January 8, 1951August 17, 2017

Dr. Dennis Riggin passed away on August 17, 2017, following a long struggle with multiple health issues. Dennis was born on January 8, 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and spent most of his youth in Tucson, Arizona. Dennis’ first love was music, and he initially studied viola at the University of Arizona before completing a B. S. in Electrical Engineering in 1977. He pursued graduate studies on plasma waves at Cornell University under the mentorship of Don Farley, earning a Ph.D. in 1987. Following several years of federal employment, Dennis pivoted from ionospheric physics to remote sensing of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). In 1993 he joined Dave Fritts’ research group at the University of Colorado, and in 1997 migrated with them to Colorado Research Associates, a division of Northwest Research Associates, Inc. His responsibilities there included installation, operation and management of medium frequency (MF) radar systems in Hawaii, the Cook Islands, and Antarctica. Dennis utilized the new MF radar winds for many innovative studies of gravity waves, tides, and planetary waves. With the launch of the TIMED, EOS and TRMM missions between 2001 and 2008, Dennis’ work increasingly focused on understanding the forcing and evolution of MLT waves embedded within global-scale systems such as the quasibiennial oscillation and the El Niño Southern Oscillation. In 2012 Dennis joined the new Boulder division of GATS-Inc., established by Dave Fritts. At the time of his death, he was actively researching the causes of explosive 2-day wave amplification during solstice. Dennis also had long-term collaborations and several visiting professor appointments with Toshitaka Tsuda’s radar group at Kyoto University in Japan. Dennis was a man of far-ranging interests and abilities. He was a talented viola player, and performed for years with Boulder area orchestras and ensembles. He regularly attended Chamberre in the Rockies, a program for mature amateur and professional musicians. Dennis had a great love and reverence for the Japanese culture. He was conversant in the language, and enjoyed sushi above all other cuisine. He practiced Buddhism for a number of years, and was a student of Iyengar yoga. At the time of his death he was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Boulder. Dennis had a patient and gentle demeanor, and a kind spirit. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all of his coworkers, and many in our community. Dennis is survived by his mother, Rosella Heinrichs, sister Cynthia Riggin, niece Morgan Benson, and former spouse Leslie Cooksy. There are no plans for a public memorial service at this time

Arrangements under the direction of Crist Mortuary, Boulder, CO.



have a memory or condolence to add?

Curt Westergard

October 28, 2017

Sad to hear of Dr D's passing which Inge and I learned about on this sunny orange October day 2017.
We chatted for long periods while brushing our teeth at Gamma Alpha Scientific Society in dear Ithaca. He was house manager for a stint and oddly enjoyed vacuuming as his prime contribution to the cooperative. Jimmy Carter was good for us since we both won grad school scholarships from his energy conservation efforts in the mid 80's.
I would like to make and keep contact with any friends of Dennis to keep his spirit bright. Curt 7038508323

Linda Wolpert

October 26, 2017

I am so sad to learn of Dennis's passing. I very much enjoyed playing chamber music with him at Chamberre over the years. RIP, my friend.

Daniel Meléndez

September 11, 2017

I met Dennis at Cornell, where he would take class notes for distribution. Dennis took really beautiful notes that were also clear and well redacted. He added much to the learning content. We became friends and I came to realize he was easy to underestimate due to his laid-back and unpretentious demeanor. He made being taciturn desirable since he had an interesting angle on life. Dennis greatly added to my time in Ithaca and beyond, and I am very saddened to hear of his passing.

September 7, 2017

Dennis was such a good and gentle man. The world sorely needs more like him in these troubled times. Joe Isler

David Ortland

September 6, 2017

Dennis and I shared a fondness for Brahms, Schipperkes, the two-Day Wave, and dangerous culinary adventures. I will miss our collaborations and explorations together.

Jens Oberheide

September 1, 2017

Dennis was an excellent scientist, colleague and collaborator. More importantly, I had the honor to know him as a person. I will miss his kindness and honesty. My deepest sympathies go to his family and friends.

kishore kumar grandhi

September 1, 2017

He is a great man and good teacher. I learned lot from him during my stay in Kyoto University. Miss you!!

Eswar Sunkara

August 31, 2017

I am surprised to know about the Prof.Dennis death.
I have been worked with him for couple research works and the same is published and still, we are doing some works.
It is unfortunate, we missed him.
My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May God give you the peace that you seek

Qian Wu

August 27, 2017

Most gentle and kind person I ever met. You will be missed.

August 19, 2017

Our love goes to the family in this time of distress. Act 24:15