Massimo Ruzzene, vice chancellor for research and innovation and dean of the institutes at CU Boulder, has appointed Merritt Turetsky to serve as faculty director for Arctic National Security in the Center for National Security Initiatives (NSI).
In this capacity, Turetsky will play a pivotal role in developing a community of Arctic researchers at CU Boulder interested in national security-related Arctic research. She will identify and build research teams to take advantage of a growing portfolio of Arctic-related national security research opportunities.
With the Arctic experiencing rapid transformation due to climate change, Turetsky’s interdisciplinary, team-focused approach will drive innovative solutions for the complex and increasing security and sustainability challenges the Arctic faces.
“The Arctic is of significant strategic interest to the U.S., with the Army, Navy and Air Force all having extensive operations there,” said Iain Boyd, director of the Center for National Security Initiatives. “Detailed characterization of the Arctic environment on land, sea and air is therefore of high importance. CU Boulder’s nationally recognized faculty and research capabilities are uniquely positioned to make important contributions to this key area of national security.”
Turetsky is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). She has nearly three decades of experience working at the nexus of carbon, climate and food security in Arctic and Boreal regions and works with decision makers and communities across the far north on use-based science. Her research has been funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense and Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Council. Turetsky serves her broader community by serving as a science advisor to AGU’s EOS magazine, by sitting on the National Academies’ Polar Research Board and by serving on the advisory committee of the international Permafrost Carbon Network.
“I am excited to help leverage CU Boulder’s strengths in northern research," said Turetsky. “Climate change in the Arctic is a threat to national and international security and should be addressed as such. I also look forward to working with the Center for National Security Initiatives on new opportunities for student engagement and professional training related to climate and environmental change.”