Nolan Doesken, Colorado’s State Climatologist, was presented with the President’s Award yesterday evening.
He asked, “I’m feeling naked because I don’t have a what?”
The answer to his question was a rain gauge, of course. He often carries a rain gauge with him as he travels around the state to speak to groups about Colorado’s climate and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). Actually, I’ve seen Nolan speak many times over the years and I don’t remember a time that he didn’t have a rain gauge with him.
Nolan credits his father for nurturing his interest in weather. He reminisced about buying his father a rain gauge in the late 60s. His father, he said, kept a journal of precipitation records, carefully recording data from a gauge that was only accurate to the nearest quarter inch of moisture. While that may have been accurate enough for Illinois where Nolan grew up, “In Colorado you sort of need that nearest hundredth,” he said.
He describes his work as a, “Never ending roller coaster ride because we never know what the next week or the next month will bring.” He says he spends his time, “Telling stories with numbers.”
The big effort for CoCoRaHS over the next year — in conjunction with Colorado Water 2012 — will be to get rain gauges into all schools in Colorado. Doesken hopes that the schools will participate in the program for at least part of the year.
As I wandered around the reception I sensed a general feeling of admiration and respect for Doesken from everyone I talked with. In point of fact he is genuinely well liked by those that know him and work for him. One person told me, “You’ll never hear anyone say anything bad about Nolan.”
Congratulations Mr. Doesken the award is well deserved and don’t worry, I remember where I can purchase my very own weather station and sign up to be part of the network, http://www.cocorahs.org/.