Natural Resources Associate Dean Honored for Water Quality Work
Thursday, Apr. 02, 2009
Natural Resources Associate Dean Nancy Mesner was honored by the Utah Division of Water Quality for raising awareness of water quality issues throughout the state.
Former Gov. Olene Walker presented Mesner a Utah Watershed Improvement Award in 2004.
Nancy Mesner, associate dean in Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources, was honored by the Utah Division of Water Quality for her efforts in raising awareness of water quality issues among residents throughout the state.
Mesner received the division’s 2009 Calvin K. Sudweeks Water Quality Award in an April 1 ceremony at the Utah Water Environmental Association’s annual meeting in St. George.
“Nancy has developed this exemplary extension program, while also maintaining an active research program in the influence of land use on water quality and in teaching courses on oceanography, water quality and pollution,” said Walt Baker, UDWQ director. “As part of the Western Regional Water Quality Extension Team, she has become well known for her expertise, good humor and high energy in both the regional and national water quality programs.”
Mesner, an associate professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences and program leader for USU Natural Resources Extension, has coordinated statewide educational efforts in water quality assessment and monitoring along with the statewide volunteer monitoring program Utah Lake Watch.
She and her students developed the Utah Streamside Science program in collaboration with the Utah State Office of Education and former Governor Olene Walker’s Watershed Initiative. The program correlates directly with the state’s 9th grade earth systems science core curriculum and provides a teacher manual with hands-on student activities and lesson plans.
In 2004, Gov. Walker recognized Mesner’s efforts with a Utah Watershed Improvement Award.
Mesner’s research focuses on nonpoint source water pollution. She was among a team of USU researchers that developed the Bear River Watershed Information System Web site, bearriverinfo.org [http://www.bearriverinfo.org/], which provides real-time, comprehensive data about the 7,500-square-mile, multi-state watershed.
“Nancy is one of those very rare individuals who excels at everything she does — teaching, research and administration,” said Nat Frazer, dean of USU’s College of Natural Resources. “Utah is very fortunate to have the benefit of her research and insights on water quality.”
According to a UDWQ press release, the Sudweeks award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of water quality. Established in 1988, the award is named in honor of a former division director who was instrumental in leading Utah through dramatic changes in water quality, including improved means of wastewater treatment and the development of protective standards.