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Thomas Bahr receives NMSU Founder's Award

Thomas Bahr, director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University since 1978, has been honored with NMSU's Hiram Hadley Founder's Award of Excellence in recognition of his outstanding service.


John Owens, NMSU's interim executive vice president, presented the award Oct. 22 at the annual New Mexico Water Conference in Las Cruces. Bahr announced at the conference that he would retire next year.

As director of the WRRI, Bahr is responsible for coordinating and administering water resources research at all New Mexico institutions of higher education. He has been involved throughout his career in water issues at the state and national levels.

In 1982 he took a year's leave to accept an appointment by the U.S. secretary of the interior to serve as director of the Office of Water Policy in Washington, D.C. In 1986 he took another leave to accept a cabinet appointment by the governor to serve as secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for two and a half years.

He was appointed to serve on a national blue ribbon panel in 1989 to advise the U.S. Department of Energy on its Defense Nuclear Weapons Waste Management Program.

Bahr received his bachelor's degree in forestry from the University of Idaho and a master's and doctorate from Michigan State University, specializing in water chemistry and biological/physiological aspects of water quality management.