2005-2008: Institute for Global Environment and Society, Director

April 9, 2008 | By | Add a Comment

Center for Research on Environment and Water, Calverton, Maryland

The Institute of Global Environment and Society, Inc. (IGES) – a non-profit, tax exempt research institute, incorporated in the State of Maryland – was established to improve understanding and prediction of the variations of the Earth’s climate through scientific research on climate variability and climate predictability, and to share both the fruits of this research and the tools necessary to carry out this research with society as a whole. The staff of IGES includes a dedicated group of scientists uniquely qualified to conduct basic research in these areas. Application of scientific knowledge for the sustainable development of society is an important objective of the Institute.
In 2005 I established an IGES center of excellence dedicated to basic research on the Earth’s water cycle and how changes in this cycle impact the global environment: the Center for Research on Environment and Water (CREW). The goal of CREW research is to quantify and predict water cycle and environmental consequences of earth system variability and change through focused research investments in observation, modeling, and application. CREW research integrates across traditional disciplines to develop an end-to-end program that transitions theoretical research to academic/public education and real-world application, through partnerships with universities, the government, and international agencies. The center goal of improved and applicable predictions of the water and energy cycles will require decisive progression from observations to improved understanding and modeling, and eventually to better prediction and application.
As founder and director of CREW, I had the responsibilities to provide leadership, to provide an excellent research environment, to manage the day-to-day operations of CREW, including grants and contracts, and to help secure “omnibus” funding. The Director chairs the CREW Executive Council. The Director is responsible for (1) appointing CREW employees; (2) conducting original research and monitoring the research activities of CREW scientific staff; (3) all direct expenses incurred by CREW; (4) enforcing IGES internal controls, as applicable; (5) chairing the CREW Executive Committee; (6) recruiting CREW scientific staff; (7) reappointment, raises and promotions of all CREW employees; (8) assigning office space to CREW employees; (9) grant proposals; (10) timely reporting of grant activities; (11) grant accounts for direct expenditures; (12) all business travel by CREW employees; (13) inviting visitors to CREW; (14) purchasing; (15) all scientific publications; (16) common CREW resources; (17) publicity; (18) collaborations; (19) reporting to the President of IGES; (20) awards to CREW employees; and (21) termination of CREW employees.

Filed in: Experience

Dr. Paul R. Houser

About the Author (Author Profile)

Dr. Houser in an internationally recognized expert in local to global land surface-atmospheric remote sensing, in-situ observation and numerical simulation, development and application of hydrologic data assimilation methods, scientific integrity and policy, and global water and energy cycling. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona in 1992 and 1996 respectively. Dr. Houser's previous experience includes internships at the U.S. Geological Survey and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Houser joined the NASA-GSFC Hydrological Sciences Branch and the Data Assimilation Office (DAO/GMAO) in 1997, served as manager of NASA’s Land Surface Hydrology Program, and served as branch head of the Hydrological Science Branch. In 2005, he joined the George Mason University Climate Dynamics Program and the Geography and Geoinformation Sciences Department as Professor of Global Hydrology, and formed CREW (the Center for Research for Environment and Water). Dr. Houser has also teamed with groundwater development and exploration companies (EarthWater Global and Geovesi) and has served as Science Advisor to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Dr. Houser has led numerous scientific contributions, including the development of Land Data Assimilation Systems (LDAS), the Hydrospheric States Mission (Hydros/SMAP), the Land Information System (LIS), the NASA Energy and Water cycle Study (NEWS), and the Water Cycle Solutions Network (WaterNet).

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