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August 9, 2017

Atmos celebrates State Climatologist Nolan Doesken’s retirement

Former department members and National Weather Service employees joined the department and Colorado Climate Center today to celebrate Nolan Doesken’s 40 years of service to CSU, 11 of those as Colorado’s State Climatologist. Department Head Jeff Collett recognized Nolan for his dedication and passion for climatology, and guests shared memories of everything from recording the coldest day in Colorado to Nolan’s basketball prowess.

Nolan’s impact as State Climatologist was lauded on local, state and national levels. The American Association of State Climatologists wrote a letter of thanks to Nolan that was read by Becky Bolinger. Taryn Finnessey from the Colorado Water Conservation Board read a letter from Gov. John Hickenlooper, thanking Nolan for his service and expertise in helping to craft a leading drought mitigation plan. Climate Center staff, who applauded Nolan for being a wonderful boss, presented him with a home weather station, and a representative of the National Weather Service gave him a snow measuring stick.

Nolan thanked Professor Emeritus and former State Climatologist Tom McKee and others who were not in attendance for hiring him for the position of Assistant State Climatologist, even though, he claimed, he was “not qualified.” Nolan said the job description called for five years of mountain meteorology experience, and he had about 19 days experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Though his love for weather may have started in his home state of Illinois, Nolan has made a name for himself and deep connections in Colorado, where he has long been known as the top authority on the state’s weather and climate. Nolan’s legacy includes CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network, which was born in the aftermath of the 1997 Fort Collins flood. CoCoRaHS volunteers record and report daily precipitation amounts and significant weather events. The program has expanded to every state in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas, counting more than 20,000 volunteers.

We thank you for your service and wish you the best in retirement, Nolan!

Photo at top: Professor Emeritus and former State Climatologist Tom McKee, left, shared memories dating back to 1977, the year Nolan started working at CSU as Assistant State Climatologist.


Nolan Doesken talks with former colleagues and friends at his retirement celebration.


Guests write messages to Nolan on a map of Colorado.

Cake for Nolan's retirement celebration


Nolan converses with guests at his retirement party.


Guests personalize a map of Colorado for Nolan.