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As the University of Colorado Boulder's oldest institute, INSTAAR has a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues. Our traditional focus has been on polar and alpine regions, where effects of global change are especially pronounced. In recent decades, our research has broadened to include environmental challenges that span local, regional, and global scales. Research topics vary widely and include Quaternary and modern environments, human and ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, landscape evolution, hydrology, oceanography, and climate.
INSTAAR’s research activities integrate field studies, state-of- the-art laboratory experiments, sample analysis, and numerical and laboratory modeling. Our field sites are located across all seven continents and the world's oceans.
Our expertise across disciplines helps us generate influential science that can inform public and policy decisions and move us toward a more sustainable society. INSTAAR's national and international research leadership is augmented by exceptional strength in graduate education and bringing undergraduates into the research process.