Skip to content


The American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) recognizes individuals for outstanding accomplishments in the fields of groundwater, surface water, water quality, and institute development. These awards are named after prominent hydrologists, who have made numerous lasting contributions to the hydrologic sciences. AIH Awards include:

The Charles Vernon (C.V.) Theis Award was established in 1986 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions in groundwater hydrology. Charles V. Theis graduated with a PhD from the University of Cincinnati in June 1929 and made numerous contributions to the field of groundwater science throughout his life. An excellent biography of C.V. Theis’ life and contribution to groundwater science is found online at

The Ray K. Linsley Award was established in 1986 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions in surface water hydrology. Dr. Linsley made numerous contributions to surface water hydrology and was the principal author of the textbook, Applied Hydrology, published by McGraw-Hill in 1949. He directed the PhD dissertations of 35 students at Stanford University covering research on mechanics of overland flow, rainfall synthesis, stochastic hydrology, and modeling of the hydrologic cycle. These efforts led to the development of the Stanford Watershed Model, a state-of-the-art tool of hydrologists worldwide. Alexander Zaporozec and Robert L. Smith have also provided tributes to Dr. Linsley.

The AIH Wetzel award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the field of water quality. This award was dedicated in 2006 to the family of the late Robert G. Wetzel. Dr. Wetzel was a true leader in the field of freshwater science. His thoughts and brilliant synthesis of all aspects of lakes and streams are included in more than 30 books and 400+ publications including the definitive college text book of this field, Limnology.

The AIH Founders Award was established in 1990 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding, long-term, dedicated service to the Institute. It was established to honor the AIH founders Sandor Csallany, Alex Zaporozec, and Roman Kanivetsky. The award is given at the discretion of the AIH Executive Board to a member in good standing.

History of the American Institute of Hydrology by Csallany, Zaporozec, and Kanivetsky.

Nomination Criteria

The criteria for selecting an individual for an award includes, but is not limited to,

  1. A record of performance showing detailed scientific inquiries into water-related issues that are objective, credible, and useful — such as the integration of physical properties and chemical and biological processes.
  2. The record should show significant contribution to understanding how the hydrologic cycle affects humankind and how humankind affects the hydrologic cycle.
  3. The record should show the ability of hydrology professionals with multiple perspectives of water as a resource. Careful analyses and critical research are central, but guidance for making the value judgments that are necessary to choose among competing demands for limited resources is also important. Water users, hydrologists, watershed scientists, engineers, and resource managers must often make value judgments to decide among possible management actions.
  4. Award winners should be distinguished for their continued efforts to extend multidisciplinary approaches in the solutions of water problems.

Nomination Process

Each year, the AIH Executive Board will notify its members about the deadline for submitting nominations. 

The nomination packet for each award should contain the following:

  1. A formal nomination letter by the nominator, outlining the education, career, and a record of performance detailing accomplishments and noteworthy impact achieved by the potential candidate.
  2. A current resume of the nominee.
  3. A minimum of two and maximum of four supporting letters with a limit of three pages each.

The supporting letter writers should state briefly how they know the nominee and describe why the nominee is deserving of the award. Please submit your nomination to Award winners will be notified and the awards will be presented at an upcoming conference to be determined later in the year.

