Dr. Chris Melby began his career at Colorado State University (CSU) in 1990 after spending 8 years as a faculty member at Purdue University. He served for 10 years as department head at CSU and now holds a regular faculty appointment in Food Science and Human Nutrition. His research focuses on the role of nutrition and physical activity to reduce risk factors for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease with an emphasis on improving health inequities. He has recently been investigating the nutrition and physical activity transitions in South America among indigenous populations living at high altitude in the Andes Mountains. He completed a Fulbright teaching/research fellowship in Ecuador in 2015 and taught courses/seminars in two different universities.
During his career, he has served as advisor and mentor to many undergraduate, M.S., and Ph.D. students. Chris enjoys teaching and has won several teaching awards including the Excellence in Education Award at CSU and the “Best Teacher Award’ from the CSU Alumni Association. His involvement as a faculty member with the Semester at Sea Program stems from his love for adventure and his interest in experiencing different cultures. In addition to his time in South America, he has lived and taught in the Middle East and Australia.
Dr. Melby has a variety of hobbies that primarily involve sports and adventure activities including running, basketball, weight lifting, rock and ice climbing, and high altitude mountaineering. He has summited mountains in Colorado, Washington, New Zealand, Ecuador, and Peru, with several mountains in South America topping 20,000 feet in elevation. He enjoys guiding students (and several of his grandchildren as young as 6 years old) to hike to the summits of 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.
He has been married for 44 years to his wife, Barbara, a pre-school teacher and graphic artist who will accompany him on the voyage. They have 3 married children and 9 grandchildren, all of whom live in Colorado and share their love of the mountains. He is excited to continue learning with his Semester at Sea students as they venture together to the various countries on the fall 2020 voyage. Despite not being a ‘foodie,’ he will be looking for opportunities with his students to sample many different foods as well as to hike, climb, rock climb, etc. when not on the ship.