Meet the President
UCOWR is proud to welcome our 2016-2017 President of the Board, Doug Parker. Dr. Parker is the Director of the California Institute for Water Resources and the Strategic Initiative Leader for the Water Initiative at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The California Institute for Water Resources is the California institutional member to the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR). He coordinates water-related research, extension, and education efforts across the ten UC campuses, the UC ANR system, and other academic institutions within California. A key aspect of his work involves working with local, state, and federal stakeholders to identify priority water issues in California and find sources of political and financial support for water-related research. Dr. Parker has worked on water quality issues related to the Chesapeake Bay as an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland, and dealt with California water issues as a Cooperative Extension Economist at UC Berkeley. He obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Parker’s inter-disciplinary academic background and his years of work in complex water issues are an ideal fit for leadership in the multi-disciplinary UCOWR community. Indeed, Parker told us he values highly his own “transition from thinking in focused disciplinary terms to developing the ability to work with other disciplines in order to solve multi-disciplinary problems.”
UCOWR recently spoke with Doug about his experiences with our organization. He pointed out that there have been interesting changes in the last few years, specifically regarding “increasing support for the journal, and an increase in conference attendance, especially through student involvement. The competitions for graduate student oral and poster presentations have been helpful, and the Career Panel luncheon at the 2016 conference was a great addition for students.” Doug also described the role UCOWR plays in the water resource community through its promotion of research that is solution-based, with practical implementation in mind. “UCOWR is unique in that it emphasizes helping people look beyond their disciplinary specialties to see how their own expertise can blend with other disciplines to solve problems. It is science influencing policy, in the broad sense. This approach fits well with the cooperative extension and education mission of UC ANR,” Parker observed.
Dr. Parker described his goals for UCOWR during his term as Board President, as follows:
- Continue to grow with new membership from institutions, faculty, and students.
- Maintain the journal publishing schedule of three issues per year, while working toward increasing its value to members through inclusion in scholarly index sources.
- The 2016 UCOWR Pensacola Conference attracted great regional attendance, and “UCOWR needs to keep this momentum going by maintaining contact and outreach efforts to institutions in the Southeast,” says Parker.
- Increase liaison between UCOWR and NIWR. Doug explained, “We can encourage a synergy of efforts between UCOWR and NIWR that create additional benefits to all of our UCOWR members.”
- Finally, Parker wants to work with the UCOWR Board on the “initiation of a strategic planning process to take the organization into the future with a clear mission and strategy in place.” He will seek input from UCOWR membership on this strategic plan in the near future.
We, the staff of UCOWR, thank Dr. Parker for his generosity of time and talent given to serve our membership over the coming year, and look forward to working with him in the coming months!