Jeff Derry – Executive Director
Jeff Derry has over 20 years’ experience planning, managing, and executing complex scientific research projects to support industry needs, government programs and academic research throughout the world. His specializations include hydrology, meteorology, air quality monitoring and analysis, project management, and field operations logistics in remote settings including the North Slope of Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, and offshore Kazakhstan.
Jeff was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he spent his time skiing, mountain biking, and golfing. After earning a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Colorado University at Colorado Springs, Jeff divided his time traveling the world and working in Colorado as a raft guide on the Eagle, Upper Colorado, and Arkansas rivers, snowboard sales representative in Fraser, and for the Student Conservation Association in Glenwood Springs. Jeff’s passion for Polar Regions led him to work seasonally in Antarctica and Greenland. In Antarctica, Jeff held positions such as oceanic research associate, fuels supervisor, mechanic, and Manager of Marble Point – a field camp located at the base of the environmentally fragile McMurdo Dry Valleys. In Greenland, Jeff oversaw and conducted multidisciplinary scientific investigations at the summit of the Greenland icecap, a location crucial to understanding atmospheric and snowpack processes and the advancement of climate change research. Jeff also functioned as camp medical officer, skiway manager, and equipment operator. He was a member of five-person team to spend a full winter (nine months) on the icecap summit to continue scientific research experiments.
After wintering-over in Greenland, Jeff returned to academia and earned a M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University with an emphasis in snow hydrology. With his advisor, Steven Fassnacht, thesis and post graduate research focused on regional patterns of snow water equivalent, and physiographic influences on snowpack variability, in the Colorado River Basin.
For a period of five years Jeff worked for GW-Scientific in Fairbanks, Alaska. Although a private consulting business, virtually all projects were partnerships with University of Alaska Fairbanks to conduct applied research in the Arctic. Responsibilities included installing and maintaining meteorological stations (including instrumentation, programming, and data acquisition), collecting water quality and discharge data, and supervising spring snow survey campaigns. Professional focus was towards improving snow-depth sensor instrumentation, understanding snow distributions at multiple scales throughout the North Slope, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting meteorological and water quality/discharge data, modeling these processes, and making data available to end users on a real-time basis. Jeff returned to Fort Collins and continued his career in consulting with Golder Associates. In this position, Jeff provided technical and management expertise to domestic and international air quality and meteorological monitoring programs, air quality permitting projects and general data management support. Business development responsibilities included client interaction, cost estimation, and proposals. Jeff was also Project Operations Manager for budget and invoice management, project scheduling, procurement, integration, deployment, operation, field calibration, of a state-of-the science offshore ambient air quality monitoring station on D-Island in the North Caspian Sea.
The arc of Jeff’s life and career now brings him to the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies where he draws upon his range of skills and experience to contribute to the future development of CSAS.