January 22nd, 2020A new study of nearly every delta on the planet shows how river delta shapes and sizes around the world are changing due to human activity. The study, carried out by a team of Dutch and American researchers that includes INSTAAR Albert Kettner, finds that increased soil erosion from deforestation has been building land in deltas over the past 30 years, despite extensive river damming. This trend is likely to reverse as sea-level rise accelerates and other human impacts take effect.
January 16th, 2020An educational exhibit on the Boulder Creek watershed is opening at the Museum of Boulder on Friday, January 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. All are welcome at the opening reception, which is free.
August 21st, 2019More 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.
January 29th, 2019INSTAAR 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.
October 13th, 2016A 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.
December 15th, 2014INSTAAR 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.
September 25th, 2014A 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.
CWEST: A new partnership between CU and the USGS pushes collaboration, houses Hydro Sciences program
June 9th, 2014INSTAAR 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.
May 5th, 2014Patrick 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.
December 5th, 2013INSTAAR 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.
April 20th, 2013High 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.
August 10th, 2010Bob 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.
July 10th, 2010Bob Anderson, Irina Overeem and Cameron Wobus led a research team that won the 2009 partnering award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).
June 5th, 2010Phil 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.
December 1st, 2009Researchers 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.
September 20th, 2009James 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.
February 4th, 2009James 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).
September 26th, 2008Andy 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.
May 15th, 2008Researchers 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?
November 26th, 2007A 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.
May 18th, 2007Syvitski 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.
February 16th, 2006Robert 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.
November 20th, 2005Gifford Miller received the Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) 2005 annual meeting.
July 15th, 2002At 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.
November 7th, 2001James 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.
June 6th, 2001High 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).
In The News
February 5th, 2020National Geographic story: Abrupt thaw affects only 5% of Arctic permafrost, but it could double carbon emissions from that environment, says a new study led by INSTAAR Merritt Turetsky.
February 3rd, 2020Abrupt thawing of permafrost will double previous estimates of potential carbon emissions from permafrost thaw in the Arctic, and is already rapidly changing the landscape and ecology of the circumpolar north, a new study led by Merritt Turetsky finds.
February 3rd, 2020Normally, these terrains of frozen soil thaw gradually. But in some places, it’s thawing so abruptly that landscapes are collapsing in on themselves. A new study led by Merritt Turetsky, published today in Nature Geoscience, synthesizes the best knowledge we have about, and develops models for, how abrupt thaw of frozen soils will affect climate.
January 23rd, 2020Deforestation and river damming are changing the shape of these landforms around the globe, finds a new study. The authors, including INSTAAR Albert Kettner, examined 10,848 deltas to quantify humans’ impact. Three primary forces shape deltas: rivers delivering sediment; tides pushing or pulling sediment; and waves redistributing sediment along the coast. Humans exert a lot of control over how much sediment a river carries: While deforestation feeds the flow of soil, dams plug it up.
September 19th, 2019Against 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.
June 1st, 2019The 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.
Monday, February 24th at 12:15pm
SEEC S228 (Sievers Room)
Thursday, April 2nd at 12:00am