Thomas named Executive Director of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences at DRI
Hydrogeologist has played key role in water research projects throughout Nevada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2012
RENO – Dr. Jim Thomas has been named the Executive Director of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences (DHS) at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). He was previously DRI’s Director of the Center for Watersheds Environmental Sustainability (CWES).
“Having worked on Nevada water issues for more than 31 years, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone with a broader understanding of issues within the state than Jim Thomas,” DRI President, Dr. Stephen Wells said. “Not only does he have extensive experience working in Lake Tahoe, the Walker Basin and Eastern Nevada, but he is also the program manager of DRI’s West Africa Water Initiative.”
Thomas spent 19 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in Carson City, Nev., before joining DRI in 1999. He earned a Ph.D. in Hydrology/Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Mackay School of Mines in 1996. As the CWES Director since 2005, Thomas played key roles in developing large interdisciplinary research programs in the Lake Tahoe and Walker Lake basins, as well as providing support for projects in Southern Nevada. In the Walker Basin, Thomas has been administering $16 million in federal funding in collaboration with UNR. In addition, he helped to develop and secure funding for a four-year $4 million Water Resource Assessment Program with the state engineer’s office and helped obtain a $1.5 million grant to preserve cloud seeding for the Walker basin.
Thomas oversees DRI’s West Africa Program, which has done work in Ghana, Mali and Niger, which has focused on improving well drilling for clean water sources. DRI recently received a new five-year $1.2 million contract to continue this work.
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