Harris named TWRI acting director
Dr. B.L. Harris was recently named acting director of the Texas Water Resources Institute. Harris replaces former director Dr. C. Allan Jones, who took a faculty position at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Urban Solutions Center at Dallas.
Harris joined the institute in 2001 as associate director and project director for the Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin project, also known as the Rio Grande Basin Initiative. This joint federal initiative with New Mexico State University is working on strategies to meet present and future water demand in the Rio Grande Basin by expanding the efficient use of available water and creating new water supplies.
Under Harris' leadership, the Rio Grande Basin Initiative has won numerous awards. In 2008, the project won the Texas Environmental Excellence Award in the agriculture category. This award, the state's highest environmental honor, is presented each year by the Governor's Office and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Harris is a professor in Texas A&M University's Soil and Crop Sciences Department, where he has been a faculty member since 1974.
Before joining the water institute, Harris was associate director for agriculture and natural resources for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, then Texas Agricultural Extension Service, and associate director for Texas AgriLife Research, then Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.
Harris earned a bachelor's degree in agronomy and a master's degree in soil sciences from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in soil mineralogy from Oregon State University.
Wagner named TWRI associate director
Kevin Wagner has been named associate director of the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) by Dr. B. L. Harris, acting TWRI director.
Wagner has 15 years experience in watershed assessment and planning, project implementation, and program management. Since 2005 he has been a project manager for TWRI, where he has planned, developed, and implemented water-related research and education projects. He has managed and helped develop a watershed planning education program and served as the institute's quality assurance officer.
Before joining TWRI, Wagner was nonpoint source team leader and assistant director of programs for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, overseeing the board's Water Quality Management Plan Program, Texas Brush Control Program, and the Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Program as well as the Coastal Management, Total Maximum Daily Load, and Watershed Protection Programs.
Wagner earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Howard Payne University and a master's degree in environmental sciences from Oklahoma State University. He is working on his doctorate in agronomy from Texas A&M University.
TWRI welcomes Hoffpauir
Richard Hoffpauir, a Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) research engineering associate, joined the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) in December 2008.
Hoffpauir specializes in water resources related applications of civil engineering, water availability modeling (WAM), hydrologic data analysis, and computer programming for modeling hydrologic processes.
Since 2001, Hoffpauir has been a graduate student programmer for the Water Rights Analysis Package (WRAP) under Dr. Ralph Wurbs, professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering and a part-time associate director of TWRI. Hoffpauir's current dissertation research involves adding daily time-step simulation capability to WRAP as well as developing pre- and post-simulation data analysis tools.
Hoffpauir earned a bachelor's degree from McNeese State University and a master's degree from Texas A&M, both in civil engineering.
Ride New Waves
If you like the tx H2O magazine, you can receive more water news every month with the Texas Water Resources Institute's electronic newsletter, New Waves.
New Waves provides brief, timely information about university-based water resources news, results of projects and programs, and new water-related publications and faculty.
Visit http://twri.tamu.edu/newsletters.php to view the latest issue of New Waves, or subscribe to have the newsletter e-mailed to you each month.
Check out water resources training courses
Since its inception in June 2008, the Water Resources Training Courses Program, coordinated by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), has marketed and administered short courses on water-related geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing technology, and computer simulation models. The program has collaborated with Texas A&M University's Spatial Sciences Laboratory, Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, and the Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple on these courses.
Short courses offered include introductory and advanced courses on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a River/Reservoir Modeling with the Water Resources Analysis Package (WRAP), courses on the Agricultural Policy Economic Extender (APEX) model, modeling of water distribution systems using EPANet, and a floodplain delineation course using GIS.
"Training courses are one of the most effective methods of transforming scientific knowledge from the universities so it can be used by the public," said Courtney Swyden, program coordinator, "and continuing education is essential to professional practice. TWRI's training courses create an excellent
learning opportunity that brings together the scientists who are creating modeling tools and the experts who use them."
For more information on the training course program, courses offered, and online registration, visit: http://watereducation.tamu.edu.
Fort Hood team wins excellence award
The Fort Hood Training Lands Restoration and Management Program Team won the 2008 Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for the Industry/Agency/University/Association category. Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences, presented the award to team members. Team members include: Jerry Paruzinski of Fort Hood Integrated Training Area Management, Dr. Dennis Hoffman of the Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple, Dr. William Fox of the Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple and the Texas Water Resources Institute, Brian Hays of the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, and Robert Ziehr of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.