Papers of Robert A. Longenbaugh
Scope and Contents
The Papers of Robert A. Longenbaugh consists of documents dated from 1935 to 2020, with the bulk falling from 1960 to 2020. The collection documents Longenbaugh's career working on Colorado groundwater issues as a Colorado State University engineering professor, assistant state engineer, and consultant, as well as his continued activities during retirement. Main subjects documented include groundwater resources, modeling, recharge, law, education, wells, and irrigation pump efficiency, as well as energy. Predominant material types include correspondence, data, reports, presentations, publications, grey literature, maps, slides, and photographs. The collection also includes personal materials such as appointment books, college course notes, and resumes. Few materials exist from Longenbaugh's CSU teaching or work at the State Engineer's Office, and limited consulting files were retained. However, numerous files documenting workshops and short courses he taught, presentations he gave, and legislation he was involved with are here, along with substantial publications and grey literature, often annotated.
- Majority of material found in 1960-2020
- Longenbaugh, R. A. (Robert A.) (Person)
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, it is stored off-site, so advance notice is required. All "confidential" markings on correspondence or other materials have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Over the course of his career, Robert A. Longenbaugh witnessed and participated in significant developments in Colorado groundwater use, legislation, and administration. He made numerous contributions to groundwater research and education. Longenbaugh, an agricultural and civil engineer with a focus on groundwater administration and water resource planning, also worked in water rights and water court procedures, well permitting, and the design and operation of agricultural irrigation systems.
Robert Allen "Bob" Longenbaugh was born in 1935 in Durango, Colorado. He grew up in Cortez, Colorado, and worked on his family's irrigated farm from a young age. His early experiences with farming and irrigation taught him the importance of adequate water supply. After graduating from high school in Cortez, Longenbaugh attended Colorado A&M University (now, Colorado State University). He earned a B.S. in agricultural engineering, with a focus on soil and water management, in 1957. Immediately after graduating he was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a weather forecaster, receiving meteorology training at the University of California in Los Angeles and studying tropical meteorology at the University of Hawaii.
Longenbaugh completed his Air Force service in March 1960 and returned to Colorado State University to pursue a master's degree in agricultural engineering, completing it in 1962. During that time, he worked as a graduate research assistant in the Ground Water Program of CSU's Civil Engineering Department, collecting data for studies on irrigation and well development and contributing to education for the public and legislators on the need for groundwater management.
In July 1961, Longenbaugh was offered a junior civil engineer position at CSU and rose into assistant professor and associate professor of civil engineering positions, staying until 1980. During his time with the university, Longenbaugh conducted research, taught graduate and undergraduate courses, and served on local and national committees, some of which organized important groundwater conferences. In the 1970s, he also served as the irrigation specialist for CSU’s Extension Service, organizing and participating in irrigation education projects throughout eastern Colorado.
In 1981, Longenbaugh began working as assistant state engineer for the State of Colorado. In this position, he supervised the groundwater section of the Colorado Division of Water Resources in Denver. During this time, he advised the State Engineer on groundwater problems, served as secretary of the Ground Water Commission, participated in the litigation of groundwater issues, and worked on geological and hydrologic studies quantifying available groundwater and assessing impacts on groundwater use. He also worked with well drillers and issued 3,000-10,000 new well permits each year. Longenbaugh retired in May 1991.
After retiring, Longenbaugh continued his involvement with groundwater consulting, education, and legislation. Particular interests included the American Ground Water Trust and South Platte Basin groundwater issues. Over the course of his career, Longenbaugh served as a professional witness in more than 50 water court cases, hearings, and legal proceedings. He was author or co-author of over 35 technical publications and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. In 1982, Longenbaugh married Eulalia "Lale" Muhlbradt. He was stepfather of her five children. He passed away in 2020.
72.25+ linear feet (44 record cartons, 5 photograph boxes, 1 document box, 2 media boxes, 1 flat box, 1 tube, 1 flat file)
Language of Materials
Robert A. Longenbaugh (1935-2020) made numerous contributions to groundwater research, education, and legislation. The collection documents Longenbaugh's career working on Colorado groundwater issues as a Colorado State University engineering professor, assistant state engineer, and consultant, as well as his continued activities during retirement. Main subjects documented include groundwater resources, modeling, recharge, law, education, wells, and irrigation pump efficiency, as well as energy. Predominant material types include correspondence, data, reports, presentations, publications, grey literature, maps, slides, and photographs.
Little organization existed in the collection as received. Materials were organized into series that either follow Longenbaugh’s career and activities or are distinct material types.
The collection consists of 11 series in 53 boxes, 1 tube, and 2 oversize folders:
Series 1: Personal materials, 1935-2020 and undated
Series 2: Professional materials, 1955-2005 and undated
Series 3: Consulting files, 1956-2015 and undated
Series 4: Research and writing, 1960-2000 and undated
Series 5: Activities, 1960-2019 and undated
Series 6: Places, 1947-2020 and undated
Subseries 6.1: Small projects, 1947-2014 and undated
Subseries 6.2: South Platte Basin, 1964-2020 and undated
Series 7: Reference materials, 1950-2019 and undated
Series 8: Visual materials, 1961-1990, 2007 and undated
Series 9: Artifacts, 1977, 2001-2018 and undated
Series 10: Media, 1992-2020 and undated
Subseries 10.1: Videotapes, 1994-2002 and undated
Subseries 10.2: Computer media, 1992-2020 and undated
Series 11: Oversize, 1963-2001 and undated
The Papers of Robert A. Longenbaugh was donated in two portions, with the main one being from Eulalia Longenbaugh in November 2020. Also, a small portion was donated by author Tershia d'Elgin in September 2020 of materials Longenbaugh had sent to her as information for her book involving Colorado groundwater issues.
Two large sets of Longenbaugh's consulting materials were returned to clients, as he had intended to do. Other consulting files were retained only if they could be made public and if they substantially showed Longenbaugh's work, through reports or correspondence. Files concerning personal property or very minor wells or issues were discarded. Longenbaugh's vast files of vendor materials and common publications generally were not retained.
Processing was completed in August 2022. Materials were rehoused in acid-free boxes and folders as necessary. Papers were removed from binders. Rubber bands, string, and some metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips as necessary. Slides and some photographs were sleeved. Unlabeled vacation slides were not retained. Two boxes (42 and 43) of papers that had been wet upon acquisition were cleaned of mold in 2021. Rolled and some folded oversized items were prepared for storage in flat files or in tubes if extra-large. Exact duplicates beyond two copies were removed, as were most blank forms, files on workshop logistics, some report drafts, and commonly available publications, unless annotated. Class lists with student names and Social Security numbers were removed, as were sets of graded student tests and assignments. In other places, Social Security numbers were redacted. Attorney/client materials from the Kansas v. Colorado case were given to the Colorado Attorney General's Office; unmarked exhibits were discarded. Some blank edges of larger documents were trimmed for storage purposes. Much of the digital media was backed up on a server.
Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e." Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy.
- Arkansas River Watershed.
- Artificial groundwater recharge.
- Colorado State University. College of Engineering
- Computer disks.
- Groundwater -- Law and legislation
- Longenbaugh, R. A. (Robert A.)
- Ogallala Aquifer.
- Slides (photographs).
- South Platte River Watershed (Colo. and Neb.)
- Wells -- Colorado.
- Guide to the Papers of Robert A. Longenbaugh
- Prepared by Patricia J. Rettig and Lauren Oliver
- Copyright 2022
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA