Cover photo for Christopher Fallen's Obituary
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1977 Christopher 2024

Christopher Fallen

April 12, 1977 — February 6, 2024

Dr. Christopher Thomas Fallen, 46, of Albuquerque, NM, passed away at his home on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. He was born on April 12, 1977, in Miles City, Montana. Chris and his parents moved to Longmont, Colorado before his first birthday, and he completed his secondary education there. In 2000 he graduated summa cum laude from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, earning his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics. He completed a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Kansas in 2004. In 2010 he earned a doctorate degree in space physics at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

As a graduate student, Chris worked at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at UAF, where he conducted computational research. After graduation, Chris remained at the university to teach and conduct research. In time he was promoted to Associate Professor of Space Engineering Physics. He specialized in studying the earth's ionosphere and became the Chief Scientist at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, the world's most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter used to study the ionosphere. His work involved collaboration with other scientists around the world. Prior to leaving Alaska, Chris was the Chief Scientist at HAARP.

Chris moved to Albuquerque in 2018 to accept a position as a Senior Research Physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of his death, he was the Chief Scientist at Fourth State Communications, which is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Throughout his life Chris loved travel, science, learning and problem solving. He loved craft beer and enjoyed visiting small breweries in Fairbanks and Albuquerque. Over the past few years he developed a love of cooking, especially using his outdoor griddle and pizza oven. He loved to bake bread and, as any good scientist would, he measured out the necessary ingredients in grams on a digital scale rather than using the less accurate ounces and cups called for in recipes. He loved baseball and attended many Albuquerque Isotopes home games. Chris also loved cats and long walks through his neighborhood. Chris was smart, kind, witty and he was always willing to help others.

Chris is survived by his mother, Michelle (Smith) Thompson of Fort Collins, Colorado; his father, Ray Fallen of Emporia, Kansas; and his cat Eddie, now living in Emporia. Chris also leaves extended family members, friends, and colleagues around the world, all of whom will dearly miss his quick wit and gentle, compassionate nature.

Donations in memory of Chris may be made to Helping Hands for Needy Paws, 214 Edith Blvd. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Christopher Fallen, please visit our flower store.


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