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The American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) recognizes its members for outstanding accomplishments in the fields of groundwater, surface water, water quality, and institute development. These awards are named after prominent scientists and engineers, 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 Ireland 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