About Me

Wilderness Boundary
The Wilderness Boundary.

I am Chris Peterson. I grew up in Southern California and attended the California Institute of Technology, majoring in Applied Physics and History. While at Caltech I spent a period as an Astronomy major, but decided I was not interested in a career in academia. After college I spent a year traveling around the world, then a few years working as a physicist at Beckman Instruments, and then started a company, Quantum Diagnostics, to design and manufacture medical equipment. I spent years designing phacoemulsification machines- sophisticated instruments for removing cataracts. But by the mid-1990s I was sick of Southern California: too many people, bad air, and hotter by the year with the changing climate. And my interest in astronomy had never ceased, but the stars are barely visible from most of California. So I bought a large property in the Colorado Rockies, moved there, and have never looked back.

Moving Cattle
Moving Cattle.

I spend my summers hiking and riding and horse camping in the deep wilderness, as well as helping local ranchers move their cattle around between pastures in the National Forest. And in the evenings, imaging the sky, or simply looking at it. My winters are about snowshoeing the high country. And more imaging and observing. During the school year I mentor middle school science at the Guffey Community Charter School, whose board I have sat on since 2002.

Operating even a small ranch is a never-ending project. We have two horses, two donkeys, a herd of dairy goats that varies in size, but usually has about a dozen animals, a couple of Great Danes, and several cats. Animals need feeding, fences need mending, hay needs stacking, roads need plowing. My wife is a sculptor, specializing in Great Danes. She is also the goatherd and the maker of goat cheeses and goat yogurt. Lately she has become the Chair of the Park County Democratic Party, building it up from near extinction to a thriving operation, very focused now on upcoming elections.

Snowshoeing Mayflower Gulch
Snowshoeing Mayflower Gulch

In addition to my other projects, I am an active blogger and commenter on several channels, with a focus on philosophy, ethics, secularism, and atheism. I write occasional essays on my own site, Dogma Bytes. I am an active promoter of critical thinking and public policy based on science.

I am an avid photographer, shooting mostly wildlife and mountain landscapes. I am increasingly making use of my phone camera, since it is always with me, quick and easy to use even from horseback, and produces images equal to or better than what I can get with my Canon DSLR for almost any situation not requiring a telephoto. I have a goal of identifying and photographing all of the local wildflowers, and maintain a little guidebook for other amateur botanists in the area.

Since coming to Colorado, I have become very interested in geology, and have a semi-professional relationship with the Earth Sciences department at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, as well as with their Space Science department. Both are part of the allsky camera meteoritics program I run in Colorado.