Skip to main content

News & Events

Research Theme: Land Surface

News

Accelerating boreal wildfires releasing old carbon to the atmosphere, study reveals

Accelerating boreal wildfires releasing old carbon to the atmosphere, study reveals

More frequent and larger wildfires are releasing old carbon stored in soils that in the past was able to escape burning, according to a new study involving incoming INSTAAR director Merritt Turetsky.

Read the Full Story >

Professor Tim Seastedt receives Chase Faculty Community Service Award from CU System

Professor Tim Seastedt receives Chase Faculty Community Service Award from CU System

INSTAAR fellow Timothy Seastedt has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Chase Faculty Community Service Award. The award is sponsored by an endowment from the Chase Corporation through the CU Foundation, and given to a full-time CU System faculty member who, in addition to university responsibilities, has provided exceptional educational, humanitarian, civic or other service in the community pro bono.

Read the Full Story >

Season of intense melting in Antarctica offers insights into continent’s future

A single season of intense melting that affected Antarctica between 2001 and 2002 offers new insights into the southernmost continent's ecological future and the potential impact of climate change worldwide, according to observations collected in a series of papers and published in the journal BioScience.

Read the Full Story >

INSTAAR at AGU: Talks, posters, and sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

INSTAAR faculty and graduate students will share new research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, 15 to 19 December. They will present new research on abrupt climate change, air quality and fracking, polar climate change, atmospheric chemistry, flood impacts, forests and snow, plants and soils, and past climates.

Read the Full Story >

Sustainable Deltas 2015 launches in Rotterdam

Sustainable Deltas 2015 launches in Rotterdam

A unique initiative, Sustainable Deltas 2015 (SD2015), launched today at the Deltas in Times of Climate Change II International Conference in Rotterdam. The aim of the initiative is to focus attention and research on the value and vulnerability of deltas worldwide, and enhance international and regional cooperation among scientists, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Read the Full Story >

CWEST: A new partnership between CU and the USGS pushes collaboration, houses Hydro Sciences program

INSTAAR is pleased to announce the establishment of the Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology (CWEST), which will promote increased collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado–Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Read the Full Story >

“Wicked problems” to be subject of symposium on coupled human–natural systems

Patrick Bourgeron and Jelena Vukomanovic will convene a special symposium on “wicked problems” in coupled human and natural systems at the 2014 US-IALE Annual Symposium in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 21.

Read the Full Story >

INSTAAR at AGU: Talks, posters, and sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

INSTAAR faculty and graduate students will share their research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting (http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/) held in San Francisco, 9 to 13 December. They will present new research on abrupt climate change, atmospheric chemistry, geomorphology, rivers and oceans, forests and snow, plants and soils, past climates, flood monitoring, Antarctic volcanoes, coastal erosion, and emissions from energy production.

Read the Full Story >

INSTAAR-mentored high school student wins Regional Special Award at Intel Science Fair

INSTAAR-mentored high school student wins Regional Special Award at Intel Science Fair

High school junior Monro Obenauer won a special award from the Colorado Geological Survey at last month's prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Mentored by INSTAAR grad student Stephanie Higgins, Obenauer's research was on eroding islands in Bangladesh.

Read the Full Story >

New geomorphology textbook gets rave reviews

New geomorphology textbook gets rave reviews

Bob and Suzanne Anderson have just published their textbook Geomorphology: The mechanics and chemistry of landscapes with Cambridge Press. The hefty tome represents a decade of work. Early reviews are glowing.

Read the Full Story >

INSTAAR-led study of Alaskan coastal retreat wins partnering award

INSTAAR-led study of Alaskan coastal retreat wins partnering award

Bob Anderson, Irina Overeem and Cameron Wobus led a research team that won the 2009 partnering award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).

Read the Full Story >

Link discovered between carbon, nitrogen may provide new ways to mitigate pollution problems

Phil Taylor and Alan Townsend have discovered that global ratios of nitrogen and carbon in the environment are inexorably linked, a finding that may lead to new strategies to help mitigate regional problems ranging from contaminated waterways to human health. Their new study focused on the growing worldwide problem of nitrogen pollution.

Read the Full Story >

Portions of Arctic coastline eroding, no end in sight

Portions of Arctic coastline eroding, no end in sight

Researchers have found that the northern coastline of Alaska midway between Point Barrow and Prudhoe Bay is eroding by 30 to 45 feet a year because of a "triple whammy" of declining sea ice, warming seawater and increased wave activity. The 12-foot-high bluffs topple into the Beaufort Sea during the summer months, where the coastal seawater melts them in a matter of days, sweeping the silty material out to sea.

Read the Full Story >

World’s river deltas sinking due to human activity

James Syvitski, Albert Kettner, Irina Overeem, Eric Hutton and Mark Hannon, along with colleagues from six other institutions, have shown that most of the world's low-lying river deltas are sinking from human activity, making them increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rivers and ocean storms and putting tens of millions of people at risk.

Read the Full Story >

New supercomputer for earth modeling research

New supercomputer for earth modeling research

James Syvitski led the effort to install a new supercomputer at INSTAAR that will vastly extend the ability of scientists across the globe to model and predict many important aspects of Earth's surface processes, from glacial melting and flooding to coastal erosion and tropical ocean storms. The new computer cluster is the heart of the NSF-funded Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS).

