smoothly over the summer and for playing a key leadership role over many years," said Lovenduski. "We also wholeheartedly thank Merritt Turetsky for her dedication and guidance as director. Her efforts have been instrumental in steering the institute through challenging times. Her unwavering commitment to promoting equity and inclusion has led to positive change and a brighter future."

Plans for the longer term search for a permanent director are currently being developed. Details about timelines and process will be shared as they become available.

About the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

INSTAAR has an international reputation for leadership in far-reaching projects, environmental monitoring, precision data sets, integrative modeling, and long-term relationships with place and people. With deep roots in Quaternary history, polar regions, and alpine environments, INSTAAR embraces a broad global perspective on the Earth’s past, present and future, with a focus on bellwethers of environmental and social change. INSTAAR maintains field sites across all seven continents, the world ocean, and the atmosphere, and include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from the tropics to the poles.