Climate Research

Animal Population Health Institute & Institute for Livestock and the Environment

CSU’s Animal Population Health Institute and the university’s Institute for Livestock and the Environment received in May 2010 a $15 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to look at the impact of climate change on livestock around the globe, particularly in developing countries. The research will focus on ways to help developing countries manage livestock under changing climate conditions. In these developing countries, a large proportion of the population depends upon livestock for a significant part of their income. Ultimately, the goal is not just to study these processes but to help livestock producers to adapt to climate change and improve their livelihoods.


Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Science

The Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP) is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center focused on understanding and predicting the role of clouds in the Earth’s climate system and improving the representation of cloud processes in climate models.


Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) is a cooperative institute that is also a research department within CSU’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Department of Atmospheric Science. Its vision is to conduct interdisciplinary research in the atmospheric sciences by entraining skills beyond the meteorological disciplines, exploiting advances in engineering and computer science, facilitating transitional activity between pure and applied research, leveraging both national and international resources and partnerships, and assisting NOAA, Colorado State University, the State of Colorado, and the nation through the application of our research to areas of societal benefit.



CloudSat, a satellite mission conceived by Colorado State University scientist Graeme Stephens, is the world’s most sensitive cloud-profiling radar in orbit. Since launching 438 miles above Earth on April 28, 2006, CloudSat has made thousands of orbits around the Earth, snapped hundreds of millions of vertical profiles of clouds and distributed more than 6 terabytes of data to the international science community. This information is critical to monitoring and assessing global warming and global climate change.


Colorado Climate Center

Established by the state in 1974, the Colorado Climate Center assists the state in monitoring climate over time, helping to reduce the state’s vulnerability to climate variability and change.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)

CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. The network originated with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in 1998 thanks in part to the Fort Collins flood a year prior. In the years since, CoCoRaHS now includes thousands of volunteers nationwide. We are now in all fifty states. Click here for a look at the order of states admission to the network.


Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network

Colorado State is the lead institution of the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network funded by the National Science Foundation. The network brings together 15 universities and institutions in the intermountain West to pique the interest of undergraduate students in science, biology and global sustainability by developing experience-based learning opportunities. Environmental challenges in the West include the growing impacts of climate change manifesting on a large-scale such as the pine bark beetle outbreak, increased wildland fire, long-term drought and invasive species. All these issues, many of which interact with changes in land use, are impacting communities that depend on natural resources for recreation, jobs and economic stability.