Roger Dennis Hansen (Blog Host)

I am currently the Planning Group Chief for the Bureau of Reclamation in Provo, Utah.  I have an undergraduate degree in history (from Brigham Young University) and graduate degrees in civil and environmental engineering (from Utah State University), plus minors is a variety of other subjects, including chemistry, economics, and french.  Using this unique educational background, I write on diverse topics including:  Mormonism, transhumanism, history of water development, Native American issues, organizational dynamics, and travel.  I enjoy foreign adventures and have lived in, worked, and visited over 30 countries, spreadout over 5 continents.  Most of my writing efforts are centered around my two websites, www.waterhistory.org (which is currently under reconstruction) and this site www.rogerdhansen.wordpress.com.

Inspecting the Remains of the Intake Structure for a Medieval Grist Mill Located near Murs in Southern France

My professional research interest is the modernization of water delivery systems (principally irrigation), i.e. retrofitting low-cost, solar-powered automation equipment onto existing measurement and control structures.  I am also interested in the development of virtual river basins, and adding geoengineering features to watersheds and their avatars. I volunteer with several humanitarian groups (NGOs) including:

My volunteer work takes me regularly to the Navajo Nation and eastern African.  Now that my grandchildren are getting older, I hope to take each on at least one foreign adventure.  In June/July 2012, my granddaughter traveled with me to Uganda.  She had a great time.

My Granddaughter Interacting with School Children Near Gulu, Uganda

My Granddaughter Interacting with School Children Near Gulu, Uganda

One of things I enjoy doing when traveling is constructing playground equipment at rural underfunded schools.

Swing Set Constructed in Southern Uganda

Swing Set Constructed in Southern Uganda

So far, my friends and I have installed approximately 20 swing sets in Uganda, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and the Navajo Nation.  We’ve also installed elevated forts (with climbing walls), seesaws. volleyball equipment, and tether ball poles.  We also distribute soccerballs, tetherballs, and volleyballs.

Helping to Unload a Seesaw in Southern Uganda

Helping to Unload a Seesaw in Southern Uganda

One of my jobs with the Federal government is Native American Affair coordinator for the Utah office.  This has allowed me time to work with the Navajo residents living in southern Utah and northern Arizona.  Many, because of their isolated location, live without indoor water and power.  Our Provo office has been working to develop and install “green” technologies that provide Navajos with the amenities that the rest of us take for granted. Resulting from my interest in technology, I joined the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA).  I am, however, less excited about life extension (a transhumanist obsession) than I am about the possibilities of using technology to improve conditions in developing countries. I served a LDS procelyting mission in the mid-1960s in eastern Belgium and northeastern France.  I loved living in western Europe, but was less thrilled about missionary work.  Overall, it was a positive experience, but not in the way it should have been.  I hope changes in the way missionary work is done are finally coming. I write occasional op-ed pieces relating to technology, spiritual values (including religion), and futurism for the Salt Lake Trib and the transhumanist website www.IEET.org.  I remain optimistic about the future of humanity and the Earth (I have to, I have 11 grandchildren), but I am frustrated with the lack of realistic participation from religious groups–including the LDS Church–in developing a coherent world view of humanity during this time of rapidly accelerating technology.

Discussing Possible Navajo Projects with NASA Officials

I would describe myself as an introverted agnostic Mormon with anarcho-transhumanist and environmental tendencies working as a water engineer for the Federal government.  But Mormonism and the agency I work for are very top-down organizations, and I’m a strong believer in the possibilities of change coming from lower down in an organization.  Is this frustrating, sure.  But in my case, the situation has been workable.  I continue to see a bright future for leaderless organizations.

"The Thinker" on an Upper Nile Boat

“The Thinker” on an Upper Nile Boat

2 Responses to Roger Dennis Hansen (Blog Host)

  1. Shelley Ashfield says:

    Thanks for making this blog. I found it tonight; I will be reading through it. I believe it is what I need right now to keep going forward on my own efforts here in the Philadelphia area, as it’s very easy as an individual to lose one’s way, in any number of ways.

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