Read the Full Story >

Video of Alaska’s eroding Arctic coast

Andy Revkin has posted a time-lapse video of Alaska’s rapidly eroding Arctic coast by INSTAAR and USGS researchers on his New York Times Dot Earth Blog.

Read the Full Story >

Formation of deep fjords simpler than previously thought

Researchers used a numerical model of ice-sheet behavior to discover that a single feedback loop explains a long-standing geomorphic enigma: why do fjords often extend to depths well below sea level and cut deeply into continental edges?

Read the Full Story >

Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory established

A University of Colorado team led by INSTAAR Suzanne Anderson was awarded funding by the National Science Foundation for a five-year project to establish a Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) in the Boulder Creek Watershed.

Read the Full Story >

James Syvitski to lead new NSF earth-surface modeling effort

Syvitski will be the executive director of a new NSF initiative, the Community Surface Dynamic Modeling System (CSDMS), which will study how landscapes and seascapes change over time, and how materials like water, sediments and nutrients are transported from one place to another. These studies will allow better predictions about areas at risk to phenomena like deforestation, forest fires, land-use changes and the impacts of climate change.

Read the Full Story >

Anderson, Andrews elected fellows of the American Geophysical Union

Anderson, Andrews elected fellows of the American Geophysical Union

Robert S. Anderson was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union for “fundamental and pioneering contributions in quantitative geomorphology, geochronology, hydrology and glaciology." Fellowship is bestowed on only 0.1% of the total AGU membership of about 35,000 in any given year and recognizes scientists who have attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences.

Read the Full Story >

Gifford Miller: Recipient of the 2005 Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award

Gifford Miller received the Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) 2005 annual meeting.

Read the Full Story >

Wildfire erosion effects will show in reservoirs, ecosystems

At least three reservoirs likely will be contaminated by erosion in areas burned by this season's record wildfires, according to INSTAAR research assistant and graduate student John Gartner.

Read the Full Story >

Science team studying environmental problems on Alaska’s North Slope

James Syvitski, William Manley, Mark Dyurgerov, and Scott Peckham are participating in an extensive research project "Alaska North Slope Climate Impact Assessment." Led by CU-Boulder's Amanda Lynch, the project is designed to better understand, support and enhance local decision-making processes in the face of climate variability and potential environmental disasters.

Read the Full Story >

High school student with INSTAAR mentor wins science fair

High school student Evan Burgess won the 2001 Colorado State Science Fair (Senior division) for his study of glacier moraines using a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Read the Full Story >

In The News

Pushing Boundaries: USDA fellowship funds study of Front Range grasslands

Against the backdrop of the Flatirons, graduate student Julie Larson and undergraduate Emily Koke gather information on how the vegetation is responding to rainfall and grazing manipulations on city of Boulder grasslands. Koke is one of six undergraduates assisting Larson with her project this summer. Working closely with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), Larson seeks to understand how to keep rangeland ecosystems working in the face of climate uncertainty.

Visit Link >

Monitoring changing world at CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Mountain Research Station, within the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and situated just a few miles west off of Colo. 72, is the jumping-off point for some of the most important ongoing research into the nuanced and changing dynamics of alpine ecology going on anywhere in North America. The frontier of research into the effects of a changing climate, where animals and plants are living at the extreme limits of environmental tolerance at up to 12,000 feet, has continued to be expanded there—with ground-penetrating radar and drones now displacing shotguns and shovels—for well over half a century.

Visit Link >

Engaging the community in land conservation and preservation, CU Boulder prof honored with award

A University of Colorado Boulder professor’s passion for smart land management and community engagement have earned him recognition as the 2019 Chase Faculty Community Service Award winner. Timothy Seastedt's volunteerism provides learning opportunities for Colorado middle-and high-school students.

Visit Link >

Alpine tundra releases long-frozen CO2

Thawing permafrost in high-altitude mountain ecosystems may be a stealthy, underexplored contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, new CU Boulder research shows. The new findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, show that alpine tundra in Colorado’s Front Range emits more CO2 than it captures annually, potentially creating a feedback loop that could increase climate warming and lead to even more CO2 emissions in the future.

Visit Link >

What happens to high mountain ecosystems when you take away air pollution? Not much, not very fast

Alpine ecosystems struggle to recover from nitrogen deposition, shows a new study led by Bill Bowman.

Visit Link >

USDA awards $1.2 million to improve ranching and rangeland climate adaptation

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded Katharine Suding (INSTAAR and EBIO) a $1.2 million research grant as part of a $13.3 million investment toward improving agroecosystems resilience in a changing climate. Her four-year project is titled "Livestock ranching, rangelands, and resilience: Ensuring adaptive capacity in an increasingly variable climate."

Visit Link >

Events

Noon seminar - Understanding the diversity of extensional mountain fronts

Monday, February 3rd at 12:15pm

SEEC room S228 (Sievers Room)

50th International Arctic Workshop 2020

Thursday, April 2nd at 12:00am

Boulder, Colorado

View all INSTAAR Land Surface science and research >