University of Colorado at Boulder

Dept Partner

Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research

Our researchers uncover and communicate processes concerning earth and environmental systems - matters that are becoming ever more urgent as changes in climate and land use are felt worldwide.

As the University of Colorado’s oldest institute, INSTAAR has a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues. Our traditional focus has been on polar and alpine regions, where effects of global change are especially pronounced. In recent decades, our research has broadened to include environmental challenges that span local, regional, and global scales. INSTAAR research topics range widely and include Quaternary and modern environments, human and ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, landscape evolution, hydrology, oceanography, and climate. Our field sites are located across all seven continents and the world’s oceans.

Our expertise across disciplines helps us generate influential science that can inform policy decisions and improve society’s awareness and understanding of natural and anthropogenic global change.


Geography faculty associated with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research

Geomorphology; Weathering; Hydrology; Glaciology
Holly R.
Ecohydrology; Stable Isotope Geochemistry; Forest Hydrology; Tree Physiology
Surface Water and Snow Hydrology; Remote Sensing; Ecohydrology
Disturbance ecology; climate change; landscape modeling
Alpine Biogeochemistry; Hydrology; Snow Hydrology; and Nutrient Cycling.

Geography grad students associated with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research

Some of the labs & facilities at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research associated with Geography members

CU Mountain Research Station

CU-MRS. Above Ward, Colorado.

The Mountain Research Station (MRS), directed by Bill Bowman, is an interdisciplinary research facility of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, devoted to advancement...

Dissolved Organic Matter Laboratory

DOM Lab. East Campus, RL-1.

This laboratory is managed by Mark Williams and Diane McKnight. It specializes in measuring the amount and character of dissolved organic matter from diverse ecosystems.

Kiowa Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

Kiowa Lab. East Campus, RL-1.

The Kiowa Environmental Chemistry Laboratory is the environmental chemistry laboratory for the Niwot Ridge / Green Lakes Valley Long-Term Ecological Research Program. The laboratory analyzes air,...