Government Labs

Boulder, Colorado, is home to 7 National laboratories, and thousands of scientists.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a measurement standards laboratory which is a non-regulatory agency of theUnited States Department of Commerce. In 1942, the citizens of Boulder raised enough money to purchase the 325 Broadway site, and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce deeded the land to the Federal government to build the Boulder NBS laboratories. The ground breaking ceremony was attended by then President Dwight Eisenhower. NIST’s Boulder laboratories are best known for NIST-F1, housing an atomic clock.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Boulder, CO


NIST’s next door neighbor, NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.

National Center for Atmospheric Research - Boulder, CO

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is a nongovernmental institute in the United States that conducts collaborative research in atmospheric and Earth system science. The Mesa Laboratory headquarters was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei. NCAR is managed by the nonprofit and sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Studies include meteorology, climate science, atmospheric chemistry, solar-terrestrial interactions, environmental and societal impacts.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) is the nation's premier wind energy technology research facility. The NWTC advances the development of innovative land-based and offshore wind energy technologies through its research and testing facilities. Located at the base of the foothills just south of Boulder, Colorado, the center's test sites experience diverse and robust wind patterns that are ideal for the development of advanced wind energy technologies.

INSTAAR, Boulder, Colorado
INSTAAR, Boulder, Colorado


INSTAAR, at the University of Colorado Boulder, investigate how earth and environmental systems are affected by natural and
human-induced physical and biogeochemical processes at local to global scales.