Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences


CIRES at CU Boulder has worked with NOAA since 1967

Researcher adjusts equipment on an urban rooftop as the sun sets in the background
Lidar atop the Dept. of Commerce building measures wind flow and turbulence as part of study greenhouse gas emissions in the D.C. area.

CIRES was created in 1967 as a partnership of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We have worked with the agency continuously since then. 

About half of CIRES’ researchers work in the David Skaggs Research Center in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratories (ESRL), Space Weather Prediction Center, Weather Prediction Center, and National Centers for Environmental Information. These researchers participate in many aspects of NOAA’s mission-critical work. Our NOAA-based research is guided and sustained by a cooperative agreement competed every 10 years and funded by Congress through NOAA. Our current NOAA grant is titled the Cooperative Institute for Earth Systems Research and Data Science. 

This partnership fosters fundamental and applied research in disciplines including climate and weather research, atmospheric chemistry, Earth system data science, ecosystem studies, space weather research and more. It provides NOAA with access to university intellectual depth and resources while giving students direct experience in operational and mission-focused research.

The other half of CIRES researchers work at  CU Boulder,  affiliated with departments and other units across campus, and we are dedicated to the university’s academic mission, including training the scientists of tomorrow. These CIRES scientists support their research with external funding from diverse sources: The Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and much more.