SILC Director, Principal Investigator, Professor

Dr. Jason Neff is a Professor in the Environmental Studies program at CU Boulder where he also directs the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado (SILC), intended to accelerate innovative new approaches to sustainable development. Neff received his PhD in Biology from Stanford University (1999) and has been a professor at CU Boulder since 2003.  He is the author of over 100 scientific publications and an introductory environmental science digital text titled ‘A Changing Planet’.  After many years in academic research Neff is now mostly focused on technology innovation and translation into real world impacts. These efforts include programs that develop mobile applications for land planning and agricultural development, cloud-based modeling tools for mobile agronomic decision support and working on new ways to connect research to market-oriented innovation for sustainability.


  • 1999 - Ph.D. Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
  • 1993 - B.A. Summa Cum Laude. Environmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 - College Scholars Award, College of Arts and Sciences, CU Boulder
  • 2013 - University of Colorado System - Excellence in Leadership Program Fellow
  • 2008 - Interdisciplinary Teaching and Residence Life Teaching Award
  • 2004-2006 - A.W. Mellon Foundation, Conservation and Environment Jr Faculty Fellow
  • 2001-2002 - U.S. Geological Survey - Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 1997-1999 - NASA Earth System Science Pre-Doctoral Fellow
  • 1994-1997 - National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow
  • 1992 - Phi Beta Kappa, University of Colorado at Boulder

Recent Publications

  • W.S. Jang, Y. Lee, J.C. Neff, Y. Im, S. Ha, L. Doro. In Review. Development of an EPIC Parallel Computing
  • Framework to Facilitate Regional/Global Gridded Crop Modeling with Multiple Scenarios: A Case Study of the United States. Computers and Technology in Agriculture
  • K.F. Wentz, J.C. Neff, K.N. Suding. 2018 Leaf Temperatures Mediate Alpine Plant Communities’ Response to a Simulated Extended Summer. Ecology and Evolution
  • K.C. Kelsey, M.D. Redmond, N.N. Barger, J.C. Neff. 2018. Species, climate and landscape physiography drive variable growth trends in subalpine forests. Ecosystems 21(1), 125-140.
  • N.M. Mahowald, R. Scanza, J. Brahney, C.L. Goodale, P.G. Hess, J.K. Moore, J. Neff. 2017. Aerosol deposition impacts on land and ocean carbon cycles. Current Climate Change Reports. 3(1):16-31
  • Lu, X., K.C. Kelsey, S. Jian, X. Zhang, H. Zhao, Y. Cai, X. Wang, G. Cheng, & J.C. Neff. 2017. Effects of livestock grazing on ecosystem structure and function of alpine grasslands in Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau: a synthesis and review. Ecosphere.
  • Xie, M., N. Mladenov, M.W. Willings, J.C. Neff, J. Wasswa, M.P. Hannigan. 2016. Water soluble organic aerosols in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA: composition, sources, and optical properties. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep39339
  • Reynolds, R.L., S.M. Munson, D. Fernandez, H.L. Goldstein, J.C. Neff, 2016. Concentrations of mineral aerosol from desert to plains across the central Rocky Mountains, western United States. Aeolian Research 23, pp 21-25. DOI: 5
  • L Dilling, KC Kelsey, DP Fernandez, YD Huang, JB Milford, JC Neff, 2016. Managing Carbon on Federal Public Lands: Opportunities and Challenges in Southwestern Colorado Environmental management, 1-14. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-016-0714-2
  • Z. Fan, J.C. Neff, W. Weider, 2016. Model-based analysis of environmental controls over ecosystem primary production in an alpine tundra dry meadow. Biogeochemistry. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-016-0193-9