Waleed Abdalati, CIRES Director

Waleed Abdalati

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).

CIRES is a very diverse research institute at the University of Colorado Boulder that is engaged in collaborative research with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [ About NOAA ]. As the largest of eleven institutes on the Boulder campus and the largest of all NOAA institutes nationwide, CIRES comprises over 500 researchers and staff, and an additional 200 graduate and undergraduate students conducting multi- and interdisciplinary research in Earth Systems Science.

Understanding the relationship between people and the environment is critical to our success as a society, and is becoming increasingly important as the human fingerprint on the world in which we live continues to grow.  At CIRES, our expertise in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences related to environmental processes, and our commitment to interdisciplinary research enable us to develop the level of understanding necessary to successfully meet the challenges of a changing environment. Our strengths in Earth system monitoring and analysis, and expert interpretation of observational evidence form the cornerstones of CIRES research.

My own academic and professional background spans both science and engineering, and my relationship with CIRES dates back more than 20 years, to when I was a graduate student here, investigating how we could use satellite observations to study the Earth’s changing ice cover.  The early experiences and foundation I developed in graduate school served as a springboard to a fascinating career at NASA and again back here at CU. At NASA, my positions included: research scientist, program manager, head of a research group, and Chief Scientist. I “came home” to CU in 2008 to become the Director of the Earth Science and Observation Center and a professor in the Department of Geography.

I now have the privilege of serving as director of CIRES, which is a recognized leader in innovative earth systems science research and education. We are committed to integrating and reporting our research results in a way that advances scientific knowledge as well as public understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live.  Ultimately we strive to conduct our science in a way that is of service to society. We are committed to maintaining national and international leadership in earth system science and are focusing our energies and resources on supporting and attracting the best scientists in these fields.

Waleed Abdalati