Exploring the World from the American West
Science, Nature, and History
The Native Trees of Colorado A guide to all native trees of Colorado, with details for easy identification.
Weather and Forecasts Online by the National Weather Service and other agencies: Boulder, Colorado, and U.S. weather and forecasts
Matt Kelsch Weather "Forecast updates for Front Range weather watchers"
History of the Early West:
Reader's Guide to Early Western Explorers
Biscuits, Crackers, and Hard Tack in Early America; The Journal of the Early Americas, January 2011.
Meriwether Lewis's Lead Powder Canisters; The Journal of the Early Americas, August 2012.
Good Recent Geology Books Recent years have seen many excellent non-fiction books about the physical sciences. Here are a few about Earth history.
Photographer Wier a 19th Century Photographer in the 21st Century
Quality of Model-based Initial Forecasts: Comparisons to Observations (1998)
The three items above are about my work on using numerical forecast model output to generate values for surface forecasts. This created the initial concepts for what became the NWS computer-generated 'point' weather forecasts online, at any latitude-longitude location, such as the Yellowstone National Park weather forecast.
Some older work:
Construction of Egyptian Old Kingdom Pyramids. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 1996, volume 6, issue 1, pp. 150-163.
In the 1990s archaeologists and engineers finally gained a basic understanding of how the ancient Egyptian pyramids were built. This is one key report.
Designing a Sundial for Clock Time. How you can design a sundial for any location, which gives clock time correct to a minute or two.
A Simple Brick Bake Oven for wood-fired baking.
How to Dress a Turtle: Sources of Information about Colonial American Cooking.
Iron-gall ink and Quill Pens: Sources for Colonial & British Writing, up to about 1820: Pens, Ink, and Penmanship.
Naval History: Reader's Guide to The Age of Fighting Sail 1775-1815 (to 2002)
The Design of Jules Verne's Submarine Nautilus 2011; published in Extraordinary Voyages, vol. 19, no. 3, June 2013, pp. 1-24; an artist's impression of the Nautilus.
The Boats of Swallows and Amazons: traditional sailing dinghies.
Designing and Managing Successful Projects An overview of some simple principles to help attain success designing and implementing new projects.
Reader's Guide to Ancient Egypt (to 1995)
Pat Wier (coming...)
Tom Wier (facebook)
Tom actively competed in international wildwater canoe racing in 1998-2010, including races in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Tasmania, Czech Republic, Croatia, and the US. He is eight time US national champion. The best thing is that Tom is not centered on himself. He has a good job teaching high school, a happy marriage with Wendy, and a satisfying life beyond competitive canoeing.
Sally Wier (facebook)
Sally was a National Park Ranger interperative naturalist for 6 years, at Zion and Glacier. She has climbed peaks in the US, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Aconcagua in South America, and the Himalayas in Nepal. She has done the Annapurna trek in Nepal, and worked in Nepal for Edge of Seven. She is a graduate student in Mountain Sustainability at the University of Highlands and Islands (Scotland).
A long-held idea we have for a family outing:
How did the world we see around us come to be? And how does the world work? Both the natural world and the man-made world. To experience the beauty of the world, and the very best of human creations regardless of age or provenance. With an inclination to adventure and the adventurous in human endeavor, such as sailing and exploration, which aid those other goals about understanding the world and seeing its natural beauty. And with an inherited tendency to design things and create things and build things.
Such are my interests and my motivations. (Who wouldn't care about these things?) Such is how to understand my activities. This is an answer to the question "What do you do?" This is an answer to the question, not "what do you do for a living," but "what do you do with living?"
Like others I have a job, and I am a high school graduate. I had other academic experiences, long ago. I studied the physical sciences; it might have been biological sciences. But I do not define myself by a job title, or by a high school, or by having done time at some university or other. I am happy to say I attended the excellent Wooden Boat School in Maine during two summers. You can say I am a graduate of the Wooden Boat School.
So if "what do you do" is a poorly focused question, what is my story? I have had the good fortune to have done some interesting things. My family has turned out very well, but I can only take perhaps a little credit for that and I thank them greatly. I excavated the grave of a high Saxon nobleman in England. I have contributed to understanding the pyramids of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, my work which shall last the longest. I initiated the first experimental programming to make "point" public weather forecasts from numerical weather prediction model output files, which led to the point forecast tools in the National Weather Service web pages today. I have designed two sail cruising yachts and two day sailers, and built the day sailers. I restored one of Pete Culler's "good little skiffs." I can make good biscuits, and cheese souffle. I know my way around a few cities and museums in Europe and the US, and I have seen Die Lustige Witwe at Volksoper Wien. I can recognize and name all the native trees of the southern Rocky Mountains, and know something about the geology there, though western geology is a full-time, life-long, dedicated vocation. I have given paid history talks from Washington to Indiana. I was lead speaker at a science meeting in Portugal in 2014. I like to make photographs, and to write. I have published several papers in history journals, including the Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
As for work, I started by making a hash of the career I trained for, being too immature then, and not being smart enough for that career and not driven enough by common ambitions, ever. Since then I worked as a programmer in weather data for 17 years, and in solid earth geophysics for the past 10 years. The sum 27 does not account for everything.
Whom do I admire? Theodore Roosevelt. David McCullogh. James Gurney. James Stewart. John Gardner, possibly a relative. Kenneth Clark. Combine a little of all those to get a small sense of whom I aspire to become. And many others.What are my "goals?" Duke Ellington had the best answer to that question. Less amusingly, for me there are two books I want to write, one about a technical topic, and the other in philosophy, not counting several other book ideas I will not bother with now. And I really want to make ten or more good large canvases of western scenery. That's it -- one or two good books, and ten good painitngs. Time and energy remaining may be too short to do that. And some travel and canoeing and sailing would be nice. To enter the lagoon of Bora Bora standing in the crosstrees of a topsail schooner would be grand. And get most of the big chores done at home. And always try to act cheerful.
Being raised in a comfortable, safe, and happy family in the United States, I 'won the lottery.' Anyone who was raised in a comfortable, safe and happy family in the United States might give some thought to repaying that good fortune by contributing in some way to their community, nation, or to the world.
Dr. Stuart Wier. Dr. Wier. That's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.
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Nov 12, 2014
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Nov 12, 2014