Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Finance & Governance



During the university fiscal year of July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, CIRES had total expenditures of nearly $88 million, including the university portion (graph 1).
CIRES researchers enjoy enviable success in obtaining external research awards, which comprise ~42 percent of total expenses). Graph 2 breaks down our contracts and grant funding by main sources.
Graph 3 provides an overall look at our Cooperative Agreement funding, by task. Task I funding (further described in graph 4) is for CIRES administration and internal scientific programs, such as the Visiting Fellows and Graduate Student Research Award programs. Task II funds CIRES’ collaboration with NOAA groups in Boulder, Colorado. Task III funds support individual CIRES investigators who conduct stand-alone projects under the umbrella of our Cooperative Agreement, at NOAA’s request.

NOAA Cooperative Agreements  
NA12OAR4320137—CIRES Five-Year Cooperative Agreement: 9/1/2012 - 8/31/2017
NA15OAR4320137—CIRES Five-Year Cooperative Agreement (new award no.): 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2017

For an accessible PDF of these charts, click here.



The governance and management of CIRES is provided through its Council of Fellows, an adivsory Executive Committee, and the CIRES Members' Council. The CIRES Centers link NOAA to 11 different university departments. Coordination among all these entitites is facilitated through the Communications group.

Council of Fellows

The Council of Fellows constitutes the Board of Directors and chief advisory body of CIRES. Fellows are selected because of their outstanding achievements and abilities in diverse areas of environmental sciences. These university faculty, research scientists, and government scientists and Fellows form the core of our institute. Members of the Council of Fellows:

  • provide leadership at all levels in environmental science,
  • maintain an active scienti c research and education program,
  • support the CIRES infrastructure through indirect cost recovery and in-kind contributions,
  • advise CIRES management, and
  • contribute interdisciplinary expertise and participate in collaborative work.

Fellows personify the spirit of collaboration that is the founding principle of the NOAA Cooperative Institutes Program. Ex-officio individuals include representatives of the Members’ Council and CIRES administration. Fellows meetings are held monthly during the academic year. During this reporting period, the Council of Fellows met: September 22, October 20, November 17, and December 8 of 2016; and January 26, February 16, March 16, and April 13 of 2017. More details about the 42 members of the Council of Fellows here (LINK TO FELLOWS SECTION).

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee assists and advises the director in matters regarding strategic management of the institute. Members of the Executive Committee include the associate directors for CIRES’ six divisions, four Fellows elected at large for two-year terms (renewable for one term), and two Members’ Council representatives. The associate director for administration, associate director for science, and the director’s executive assistant are exofficio members.

Career Track Committee

This committee is charged with consideration of all nominations for promotion within the three CIRES career tracks: Research Scientist, Associate Scientist, and Administrative Associate. Nominations are made once yearly, and the committee’s recommendations are forwarded to the director for consideration and action.

Fellows Appointment

Fellows of CIRES are selected by two-thirds vote of the Council of Fellows and are appointed or reappointed by the director of CIRES with the concurrence of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School. Annually, the Council of Fellows considers whether to entertain new Fellow nominations, which are drawn from the community of scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA. 


CIRES is committed to enhancing diversity by extending its community and knowledge across the full spectrum of cultures and backgrounds. Staff in CIRES’ Education and Outreach program, administration, and all science groups work to identify programs, mentorships, and other opportunities for CIRES to foster diversity and enrich our professional community.

Members’ Council

The CIRES Members’ Council, created in 1997, serves as an information and policy conduit between institute members and CIRES leadership. From the council, two elected delegates serve as the liaison between the Members’ Council and the CIRES Council of Fellows and Executive Committee. 

Special Committees

Additional special committees are appointed as needed by the director. These include faculty search committees, the University Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee, Award Committee, faculty promotion committees, and others. These are created as the need arises, exist to accomplish a specific task, and are then disbanded.

Other CIRES Committees