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  • CIRES Spheres Magazine Highlights Findings in Environmental Research

    The 2022 edition of CIRES' Spheres magazine is out! Explore recent work around wildfire’s impact, space-weather forecasting, the possibility of climate intervention, how to use cartoon characters to engage hikers with field research, & more. Read more>>> CIRES is the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, more than 800 scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has been a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and CU Boulder since 1967. Read more>>>

  • June 8: Grand Opening of Innosphere's newest Laboratory Facility

    Innosphere Ventures, the Colorado-based incubator and commercialization program that accelerates business success of science and technology-based startup companies, is having a Grand Opening event on June 8, 2022 for their new 7,500 square foot laboratory facility in North Fort Collins. Hear from speakers including the City of Fort Collins Mayor. RSVP required, see more info here>>> Innosphere’s newest bioscience building aims to be an affordable option for bioentrepreneurs in Northern Colorado. The facility will offer shared equipment, as well as business education programming specific to the needs and challenges of science-based companies. The new bioscience building includes ten private wet laboratory spaces that will be the future home to startup companies operating at a biosafety level 1 and 2. As a wet laboratory, the facility will accommodate life science activities that include tissue culture, cell and molecular biology, and experiments that involve liquid substances, as opposed to a “dry lab” that typically only focuses on computer-assisted experiments.

  • UNAVCO Leads Tests On Alternate Way to Measure Earthquakes

    Tracking the movement of tectonic plates with GPS stations is possible - and (relatively) slow. Collecting multiple position measurements over time shrinks the error bars and improves precision. However the network of GPS (or multi-constellation GNSS) stations also have an important role to play in earthquake early warning systems, and here the luxury of time evaporates. Stations need to detect and help characterize an earthquake in a matter of seconds in order to assist in generating timely warnings. A UNAVCO team led by Tim Dittmann, along with Jade Morton of the University of Colorado Boulder have been working on a velocity-based geodetic processing technique is complementary to existing approaches to characterize earthquake motions. Read more below and here. Currently, GPS/GNSS earthquake motion assessment is done by applying real-time corrections to the data. This involves using estimates of current satellite positions and clock errors, along with calculations of the ionosphere’s impact on the satellite signal, to greatly improve precision to within a few centimeters. But there’s another way to approach this problem, and that’s to directly measure the station’s velocity as it moves during an earthquake—which has the advantage of working without relying on external correction information. The basic principle is that when precise measurements of the oscillating satellite signal are made in rapid succession, most sources of measurement error (like atmospheric conditions or satellite positions) aren’t changing much between consecutive datapoints. Additionally, the velocity of an orbiting GPS satellite is predictable. So instead of calculating the station’s absolute position, you can simply calculate the apparent amount of position change—its velocity—based on the change in the signal. A motionless antenna will measure very little change, but a moving antenna will measure much more. Read more>>> The GAGE Facility supports cutting-edge geoscience discoveries, applications, and education with geodesy for broad societal benefit. GAGE provides the foundation and infrastructure to support research on every continent across a broad spectrum of geosciences. GAGE is operated by UNAVCO Inc. in support of the UNAVCO and broader geophysics community. Read more>>>

  • NOAA WWA Report on Significant Weather and Climate-Related Events

    Over the last six months, Western Water Assessments' team of scientists have been updating the High-Impact Events Database for recent and missing historical high-impact weather and climate events in our region. The database is not a scientific dataset, but rather a collection of significant weather and climate-related events in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The types of events included are: avalanches, cold waves, dam failures, droughts, floods, hail, high winds, landslides, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. They searched federal, state, county, and local databases, library archives, news accounts, and other sources for the collection. Read more about this>>> They are currently working on additional features that will make the database more usable and engaging, and hope to finish these features during the summer. In 2015, WWA began a new research focus on extremes that is designed to place high-impact events in the context of historical climate variability and projected climate change, assess how the risk of these events varies over time and space, and examine how high-impact events interact with place-based vulnerability. The first activities in this new research theme have been to build a database of 160+ historical high-impact weather and climate events in the three-state region, and to generate a complementary set of regional event maps showing how risk varies seasonally across the region for different types of weather and climate events. The WWA team is comprised of researchers in multiple disciplines—climatology, hydrology, ecology, social sciences, and law—at the University of Colorado Boulder and several other institutions in the region. WWA is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Their primary source of funding is NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program, and they are one of 10 RISA teams operating across the U.S. Read more about WWA>>>

