Ciaran Harman will receive the 2016 Early Career Hydrologic Science Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for significant early-career contributions to hydrologic science.
Citation—Peter Troch, University of Arizona, Tucson
I am grateful to AGU; to the Hydrology section and its chair, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou; to those who nominated me; and most especially to Peter Troch for his unwavering support, and generous citation. I never found Newton’s suggestion of standing on the shoulders of giants to be terribly useful. Following them around at conferences, asking lots of questions, and generally being a pest seemed a more effective strategy.
I didn’t go to grad school with the intent of being a hydrologist. One fateful day I walked into Siva Sivapalan’s office to talk about a little hillslope model I had been playing with. Siva’s response was enthusiastic. Soon we were talking about heterogeneity, scaling, and closure relations—issues that I have returned to ever since. His fascination with these issues became my own.
I have been fortunate to have the mentoring and support of some wonderful people. First among them is Siva—as I work with students of my own I understand more and more the how deft his guidance and support was. But I am indebted to so many—Kitty Lohse, for showing me what tenacity looks like, particularly in the field; Praveen Kumar, for raising my mathematical consciousness; Suresh Rao, for introducing me to transport issues; Peter Wilcock, for his faith; and many more—giants all!
I am most grateful for the opportunity to play—to play with data, to play with technology, to play with theory, and, most especially, to play side by side with others—while searching for insights into real societal and environmental issues. Play is the opportunity to wander beyond our limits, and perhaps find something worth cutting a path back to. It is the best opportunity I can hope to share with the talented students I am privileged to work with.