El Dia del Agua y la Atmosfera Opens Earth Week 2019

March 26, 2019

After many months of preparation and hard work, the 29th El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera student research conference opened Earth Week 2019 yesterday at the Student Union Memorial Center. The day-long event featured fabulous posters, outstanding oral presentations, and congenial networking among students, faculty, alumni, friends, and visiting students. We're pleased to report that the event was a resounding success!

The day began with a breakfast reception sponsored by HAS alumnus Peter Mock (Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc.) and was followed by opening remarks from HAS Department Head, Eric Betterton, and HASSA President, Neha Gupta.

Kenneth Graham, HAS alumnus and Director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, presented the keynote talk, followed by the first poster session. The first oral presentation session, moderated by Garrett Rapp, preceded lunch in the south ballroom. The luncheon, sponsored by Hargis+Associates, Inc., featured an informal talk by David Jewett, HAS alumnus and Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. EPA Groundater, Watershed, and Ecosystem Restoration Division.

Following lunch, activities included two oral presentation sessions, moderated by Jack Reeves Eyre and Tiffani Cáñez respectively, an additional poster session, and a round of 4-minute Lightning Talks moderated by Chandler Noyes. At the end of the day, the following students were recognized with awards and prizes for their outstanding efforts:

Montgomery Prize

A Legacy Sponsor, Errol L. Montgomery & Associates, Inc. - Prize for the most outstanding oral presentation of the event

Alissa White -  Water routing through the critical zone: A hydrometric, hydrochemical, and isotopic investigation in northern NM

Hargis Awards

A Legacy Sponsor, Hargis+Associates, Inc. - Awards for the most outstanding technical presentations (poster format) of the event

Ambria Dell'Oro (First) - Extent of salt dissolution and brine flushing to the Dolores river in the Paradox valley, Colorado

Jihyun Kim (Second) - Evolution of paleofluids and hydrochemical processes in the Paradox basin

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Awards of Excellence

Department-sponsored award for excellence in technical presentation (oral format)

Melissa Clutter - Robust design of field measurements for evapotranspiration barriers using universal multiple linear regression

Department-sponsored award for excellence in technical presentation (poster format)

Neha Gupta - Runoff increases due to urbanization in a semi-arid city

Donald R. Davis Undergraduate Distinction Award

Outstanding undergraduate student award sponsored by the Donald R. Davis Endowment

Kevin Strongman - Comparing different sounding parameters at KTUS to flood reports during the monsoon across southeast Arizona from 1990-2017

Eugene S. Simpson Undergraduate Prize (Poster Content Hydrogeology or Subsurface Hydrology)

Outstanding undergraduate poster award sponsored by the Eugene S. Simpson Endowment

Tiffani Cáñez - Investigation of the extent of fresh and brackish groundwater to inform better management of decreasing groundwater levels in the Willcox basin, SE Arizona

Following the awards ceremony, an informal pub social event sponsored by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District was held at No Anchovies on East University Boulevard.

We are grateful to all of our sponsors for the day's events, including:

Legacy Sponsor

Legacy Sponsor

Errol L. Montgomery & Associates, Inc.

Hargis+Associates, Inc.

Special Event Sponsors


Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc.


Hargis+Associates, Inc.

Post-Awards Social

Pima County Regional Flood Control District

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Friends of HAS

Supporting Grants

  • Hargis+Associates, Inc.
  • Pima County Department of Environmental Quality
  • The Salt River Project
  • Tucson Water
  • Geo-Logic Associates
  • Geo-Systems Analysis, Inc.
  • LI-COR Biosciences
  • Matrix New World Engineering
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Arizona Hydrological Society
  • Michael Block
  • Michael E. Carpenter (USGS Retired)
  • The University of Arizona Green Fund


Congratuations to all of our winners and thanks to everyone who worked so hard to prepare for the day's events. Good luck in the Earth Week Plenary Sessions later this week!

And one more thing--Jihyun, Alissa, Melissa, Kevin, Ambria, Neha, and Tiffani--U Nailed It!