Derek J. Straub, Ph.D.

Department: Earth & Environmental Sciences

Associate Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences

  • Education
  • PHD, Colorado State Univ Fort Collins
  • MS, Colorado State Univ Fort Collins
  • BS, Marquette University

I am a scientist and an engineer. I like to make things, measure things, take things apart, figure things out, modify things, fix things that are broken, and generally tinker. These skills come in handy when I'm trying to understand how the world around us works, which is something I've been doing my whole life.

Right now one of my main interests is the atmosphere. In particular I want to learn how and where air pollutants are emitted, how they are transformed, how they are measured and how they are removed from the atmosphere. The answers to these questions start with measurements: of rain, fog, dew, particles, and gases. And that's where students get involved, either in classes that I teach or for student-faculty research projects. We get to be creative by building instrumentation from scratch, modifying off-the-shelf equipment, fixing things that aren't working, designing experimental setups, and operating instruments in the field. The payoff comes when we can use our measurements to help us answer the questions that we've been asking. And maybe even have an "aha!" moment.

Another of my current interests is energy: how much we consume, where it comes from, problems with traditional energy sources, and the development of cleaner energy sources. Managing energy resources is complex and will only increase in importance in the future. With that in mind, I enjoy teaching two energy-related courses that give my students the scientific background that they will need as they become future leaders and decision makers.

Courses taught:

  • EENV-104 Weather and Climate
  • EENV-105 Energy and the Environment
  • EENV-240 Introduction to Meteorology
  • EENV-332 Sustainable Energy Resources