At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Colorado Boulder is nationally recognized as one of the only AAU members along the Front Range. Established in 1876, CU Boulder is a public research university with five Nobel laureates and nine MacArthur Genius Fellows on the faculty. CU Boulder is a leader in many fields, including aerospace engineering, physics and environmental law. The school partners with many notable federal research labs, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). CU Boulder students thrive academically and athletically, with Buff athletes competing in the PAC-12 of the NCAA Division I. During home football games, CU Boulder’s live buffalo mascot, Ralphie, can be found running the field with a team of handlers.