Nick Matalas, one of HWR's inaugural faculty members in the early 1960s, an icon of the U.S. Geological Survey, and former President of the American Geophysical Union's Hydrology Section, has died at the age of 88.
Matalas was among the original group of "old men waiting at the Denver airport in 1960," which included John W. Harshbarger, Eugene S. Simpson, Thomas Maddock, Jr., and Luna Leopold, who went on to create the University of Arizona's Department of Hydrology and Water Resources.
After completing his doctoral degree in civil engineering at Harvard, Matalas made his career with the U.S. Geological Survey where he received the Meritorious Service Award and Distinguished Service Award, among others too numerous to mention here. He served on the faculties of the University of Arizona, Harvard University, Tufts University, and the University of Virginia.
He was the first invited speaker in the Chester Kisiel Memorial Lecture series in 1982. Nick made his final trip to the University of Arizona campus in April 2016 when he and his wife Stella were honored guests for the HWR 50th Reunion. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the national Parkinson's Foundation.