Utah State University’s Bethany Nielsen is the first place recipient of the Doctorate Dissertation Award in the field of Natural Science and Engineering, given by the Universities Council on Water Resources.
Nielsen is a research assistant professor at the Utah Water Research Laboratory and will receive the award July 25, during UCOWR’s Annual Conference held in Boise, Idaho. Nielsen conducts research in water quality modeling and watershed management.
“There is some interesting research being conducted here in Logan,” said Nielsen. “I hope the award will provide some exposure for UWRL as well as for the civil and environmental engineering program at USU.”
Submissions for the award are judged on quality and clarity of writing, originality and innovativeness, scientific merit, technical quality, soundness of research and contribution to and impact on water resources research.
Candidates must be nominated by the doctorate student’s major professor. Nielsen was nominated by Utah State’s David Stevens and Tufts University professor Steve Chapra. The lead delegate for Utah State is Mac McKee, director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory.
Each school with a UCOWR membership may submit only one candidate for the award. The nominations are screened locally by the lead delegate, who sends a letter of nomination from the major professor to UCOWR, along with a copy of the dissertation and a letter of official nomination on behalf of the school. The entries are evaluated by a committee of international experts, and their findings are compiled by the UCOWR awards committee.
“In previous years there have been occasions where no awards were given because the awards committee felt the nominated dissertations were not of sufficient quality to receive the award,” said Mckee. “The awards committee gave several honorable mentions this year in Beth’s category, so I know the competition was stiff.”
This is Utah State University’s first win, and Nielsen competed against eight nominees.
Nielsen said she plans to remain at the Utah Water Research Laboratory.
“I enjoy the faculty and staff I work with, and I have a number of very interesting projects I am working on,” she said.
Those interested in the 2007 UCOWR/ NIWR Annual Conference on Hazards in Water Research can visit its Web site
. To learn more about Utah Water and Research Laboratory, visit its Web site
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