Today’s journal consists of an interview with Dr. Konrad Steffen. Dr. Steffen is the director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) and Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Steffen was born and raised in Zürich, Switzerland, where he spent his first nine school years. Then he spent some time in a boarding school in the French part of Switzerland. After completing the federal baccalaureate he entered the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) to study electrical engineering. After two semesters he changed to natural sciences and continued his education in climatology and meteorology. After finishing his PhD on Arctic climatology in the Northern Baffin Bay, and several years teaching at ETH, he moved to Boulder to join CIRES and accepted a Faculty position in 1991.

Dr. Konrad Steffen, Director of CIRES
Dr. Konrad Steffen, Director of CIRES at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This picture was taken after a long day of servicing AWS stations. We are preparing for take-off in the ski-equipped Twin Otter aircraft.

The interview will explore the following questions:

1) When did you start your career with University of Colorado at Boulder?

2) How did that come about?

3) What gave you the idea of creating the Greenland ClimateThe average weather over a particular region of the Earth. Climate originates in recurring weather phenomenon that result from specific types of atmospheric circulation. Network (GC-NET)?

4) How long have you been maintaining and collecting data from the GC-NET?

5) Did you anticipate the growth in the various uses of your data?

6) What do you do with the data?

7) What are some other uses for the data being collected by the Automated Weather Stations (AWS)?

8) What is the BSRN and what kind of data does it provide?

9) Can you tell me more about the earth’s heat balance and how your research contributes to better understanding the earth’s heat balance?

10) Do you see other countries embracing your research and using it in productive ways?

11) What current and future research do you have planned?

12) Do you think that we are past the critical point in regard to climate change?

13) Can we do anything about it?

14) What is the coolest thing about your job?

15) What path would you suggest to a high school student that is interested in a career in climatology?

Interview with Dr. Konrad Steffen

If you have a question for Dr. Steffen or the team, please go to the Ask The Team tab under this expedition.

Thank you for listening!

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