Dr. Kevin Wagner, Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center and Thomas E. Berry Professor of Integrated Water Research and Management at Oklahoma State University
Greetings UCOWR member institutions, delegates, and friends! I can’t tell you how honored I am to serve as UCOWR President over the coming year. I truly value this organization and anxiously await our annual conference each year and the opportunity to reconnect and hear about your research and outreach programs.
Just a little bit about me – I have served as the Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center and Thomas E. Berry Professor of Integrated Water Research and Management at Oklahoma State University since 2017. Prior to coming to OSU, I had the pleasure of working for over a decade at the Texas Water Resources Institute, another UCOWR member institution and fellow member of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR). I have been attending UCOWR conferences since 2011, and served as a delegate since 2013, a board member since 2016, Associate Editor for Water Quality and Watershed Management for the Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education (JCWRE) since 2016, and the technical program chair for the annual conference in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
It was a pleasure to again serve on the 2019 Conference Planning Committee as the Technical Program Chair last year. I obviously enjoy this position – the main reason is because I get to read all the abstracts describing the excellent work you’re doing. I do want to thank the conference chair, Dr. David Stevens, as well as Utah State University and the whole planning committee, for putting together such a great conference. The venue was beautiful, the presentations were first-rate, and the discussions were exhilarating! I’d also like to thank Nicole Wilkinson McIntosh for again putting together such a great and engaging delegate luncheon and organizing the student activities as well! Thank you all!
While I’m thanking people, I’d like to thank Dr. Jeff Johnson, past president, along with the whole UCOWR board for their leadership over the last year. This year, UCOWR initiated a new 5-year agreement with Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale to continue their support of the organization. SIU continues to provide exemplary service to UCOWR and we greatly appreciate their enduring commitment to and support of this partnership. UCOWR continues to grow and flourish largely due to the efforts of Dr. Karl Williard, UCOWR Executive Director, and his phenomenal staff. Additionally, UCOWR initiated a Memorandum of Understanding with NIWR formalizing and expanding the cooperation between the two organizations. Although we’ve co-sponsored our annual conference with NIWR for many years, we have never had a formal agreement outlining our partnership. We hope that these two new agreements will help UCOWR to continue to thrive for many years to come. Also, as you may have noticed, the journal went completely digital in August. You should have received a copy in your inbox. Check it out, publicize it, and let us know what you think!
My goals for the next year are to build on these achievements by continuing to implement our strategic plan, growing UCOWR membership and delegate participation/engagement, expanding and delivering an engaging and exciting conference, and work with Clarivate Analytics to get our journal indexed. If there are other priorities you would like to see the board work on over the next year, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Finally, I’d like to encourage you to participate in the 2020 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN on June 9-11, 2020. Dr. Jeff Peterson, University of Minnesota, is chairing the conference committee and putting together a great program. Also, don’t forget to submit those award nominations. We have a couple more weeks left before nominations are due on October 1, 2019. There are awards to recognize a wide range of accomplishments from those of students and early career to mid-career and lifetime achievement. Also, consider submitting journal articles for publication in JCWRE. The deadline for the next open solicitation is February 3, 2020 for articles to be published in August 2020.
Thanks again for allowing me to serve this wonderful organization. If I can do anything to improve your experience as a member, please let me know. I hope you have a great fall semester and I look forward to seeing you soon.