News & Awards

Below is a collection of accomplishments by OSU water faculty and students. These items are also posted in H2OSU, the weekly campus water newsletter. To add to this list, please email


Dr. Meganck Appointed to the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO (04/04/2012)

Richard MeganckCongratulations to Dr. Richard Meganck, the International Program Leader of the Institute for Water and Watersheds, for being appointed by Secretary Clinton to the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO for a three year term.

Dr. Meganck is on assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (UNESCO-ICIWaRM). Dr. Meganck brings a wealth of knowledge in international development and water resources education to OSU.  From 2003 until 2009 he was rector and professor of the United Nations Institute for Water Education, UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands.  Dr. Meganck’s career also includes dozens of natural resources and economic development missions to more than 100 countries around the world. Dr. Meganck received his PhD from OSU in 1974.  View a video about one of Dr. Meganck's projects in Brazil.

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Spring Seminar Series focuses on Innovations in International Waters (04/03/2012)

The Water Resources Graduate Program and the Institute for Water and Watersheds are pleased to announce the 2012 Spring Hydrology Seminar Series.  The theme of this year’s series is Innovations in International Waters. As such, renowned engineers and scientists from Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, Peru and the United States will present their work in this seminar series.

The organizing committee would like to invite the campus community and the public to attend the seminars (Wednesdays from April 4 to June 6, 4:00-5:00pm in ALS 4000).  In addition, there is opportunity for the OSU water community to meet our out-of-town speakers during the days of the seminars (Wednesdays from April 18 to June 6, 9:00 am - 4:00pm in Gilmore 116). This meeting opportunity is on a first-come first-served basis. Please let Mrs. Jennifer Eaton ( know if you would be interested in meeting any of our out-of-town guest speakers (Wednesdays from April 18 to June 6, 9:00 am - 4:00pm in Gilmore 116). Please indicate at least two slots of 30 or 60 minutes for the potential meetings.

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Campana Appointed to the Oregon Groundwater Advisory Committee (02/13/2012)

Dr. Michael Campana was recently appointed to the Groundwater Advisory Committee of the Oregon Water Resources Department. The Groundwater Advisory Committee consists of nine members appointed by the Water Resources Commission, each representing a range of interests and expertise.  The Committee advises the Commission on all matters relating to rules, legislation, and public policy for the development, securing, use and protection of groundwater; and licensing of well constructors, including the examination of such persons for license.

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Evan Miles Earns Gates Scholarship (02/13/2012)

Congratulations to Evan Miles, a recent WRS MS graduate, for earning the prestigious Gates Scholarship to pursue a PhD at Cambridge.  Evan will work with Ian Willis on a study of proglacial lake formation in the Himalaya.

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Dr Leon earns RERF Grant (02/13/2012)

Arturo Leon (School of Civil and Construction Engineering, College of Engineering) has been awarded a Research Equipment Reserve Fund (RERF) grant by the OSU Research Office for the proposal: “Multi-Purpose River Hydraulics Research Facility”.

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Tullia Upton earns a Fulbright-RBC Eco-leaders Grant (01/23/2012)

Congratulations to Tullia Upton, a Natural Resources and Environmental Studies advised by Dr. Jack Istok for earning a Fulbright-RBC Eco-leaders Grant to start a water quality monitoring education program in Douglas County, Oregon. 

For the project, students from three high schools will monitor water quality in the severely degraded Umpqua Basin over the next few months and research watershed issues related to water quality. In May 2012 students from each of the three schools will participate in a workshop/seminar where they can present their research to the community and take part in organized discussions/activities focused on raising awareness of water quality issues.

The project will increase understanding of the challenges faced by rural communities in addressing issues of environmental and social justice. Involving youth in local research engages them to think locally and will inspire them to pressure local stakeholders to act.

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2012 Winter Water Film Series (01/10/2012)

After a two year hiatus this exciting event is returning to OSU!  The Winter Film Series will focus on current issues regarding the history of water, culture, water management, and the use of video as a tool for education and cooperation. 

Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy the wide selection of movies selected by IWW staff.  There will even be a Kids Night on February 7.

The Institute for Natural Resources (INR), Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) have all generously contributed this film series.

Please contact the IWW Film Series Coordinator, Justin Quinn ( with any questions.

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Arturo Leon Wins EPA Early CAREER Award (01/09/2012)

Congratulations to Arturo Leon, Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering for winning a 2012 EPA Early CAREER award for Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate. 

Dr. Leon’s project title is "Prediction and quantification of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) under extreme storm events: Flow dynamics and Reduction of CSOs”. 

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are a major water pollution source for more than 700 cities in the U.S. that have combined sewer systems (CSSs). CSOs occur in response to heavy rainfall and/or snowmelt events when the capacity of the storm-sewer system is exceeded or when the flow in the system is highly dynamic even when the system is not full. The overall goal of the proposed research is to develop a model for the accurate prediction and quantification of CSOs especially when the flow in a CSS is highly dynamic (e.g., under extreme flow events). The specific objectives are:

(1) To develop a mathematical formulation for all possible cases of overflow discharges (e.g., CSOs) at vertical shafts and near-horizontal outlets under extreme flow events.

(2) To implement the mathematical formulation of overflows into a state-of-the-art open source (free and open access) transient flow model that can be used in complex CSSs.

(3) To validate the overflow discharge framework under highly dynamic flow conditions.

Dr. Leon hopes to develop an open source model that can be used by Federal agencies, Municipalities and practitioners for predicting CSOs under extreme events. This framework will assess the impacts of CSOs on the water quality of the receiving water bodies such as streams, rivers and lakes. Furthermore, this model will provide its users with the ability of modifying an existing combined sewer system within the model for assessing various proposed modifications and hence for retrofitting critical areas in the system. This will allow developing cost-effective strategies to reduce CSO events. The model will be used under present and climate change scenarios.

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IWW sponsors a new class - Documentary Film for Water Resources (WRP 599) (01/04/2012)

Sarah Sheldrick, filmmaker, will be the instructor for a new class offered winter term – Documentary Film for Water Resources.  The course will use film projects and course discussion to examine and critique:

                -The use of documentary film as a communication tool

                -The influence of film on identity and culture

                -The history and style of documentary film

                -The foundation of creating a narrative

                -The ethics of representational reality

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OSU Water Research Institute Celebrates 50 Years (10/10/2011)

Approximately 80 water experts converged at the Brew Station on September 30 to celebrate the new water year by looking back at the past 50. Film producer Sarah Sheldrick introduced the video that included short interviews with all of the past directors of the water resources research institute. The U.S. Geological Survey not only provided funding for the production of the video, but the current chief of the Office of External Research who is an OSU alumni and other state water center directors with past connections to OSU also provide congratulatory wishes on the video. Thanks to all that have helped the institute grow over the past decades!  You can also read more about the IWW-CWESt-OWRRI story on the OSU Terra website.

Click below to view the video trailer, or link to the full 13 minute video.

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