Gregory W. Characklis (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Dr. Characklis is the Philip C. Singer Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also serves as the Director of the Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems. His primary research interests involve developing models of coupled natural human systems that integrate consideration of hydrologic, engineering and economic principles, with a particular focus on managing environmental financial risks, water- energy interactions and water supply planning. Dr. Characklis serves as an Editor for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences and on the Editorial Board of Water Security. He is also a former Associate Editor of Water Resources Research and former Chair of AGU’s Water and Society Committee (2014-16). In 2014 he was selected as a Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences’ Kavli Frontiers of Science, and in 2010 he was named an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow by Stanford University's Woods Institute. Dr. Characklis holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University and a B.S. from Johns Hopkins University.
My research is in the area of water resource systems modeling, so I am not a hydrologist, but rather a consumer of hydrologic research that seeks to integrate advances in hydrology into modeling that informs decision making and policy-relevant analysis. Related activities involve having participated in NSF’s Hydrologic Synthesis effort, serving as UNC’s representative to CUAHSI, and having been a member of NSF’s most recent CUAHSI Management Review Panel. I currently lead projects funded by NSF’s Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) and Innovations at the Nexus of Food- Energy-Water Systems (INFEWS) programs and believe these types of multi-disciplinary initiatives yield novel insights that could not be identified by engineers, hydrologists or social scientists working in isolation. My interest is in promoting CUAHSI’s ability to facilitate hydrologic research, education and data collection/dissemination that supports multi-disciplinary research and improved water management.
Alejandro N. Flores (Boise State University)
I am an Associate Professor of Hydrology in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University. At present, I chair the Graduate Program Committee in the Geosciences Department, co-chair of Boise State’s Inclusive Computing Initiative, am a Co-Principal Investigator on the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory, and a Co-Principal Investigator of the USGS Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center university consortium. My primary teaching duties at Boise State are Groundwater Hydrology, Computational Hydrology and Modeling, and Research Computing in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. I received a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Hydrology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My research focuses on understanding mountain watersheds as regional Earth systems where large-scale patterns emerge as a product of interactions between and among biophysical processes and human action. Specifically, my research group synthesizes numerical models of regional climate, ecohydrology, and human land and water management activities in order to assess how perturbations propagate across scales and through component systems. For three years I served as the chair of the AGU Hydrology Section Remote Sensing Technical Committee, and have chaired sessions at the AGU Fall Meeting on topics ranging from hydrologic data assimilation to Critical Zone modeling. I serve as co-chair of the Critical Zone Focus Research Group for the NSF-sponsored Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System and on the National Academies’ Catalyzing Opportunities for Research in the Earth Sciences (CORES): A Decadal Survey for NSF's Division of Earth Sciences. He/his/him.
The beauty of the Hydrologic Sciences goes far beyond the content matter, methods, and Earth system variables that unite us. The nature of our science demands that we are capable of understanding complex systems, can forge alliances with experts in neighboring disciplines, and can synthesize data and information from different sources and scales. If given the privilege of serving you as a member of CUAHSI’s Board of Directors, my vision would be to serve the community by: (1) communicating to those outside the community why Hydrologic Science and CUAHSI are critically important for both confronting the challenges of water in a changing planet and preparing the workforce to do it, (2) helping CUAHSI draw attention to the innovations in research, education, and training currently taking place throughout our community, and (3) encouraging CUAHSI to exert greater leadership in catalyzing new and innovative models to support the professional preparation of our colleagues, postdocs, and students.
Rachel S. Gabor (Ohio State University)
I am in my second year as an assistant professor of watershed hydrology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, where I currently serve as one of the university’s representatives to CUAHSI. I use my background in chemistry (B.S., Harvey Mudd College and M.S., University of Minnesota) to study the interactions of hydrology and biogeochemistry of watersheds (Ph.D., University of Colorado). I am particularly interested in how watershed processes control water quality through surface and sub-surface inputs and how natural and anthropogenic disturbances alter watershed processes. To that end much of my recent work (Post doc at University of Utah and research here in Ohio) has focused on urban watersheds.
Prior to my role as a university representative to CUAHSI my interactions with CUAHSI were mainly through their webinars and workshops, but I have been involved in other hydrologic sciences organizations. In graduate school I was actively involved in the hydrologic sciences program and twice co-chaired our spring symposium. I also participated in the 2010 Hydrologic Synthesis Summer Institute. Later I co-chaired the 2013 Gordon Research Seminar on Catchment Science and I am a member of AGU’s Water Quality Technical Committee. If elected to CUAHSI’s board of directors, there are a couple of areas I would like to work on. I can use my perspective as an early career hydrologist to help CUAHSI both continue the work they do to support early career scientists and to expand on that program. Additionally, I would like to see CUAHSI work to support diversity in the hydrologic sciences – both in terms of disciplinary diversity and in terms of creating an inclusive, supportive environment for everyone, including members of under-represented groups.
