Explore the research that changes the way we understand and care for our world

Research Labs & Groups

Geek out with us

Labs and groups band people together around common questions, set of methods, or interests. They are the heart of INSTAAR, where research gets done and students become scientists. Visiting INSTAAR labs will get rid of any lingering image of labs as gleaming spaces housing eggheads in lab coats. You are more likely to find a research assistant weaving wires into a prototype, students tromping mud down the hall as they return from Niwot Ridge, or a researcher elbow-deep in the guts of a broken machine.

Research Programs

Explore long-term, integrated research efforts

To understand our interconnected world, we need science that is just as networked and collaborative. INSTAAR programs track ecological data over the long haul; record floods around the world; model the movement of fluids, sediments, and solutes across the landscape; work out the impacts of environmental change; and help people build capacity to deal with those changes. These national and international collaborations magnify our efforts and frame our work in a larger context.

Research Projects

See where the research hits the road

Travel with us from the ends of the earth to our own Colorado backyard to explore our research projects. Projects encompass advanced modeling, laboratory analysis, and field studies in locations on all seven continents and the world's oceans. They have propelled our scientists to the forefront of fields that require a deep understanding of multiple disciplines, like climate change, ecosystems, earth surface processes, biogeochemistry, and carbon and nitrogen cycling.


Browse the scientific output of INSTAAR

Publications are the channel through which scientists communicate their findings to each other and the world. In this section, you can search and browse through the entire history of INSTAAR's peer-reviewed publications. Work done at INSTAAR is influential: more than 17,800 papers cited INSTAAR publications in 2020 alone. That output and influence is part of what makes the University of Colorado Boulder the world's most cited university in the geosciences.