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October 2007

Random Profile: Chris Golubieski

Chris Golubieski

Chris Golubieski .

Every other month, Staff Notes Monthly spotlights a staff member selected from the phone directory with the help of a random number generator. This month we profile Chris Golubieski, who holds a joint appointment between ISSE and RAL.

On the job: An electromechanical technician, Chris works in EOL’s Integrated Surface Flux Facility (ISFF), where researchers focus on exchanges between the atmosphere and Earth’s surface.

“Our department studies the boundary layer and surface fluxes,” Chris explains. “We’ll build a tower and hang a whole bunch of instruments off of it so the scientists can get data.”

During field projects, Chris assembles 110-foot (34-meter) towers, dons a harness, and starts climbing, setting up instruments along the way.

“I love it. I’m a heights guy, all about being up high,” he says. “But it does take a special person, ­especially when those towers are swaying.”

Field projects take Chris to lots of interesting places—California, Arizona, Australia. He recently returned from BUFEX II, a project along Australia’s “bunny fence” in the outback. The 435-mile (700- kilometer) fence creates a long, distinct boundary between croplands and acres of undisturbed vegetation, creating the ideal place to study how two very different landscapes affect weather and climate. “It rains more on the natural vegetation side, making it a really neat experiment,” Chris says.

When he’s not in the field, Chris is usually calibrating instruments in anticipation of future field projects, or checking instruments from previous ones to confirm that they performed properly. He also spends a lot of time organizing and maintaining EOL’s large stores of research equipment.

Chris has degrees in meteorology and geology from Miami University of Ohio. His plan after graduation was to attend graduate school at the University of Wyoming, but he stopped in Boulder along the way and never left the area.

He had heard about NCAR a year before he graduated college. “I applied to NCAR for six and a half years and I finally got a job—talk about dedication,” he laughs.

In the interim, he worked as a technician at a geology research development company in Golden.

He’s always been a very hands-on person who has known since college that he wanted to be in the position of providing technical support for scientific field projects.

“This is my dream job,” he says of his position in EOL. “If someone wants to do a study of the atmosphere, I’ll haul the gear. My favorite thing is everything—the labor, the hard work, the fun, the people.”

Off the job: Chris grew up in New Jersey and Ohio. “I didn’t want to stay in the Midwest,” he says.

So he headed west after college, settling in Nederland for five years, where he served as a volunteer fire fighter. He currently calls Wheat Ridge home, living with his wife, Casey, and their dog and two cats. Casey works at a dot-com company at the Denver Tech Center, making Wheat Ridge an ideal location between their respective workplaces.

Not surprisingly for a “heights guy,” Chris likes to rock climb in his free time, mostly sport climbing and bouldering. He also snowboards, camps, and plays the drums. Lately he’s been spending time remodeling his house.

He and Casey visit family in Ohio, New Jersey, and Arkansas. Casey joined him in Australia in August after the BUFEX II field project, where they went diving and bungee jumping, explored the rain forest, and hung out in Sydney as the city flooded during severe spring storms.

“We were in a bar when the roof collapsed. There was water coming out of the lights, and the walls were water,” Chris says. “It was like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Looking ahead, Chris is interested in returning to school at some point to become an engineer. In the meantime, he’s excited by the prospect of future field projects in interesting locations.

In this issue...

Ice in clouds

Surprise finding in the desert

Tackling disasters in an energy-restricted Boulder

Jeffco bears fruit

Short Takes

Getting their paws wet

Delphi Question

Random profile: Chris Golubieski

Just One Look


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