Gordon Grant (Oregon State University)
It has been my privilege to serve on the CUAHSI Board of Directors over the past 3 years and I currently serve as Chair. By way of background, I am a Research Hydrologist with the USDA Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, and also Courtesy Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. My research has focused on fluvial responses due to land use, dams and dam removal, volcanic eruptions, and climate change in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. I am a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America and have served as both a Deputy and Associate Editor for Water Resources Research. I currently chair the National Science Steering Committee for the US National Science Foundation-sponsored Critical Zone Observatory Program. I also serve on the Steering Committee of the AGU College of Fellows and was just elected President-elect of the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Section of AGU.
What stands out from my experience with CUAHSI is how important it is to have an organization that is looking beyond institutional and disciplinary boundaries to serve the hydrologic community as a whole. CUAHSI is really a unique organization in this regard, providing data, modeling, and educational services to a very wide range of users, not just in the U.S. but globally as well. The CUAHSI Board plays a critical role in helping the organization think strategically, broaden access, and anticipate and seize new opportunities. My goal for continuing to serve on the Board is to help CUAHSI navigate key challenges: how to grow without compromising what we already do well, how to expand what we do to include underserved communities (in all senses of the word “underserved”), and how to broaden our funding model so that we remain viable and successful for year to come. We are living through exciting though challenging times and I hope to continue to help the hydrologic community prosper in the future through CUAHSI’s important work.
Erich Hester (Virginia Tech)
My background is interdisciplinary, including degrees in ecology and hydrology. I am currently in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech focusing on surface-groundwater interaction, flooding, pollutant transport, stream restoration, groundwater remediation, and watershed sustainability. I am an Associate Editor for Water Resources Research and also have private sector experience in water resources engineering.
It has been an honor to serve CUAHSI in multiple roles, including member representative, Instrumentation Standing Committee member and later chair, and finally on the Board of Directors for the last three years. While on the Board, I served as liaison to the Instrumentation committee to provide vision for instrumentation access and training. The goal has been to break down barriers to use of cutting edge but cost- and expertise-intensive instrumentation. A key recent CUAHSI development in this area is the now well-subscribed Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant program. I am excited to continue on the Board to push CUAHSI to round out this vision, particularly on the access side.
This is an exciting time for CUAHSI more broadly. In recent years the organization has grown in multiple dimensions. Under the leadership of our new Executive Director Jerad Bales, the number of people using CUAHSI’s services has grown substantially, and CUAHSI’s funding base has kept pace, ensuring sustainability. CUAHSI’s data services in particular have dramatically expanded and matured, which is perfectly timed to assist the first wave of federally funded projects that require data publication as they come to an end. Given the increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary research landscape, CUAHSI’s role as the “glue” among hydrologists is increasingly critical, and if re-elected I look forward to enhancing its role in bringing the community together.
Steven Loheide (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Steven Loheide is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering, and Freshwater and Marine Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He received his BS in Environmental Chemistry and Geology from the University of Northern Iowa (1999), his MS in Geology from Indiana University (2001), and his PhD in Hydrogeology from Stanford University (2006). Loheide’s research focuses on the interactions between ecological and hydrological processes in natural and built systems with special attention to the role of groundwater. His approaches use a combination of field data, remote sensing, and numerical modeling to understand the feedbacks between vegetation patterning, vegetative water use, soil moisture availability, groundwater regimes, and stream-aquifer interactions.
This work is focused on improving the scientific basis for stream, floodplain, meadow, and wetland restoration efforts; quantifying the provisioning of hydrologic ecosystem services under current and future scenarios; and evaluating interactions among groundwater and urban, agricultural, and natural environments.
CUAHSI has championed the hydrologic sciences for the past 17 years by strengthening collaboration, developing research infrastructure, and promoting education. Through CUAHSI we project a unified voice, which better positions our community to effectively and efficiently share, leverage, and develop new resources.
It has been my pleasure to serve on the CUAHSI board of directors for the past three years. During that time, I have worked to further develop our organizational capacity for inter-institutional collaboration in graduate education through the piloting of CUAHSI Virtual University. I feel this approach allows our community to stretch the reach of our resources and improve knowledge exchange across institutions. If re-elected, I would continue to promote collaboration in education and research within the hydrologic community.
