CSUSB Announces Restructuring Of Water Resources Institute

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – The Water Resources Institute at Cal State San Bernardino has announced a restructuring of its operations to better meet the needs of external water agencies and water-related organizations, and to fulfill the projects within WRI.

Susan Lien Longville has been named the director of university partnerships and Boykin Witherspoon III has been named the director of programs for WRI, said Jeff Thompson, the CSUSB associate provost for research.

“Susan has served as the director of WRI since 2005,” Thompson said. “This new appointment will focus her talents on developing water-related partnerships with the local and regional communities we serve.”

Longville served on the San Bernardino City Council from 1998-2006 until she stepped down to assume the leadership of CSUSB’s Water Resources Institute.

“Over the past six years, the WRI has grown exponentially, with the procurement of numerous federal and state awards that have enabled CSUSB faculty, students and researchers to participate in education, research and public policy pertinent to water,” said Longville. “Now I look forward to working with the communities we serve in the Santa Ana, Mojave and Coachella watersheds to develop creative new university partnerships.”

CSUSB President Albert K. Karnig noted that Longville’s leadership was responsible “for building local support to construct the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation Demonstration Garden located on the CSUSB campus without state funding.”

Longville also “established an assortment of endowments honoring water leaders that support student scholarships in water resource studies and the expansion of the WRI’s water archives,” Thompson said.

Witherspoon will serve as program manager for several externally funded programs.  He will be the co-principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education grant whose goal is to attract underrepresented women into the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The project will train students to gather data about the Santa Ana River Watershed using GIS (geographic information system) techniques to map where the data has originated.

The project is developing a three-dimensional model of the Santa Ana River Watershed onto which the data will be projected in order to better visualize locations of data and how it changes over time.

Another initiative is a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prepare students for careers working for the USDA. This project is a consortium between 14 California State University campuses that are Hispanic Serving Institutions.  Each year 50 students will receive paid internships to give them work experience to enhance their career preparation.

Witherspoon, who is an expert in geospatial technology, is completing a Web portal for use by business developers to allow them to model mitigation of environmental issues when building on alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits of earth from streams or run-off of hills and mountains).

“Boykin’s talent will allow our students to gain valuable skills while creating data and software that will allow the community to better plan for development within the Santa Ana watershed,” Thompson said.

Visit the Water Resources Institute website at https://wri.csusb.edu/index.html to learn more.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.

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