Congrats to my former professor, Van Brahana, for receiving the Award for Distinguished Service in Hydrogeology from the hydrogeology division of the the Geological Society of America! I never had an interest in hydro until I had a chance to work with Brahana at the University of Arkansas' field camp in 2003 (although he has always been a great professor for advice and general fun and havoc!!). He had constructed 2 hydro projects for students, both of which were really interesting and fun. It made me wish I had actually taken a class from him when I had been working on my degree! I had a chance to catch up with Brahana at GSA last week and it was great to see him, as always. Congrats Brahana!!!
From the University of Arkansas Newswire:
Professor J. Van Brahana of the department of geosciences received the Award for Distinguished Service in Hydrogeology from the hydrogeology division of the the Geological Society of America on Nov. 2, in Denver, Colo. The award is given annually for distinguished service and contibutions to the field of hydrogeology.
Hydrogeology is defined in the bylaws of the division as "that branch of geology which is concerned with the character, source, occurence, movement, availability, and use of water." The award is based on a history of sustained, creditable service to the hydrogeology profession.
Brahana considers himself remarkably fortunate to have discovered his passion for geology early in life, and for the opportunity to work at this profession for almost 50 years. His fourth-grade teacher ignited the initial geologic spark, and a succession of outstanding mentors fueled his passion for understanding processes and controls of ground water flow and transport in fractured-carbonate rocks. Stanley N. Davis served as his adviser for both his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Missouri, and Bill Back provided insight and encouragement as a U.S. Geological Survey mentor; both were excellent role models by which Brahana guided his own career.
Brahana's professional career includes more than 28 years with the USGS as a research hydrologist (now emeritus), and currently, 20 years as a Professor at the University of Arkansas. In addition to these two major jobs, he has served as an adjunct professor at three universities, as a consultant and expert witness, and as a lab and field assistant for the Illinois Geological Survey. The focus of his professional research included regional hydrogeologic studies in the midcontinent utilizing flow tracing, aqueous geochemistry, and numerical simulation for hypothesis testing. He has contributed more than 70 peer-reviewed papers to the literature. As a professor, he has supervised more than 20 master's and doctoral students in hydrogeology, 10 REUs and Honors students, and has served on more than 100 graduate research committees. With Tom Sauer, USDA-ARS, he established the Savoy Experimental Watershed for long-term karst research.
Brahana's service record has been exemplary, including numerous committee assignments and leadership positions in which he has directed or served as chair of regional, national, and international meetings. He is a Fellow of GSA, chair of Fulbright College Cabinet at the University of Arkansas and a member of Aquifer Science Advisory Panel of the Edwards Aquifer Authority. He typically provides about 10 reviews for hydro-journals each year. He is most proud of the success of the large number of students with whom he has had the opportunity to work.
Over the past four decades, Brahana has served the geological profession in the academic and government arenas. His cheerleading of the hydrogeologic profession is famous, bringing many students and professionals to appreciate the varied aspects of the discipline.
After starting his career at the Illinois State Geological Survey while studying at the University of Illinois, Brahana consulted prior to gaining his master's and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Brahana then went to the USGS and served for over 25 years publishing on a range of topics. For the past 20 years he has been associated with the University of Arkansas providing an understanding of how structural geology and soil processes affect the area's flow and transport in karst aquifers.
Brahana's service to the profession and to GSA, specifically the hydrogeology division, illustrates his strong commitment to the discipline. He has served on the hydrogeology volume committee of the decade of North American Geology series, on the GSA joint technical program committee, and on the South Central GSA board of directors. He has also served as program chairman and the secretary-treasurer of the hydrogeology division, as the technical program chair for the South-Central GSA, and as a convener and chair for numerous theme sessions at GSA meetings.
Brahana's greatest contributions has been his mentoring of hydrogeologists. He has educated hundreds of students on the theory and application of hydrogeology, specifically in the area of Karst Hydrogeology. He encourages students to "Be the Aquifer" in order to conceptualize the processes and to better understand the physics and mechanics behind theory.
© ReBecca K. Hunt-Foster & University of Arkansas Newswire