Gretchen Miller (Texas A&M University)
Gretchen Miller, Ph.D., P.E., is an associate professor of water resources engineering in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, where she teaches fluid dynamics and engineering hydrogeology. Dr. Miller specializes in groundwater sustainability and ecohydrology, focusing on the interactions between groundwater, soil moisture, and vegetation and their implications for managing water resources. Her current work addresses the use of plant- to stand-scale measurements to improve the formulation and parameterization of vegetation water uptake in Earth system models. She is a current recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. In 2015, she was named a Montague Scholar by the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence, and in 2016, she received the Texas A&M Dean of Engineering Excellence Award. Dr. Miller serves as an associate editor for Hydrological Processes. She currently chairs the Interdisciplinary Council for the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and has previously been a member of the Ecohydrology Committee of the American Geophysical Union.
In order to stay healthy and relevant over the coming decade, CUAHSI needs to focus on identifying and responding to the needs of the hydrology community, as well as to ongoing trends in research funding. The current strategic plan provides a set of guideposts, but it is up to the leadership to implement them. If elected to the CUAHSI Board of Directors, my priorities for ensuring the success of the organization would be to:
- Retain existing strengths in data services and hydroinformatics while exploring new opportunities to support the community through shared resources, infrastructure, and training. Possible areas of expansion include facilitating new collaborations with the social science and public policy communities and wider support of research coordination networks.
- Ensure that CUAHSI activities are guided by and are germane to the needs of the entire community, across all sub-disciplines, career stages, and institution types. This needs to go beyond increasing the visibility of existing activities; it should include outreach to members of groups that have had low participation rates in the past, in order to determine their needs.
- Promote transparency in operations and decision making. We need to explore ways to help member representatives better share information on activities and governance with colleagues at their organizations so that they have higher confidence that CUAHSI is acting as a good steward of its resources.
Hamid Moradkhani (University of Alabama)
I am Alton N. Scott endowed chair in civil and environmental engineering and professor of hydrology and water resources at the University of Alabama. Also, I currently serve as Director of recently founded Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research. Prior to my current positions, I was a professor and director of Water Resources and Remote Sensing Lab in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University (2006-2017). I received my BS and MS in Civil Engineering majoring Hydrology and hydraulics and then PhD (2005) in hydrology and water resources from the University of California, Irvine.
I am interested in tackling the grand challenges faced by water resources managers, stakeholders and emergency managers here and around the world as how to be sure there is enough water to meet demands and also protect the livelihood and properties against extreme events as populations swell and weather patterns shift due to climate variability and change. In my work, I have given close attention to developing novel methods in hydrologic data assimilation, cyber innovation, big data, machine learning and high-performance computing in earth science, engineering, and other disciplines. At present, I serve on NOAA drought task force, International FloodNet advisory panel, and several ad hoc committees and editorial board of Water Resources Research and Journal of Hydrology, among others.
I have been engaged with CUAHSI for many years, served as representative from Portland State University, 2008-2017 and since 2018 from the University of Alabama. I have participated in numerous CUAHSI workshops and meetings over the years. The range of water challenges demands a multi-disciplinary research and education approach to devise scientifically sound solutions. My vision for CUAHSI is to promote the operationalization of virtual University, support training the next generation of hydrologists through summer schools and specialized workshops. I will be keen to enhance the ensemble modeling and water prediction science within CUAHSI’s activities. CUAHSI has been successful in water data services and if I am elected to the board I will work with the leadership team and community to promote harnessing the data revolution, modernize the CUAHSI hydrologic Information System and accelerating data-intensive research in hydrology.
Jeanne M. VanBriesen (Carnegie Mellon University)
Dr. Jeanne M. VanBriesen is the Duquesne Light Company Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. VanBriesen holds a B.S. in Education and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Delaware. Her research is in environmental systems, including (1) urban water system sustainability and the built environment water cycle, and (2) the energy-water nexus and watershed decision making. Dr. VanBriesen has served on the board of the Association for Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and the U.S.EPA Science Advisory Board. She has served on the CUAHSI board since 2016, and has been serving as the chair-elect in 2018. If re-elected, she will be the chair of the board in 2019.
My interest in CUAHSI began at a workshop in early 2000. I was excited then by the potential of the vision on multidisciplinary collaboration to advance data systems and informatics to study water systems – natural and engineered. I remain convinced that CUAHSI has the right mission and is focused on the right activities to reach its goals. Last year, the board undertook a strategic planning activity, and this year we have been focused on linking activities with that strategy. I’m excited to lead the board next year as we further the development of CUAHSI organizational capabilities, data and modeling tools, and educational programs in support of strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration in hydrologic sciences.