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Faculty Mentors

Faculty Mentors

These scientists have served as mentors. Mentor availability depends on the year

John Albers

Postdoc, Physical Resources Division, NOAA

John is a member of the Atmosphere-Ocean Processes team in the Physical Science Division at NOAA-ESRL. His research interests span a broad range of topics within the field of large-scale atmospheric dynamics including: stratosphere-troposphere coupling, subseasonal-to-seasonal climate prediction, and extratropical-tropical interactions. In addition, he also explores the effects of stratospheric trace constituents on tropospheric air quality, and the couplings between radiation, chemistry, and large-scale waves in the middle atmosphere.

Suzanne Anderson

Fellow of INSTAAR; Associate Professor of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder

Research Interests: Field-based mechanistic understanding of the chemical and physical processes that shape the Earth's surface and control chemical denudation rates. Recent projects have examined landsliding in the 2013 Colorado storm, catchment-scale hydrology and hydrochemistry, and analysis of weathered rock profiles. Specializes in collection of detailed field observations to constrain models of geomorphic systems.

Bob Anderson

Fellow of INSTAAR; Professor of Geological Sciences, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder

I am a geomorphologist interested in the evolution of landscapes, with particular emphasis on alpine landscapes. I focus on processes, including glacial, coastal and fluvial erosion of bedrock. I employ cosmogenic radionuclides to constrain rates and timing in the landscape, field studies to document the specific processes acting, and numerical modeling to knit it all together.

Nichole Barger

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Barger’s research mission is to better understand the impacts of changing climate and land use on plant communities and soil resources in dryland ecosystems; this research crosses the boundaries of community, ecosystem, and landscape ecology.

Dave Barnard

Postdoctoral Fellow at INSTAAR

Forest physiology; Ecohydrology; Snow Hydrology.

Holly Barnard

Assistant Professor of Geography, Fellow of INSTAAR, Faculty of Hydrologic Sciences

Dr. Barnard’s research is focused on investigating how vegetation processes affect water flow dynamics and pathways in soil and streams, and conversely, how water flow paths affect vegetation function in mountainous terrain. The ultimate goal is to improve our knowledge of how changes in land-use and/or climate will affect water resources and ecosystems. This interdisciplinary research uses state-of-the-art techniques to reveal patterns and processes at scales ranging from the leaf to the watershed.

Theo Barnhart

Graduate Student Department of Geography

Snow and mountain hydrology, terrestrial laser scanning, periglacial processes, process geomorphology, topographic analysis. His research study area is the Critical Zone Observatory.

Kyren Bogolub

Graduate Student Department of Geology

Kyren is originally from Chicago IL. She has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Montana. Here in Boulder, Kyren studies how plate tectonics shape the landscapes in the western US. She loves doing research and learning new things, but her true passion is teaching and sharing science with other people. Kyren also love dogs, skiing, and food.

Tess Brewer

Graduate Student Department of Ecology Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests: Soil is essential for much of life on earth. Microbes are ubiquitous in this environment – an estimated 108-109 microbial cells occupy one gram of soil with a diversity ranging from a few hundred to thousands of species. Soil microbes participate in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and soil formation - all critical ecosystem processes, yet are poorly understood. I study these microbes with the hope of understanding how the BcCZO and native soils around the world are affected by their presence.

Jenny Briggs

Research Ecologist, USGS

Dr. Briggs’s research investigates the interaction between ecological and anthropogenic disturbances in forested ecosystems. Recently, she has focused on the dynamics of insect epidemics, fire, and forest management (e.g. restoration, fuel reduction, and prescribed burning) in Colorado.

Ellie Browne

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

My group is primarily interested in developing instrumentation for measuring gases and aerosols in the atmosphere and in using this instrumentation to investigate how atmospheric processing affects the chemical composition of gases and aerosols. The group is specifically interested in organonitrogen and organosilicon compounds and investigates the fate of these compounds using laboratory and field measurements. Current work focuses on understanding the role of organonitrogen in new particle formation and growth, and in nitrogen deposition.

Sam Califf


Sam works on the GOES-R series magnetometers, which measure the Earth’s magnetic field at geostationary orbit.  The magnetometer is part of a suite of instruments designed to monitor space weather in order to alert customers of potential impacts ranging from power grid disruptions to hazardous energetic particle events in space.  Sam’s research interests include energetic particle dynamics in the Earth’s magnetosphere, electric and magnetic field measurements, spacecraft instrumentation, and instrument calibration.

Juliana Dias

Research Scientist, CIRES

Juliana is part of the NOAA Atmosphere-Ocean Process Team. Her research interests include tropical variability and climate dynamics, simple models and observations of tropical waves, clouds and convection, and geophysical fluid dynamics

Noah Fierer

Fellow of CIRES; Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Microbial ecology. Terrestrial ecosystem ecology. Microbial biogeography. Impact of global change factors on microbial communities and processes.

Mike Gooseff

Associate Professor at Univ. Colorado Boulder, Fellow of INSTAAR

Study the intersections of earth systems and ecosystems focusing on hydrology, solute transport, watersheds, streams and glaciers. Dr. Gooseff’s research focuses on stream-groundwater interactions, hyporheic exchange, stream/hyporheic restoration, and climate change in polar and temperate regions.

