CORVALLIS, Ore. - Michael E. Campana, a hydrogeologist and international expert on a range of complex water management issues, has been named the director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University.
Campana is currently the director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, and will begin his position at OSU next spring. He will succeed John Bolte, interim director of this OSU institute that involves the work of more than 80 faculty members in six colleges.
Campana, who received a doctorate in hydrology from the University of Arizona, has done extensive research on water resources in developing countries, transboundary water resource issues, water allocation and availability, and other areas. He is also founder and president of a charitable foundation that funds and undertakes water, health and sanitation projects in developing nations.
"Oregon is facing a variety of water and environmental problems," Campana said. "OSU's water expertise must be brought to bear in solving these problems, and the Institute for Water and Watersheds needs to reach a point where it is the first organization Oregonians think of when water issues arise."
Campana said he hopes to focus the institute's efforts on large, multidisciplinary, long-term projects, and significantly increase external funding for water research activities at the university, which is now about $11 million a year. He also hopes to boost educational and outreach programs, aid the creation of science-based water policy, bring more leading national experts to Oregon for lectures and other work, and develop more student scholarships for OSU water programs.
Much of his recent work has been in foreign countries in Central America, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia, Campana said, and he plans to increase OSU's international visibility in projects such as this. Campana has served on a number of federal research committees, is the past chair of the 10,000-member Association of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers, and has participated in many other national and international water research and management initiatives.