Once again, Colorado State University (CSU) is stepping up to the global plate when it comes to climate change, joining a scientific team of 14 universities from around the world to launch EMERGE. According to a press release, EMERGE stands for “Emergent Ecosystem Response to ChanGE,” and is a long-term project with the goal of understanding how ecosystem and climate interactions can affect local landscapes and greenhouse gases.

EMERGE, which has just received $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation to carry out its work, will be helping researchers predict how global climate change is going to affect the planet. This is crucial, as “climate change is accelerating faster than what we had modeled 10 years ago” said Jeni Cross, a sociology professor at CSU. Cross, as well as Kelly Wrighton, an associate professor of soil and crop sciences at CSU, will both be co-principal investigators for EMERGE, though in very different roles.

Cross and her team will be helping the 33 scientists involved in the project, all from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, work together. Meanwhile, Wrighton will be studying microbes at the research site itself, examining their methane emissions (yes, the same stuff as cows) during permafrost.


“I think it’s going to be a really neat melding of the disciplines,” said Wrighton. “Everyone coming to the table is really looking forward to having this conversation.”

Alongside Cross and Wrighton will be scientists from an illustrious (and long) list of universities. If you’re truly invested in reading them all, this list includes the University of New Hampshire, Ohio State University, University of Arizona, Florida State University, Case Western Reserve University, University of California at Berkeley, Rochester Institute of Technology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Joint Genome Institute, all in the United States; Lund University, Umeå University and Stockholm University, all in Sweden; and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Best of luck to Cross and Wrighton— may the blessings of Bill Nye and Ms. Frizzle be upon you.