Academics

Graduate Student Survival Guide

Welcome to the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research! We are thrilled to have you join the Institute and would like to make your tenure at INSTAAR be the best it can be. We have tried to touch on topics of concern for someone new, but if you find you have questions about something not included - please just ask someone!

Expend your curiosity on your research, not on how to make copies, print a poster, or take on a research assistantship.

Students at the Fall 2013 grad student retreat near Vail. Photo by Ethan Welty, weltyphotography.com.

Photo gallery from 2013 grad student retreat

Photo gallery from 2012 grad student retreat

Overview of INSTAAR

Mission

INSTAAR facilitates interdisciplinary research in high-altitude and high-latitude regions of the world, to define and understand linkages within the coupled earth-system.  We investigate how sensitive or high-energy environments affect, and are affected by, natural and human-induced processes on the local, regional, and global scales.  Our research activities result in significant impacts at the state, national, and international levels.  Our interdisciplinary scientists integrate this understanding into the educational fabric of the University of Colorado.

INSTAAR is comprised of faculty, classified staff, professional research assistants, research scientists, graduate students, student assistants (undergraduates), professional exempt, and research affiliates.

Governance

The governing body of INSTAAR is the Directorate.  The Directorate is composed of: both voting and non-voting members.  Voting members include the Director, the Associate Director, Fellows, Research Scientists II, Research Scientists III, the Managing Editor of the Journal Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, and the Reading Room Librarian; non-voting members include: Fellow Emeriti, Fellow Adjoint, the Chief Financial Officer, the Assistant to the Director, and a representative of the Graduate Students, Professional Research Assistants, and Research Scientists I (Post Docs).

INSTAAR has faculty rostered in 6 departments:

  • Geology
  • Geography
  • EBIO
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • ATOC

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Getting started

Graduate Research Assistantship appointment

If you haven’t yet received an offer letter for your appointment, please contact your accounting tech to verify details.  The INSTAAR accounting technicians are all located in SEEC N202 or call 303-492-6387.

Sedrick Frazier, Payroll and Personnel liaison, can help you with any pay issues, SEEC N202, 303-492-2071.

If any of your personal information, such as address or phone number, changes during your time at INSTAAR, log on to your https://my.cu.edu/ account and go to the tab labeled, “My.Self Service” to update your information.

Office space

If you have not yet been assigned a desk space, please talk with your advisor who can request space from INSTAAR Associate Director Giff Miller.

Keys

Building access is by Buff card and/or proximity card and many of the labs are accessed via proximity card. Your advisor can request keys and card access for you. Anne Kelley, INSTAAR receptionist, will make the arrangements.

Web profile

Email or visit Shelly Sommer (SEEC room C216) to get your profile set up on INSTAAR's web site. You will be the author of that profile and can add to or change the information there whenever you feel it is appropriate. INSTAAR labs and research programs will link to you through your profile.

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Mail

Have mail delivered to either of the following addresses (depending on mail service):

UPS or FedEx delivery 
INSTAAR
4001 Discovery Dr.
Boulder, CO 80303

US Postal Service delivery
INSTAAR
Campus Box 450
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0450

All campus and business related U.S. outgoing mail is collected in designated bins near the INSTAAR front office.

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Telephone

All on-campus numbers either begin with a "735" or "492" prefix.  When on campus, you can dial: "5-number" or "2-number".  Example:  The Front Office number is 303 492-6387.  When on campus, you need only dial 2-6387.

To dial a non-University number while on campus, you must first dial an "8" and then the full number.

All telephone inquiries should be directed to INSTAAR IT.

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Computer

Computer and connectivity issues should be addressed to INSTAAR IT (instaarit@colorado.edu).

More information is available at http://instaar.colorado.edu/resources/it/printing-and-copying-faq

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Email lists

Because of the size of the Institute, communication is often via email.  In order to keep you aware of important information, the INSTAAR front office will add your email address to the INSTAAR email distribution lists.  You should be added to these lists for 2 reasons: 1.) a subscription to these email lists will allow you to receive all emails sent to those lists and you will therefore remain informed; 2.) a subscription will allow you to send an email to these lists.  Please keep in mind that these lists should be used for business purposes only.

All email list inquiries should be directed to Anne Kelley, room N202.

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Fax

The fax is located in SEEC S239B.

There is no charge to send or receive local faxes.  The fax number is (303) 492-6388.

 

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Reserving rooms, projectors, and other meeting stuff

Conference and meeting rooms

If you need to reserve a room, projector, laser pointer, or conference call phone, please contact the Administrative Assistant in room N. Advance notice is appreciated.

There are three conference rooms at INSTAAR that you can use:

  • RL-1 room 269: The largest of INSTAAR’s meeting rooms. There are two tables and roughly 50 chairs in the room that can be arranged in a number of different ways. The room has a white-erase board, a projector screen, a TV with DVD player, and conference phone capabilities.
  • RL-1 room 233 (Mort Turner Room): Holds one large conference table with ten chairs around it. There is a chalkboard and a projector screen. It is ideal for small group meetings.
  • RL-3 room 248: When completely opened up, this room can house seven tables and fit approximately 35 people. There is a partition in the middle of room, so that when closed, it can work as two smaller meeting areas. There are white boards and projector screens on either end of the room, or one in each of the rooms if they are closed off.

