Sustainable Environment & Climate

Protecting our planet

Sustainable Environment & Climate: Focus Areas

As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, Mines researchers are finding ways to mitigate or reverse them. Environmental sustainability is part of everything we do – from projects that focus on cleaning our water, soil, and air to research that drives cleaner energy production, resource extraction, and manufacturing practices. Explore our Environment research by focus area:

Hand touches water in the pond

Clean & Sustainable Water Systems

Exploring new ways to provide clean and affordable water in the context of climate change and increasing demands on water resources.

Growing green sprout with water drop on blurred green bokeh background with sunlight

Soil Health & Human Wellness

Developing novel methods to identify and remediate contaminants in soils that are impacting human health.

Beautiful rural scene of dewy spring field on sunrise

Carbon Management & Air Quality

Improving air quality and combating climate change by leveraging technology solutions to capture and minimize carbon in the atmosphere.

Architecture with green plants terraces in Singapore city

Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Promoting sustainability by engineering solutions that center on reducing waste and increasing efficiency.

Projection of data on a globe.

Environmental & Climate Data Science

Harnessing data and computing power to understand environmental processes and tackle climate change.

Landscape showing ice on water and mountains at sunset

Global Climate System

Understanding the physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern the global climate system. 

Many hands cradle the earth

Environment, Climate, & Society

Studying the connections and interactions that influence how society relates to the environment and climate.

Professor Chris Higgins in his lab.

Understanding the ‘forever chemicals’ that have become prevalent in our environment so we can find ways to eliminate them: “A PFAS, or a poly- or perfluoroalkyl substance, is a compound that has a very unique chemical structure. These chemicals are very problematic in that they persist for a very long time in the environment. My research focuses on understanding their behavior primarily, and also how we are exposed to these chemicals either through contaminated drinking water of through things like contaminated food.”

– Dr Christopher Higgins,
University Distinguished Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Uniquely Mines: Explore our distinctive opportunities, expertise, & facilities

Mines Mobile Lab Recycling Water

A mobile water recycling lab is being used to convince people that water recycling is a viable solution to the current drought conditions in Colorado and the wider American West. Called PureWater, the mobile unit was created by a team of researchers at the Colorado School of Mines, led by Tzahi Cath, professor of civil and environmental engineering. The designed lab demonstrates how wastewater can be treated to high-quality drinking water.

Green Buildings on Campus

The Colorado School of Mines campus features a variety of LEED certified green buildings. These buildings – ranging from residence Halls to academic buildings – have ratings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council that range from Platinum (highest level) to Silver for building design and construction. Spruce Hall, featured here, was certified LEED Platinum in July 2021. All the LEED buildings across campus are part of Mines sustainability efforts.

Sustainable Environment & Climate: Research Collaborations

Mines embraces a culture of collaboration and has a history of building strategic partnerships across industry, academia, government, and national labs. Sharing capabilities and expertise enables us to accelerate and broaden our impact as we work together to engineer innovative solutions. Discover our Environment collaborations: