Boulder Laboratories

Boulder Laboratories

Large science lab NCAR
NCAR, nestled above Boulder

Boulder is home to a medley of scientific laboratories.  These range from newer labs such as NEON – The National Ecological Observatory Network to well established and better known facilities such as NIST – The National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Have you ever read Steven King? His book, The Stand, sets a lot of action in Boulder and believes there is a science lab buried underneath NIST.   While that is pure fiction, the US’s famed atomic clock at NIST is the real thing.  The scientists at NIST develop technologies used in ATM’s, semiconductors and numerous other everyday devices.

NCAR - Boulder
NCAR – Boulder
NCAR, nestled above Boulder is part of the view too
NCAR, nestled above Boulder is part of the view too

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA – has a facilities in Boulder.  NOAA provides information to the National Weather Service in addition to studying our atmosphere.  The first time I learned about NOAA was at Woods Hole on Cape Cod – they certainly have great locations for their labs.

Also in Boulder is CIRES, NTIA, UCAR and NCAR.  NCAR – the National Center for Atmospheric Research is something of a famous building. Featured in the Woody Allen movie, Sleeper, one of the facility’s building’s is nestled high above Boulder along the Front Range.  The structure is quite distinctive and very attractive. Cyclists enjoy the uphill workout and downhill thrill (on the way back). There is a great hiking trail just behind NCAR as well.

Looking from a residential neighborhood, up a hill, at a futuristic scientific laboratory
NCAR viewed from South Boulder, December 2012

NCAR allows our nation’s scientists access to aircraft, supercomputing and radar to improve the understanding of Earth and atmospheric systems.  The public is welcome at The National Center For Atmospheric Research seven days a week for self guided or guided tours.    In addition, just outside of Boulder is NREL – National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Boulder, as you can see, is home to a wide variety of science labs. These labs add to our community in numerous ways – they bring good paying jobs, offer long term career prospects and tie into the University of Colorado at Boulder.  The labs frequently site solid public transportation and well educated populace, in addition to good year-round weather, as reasons for being located in Boulder, Co.

Have you visited any of the labs? Or worked at one? I would enjoy hearing about your experiences.


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