Media Tip Sheet: Drought and Water-Related Experts at Colorado State University

Note to Editors: Following one of the driest Marches in Colorado history, and in anticipation of a potentially serious drought throughout the upcoming spring and summer months, Colorado State is providing the following list of drought-related experts who can address a variety of information about water and weather. The tip sheet is intended to provide resources to the media but not contact information for the public.

Drought, climate and related weather processes:

Roger Pielke Sr., atmospheric scientist, climatologist for the state of Colorado and past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, is available to discuss drought and drought-related weather processes. Pielke can discuss drought’s cyclical effects on snowpack, mountain runoff, streamflow, reservoir storage and water supply. He can address how seasonal weather patterns create dry conditions, the affect of atmospheric conditions on precipitation and how climate change can lead to or mitigate drought. To speak with Pielke, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Drought, weather observation and climate history:

Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss drought, weather observation, weather instruments, historical climate data, descriptive climatology, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 25 years of professional experience in weather research monitoring, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of drought and other climate-related questions. To speak with Doesken, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Drought and municipal water management:

Robert Ward, director of the Water Center at Colorado State University and director of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, is available to discuss drought and related municipal water management and water quality monitoring issues. Ward also can address wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control and water systems engineering and design. Ward has co-authored two books about water management and currently serves on the National Water Quality Monitoring Council and consults around the world on water quality monitoring issues. To speak with Ward, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

‘Colorado’s Water: Science and Management, History and Politics:’

Neil Grigg, civil engineering professor and renowned water resources engineering consultant, can discuss Colorado’s water history, drought management, government water resources planning, Western water management issues, water system infrastructure engineering, flood control and urban water systems management. Grigg recently published the book, "Colorado’s Water: Science and Management, History and Politics," which presents long-range views about Colorado’s water issues, including drought. He has authored or co-authored about 200 publications and several other books about water resources engineering and infrastructure. To speak with Grigg, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Cloud seeding:

William Cotton, professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State, is an expert in the areas of clouds and storm systems, including cloud seeding. As part of his research, Cotton authored a groundbreaking research paper on the use and effectiveness of cloud seeding and co-authored the book, "Human Impacts on Weather and Climate," which describes cloud-seeding principles. According to Cotton, "We have seen that, with few exceptions, the scientific evidence is not conclusive that cloud seeding is causing the desired results. Cloud seeding may increase precipitation, but it is very modest. It’s not going to be a drought-breaker." To speak with Cotton, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Special care for trees, shrubs and gardens:

Jim Klett, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension horticulture and landscape architecture specialist, can talk about how to best care for trees, shrubs and gardens throughout this unseasonably warm and dry spring. To speak with Klett, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Lawn care tips for drought conditions:

Tony Koski, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and horticulture professor, can discuss winter and spring lawn care tips for drought conditions such as fertilizer and watering recommendations. To speak with Koski, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or