ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Site (NWT-LTER)

CZO Partner Organization

The Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site was established in 1980 with support from the National Science Foundation. The topography, climate and biota of the research site are representative of alpine ecosystems in the southern Rocky Mountains, including extensive expanses of alpine tundra and subalpine coniferous forests, as well as a cirque glacier (Arikaree Glacier), a variety of glacial landforms, lakes and moraines, cirques, talus slopes, patterned ground, and permafrost.

The LTER site includes Niwot Ridge, the southern-adjacent Green Lakes Valley, and the University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station (MRS). Niwot Ridge is part of the Roosevelt National Forest and has been designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve and an Experimental Ecology Reserve (USDA Forest Service). The Green Lakes Valley is a part of the City of Boulder Watershed. The MRS is an interdisciplinary facility devoted to the advancement of the study of mountain ecosystems, providing research and educational opportunities for scientists, students, and the general public.

CZO People
CZO Field Areas
  • CZO People

    (list may be incomplete)

    Jen Morse


    Climate Technician, Mountain Research Station

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • CZO Field Areas

  • Events

    CZO-LTER Data Fair

    CZO-LTER Data Fair

    SEEC Auditorium.

  • Photos

    Green Lakes Valley

    40 km west of Boulder, 3750 m elevation.
    Green Lakes Valley is the highest elevation field area of any U.S. Critical Zone Observatory.


    All Photos are property and © copyright of the Boulder Creek CZO unless otherwise Noted