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Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research


The LTER program was established by the National Science Foundation to conduct research on long-term ecological phenomena in an array of ecosystems within the United States.

Niwot Ridge is an alpine tundra site located approximately 35 km west of Boulder, Colorado, with the entire study site lying above 3000 m elevation. There is a cirque glacier (Arikaree Glacier), extensive alpine tundra, a variety of glacial landforms, glacial lakes and moraines, cirques and talus slopes, patterned ground, and permafrost. The research area is bounded on the west by the Continental Divide, with runoff on the two sides being destined for the Colorado and Mississippi Rivers.

Niwot Ridge LTER provides site-based information and data to scientists and the public.

Read an Outside blog entry about Chris Ray's pika study, part of the Niwot Ridge LTER research program, excerpted from the recent book The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken, by Mary Ellen Hannibal.