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March 13th, 2020

INSTAAR response to COVID-19

Acting on CU Boulder guidelines, INSTAARs are taking several actions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safer. While university operations are continuing, things will look different around here for a while. Much of our activity is moving to home offices and online.

INSTAAR Director Merritt Turetsky says, “We wholeheartedly support a transition to work-from-home because we want to protect the more vulnerable members of our society. At the same time, we are developing a communication plan and approach so that we can check in on one another and keep tabs of one another’s mental and physical well being.”

INSTAARs who can work remotely are doing so, setting up home offices and taking meetings and conversations online.

Research deemed essential to INSTAAR’s mission will continue in labs. Lab groups are planning and preparing for disruptions to work in case of future, mandatory restrictions on access. Researchers who continue to do the science are taking more precautions like frequent cleaning and hand-washing and will be vigilant about social distancing even while continuing to work. For instance, the Stable Isotope Laboratory analyzes air samples collected by a NOAA network. “As long as they send us samples, we will get in there to keep instruments running and make the best measurements we can,” says lab Assistant Manager Sylvia Michel. “There may be some disruptions, but we will work around those challenges using best practices.”

Faculty will teach courses online for the rest of the semester as required by the university.

Talks, conferences, and other public events have been moved online, postponed, or canceled. The Arctic Workshop, originally scheduled for April in Boulder, has been postponed to late August and early September.

Through the disruption, lab groups and others within INSTAAR will be keeping tabs on each other. “We are supporting the INSTAAR family through these unusual times,” says Turetsky.

The primary source for comprehensive information about COVID-19 and CU Boulder is Additional information about research operations can be found at RIO's COVID-19 Resources page.