Please welcome the new UCOWR President of the Board for 2017-2018, Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D. Dr. Megdal has been an active member of Universities Council on Water Resources for several years as lead delegate for the University of Arizona, and most recently served as the Conference Chair for the 2017 Conference at Colorado State University. Sharon’s leadership, expertise, and drive for excellence played a major role in the success of this conference, and these qualities will continue to move UCOWR forward in a positive direction over the coming year. The Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, Megdal’s work focuses on water policy and management, ranging from local to international in scope. She is Professor and Specialist, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science; C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor; and Distinguished Outreach Professor at University of Arizona. Additionally, Dr. Megdal serves as Director of the University of Arizona Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions Program, funded by the University of Arizona Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).
Sharon shares her thoughts on UCOWR and her role as President in this new academic year:
UCOWR is an excellent organization for faculty and graduate students. It provides us with platforms for interacting with those at the forefront of water resources research, education, and engagement, not only from universities but from non-academic agencies and organizations as well. I particularly wish to encourage increased involvement of graduate students. Developing mentoring relationships reward both advisors and students. There is nothing more fulfilling than in seeing your students’ grow as professionals in the conference setting, whether it be in giving oral and poster presentations, discussing their work with others, or developing collaborative relationships with new professional connections.
UCOWR provides water resources professionals several opportunities to recognize excellence. Our open access Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education (JCWRE) and the annual conference provide great platforms for sharing research results and project progress. I am excited about the direction in which our journal is heading. The peer-reviewed journal is published three times each year. Two issues are dedicated to special themes, often derived from special conference track sessions, and one issue is reserved for papers accepted through an open call. Currently, JCWRE is listed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) produced by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) and is accessible through Web of Science. Additionally, UCOWR strives to recruit quality nominations for our various conference awards in order to encourage early career professionals and recognize lifetime achievement and outstanding leadership in water resources work.
During my year as UCOWR President, I look forward to the opportunity to work with the board and staff on completing a strategic planning exercise that will position us for growth and continued improvement in the reach of our conference, our journal, and our engagement with our membership. I would like to encourage increased interaction and outreach to non-academic water professionals for both membership and conference programming. Growing our membership will ensure that our conference continues to be well-attended and vibrant, an opportunity for faculty, students, and others to convene and share their project results with a broad audience.
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