Media Tip Sheet: Drought Experts at Colorado State University Available to Discuss Current Issues, Topics

Note to Reporters: With the state of Colorado facing a severe to exceptional drought, Colorado State University is providing the following list of experts who can address a variety of topics related to the drought. The tip sheet is intended to provide resources to the media but not contact information for the public.


Weather observation and historical climate data
Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken, based at Colorado State University is available to discuss snow totals, precipitation deficits, drought impacts, weather observation, historical climate data, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information and drought. Doesken’s decades of professional experience in weather research, climate studies, drought, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of climate-related questions. He can also talk about CSU’s statewide agricultural weather network, CoAgMet, and the national volunteer network, the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network (CoCoRaHS), 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

Urban water demand management
Christopher Goemans
, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, is available to discuss the use and effectiveness of demand management tools to promote short- and long-term reductions in water use. Goemans’ research focuses on understanding how households make water-use decisions and their responsiveness to price and non-price policies. To speak with Goemans, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Water Institute
Reagan Waskom
, director of the Colorado Water Institute and the CSU Water Center, can talk about drought impacts, water conservation, Colorado water uses and needs, agricultural water use, water quality, Colorado water law, administration and policy. His broad research interests have included irrigation water optimization in water-limited environments, conjunctive management of surface and ground water, 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 Jim Beers at (970) 491-2332 or

Urban runoff management and graywater
Sybil Sharvelle
and Larry Roesner, environmental engineering professors at CSU, study urban water management. They specialize in urban hydrology, which includes the impact of rainfall and runoff on the water quality and the ecology of streams. They also study how municipal stormwater and wastewater discharges impact water quality in reservoirs, estuaries and streams. They explore practices to improve urban water management such as how "graywater" from showers, bathtubs and other indoor uses might be reused outdoors for landscape irrigation. To speak with Sharvelle or Roesner, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Lawn care during drought
Tony Koski
, professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Colorado State Extension turfgrass specialist, can discuss spring and summer lawn care tips for drought conditions such as ways to amend soils to promote water conservation. Koski can address issues such as lawn fertilizers, weed control methods and turfgrass management techniques. To speak to Koski, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Special care for trees, shrubs and gardens during drought
Jim Klett
, professor in the CSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, has expertise in landscape plant material identification, culture and care. He can talk about how to best care for trees, shrubs and gardens during a drought. He is an expert in annuals, perennials and woody plants of the Rocky Mountain and High Plains areas. Klett is coordinator of CSU’s Flower Trial Gardens, the largest flower test garden in the state and one of the five largest in the United States. He also coordinates several state and regional programs including Plant Select and Planttalk Colorado. To speak to Klett, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Urban tree care during drought
Keith Wood
, community forestry program manager for the Colorado State Forest Service, can provide advice on how to keep urban trees healthy, and how to water them most efficiently, during periods of drought. To speak with Wood, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Water resources support systems
John Labadie
and Darrell Fontane, civil engineering professors at Colorado State University, can discuss water resources decision support systems, reservoir system management, decision analysis and integrated water quantity and quality management. To speak with Labadie or Fontane, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Snowmelt, run-off and streamflow
Steven Fassnacht
, associate professor of snow hydrology in CSU’s Watershed Science Program, can discuss ongoing analyses of mountain snow characteristics across various portions of the Colorado River basin. He is also available to discuss this year’s low snowpack levels across northern Colorado. While there have been snowfall events in recent weeks, the region has as little snow as last year, which is the same as the drought year of 2002 (50 percent of average, 25 percent of 2011). However, unlike last year, the snow has now started to melt (as of March 28) as compared to the snow melt beginning March 8 in 2012. To speak with Fassnacht, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Colorado’s water – science, history and politics
Neil Grigg
, CSU 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 is the author of "Colorado’s Water: Science and Management, History and Politics," a book that presents long-range views about state 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 quality, limited irrigation management, crop water use, evapotranspiration
Troy Bauder
, extension water quality specialist with the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, is available to discuss nutrient and irrigation management to prevent nonpoint source pollution in irrigated agriculture. He also can discuss soil fertility management, soil salinity and irrigation water quality, irrigation scheduling using soil moisture and evapotranspiration methodology, and limited irrigation management and crop water use. He is a collaborator with the Colorado Water Institute on the Ag Water Conservation Clearinghouse – – a one-stop-shop for resources, tools, news, and policy and technical information about agricultural water and its use. The AWCC has information for all types of agriculture, focusing on irrigation particularly in semi-arid and arid environments. To speak with Bauder, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Farm and ranch management in times of distress
Norm Dalsted
, professor and extension specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics, is available to discuss farm and ranch financial management in times of distress. Dalsted has been involved in extension education for nearly 32 years in Colorado and has worked with more than 1,500 individual farmers and ranchers. His major efforts in educational programs have included agricultural outlook; financial management; livestock and crop production economics; alternative cropping systems; crop insurance; bankruptcy; enterprise budgeting; and whole farm and ranch planning. To speak with Dalsted, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Crop water requirements, irrigation management tools, and crop modeling
Allan Andales
, assistant professor and extension specialist with CSU’s Soil and Crop Science Department, can discuss drought effects on crop consumptive water use and irrigation management tools that can be used to manage limited irrigation water. Research activities include crop water in the Lower Arkansas River Valley of Colorado, development of irrigation scheduling tools, and computer modeling of agricultural systems (cropland and rangeland) to help make management decisions and extend site-specific research findings to other locations, management practices, or climate scenarios. He teaches two undergraduate classes: Irrigation Principles and Irrigation of Field Crops. To speak with Andales, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Benefits of no-till farming
Gary Peterson
, professor emeritus in the CSU Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, initiated the dryland agroecosytem project in 1985, with research goals to increase overall precipitation-use efficiency, decrease soil erosion and reverse the long-term organic matter loss pattern that has accompanied conventional cropping practices in dryland areas. Peterson can discuss the benefits of no-till farming, which improves precipitation capture and retention of soil moisture. To speak with Peterson, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Drought mitigation, irrigation and crop management
Joel Schneekloth
, a water resources specialist with CSU’s Colorado Water Institute, can discuss drought education, drought mitigation, irrigation management – agricultural, irrigation management – urban, irrigation water quality, water law, alternative crops, forage and hay crops and manure management. To speak with Schneekloth, contact Joanne Littlefield at (970) 980-5880 or

Water quality, irrigation and watershed management
Perry Cabot
, a water resources specialist with CSU’s Colorado Water Institute, can discuss drinking water quality, irrigation management – agricultural, irrigation management – urban, Irrigation water quality, septic systems, water test interpretation and watershed management. To speak with Cabot, contact Joanne Littlefield at (970) 980-5880 or

Dryland cropping systems
Bruce Bosley
, extension agent for cropping systems and natural resources in Logan and Morgan counties, conducts dryland cropping systems research and provides outreach education on wheat-based cropping rotations with conservation tillage farming. Rotations include corn for grain, proso millet, and forages such as sorghum-sudangrass or hay-millet. He can also discuss managing pests for optimizing production as a part of these systems. Bosley provides education on alfalfa and perennial grasses for hay and grazed pastures under dryland or limited irrigation systems as well as research-based information on efficient precipitation capture and retention for crops through the use of high-residue farming systems. To speak with Bosley, contact Joanne Littlefield at (970) 980-5880 or

Range, wildland and pasture management
Casey Matney
, a rangeland management specialist with CSU Extension, can discuss rangeland and pasture management during drought, grazing, rangeland restoration, rangeland improvement, and rangeland ecology. To speak with Matney, contact Joanne Littlefield at (970) 980-5880 or