Update: Boulder Creek CZO completed its research in late 2020. The NSF CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net). INSTAAR is heavily involved in one of the new CZ Net research clusters, Dynamic Water.
Boulder Creek CZO is one of nine NSF- supported environmental observatories focusing on how water, atmosphere, ecosystems, and soils interact and shape the earth's surface.
The "Critical Zone" lies between rock and sky. It is essential to life—including human food production—and helps drive the earth's carbon cycle, climate change, stream runoff, and water.
Together with our counterpart observatories, we're helping determine how the Critical Zone operates and evolves—including a predictive ability for how it will respond to projected changes in climate and land use. We serve the international scientific community through research, infrastructure, data, and models.