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Karl Wood named director of Water Resources Research Institute

M. Karl Wood, a range scientist with extensive research experience in water issues, has been named director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University.



Karl Wood, director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University.

Wood, currently assistant department head and range coordinator for NMSU's Department of Animal and Range Sciences, begins his new duties June 1.

"Karl has a long history of outstanding research in water- related issues in New Mexico and the Southwest, particularly in the field of watershed management," said NMSU Vice President for Research Gary Cunningham, who chaired the national search for a new director. "He also has administrative experience and a proven ability to work with faculty and the water resource managers and users who are served by the WRRI."

Wood replaces Thomas Bahr, who retired in 1999 after serving as director of the institute since 1978. Assistant Director Bobby Creel has served as acting director since Bahr's retirement.

The mission of the WRRI is to help the state and nation solve water problems through research, training and information transfer. "I see expanded roles in many directions as New Mexico's water is demanded more and more," Wood said.

Wood earned a Ph.D. in range science with a field emphasis on watershed management at Texas A&M University in 1978 and joined the NMSU faculty that same year. Much of his research has been related to water resources. For 20 years he has been a member of the Range Improvement Task Force, which provides scientific expertise to help resolve disputes over management of water and other natural resources.

He is member of the Rio Grande Citizens Forum of the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Society for Range Management's Riparian/Watershed Task Force and the New Mexico Riparian Council's Research Committee.

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute recently was judged one of the top four institutes of its kind in the nation by a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) evaluation team. It is one of 54 institutes authorized by the federal Water Resources Research Act of 1964.

Each state and several territories have a water institute that administers research funding provided by a USGS grant, and in New Mexico's case, state funding as well.

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PHOTO: Wood_Karl.jpg
CUTLINE: Karl Wood, director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University.

Karl Hill
May 30, 2000