  • Forest Service RMRS Research Proposes Transformative Wildfire Management

    Numerous wildfire management agencies and institutions rely primarily on simple risk approaches to wildfire that focus on technical risk assessments that do not reflect the complexity of contemporary wildfire risk. Scientists, researchers and stakeholders of the US. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station have released a thoughtful review paper arguing that such insufficiently complex conceptualizations of risk, which do not account for the social and ecological diversity of fire-prone areas, are key contributors to the continued wildfire dilemma. They share five principles to guide approaching wildfire as a complex risk to increase adaptation to and coexistence with wildfire. Their report discusses distinctions between approaching wildfire as a simple and a complex risk and illuminate the need for expanded and complimentary ways to further fire adaptation. Read more>>> Five suggestions are proposed in this study to shift the approach of wildfire from a simple to complex risk approach to build solutions that increase adapting to and coexisting with wildfire. These principles provide a pathway to looking at wildfire risk as not something to be “solved” but an iterative approach that facilitates living with fire and improving outcomes by accounting for the social (and ecological) diversity of fire-prone landscapes. Such efforts are more likely to yield socially relevant and legitimate strategies for building wildfire adapted communities by recognizing and accounting for the complexities of wildfire governance amongst a variety of stakeholders who may operate at various scales using different knowledge systems.

  • New University of Colorado President Todd Saliman visits JILA

    University of Colorado President Todd Saliman visited JILA last week to tour JILA and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fellow Eric Cornell's laboratory and meet his team. “You are all working to change the world,” President Saliman said. His visit was due to an invitation from JILA and NIST Fellow Eric Cornell to tour his laboratories. Cornell has been a scientist at JILA since the 1990s and research impacts the fundamental areas of atomic, molecular, and optical physics well as quantum mechanics. His work on the Bose-Einstein Condensate, an ultracold quantum system, won him and fellow researcher Carl Weinman Nobel Prizes in 2001. From that time on, Cornell has continued to research atomic and molecular optics, mentoring many graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in their careers. President Saliman viewed two of Cornell's laboratories, looking at several laser systems the researchers use to study electrons and other particles. Cornell, for his part, was delighted to explain his research and introduced his entire laboratory team to President Saliman. The President was amazed by not only Cornell's research but the team, ranging from recently graduated undergraduates to post-doctoral researchers. President Saliman asked Cornell about the impact of his research on both scientific discovery and his work mentoring students and researchers in his laboratory. “The students and post-docs are my pride and joy,” Cornell stated. Read more>>> Image Credit: Kenna Castleberry/JILA JILA was founded in 1962 as a joint institute of The University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards & Technology. JILA is one of the nation’s leading research institutes in the physical sciences. Theycredit this reputation to the high quality of their scientists and their productivity, which is supported by JILA’s structure and resources. Their scientists explore some of today's most challenging and fundamental scientific questions about the limits of quantum measurements and technologies, the design of precision optical and X-ray lasers, the fundamental principles underlying the interaction of light and matter, the role of quantum physics in chemistry and biology, and the processes that have governed the evolution of the Universe for nearly 14 billion years.

  • ARPA-E Funding Drives Innovation & Partnerships at NREL; May Summit

    Among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) many funding agencies, the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funds what is perhaps some of NREL's most innovative work. ARPA-E's mission is to advance promising technologies that are not yet ready for private-sector investment, with the goal of developing new ways to generate, store, and use energy. The high-risk, high-reward nature of these projects is what makes them so exciting—and what requires NREL researchers to use their most creative problem-solving approaches. This year, ARPA-E-funded projects will be showcased at the 12th annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, to be held on May 23–25 in Denver, Colorado. In the lead-up to the summit, NREL researchers are reflecting on the ways in which ARPA-E funding has allowed them to advance innovative research and develop robust industry partnerships. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided approximately $2.93 billion in R&D funding for more than 1,270 potentially transformational energy technology projects. NREL has played a key role in many of these projects, ranging from developing new solar cell material growth techniques and improving grid control to reducing energy use in transportation. In the five ARPA-E projects featured here, NREL's collaborative, partnership-oriented approach has been crucial. Read more>>> Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL

  • April 13 Webinar: Marshall Fire Research Updates via CONVERGE

    Free webinar Wednesday, April 13, 2:00 - 3:00 pm MST - the CONVERGE Virtual Forum dedicated to research conducted in the aftermath of the 2021 Boulder County Fires. The fourth forum in this series on the 2021 Boulder County Fires will highlight four new research studies focused on fire behavior and fire modeling, damage to the built environment, built environment policy and household recovery, and ecosystem recovery after the Marshall Fire. Each of the research teams will take 10 minutes to present the preliminary findings from their research on the fires. Researchers from all disciplines and practitioners from any organization or institution are welcome to attend, as are interested members of the community and general public. Read more about the research teams, their projects and RSVP here. Topics include: PREDICTING SURVIVABILITY OF STRUCTURES DUE TO THE MARSHALL FIRE CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS AND PRIVATE WELL OWNERS IMPACTED BY THE MARSHALL FIRE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS CAN BIG IDEAS ABOUT RESILIENCE SURVIVE THE REALITY OF A DISASTER? BUILT ENVIRONMENT POLICY AND RECOVERY AFTER THE MARSHALL FIRE CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS AND PRIVATE WELL OWNERS IMPACTED BY THE MARSHALL FIRE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS MONITORING THE RECOVERY OF THE COAL CREEK ECOSYSTEM AFTER THE MARSHALL FIRE These Virtual Forums focused on the 2021 Boulder County Fires are convened by CONVERGE at the Natural Hazards Center in the Institute of Behavioral Science and RISE: Resilient Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU). Also working in partnership with CO-LABS and CU’s Research & Innovation Office.

