Mountain Campus


Research Projects

As a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations, the CSU Mountain Campus hosts research projects in a variety of academic disciplines, including wildlife biology, forestry, watershed science, biology and renewable energy.

Interested in conducting research at the CSU Mountain Campus? Please send inquiries to Seth Webb, Director

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)

Mountain Campus staff contributes to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) precipitation measurement program by collecting data on a daily basis for the duration of our season mid-May through mid-Otober .

  • Each time a rain, hail or snow storm moves through the Mountain Campus Valley, our staff take a measurement of the precipitation and then record it on the CoCoRaHS Website
  • The data is organized and displayed for public use

Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University – Wildlife Biology

Undergraduate student Marina Rodriguez teamed up with faculty members Dr. Kate Huyvaert and Dr. Paul Doherty from the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology to study the effect of calcium supplementation on nesting Tree Swallows in the Mountain Campus Valley. The study utilized calcium supplementation as a means of assessing the extent to which calcium availability affects Tree Swallow reproduction in a high altitude, non-acidic environment. This study will continue through 2014.

Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University  – Snow Hydrology

A team of students and two CSU Watershed Science faculty, Dr. Steven Fassnacht and Dr. Tim Covino, will be conducting a spatial snow survey around the Mountain Campus area in the spring of 2014 and beyond. This is part of an ongoing effort by CSU researchers who are examining the spatial variability of snow and how that affects runoff.

Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Evolutionary and Ecological Variability in Organismal Trait Response with Altitude and Climate (EVOTRAC)

This project, comprised of principle investigators from Colorado State University (Dr. Leroy Poff), Cornell University (Dr. Alex Flecker and Dr. Carla Atkinson) and the University of Nebraska (Dr. Steve Thomas) examines the vulnerability of stream species (aquatic insects) to rapid climate change across latitudinal and elevation gradients by investigating how temperature and hydrologic disturbance shape stream biodiversity and function.

View the project data

College of Agricultural Sciences, Colorado State University – Experimental Study of Climate Change Impacts on Forests in the Rocky Mountains

Led by Dr. Patrick Martin of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, this project, paired with other gardens on Colorado State Forest properties at lower elevations in the Front Range, addresses how climate change is impacting forest dynamics in the Rocky Mountains. The research team will use a multi-species, multi-scale experiment of in situ trees in controlled, replicated experimental gardens over a large gradient in climate.

US Geological Survey, Colorado – Soil Carbon Dioxide Release Following High-Severity Wildfire Along Colorado's Front Range 

USGS researchers Erin Berryman and Todd Hawbaker of the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center in Lakewood, CO hope to better understand and ultimately predict soil respiration in pine forests of the southern Rocky Mountains based on time since fire, burn severity, forest type, and other forest and soil properties. To achieve that goal, they will be collecting data from a number of plots across a chronosequence of burned areas in the Front Range of Colorado.The Hourglass Fire (July 1994) burn scar in the valley is an ideal study site because it represents young, single-aged lodgepole pine regeneration post wildfire. Data from the Hourglass Fire burn scar and nearby older forest stands will be used in conjunction with data from other fires along the Front Range.

College of Engineering, Colorado State University  – Renewable Energy

How much wind does the Mountain Campus valley receive each year? How can the mountain campus tap into its renewable energy resources to reduce consumption and costs?

To answer those questions we teamed up with CSU Mechanical Engineering Senior Research Associate Mike Kostrzewa and his students to launch a research project to collect wind speed data over several years. The hope is that there could be enough wind in the valley to one day warrant the use of wind energy at the mountain campus. The anemometer tower was installed in August 2010.

View the project data