Todd Walter, associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, has been appointed director of the New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI), effective July 1. He succeeds Susan Riha, who has led WRI since 2007.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the director of the [WRI] for the past eight years and to work with so many outstanding Cornell faculty, students and staff on critical issue of water resources management,” said Riha, the Charles L. Pack Research Professor of Forest Soils in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “I am pleased that in the last four years, WRI has been able to award over $2.5 million to researchers at Cornell and other New York state universities to conduct original research on water resource issues of regional and national importance.
“In addition, we initiated a summer internship program in which 27 Cornell undergraduates have participated, we have funded outreach projects to enhance resiliency to climate change, and worked with state agencies, professional organizations and citizen groups to improve water resource management,” Riha added. “I am very pleased that Professor Todd Walter has agreed to become the new director and look forward to his leading WRI in new and innovative directions.”
A federally and state mandated institution located at Cornell, WRI works to improve the management of water resources in New York state and the nation. WRI collaborates with regional, state and national partners to increase awareness of emerging water resources issues, and to develop and assess new water management technologies and policies.
“The Water Resources Institute plays a pivotal role in accessing scientific and technical resources that are relevant to the water management needs of our state and our nation,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “I'm thankful for Susan's leadership for the last eight years, and I am grateful that Todd will now guide WRI in its mission to connect the water research and water management communities.”
Walter researches the interactions between hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry, applying physical hydrology and water resources engineering to a broad range of multidisciplinary research interests.