  • NIST Blockchain and Manufacturing Supply Chain Report: Your

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has published NIST Internal Report (NISTIR) 8419, Blockchain and Related Technologies to Support Manufacturing Supply Chain Traceability: Needs and Industry Perspectives. Supply chains are increasingly complex, making the origins of products difficult to discern. Efforts are emerging to increase traceability of goods by exchanging traceability data records using blockchain and related technologies among relevant supply chain participants. NISTIR 8419 explores the issues that surround traceability, the role that blockchain and related technologies may be able to play to improve traceability, and several industry case studies of efforts in use today. The publication covers: existing factors that inhibit manufacturing supply chain traceability analysis of emerging blockchain-enabled manufacturing supply chain traceability initiatives in progress recommendations for future research topics to improve manufacturing supply chain traceability, enabled by blockchain and related technologies READ MORE>>>

  • March 31 Webinar: Marshall Fire Research Update

    Please join CO-LABS as we collaborate with an upcoming CONVERGE Virtual Forum dedicated to research conducted in the aftermath of the December 30, 2021 Boulder County Fires. (Also called the Marshall Fire.) March 31, 2022 2:00 -3:00 pm MST Free Registration RSVP HERE. Researchers from all disciplines and practitioners from any organization or institution are welcome to attend, as are interested members of the community and general public. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The third forum in this series on the 2021 Boulder County Fires will be co-convened by the leadership of CO-LABS and will highlight progress in research coordination and new studies led by researchers in federal scientific research labs located in Colorado. Each of the research teams will take 10 minutes to present the preliminary findings from their research on the fires. The remaining time will be dedicated to questions from the audience as well as resource sharing and research coordination efforts. Research presentations include details of the atmospheric flow and the potential impacts on the fire spread, and the weather preceding and during the fire events and the fire environment factors influencing fire behavior at the scale of coupled atmosphere-wildland fire environment (CAWFE) by scientists from NCAR - The National Center for Atmospheric Research, plus details to a survey that will assess evacuation decisions, impacts on property and animals (pets and livestock), air and water quality perceptions, perceived physical and mental health, rebuilding and relocation decisions, and support for recovery policy options. CONVERGE Virtual Forums bring together researchers and research partners to more effectively communicate, coordinate, and collaborate after major disaster events. These forums focus on identifying research needs and priorities, discussing ethical considerations, and learning about the early effects of disasters. The National Science Foundation-supported CONVERGE facility was established in 2018 as the first social science-led component of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) for the nation. CONVERGE brings together networks of hazards and disaster researchers from geotechnical engineering, the social sciences, structural engineering, nearshore systems, operations and systems engineering, sustainable material management, and interdisciplinary science and engineering. READ MORE>>>

  • UNAVCO Webinar: Mentoring Undergraduates: Techniques And Best Practices

    Establishing a mentoring relationship typically falls upon the mentee, which can leave individuals who could benefit the most (non-traditional & first generation students or individuals from marginalized groups) out in the cold. As educators and potential mentors what can we do to bridge the gap, and ease the burden? Graduate programs require students to have advisors and committees, which can provide multilayered mentoring. How can we establish a similar relationship with undergraduate students? UNAVCO Education Specialist Anika Knight presented this webinar on techniques and best practices for establishing, maintaining, or improving mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. It was presented to the National Association of Geoscience Teachers; while the topics covered will directly target undergraduate mentors they may also be useful for those working with high school or graduate students. See more details and watch the presentation.

  • Department of Energy Releases 2022 Technology Commercialization Fund Solicitation

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is calling for applications for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). Note: Only national laboratories are eligible for funding from this lab call. SEE MORE DETAILS>>> The joint lab call is the result of a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), eight DOE program offices, and participating national lab stakeholders. This year’s TCF reflects new flexibilities stemming from modifications to the TCF authorizing language passed in the Energy Act 2020. Each funding office was able to follow the approach that maximized the ability of TCF funding to “pursue promising energy technologies for commercial purposes.” DOE expects to make approximately $13.6 million-$16.7 million in federal funding available for awards under this multi-office lab call, issued jointly by OTT; the Office of Electricity; the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Geothermal Technologies Office, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Water Power Technologies Office, and Wind Energy Technologies Office; and the Office of Nuclear Energy. The FY22 TCF collaborative solicitation focuses on Core Lab Infrastructure for Commercialization. Submissions under this new funding solicitation go beyond technology-specific projects to propose programs and activities aimed at streamlining the path to market by addressing barriers, gaps, and root causes of commercialization challenges. Additional funding offices will release their customized TCF programming in the coming months.

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