Award Vetting Process and Rules

  1. An ad-hoc awards committee will be established each year to evaluate the nominations and make a recommendation to the Executive Board.
  2. Upon review, deliberation and decision of the ad-hoc committee, at most a single candidate is selected for each award, and forwarded to the Executive Board for discussion and approval.
  3. Should the Executive Board approve the nomination, the President is responsible for contacting the selected person and informing them of the award. The President shall convey the time and venue for the award ceremony.
  4. The President cannot serve on this ad-hoc committee and is ineligible for any of the awards.
Year Charles V. Theis Award Ray K. Linsley Award AIH Founders Award Robert G. Wetzel Award 
1987 Roger J.M. DeWiest
Aalst, Belgium
1988 Isaac J. Winograd
Reston, Virginia
 Peter O. Wolf
London, England
1989 Thomas A. Prickett
Urbana, Illinois
 Luna B. Leopold
Berkeley, California
1990 Shlomo P. Neuman
Tucson, Arizona
 Robert L. Smith
Lawrence, Kansas
1991 Herbert E. Skibitzke
Tempe, Arizona
 David R. Dawdy
San Francisco, California
 Ralph C. Heath
Raleigh, North Carolina
1992 R. Allen Freeze
White Rock, Canada
 Norman H. Crawford
Redwood City, California
1993 Philip Cohen
Reston, Virginia
 Wilfried H. Brutsaert
Ithaca, New York
1994 James W. Mercer
Sterling, Virginia
 Joseph B. Franzini
Palo Alto, California
 L. Douglas James
Arlington, Virginia
1995 A. Ivan Johnson
Arvada, Colorado
 Vit Klemes
Victoria, Canada
 John E. Moore
Denver, Colorado
1996 John M. Sharp, Jr.
Austin, Texas
 Harold A. Thomas
Cape Code, Massachusetts
 Joseph S. Rosenshein
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1997 William Back
Reston, Virginia
 L. Douglas James
Arlington, Virginia
 Kenneth N. Brooks
St. Paul, Minnesota
1998 Leonard F. Konikow
Reston, Virginia
 James C.I. Dooge
 John M. Sharp, Jr.
Austin, Texas
1999 David Keith Todd
San Francisco, California
 Peter S. Eagleson
Cambridge, Massachusetts
 Brook A. Kraeger
Los Gatos, California
2000 Mary P. Anderson
Madison, Wisconsin
 David Woolhiser
Ft. Collins, Colorado
 Darryll T. Pederson
Lincoln, Nebraska
2001 Richard R. Parizek
University Park, Pennsylvania
 John Cassidy
San Francisco, California
 Verne H. Scott
Boulder, Colorado
2002 Lorne G. Everett
Santa Barbara, California
 David H. Pilgrim
South Wales, Australia
 Antonius Laenen
Portland, Oregon
2003 M. Doug Bedinger
Carlsborg, Washington
 Stephen J. Burges
Seattle, Washington
 Gerald E. Seaburn
Marietta, Georgia
2004 J. Toth
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 C. T. Tom Haan
Stillwater, Oklahoma
 Helen Klose
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2006 Fred Molz
Clemson, South Carolina
 Vijay P. Singh
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2007 Phillip B. Bedient
Houston, Texas
 Jack Delleur
West Lafayette, Indiana
   Robert H. Meade
Reston, Virginia
2008     Emitt Witt
Rolla, Missouri
2009     Vijay P. Singh
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2010   Peter E. Black
Syracuse, New York
2011     Mustafa M. Aral
Atlanta, Georgia
2012   David R. Maidment
Austin, Texas
2017 Lynn Gelhar Kenneth W. Potter
Madison, Wisconsin
 David T. Williams
Fort Collins, Colorado
 Jimmy Kao
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2018   Dr. Thomas Dunne, Santa Barbara, California   John R. Gray, Herndon, Virginia 
2019 Bridget R. Scanlon, University of Texas 

Christopher B. Burke (CBBEL)

  Rao S. Govindaraju (Purdue University) 

Susan Hubbard (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)


Dr. David Ford, HDR

 Greg Bevenger 

Dr. Mohamed Hantush, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2021 Vicki Kretsinger Grabert, PH 

Dr. Phil Bedient


Dr. Ying Ouyang, PH

2022 Todd Halihan, PhD Bruce Wilson, PhD   Vijay P. Singh, PhD, PH 
2023 Ken Howard, PhD Jeff McDonnell, PhD John Nieber, PhD   
2024 Rao Govindaraju, PhD Deborah H. Lee, SES, PH, PE, BC.WRE, F.ASCE, ENV SP