Featuring DRI Scientists

PI Spotlight: Dr. Clay Cooper

clay cooper sml

Dr. Clay Cooper first became interested in water resources research when he was studying geology for his bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University in the 1970s. “At that time, geology was largely a descriptive science, with little understanding of the coupling and feedbacks of the different chemical, physical, and biological processes of an observed phenomenon,” Cooper says. “For example, a geological engineer could estimate a rate of erosion from a hillslope, but that would have been largely intuitive or  based on crude measurements. Hydrology seemed more quantitative and because I enjoyed math and physics, that’s the field I decided to pursue in  graduate school.”  

Postdoc Spotlight: Dr. Hai Pham

dr hai pham

In arid/semiarid regions such as Nevada—where rainfall is scarce and surface water is not available and/or of poor quality—groundwater plays an important role in socioeconomic development. Nevada is facing major groundwater issues, such as groundwater availability, natural and artificial groundwater recharge, and underground storage of hazardous wastes. My research goal is to find new ways to model the Nevada groundwater systems to protect, restore, and promote sustainable groundwater use. 

Adam Watts, Fire Ecologist

Dr. Adam WattsAdam Watts, Ph.D., serves as a Assistant Professor of Fire Ecology and Deputy Director of the Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) program at DRI and is focused on wildfire prediction and monitoring, including applications for unmanned autonomous systems (commonly known as drones).

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