Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State Experts Provide Insight on 2006 Blizzards Impact

Note to Editors: The blizzards of late 2006 had far-reaching impacts on the state, particularly on livestock and the eastern Plains. Colorado State is providing the following list of experts as a resource for the media. The contact information is not intended for the public.

Drought update

In the wake of the storms, state climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss impacts on drought, weather observation, historical climate data, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 33 years of professional experience in weather research, climate studies, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of climate-related questions. He can also talk about the statewide volunteer network, Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network that improves precipitation monitoring and helps provide detailed storm analysis, drought, water supply and other water decision-making information to municipalities, homeowners, industries, utility providers, resource managers and educators. To speak with Doesken, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Snowpack in forests

Dan Binkley, director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, is available to talk about the implications heavy snow has on forests and trees across the state. The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute was established by Congress and the governor or Colorado to actively restore forest heath. To speak with Binkley, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Cattle health

Jack C. Whittier is a Colorado State Cooperative Extension beef specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Whittier has researched areas related to beef cattle nutrition and reproductive management. He can speak to cattle health and birth cycles. To speak with Whittier, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Snowpack and drought

Neil Grigg, civil engineering professor and renowned water resources engineering consultant, can discuss Colorado’s water supply and how snowpack, drought and other vagaries of our weather system affect choices within our water management system. Grigg 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 Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Water issues

Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, can speak to the effect of snowfall on Colorado water resources. His broad research interests have included irrigation water optimization in water limited environments, evaluation of municipal water conservation programs, development of best management practices for crop production and evaluation of groundwater vulnerability and sensitivity to contamination. To speak with Waskom, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Dryland crops

Neil Hansen, associate professor of soil and crop sciences at Colorado State University, leads the Dryland Agroecosystems Project at Colorado State. Hansen can speak to the effect of heavy snowfall on dryland crops and cropping strategies. To speak with Hansen, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 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 during periods of snowfall. To speak with Klett, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Lawn care tips for snow conditions

Tony Koski, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and horticulture professor, can discuss the effect snow remaining for extended periods on lawns and other turf, including the potential for snow mold which can develop on golf courses and, less commonly, on home lawns. To speak with Koski, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or