Dr. Kristan Cockerill, Assistant Professor in Cultural, Gender and Global Studies and Dr. William Anderson, Chair and Professor in Geology, were recently recognized as the 2015 Boggess Award winners by the Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). This prestigious award recognizes research conducted in the preceding year that best describes or analyzes a major problem or aspect of water resource management.
Their research, “Creating False Images: Stream Restoration in an Urban Setting” utilizes a local water resource, Boone Creek, to examine the prevailing assumptions regarding stream restoration practices, including why, where and how stream restoration is conducted. In their research Drs. Cockerill and Anderson propose that many stream restoration projects may actually exacerbate existing problems and create new water resource problems due to a lack of data, planning and evaluation.
According to Dr. Cockerill, the research interest in the subject is driven by the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary opportunities that studying water restoration and management issues provide. “I’m very interested in complex systems and in assessing problems from multiple perspectives”, she states. “Stream management encompasses so many facets and so many disciplines.” For instance water management research spans the fields of history, hydrology, ecology, water policy, public perception, hydrogeology, geomorphology, civil and environmental engineering, and others.
In the future, the pair plans to continue their research in monitoring the vitality of Boone Creek and the impacts of continued development, and also hope to bring student authors into the project.