TWRI receives 'outstanding' rating by USGS

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) was recently rated as outstanding by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the federal agency’s multiyear review of the institute. TWRI is one of 54 U.S. water institutes authorized by the Water Resources Research Act Program administered by USGS.

The USGS review panel evaluated TWRI activities during fiscal years 2011 through 2015 during the time Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI) director Dr. Roel Lopez was also interim director of TWRI.

“This outstanding rating is a reflection of the efforts and talents of both institutes’ staff to keep TWRI performing at this high level and Dr. Lopez’s leadership during this time jointly leading TWRI and NRI,” said current TWRI director Dr. John Tracy, who joined the institute in the fall of 2015.

Lopez also credited the staff and their efforts in receiving this rating.

“I think this is squarely reflective of the staff members and their hard work that made all this possible to ensure the continued success of TWRI,” he said.

TWRI receives an annual matching grant from USGS as part of the national water program, and the act requires the institute be evaluated periodically to determine its eligibility for continue support. The determination is based on the institute’s effectiveness in the use of the grant and required matching funds in meeting the mandates of the Water Resources Research Act.

The panel commended TWRI “on its strong collaborations at every level; these partnerships are instrumental in the many achievements of the Institute,” according to the USGS letter announcing the rating. It also applauded “the numerous significant research accomplishments and findings presented in the evaluation report as well as the vast information transfer program.”

In addition, the panel found that TWRI “benefits tremendously from discretionary funds and excels at obtaining external grants.”

“TWRI has continued to grow both in staff and grant funding,” Tracy said, “and I anticipate that TWRI will continue to perform at an outstanding level due to their efforts.”


As the former communications manager for TWRI, Kathy Wythe provided leadership for the institute's communications, including a magazine, newsletters, brochures, social media, media relations and special projects. 

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