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Affiliation: 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Title: 
Head, Physical Sciences Division
Department: 
Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab
Expertise: 
Hydrology, Water Resources, Climatology

Biography

As a start to a technical career, I took all the science and math courses available at my high school in Ferndale Michigan. At that time, early 1950's, that included a year each of physics, chemistry, and biology and math including two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and 1 semester each of solid geometry and trigonometry. Currently many high schools also include calculus and advanced placement science courses. As I was interested in Civil Engineering I went to Wayne State University in Detroit and received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. I had no particular specialty. My original goal was to be a highway engineer for the State of Michigan and work in the northern part of the lower peninsula where I could do a lot of fishing. Following graduation, I went to work with the Los Angeles District of the Corps of Engineers which was responsible for water resources dealing with federal flood control in southern California and Arizona. I was on an 18 month training program in all aspects of the types of work being conducted in the District. This included construction, contracts and specifications, design, flood planning, military engineering, hydraulics, hydraulics laboratory, and hydrology. While on the training program I discovered my interests in hydraulics and hydrology. Following completion of the training program I went to work in the Hydrology Section doing hydrologic design for flood control reservoirs and channels and operating the existing reservoirs during flood conditions. To build my technical expertise in hydraulics and hydrology I began work on a M.S. program in Civil Engineering at the University of Southern California and began taking courses in the evenings. My education was partially supported by the Corps of Engineers. After 2 years in California, my wife, daughter and I moved back to Michigan where I transferred as a hydraulic engineer for the Lake Survey District of the Corps. Our work was conducted throughout the Great Lakes basin. Interesting assignments included determining how much water was flowing over Niagara Falls and in the St. Clair, Detroit and Niagara Rivers. I also did hydraulic design for navigation projects in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. I finished up my M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering at Wayne State Univ. When we began using computers around 1964 I began working in the area of developing computer models for the flows in the St. Clair, Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers as well as models depicting the movement of water throughout the Great Lakes system. In 1966 I was awarded a Corps of Engineers scholarship to study full time ( and at full pay) in hydraulics and hydrology at the University of Michigan where I graduated with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a specialty of water resources of large lakes and river basins. In addition to formal education I also learned through on-the-job-training and through technical conferences. Education is a life long experience. In July 1999 I will have worked 39 in the water resources field with the federal government. I am now a Senior Research Hydrologist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Ann Arbor, Michigan