Sitting at his desk strewn with various rocks and minerals, Dr. Christian Shorey begins to talk about his background. “I grew up in Dallas, Texas, born in California though, the two most hated states in Colorado,” he jokes.

Geology has always been of interest to Dr. Shorey, even at a young age. “I’ve been doing it since I was in Kindergarten… always into rocks, playing in creek beds, doing stuff outdoors… it was something I already knew I was going to do when I was in eighth grade.” Dr. Shorey received his Bachelor’s of Science in Geology with a minor in Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. “I went straight to my Ph.D. because I knew I wanted to teach. That was in paleoclimatology… the study of ancient climates.”

After finishing his Ph.D., the Universtity of Iowa hired Dr. Shorey as a visiting assistant professor, so he could fill in the gaps left by retiring professors. “Whatever course needed to be taught, that’s what I taught,” Dr. Shorey says. “So now I come here and I teach one course.” Dr. Shorey has been teaching at Mines since 2005.

Although many faculty members do work in research, Dr. Shorey prefers to stick with lecturing. “My main focus has always been teaching,” he explains. “My main goals are education both for the students here and public outreach education through the podcast stuff I’ve been doing.” His interest in podcasts was sparked when he got an iPod a few years ago. “The first thing I did was search ‘geology podcast,’ and I listened to all the ones out there. I thought, ‘There should be something better than this.’” For the next couple of years, Dr. Shorey devoted time to finishing his lecture series, which can be found on iTunes.

Outside of teaching, Dr. Shorey enjoys biking, and he bikes to work whenever he can. “A lot of interests are my work… I did go into the line of work that I thought I would most enjoy myself in, and that has turned out to be true.” In his spare time, Dr. Shorey experiments with a variety of tools to add to the classroom, including a video podcast that will “parallel the audio podcast in the sense that they both would parallel my course.” Dr. Shorey works hard to keep his course interesting for students, which is reflected in his passion for teaching. 

Jupiter: Into the Unknown

Learn firsthand from Dr. Fran Bagenal who has participated in many of NASA's planetary exploration missions, including Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, Deep Space 1, New Horizons and Juno. Bagenal will share NASA's Juno Mission findings with us March 16, 2017 (see events for details). Here is an awesome video on NASA's mission before they orbited Jupiter. We will share more videos over the following weeks. Jupiter: Into the Unknown NASA Juno Mission 

Jupiter - Earth comparison from NASA.

Jupiter - Earth comparison from NASA.

A Journey of Self Discovery, Sunil Tamang Treks Nepal from East to West . . . on Foot!


In a journey of self-discovery, Sunil Tamang traverses Nepal from east to west on foot –BHRIKUTI RAI

Twentieth birthdays are milestones for many. It was no different for Sunil Tamang, the day he set off on his grand traverse of the Nepal Himalaya.

Starting off from the tri-junction of the borders of Nepal, China and India behind Kangchenjunga in January this year, Tamang took 128 days to walk right across Nepal to Rara Lake in Mugu. Sunil called it ‘Trek For Change-2011’ and says he did it to know himself and his country better.

“I knew Nepal was beautiful, I knew Nepalis were friendly and helpful, but after the trip I realised Nepal is even more beautiful than I thought it was and the people are even more helpful and generous,” says Sunil, who says he is even more impressed now about Nepal’s natural and human diversity.

Sunil was bitten by the wander bug when he was eight. He ran away from his family home in Syabru to the Gosaikunda festival just to see for himself what it would be like. His love for mountains, trekking and the urge to explore nature was further fuelled by numerous adventure stories of his father who worked as a trekking guide. As a child he was also fascinated by trekkers on the Langtang trail near his home.
One American trekker was so impressed with Sunil she paid for him to go to a private school in Kathmandu. During vacations he accompanied his father on treks to Everest, Annapurna and Langtang, and by the time he graduated from high school Sunil had already made up his mind to do a Himalayan traverse.

“People said I was too young and weren’t willing to help me with money,” he recalls. While at St Xavier’s college last year, he climbed the 6,169m Island Peak in the Khumbu to acclimiatise for his trek. In January, with just Rs 28,000 in his pocket he set off.
“During my trek I saw the hardships that villagers in the mountains face, the poverty and food shortages, which are being made worse by the effects of climate change,” says Sunil, who has decided that he is going to take Environmental Science in college and work towards the conservation of Nepal’s biodiversity. "It`s dried, pack now"

Most of Sunil’s childhood friends from Syabru have migrated to the city or gone abroad to work or study. But Sunil says his trek has made him older and wiser, and even more attached to his homeland. “If only more young people travelled around the country they’d truly value being a Nepali,” he told Nepali Times. "We work for our students"

Sunil is off to The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria on a lecture tour in which he will try to get young Europeans to visit Nepal. He is hopeful that his adventures will inspire both Nepalis and foreigners to relish the joys of trekking, conserve Nepal’s nature and help people in remote valleys with income from tourism.

"As I approach the frozen, I feel I am reaching my home and people"
(This news article was published in THE NEPALI TIME )

To learn more please join us the January 12, at 7:00 p.m. at Congregational United Church of Christ, 217 Crossman Ave., Buena Vista, CO 81211. Or read about the above blog further by clicking here.