Purdue University Professor of agricultural and biological engineering Keith Cherkauer has been appointed director for the Indiana Water Resource Research Center. Purdue says Linda Prokopy, department head of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, will step down after serving in the role for six years.
The IWRRC, which is one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes established under the federal Water Resources Research Act, is housed on Purdue’s West Layayette campus. The IWRRC’s main priorities are to support water research in Indiana, train future water scientists and disseminate research results to water managers and the public.
“Keith is the perfect person to take the center to the next level,” Prokopy said. “He has spent his career at Purdue focused on water issues relevant to the state, and he is very much in tune with stakeholder needs. I have confidence that he will help to raise the profile of the work the center does throughout the state.”
As the new director, Cherkauer says he wants to involve the IWRRC more in outreach across the state, aiming to engage residents with the center’s research. Building a stronger bridge between water researchers and public water resource managers around Indiana is just one of the ways he plans to achieve this.
“While fundamental research will continue to be a core focus at the center, I would like to see the IWRRC take on a larger role disseminating those results throughout the state,” Cherkauer said. “Getting more people involved in state water resources research helps ensure that no one is feeling left out of the overall efforts.”
Cherkauer is expected to begin his new role September 1.