Welcome to the About Me section of the website. Here,
you can learn just about all that you would care to about the
creature known as...Brian Hartmann.
(March 27, 1977-April 19, 1977)
Brian Mark Hartmann was born in the bustling metropolis
of Minden, Nebraska, the youngest of the six children of Walter
Rudolf and Viola Mae Hartmann. His older brothers, Warren and
Keith, and older sisters, Linda, Karen, and Ruth, all thought
that since they were there first, they would take it upon themselves
to ensure that the new arrival knew his place in the pecking order.
This lasted for 23 days, at which point the young lad had already
grown bigger than each of his older siblings...just joking. Actually,
Brian acknowledges the great contributions that each of his older
siblings has made to his life. He would like to take this time
to officially and digitally thank them...
"Thanks everybody!"-Brian Hartmann
Yes, this cute kid is actually Brian Hartmann. What
the heck happened?!?!?!
(April 19, 1977-Current)
Brian grew up in Minden and enjoyed a full childhood
of riding his bike, playing sports, telling jokes, being curious,
and just generally being a kid. His young life included many culinary
misadventures..."Anybody want an 'Everything Sandwich'?"
as well as misguided engineering projects including digging his
own swimming pool in the back yard and to trying to negotiate
wingsets, pianos kiddie wading pools, and end tables without getting
He attended East Elementary School, which has always
been a curiosity, since it is the only elementarly school in Minden.
Why would it need the distinction of "East"? Can you
say government conspiracy?
Brian worked his way through the drudgery of middle
school and high school at Minden High ("Home of the Whippets")
where he was active in music, drama, intramural basketball, golf,
and, again, just generally being a kid.
In November 1992, he was dragged to the audition camp
for the 1993 Edition of the Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps by his
friend, Christopher Burchell. Miraculously, he actually didn't
get cut, and so began a defining chapter in Brian's life. Brian
ended up marching in the 1993 and 1995 Railmen, the 1994 Railmen
Senior Corps, and the 1994 and 1996 Editions of the Bluecoats
Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio. Brian enjoyed sharing
drum corps with his friends, sometimes against their own will.
It was the skill, determination, dicipline, drive,
and confidence that Brian learned through the drum and bugle corps
activity that led him to choose to study music after he graduated
from MHS. Working towards this goal, Brian matriculated at the
University of Nebraska at Kearney
in the fall of 1995 with a declared major of Music Education.
However, as big a part as music was playing in Brian's
college life, it was beginning to share time and attention with
the fruition of Brian's curiosity about science. Brian chose a
course in astronomy to fulfill part of his science requirement,
and thus the seed was planted for the next dramatic paradigm shift
in Brian's life. After a course in meteorology, and much soul
searching and personal anguish, Brian decided to let music remain
as an avocation and to devote his occupation towards science.
In 1997, he officially switched his major to Physical Science,
with a minor in music, and began the courses that would let him
meet that end.
Brian chose to forego his last two years of junior
corps eligibility to devote himself to science, and Brian also
took up the insanely masochistic activity of storm chasing in1997.
His success was somewhat limited, due to the fact that he really
didn't know what the heck he was doing, for the most part. He,
and the poor souls he was able to drag along, did get to see a
few neat storms and slowly, Brian's knowledge and understanding
of the atmosphere grew.
A young Brian practices for his later life in academia
Brian spent the next years in a whirlwind of school,
music, chasing, and trying to find a career that would allow him
to do all of it at once.
Early in 2000, Brian ran across a flyer for a National
Science Foundation program at Ohio State University by the name
of REU, or Research Experience for Undergraduates. Upon further
examination, it turned out that many schools across the nation
offered similar projects. He applied at several programs including
Lehigh Univ., Univ. of Colorado, Ohio State, SUNY Stoney Brook,
and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
He ended up accepting, then squriming out of the SUNY
Project in atmospheric physics when Fairbanks came back with an
offer. This would end up being one of Brian's better decisions.
After returning from Fairbanks, Brian finished his degree and
in December 2000 was awarded his Bachelor of Science Degree from
the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The supposed offers at
the Johns Manville Research Laboratory in Denver fell through,
thus leaving Brian in the unenviable position of looking for a
A chance email from Alaska in late February regarding
the ongoing research spurred a series of shotgun e-gotiations
which led to the offer of becoming a research technician for the
Alaska Climate Research Center and Dr. Gerd Wendler. Brian accepted
the offer and planned his move for late May, 2001.
Between March 20 and May 6th, Brian was very happy
to act as interim Manager at Creative
Trains, a wonderful kiosk at the Mall of America in Bloomington,
MN. The store, owned by his sister Karen SH Roggenkamp, Ph.D.
(Way to go, Karen!) and John Roggenkamp, was a joy to work at,
due to its fun nature of toy trains, great clientel, and of couse,
the eclectic atmosphere that only a monsterous retail orgy can
Well, that brings us up to the present. Brian now lives
in Fairbanks, Alaska where he is a researcher, climatologist,
and webmaster at the Alaska
Climate Research Center, part of the Atmospheric Sciences
Group of the Geophysical Institute
at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks...now,
don't try to tell me that isn't a government job! You can visit
his professional page here.
I hope that you have enjoyed this condensed version
of "The Life of Brian". Check back for subsequent updates,
probably after something important happens, such as marriage,
children (in that order), or a dramatic encounter with a bear.
For news about Brian's current exploits, you can visit
his Archive site here.