Brian Harvey

Post-doctoral Research Associate Department of Geography

Subalpine forests in the Colorado Front Range are critical providers of habitat, water, carbon storage, and recreation - but they may be in trouble. Recent decades have seen accelerating rates of tree death, labeled "forest decline" in cases when the exact cause is not known. In our research, we are forest detectives, testing hypotheses about what killed trees in the past, what is killing them now, which trees are surviving, and what it all means for the future of Colorado's forests.

Carrie Havrilla

Graduate Student Department of Ecology Evolutionary Biology

Carrie is interested in a broad range of research questions at the interface of basic and applied dryland ecology. These include examining plant species adaptation to climate change, landscape genomics of dryland plant species to improve restoration seed sourcing, and the consequences of fuel-reduction treatments on arid woodland ecosystem functioning. Currently, she is investigating the biotic interactions of biological soil crusts and vascular plant communities in drylands of the Southwestern US.

Mimi Hughes

Research Scientist at NOAA ESRL and CIRES

Dr. Hughes’s research focuses on improving the understanding of key orographic meteorological physical processes, especially those important to the mid-latitude water cycle and those potentially impactful to ocean circulation and sea ice cover in the Arctic. Her primary tools in this endeavor are dynamically-downscaled reanalysis datasets, generated using a state-of-the-art regional climate model (i.e., the Weather Research and Forecasting model and the Regional Arctic System Model [RASM]) with reanalysis data as the lateral boundary conditions (e.g., ERA Interim).

Jimmy McCutchan

Associate Director, Center for Limnology, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder

Limnology (the study of inland waters), primary production, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic food chains, biogeochemistry, disturbance.

Diane McKnight

Fellow of INSTAAR; Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder.

Research focuses on interactions between hydrologic, chemical and biological processes in controlling the dynamics in aquatic ecosystems. This research is carried out through field-scale experiments, modeling, and laboratory characterization of natural substrates. A co-principal investigator in the McMurdo Dry Valley LTER and in the Niwot Ridge LTER.

Manoj Nair

Research Scientist, CIRES

Manoj is part of the NOAA GEOMAG team. His research interests include electromagnetic induction in Earth and oceans by external magnetic sources, electric and magnetic signals generated by the motion of sea water, equatorial ionospheric currents and fields, crowdsourcing Earth's magnetic data and analysis of ground and satellite magnetic data.

John Ogren

Chief Learning Officer (acting) for the National Weather Service (NWS), NOAA

John is responsible for learning, training and development for all employees in the NWS in the areas of Science, Service, Electronics & IT and Employee Development.

Imtiaz Rangwala

Research Associate, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Western Water Assessment

 Regional Climate Projections, Climate Change in US Southwest, High Elevation Climate Change (Colorado Rockies & Tibetan Plateau), Regional Climate Models, Climate Downscaling, Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources.

Richard Saltus

Research Geophysicist, CIRES

Richard works with the NOAA GEOMAG team on an update to the EMAG2 global magnetic anomaly compilation.  The goal is to improve the resolution and reliability of the compilation to improve its applicability to geologic and tectonic interpretation.

Patrick Sheridan

Acting Chief of the Global Monitoring Division Aerosol Group, NOAA

Dr. Sheridan’s primary responsibility is to oversee the operation and data flow of the NOAA ESRL Global Federated Aerosol Network. The goals of this surface aerosol monitoring program are to characterize means, variability, and trends of climate-forcing properties of different types of aerosols, and to understand the factors that control these properties.

Charlie Shobe

Graduate Student Department of Geological Sciences

Charlie focuses on understanding rivers and their influence on the landscape from a process-based perspective. He uses field studies, GIS tools, and numerical models to explore how soil moisture properties influence flooding, the effects of weathering on erosion in bedrock rivers, and how channel-hillslope interactions affect the development of our Front Range landscape.

Tasha Snow

Graduate Student CIRES Earth Science & Observation Center and Department of Geography

Tasha’s research interests include high latitude ocean, cryosphere, and climate change. Her PhD research focuses on satellite remote sensing of ice sheets and ice sheet-ocean interactions. Tasha is a veteran of the US Navy.

Ted Stets

Research Ecologist, USGS

Ted’s areas of expertise include surface water (non-marine), surface water quality, water quality, water budget, and the effects of human impacts upon them.

Kristy Tiampo

Director of CIRES Earth Science & Observation Center

Dr. Tiampo’s research focuses on understanding the processes that govern natural and anthropogenic hazards. These studies incorporate large quantities of remote sensing data. Her team investigates the implications and consequences of hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, groundwater extraction, and induced seismicity on infrastructure and society. 

Gregory Tucker

Professor in Department of Geological Sciences, Univ. of Colorado Boulder, Fellow of CIRES

Landscape evolution, tectonic geomorphology, impacts of climate change on hillslope and fluvial systems, numerical simulation of landform development.

Ryan Webb

Postdoctoral Fellow, INSTAAR Mountain Hydrology Group

Ryan is interested in a variety of research topics including representing the snow as a porous media, vadose zone hydrology, hydrological impacts of forest fires, and water resources in developing countries.