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Speaker Biography

Emeritus Professor John Lanning

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

John Lanning, former dean and emeritus professor of chemistry at University of

Colorado Denver where he taught analytical environmental chemistry and conducted atmospheric environmental research.


John has a passion for the science principles that provide the foundation for environmental science and has had a years long passion studying environmental issues on the front range from Pueblo to Ft. Collins primarily focused on Rocky Flats and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

Prior to joining CU Denver, John served in the US Army as a chemical corps officer. He is a passionate bicycle rider, amateur photographer and ham radio operator. An Iowa native, John moved to Denver where he and his wife raised their children and now enjoy their grandchildren.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was once called the most polluted/toxic land in America, but is now one of the most visited urban wildlife refuges in the United States, teaming with activity.


This presentation touches on the history of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal that produced some of the most toxic chemicals known;

and outlines the science, financial and legal challenges faced to clean up the Arsenal under federal Superfund legislation.


As an urban wildlife Refuge, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal provides excellent opportunities for touring, hiking, biking, and birding of a high plains/prairie ecosystem only 10 miles from downtown Denver.

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