Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences


Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at CIRES

Hillside field of flowers with mountains in the distance
The Tetons tower above a cluster of Indian Paintbrush flowers in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
- James Mothersbaugh/CIRES


Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values at CIRES. Our lived commitment to these values shapes our work culture and is essential to how we practice excellence and integrity in environmental research.


CIRES will advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in these ways:

  • Fostering an inclusive, respectful culture that recognizes and embraces the diversity of our communities.
  • Building capacity to successfully recruit and hire a diverse workforce.
  • Creating authentic partnerships with those who are most impacted by our work and with organizations that serve underrepresented and marginalized groups in environmental sciences.

The CIRES DEI strategic plan guides our intention to create a workplace culture in which the talents of all individuals are cultivated, recognized, and appreciated. The plan is built around three imperatives, shown in the image below. Each strategic intent is elaborated in the following sections, along with a description of our goals and relevant programming in development.

We commit to transparency throughout our process, and we always welcome your thoughts on how we can do better. Please feel free to set up a meeting with our DEI Director, Dr. Becca Edwards, to get information on the CIRES DEI strategic plan or to discuss resources that would support you as a new CIRES employee. 

DEI values in a colorful pinwheel

CIRES DEI framework

CIRES DEI framework. Credit: CIRES Communications

As part of our CIRES DEI Strategic Plan, we worked with CU Boulder DEI leaders and the Office of Data Analytics to participate in a Workplace Culture Survey. This survey gathers insights from students, faculty, and staff about their experiences in workplaces. The survey included measures to assess sense of belonging, respect, and support, and identity-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. Questions inquired about incivility and whether survey participants would attribute those experiences to aspects of their identity and, if so, which identity or identities. The survey also asked participants about the consequences of identity-based negative treatment and covered a range of identity-based harms that may occur in workplaces and classrooms. Data will be provided to CIRES in February 2024, and programming for employees will be offered late Spring 2024.

CIRES completed a workplace culture survey in Spring 2018. Results were shared with CIRES employees via a series of debrief meetings and CIRES employees were invited to participate in one or more focus groups in January and February 2019 to dig deeper into the survey results and to provide feedback and ideas for next steps. We will participate in the Fall 2023 CU Boulder Institutes Workplace Culture Survey; please check back for a schedule of events to discuss the results.


stars light up the earth at night

Global Sustainability Scholars (GSS)

Bringing students together in a paid summer immersive experience addressing global sustainable development challenges

a RECCS student looks for grasshoppers near Boulder, Colorado

Research Experiences for Community College Students (RECCS)

Colorado community college students engage in paid summer research experience in environmental or geosciences

Satellite image of earth from above

Environmental Data Science Internships (ESIIL STARS)

Students at minority-serving institutions participate in a paid internship to build environmental data science skills

Dark foreboding skies span over northern region grasslands

Tribal Climate Leaders Program (TCLP)

Native American graduate students receive a fully-funded fellowship for a graduate degree in climate adaptation science

sandhill crains fly in uniform across the sunsetting sky

Climate Adaptation Scientists of Tomorrow (CAST)

Indigenous students participate over two summers in a paid internship on climate adaptation science research skills