Researching the environment, from pole to pole

Colorado is home to some of the most important environmental research occurring in the world, with critical work being done on climate change, water and renewable energy. Hundreds of environmental researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University in Fort Collins and Colorado School of Mines in Golden are making dramatic strides toward creating a cleaner earth and bringing billions of dollars to Colorado in the process.

At Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research and Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a partnership between CU-Boulder and NOAA, for instance, researchers are studying the cryosphere, biosphere, solid earth sciences, atmosphere. CIRES employs 714 scientists, students and staff. The organization forecasted and responded to the Japan earthquake, a heat wave in Russia and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. CIRES recently released the MASIE–NH (Multi-sensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent–Northern Hemisphere), which allows users to see current Arctic sea-ice coverage by region. This information is critical for transportation, commerce, ecosystem protection and climate understanding.

Colorado State University, among other initiatives, has taken a leading role in water, creating a new institute to advance the study of water conservation and management. This year it has also formed a ground-breaking partnership with Coca-Cola, in part to share the university’s knowledge of water conservation and management with the giant international drink manufacturer.

And Colorado School of Mines is helping bridge the gap between the past and the future, by helping traditional energy companies find more environmentally sound ways to collect oil and natural gas, even as they too focus on renewable energy technologies.

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