The Administrative Assistant will be able to open the doors for you and/or give you the items that you will require on the day of your request.

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Purchasing and Travel

It is essential that you meet with your Accounting Tech prior to any purchasing or travel.  There are certain University procedures that we are required to follow and the Accounting Tech will ensure you adhere to these.
 

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Safety and Transportation

Use Night Ride, Night Walk for escorts to and from campus by calling 303 492-SAFE (492-7233). http://www.colorado.edu/safety/

CU Police Dept. dispatcher 303 492-6666.

See Anne Kelley, room N202, for information on how to obtain a parking permit, or visit http://ucbparking.colorado.edu/

There are several alternatives to driving your car to work: 

Bike, skate or walk: Boulder is an excellent place to bike, skate or walk to school or work. For bicycle information (registration, rules and regulations, safety, etc.), call the CU Bicycle Program at 303 492-2322. Registration is an excellent idea as it seems there is a lot of bike theft in Boulder.  Registration through the University might facilitate re-possession of a stolen bike.

Ride the bus: Boulder has a fantastic bus system - there's the Skip, the Hop, and other the RTD routes that really make it easy to get around this booming metropolis.  For more information on alternative transportation (pedestrian and bike maps, bus routes, etc.), please visit Parking Services at 1050 Regent Drive, or visit the following website and click on the "alternative transportation" link: http://www.colorado.edu/pts/parking-services/.  Or, you know, Google Maps.

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Grievances

Should you find yourself in a negative situation that you can't resolve or in which you would like to file a complaint, there are several options. When deciding with whom to meet, first consider who would be the most appropriate resource and schedule an appointment. Following are some people you may wish to contact:

Don't suffer in silence. You can get help and support from many quarters.

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Graduate student responsibilities

Seminar attendance

INSTAAR offers two seminar series: Monday Noon Seminars and Graduate Student Seminars.  Your attendance is highly recommended at both.  You also have access to seminars at other departments or research labs in Boulder.  Announcements will be posted on bulletin boards or via email.  The graduate student seminar series is usually held in the SEEC S225.  The Monday Noon Seminar series is usually held in the SEEC Sievers conference room.

Monday Noon Seminar: You are expected to try to attend most of these talks.  They typically cover a wide range of topics to help broaden your knowledge of Quaternary studies. These are brown bag seminars.

Graduate Student Seminar: Thursday at 12:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.  This is an informal, non-threatening gathering of graduate students to listen to a fellow graduate student's progress on his or her thesis.  You will be encouraged to give some sort of talk each year.  Graduate students organize these talks, and someone will be by to politely harass you to sign-up.  The talks can be any length on any topic.  This gives you good practice for giving talks, as well as listening to talks and asking questions.

Representation on the Directorate

The graduate students have an elected representative on the Directorate.  The rep attends all Directorate meetings as a non-voting member, and is considered the "voice" of the graduate students.  They report any pertinent issues back to the grad students, and solicit responses to topics of concern.

Thesis submittal

Please give a PDF or print copy of your thesis to the INSTAAR Library for the archive. You'll be surprised how many future students will use it! The Library can provide thesis binding for print copies at cost ($9).

Environmental Health and Safety training

As a graduate student, you are considered an employee of the University and are therefore expected to fulfill University training requirements.  If you work in a lab, especially with chemicals, you must endure the Environmental Health and Safety Training course. This is an easy course, and just requires common sense. Ask your lab proctor for information or visit http://ehs.colorado.edu

University of Colorado Boulder Sexual Harassment Policy Statement

The mission of the University of Colorado Boulder requires an open working and living environment free of sexual harassment for students, faculty, staff and administrators. Sexual harassment is prohibited as a form of sex discrimination in the learning and workplace by federal and state law; therefore, sexual harassment is prohibited on campus and in university programs. The university is committed to taking appropriate action against those who violate the University policy prohibiting sexual harassment, including false and malicious allegations. Sexual Harassment training is required of all faculty and staff. Please visit the following website for details: http://www.colorado.edu/institutionalequity/training-and-education

University of Colorado Boulder Drug and Alcohol Policy Statements

CU-Boulder is committed to excellence in all aspects of personal and academic life. We recognize that alcohol abuse and misuse is a significant impediment to achieving this excellence. Therefore, CU-Boulder permits only responsible, legal consumption of alcohol. The university complies with all federal, state, and local laws concerning alcohol and illegal drugs. As a CU-Boulder student, faculty or staff, you are responsible for acquainting yourself with the laws and university policies regarding alcohol and illegal drugs.  Please visit the following website for details: http://www.colorado.edu/aod/

You also become subject to NSF policies if you have an NSF grant.

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