Program Details: Open to the public

Past, Present, Future: Exploring Boulder’s Natural Environment

Three organizations at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) - Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory (BcCZO), Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research (NWT LTER) program, and Center for Water, Earth Science and Technology (CWEST) have partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Museum of Boulder (MOB) to collaborate on a mutually beneficial environmental outreach and engagement project for the Boulder community. We will have a bilingual art exhibit of the Boulder Creek (BC) watershed and a climate change awareness program at MOB from January 31st - March 31st, 2020. The display will be a 3D model of the BC watershed with environmental scenes digitally projected on to a screen. Drawing on CU-led research, the 3D centerpiece will be complemented by wall-mounted info-graphic panels illustrating the history of local environmental systems and changes overtime.

As a central component of the bilingual art exhibit, we will have an environmental education and outreach program that targets people of all ages and demographics in Front Range communities with emphasis on K-12 schools. We will host field trips for schools to visit MOB to engage with a team of CU graduate students for “Demo Days” with hands-on activities in the community room and our art exhibit to learn more about the BC watershed and important climate-related environmental changes taking place in our natural surroundings. During their visit, K-12 students will brainstorm and share goals and commitments for making a positive impact to protect and restore our watershed by community action and involvement for a more sustainable future.

Our overarching goal is to engage with the Boulder community to share information and educational resources with youth and adults to understand the past, present, and evolving state of the greater Boulder environment. We, as a collaborative team, are dedicated to providing an educational and outreach program that has a direct impact on the long-term health, vitality, and sustainability of our environment. The exhibit and outreach program will aim to increase awareness to Boulder citizens of their local environment and ecosystems and the importance of preserving and protecting our natural surroundings. Every person we engage is a potential environmental steward and community contributor.

Our main educational and outreach objectives are to:
• Share relevant long-term research and educational material about the local BC watershed environment and its history produced by NWT LTER, BcCZO, and CWEST with Boulder community members, students, and visitors.
• Educate, inspire, and empower students, youth, and adults to make a difference for a healthy, knowledgeable and responsible Boulder and global community.
• Support graduate students to develop environmental hands-on activities to implement for K-12 students at MOB “Demo Days” and future educational use.
• Emphasize the importance of effective management of Earth’s natural resources.
• Engage community members to promote environmental awareness and stewardship to have a positive impact on water usage and conservation.
• Facilitate setting goals to strive towards a more sustainable lifestyle and future.

This is a public program.


In Colorado

  • Boulder

Program Partners

Supporting This Program

  • Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory
  • Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology
  • Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
  • Museum of Boulder
  • Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research Program
  • United States Geological Survey

Sponsoring Units

Research Institutes & Centers

  • Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR), Institute of

Program Contact

Noah Molotch
Director, Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology (CWEST)

Program Categories


  • Biological Sciences
  • Climate Change
  • Education (K-12)
  • Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geology
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Sustainability and Energy

Program Types:

  • Exhibition
  • Field Trip


  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • General Public
  • Students - Elementary School
  • Students - ESL
  • Students - High School
  • Students - Homeschooled
  • Students - Middle School
  • Teachers - Early Learning
  • Teachers - Elementary School
  • Teachers - High School
  • Teachers - Middle School

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.