Published: May 27, 2024

The University of Colorado Boulder has named Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) Nikki Lovenduski director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), effective July 1. Lovenduski has served as interim director of INSTAAR since August 2023.

Nikki Lovenduski

Nikki Lovenduski

“With more than a decade of contributions to both INSTAAR and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Nikki was a natural choice for the interim role,” said Massimo Ruzzene, vice chancellor for research and innovation and dean of the institutes.

“During her time as interim director, Nikki has made an immediate and positive impact on the INSTAAR team and demonstrated that she is the right person to lead the institute for the foreseeable future. We’re delighted that she will be able to extend this impact by continuing as director on a long-term basis.”

The appointment was made based on the recommendations of a search committee led by Matt Keller, director of the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, and with enthusiastic support from the INSTAAR community. 

Lovenduski, who in July will become a full 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 served as ATOC's director of Graduate Studies from 2020 to 2023. She has conducted impactful work on ocean acidification, ocean biogeochemistry, the marine carbon cycle, and the effects of climate change and nuclear war on the ocean.

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 (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Task Force.

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, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from the tropics to the poles.