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Dr. Todd Halihan (left) receives the Charles V. Theis Award in Seattle on Nov. 9.

OSU geology professor wins Theis Award for contributions to groundwater hydrology

Monday, November 28, 2022

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 | egosney@okstate.edu

Dr. Todd Halihan, professor in the Boone Pickens School of Geology (BPSoG) at Oklahoma State University, was recently awarded the Charles V. Theis Award by the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) for his work in groundwater hydrology.

“This award is the highest groundwater research award presented by the AIH and is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but for groundwater research,” Halihan said. “Clean water has provided the biggest difference in human health over any other achievement, and should be celebrated.”

AIH regularly recognizes individuals for accomplishments in the fields of groundwater, surface water, water quality and institute development. Halihan accepted the award at the American Water Resources Association conference in Seattle on Nov. 9. 

“To have Todd receive this award continues to confirm the outstanding quality and commitment of the professors in the BPSoG,” said Patty Walker, OSU geology alumna and retired chief geoscientist for ExxonMobil. 

“The respect and recognition that Todd is receiving from his peers in the hydrogeology community speaks to his position as a thought leader in the industry, his well respected research, the quality of the students he educates and sends into the workforce, and his commitment to the mission of a land-grant university like Oklahoma State.”  

Fellow BPSoG associate professor Dr. Jim Puckette echoed Walker, stating that Halihan’s accomplishments go beyond being an exceptional scientist. 

“He is also dedicated to outreach and service and does not hesitate to give back to his students, CAS, OSU, the state of Oklahoma and the professional societies and organizations he belongs to,” Puckette said. “His impact at OSU is difficult to measure because beyond being an outstanding teacher and researcher, he has for almost two decades carried the torch for the hydrogeology and environmental geology subdisciplines at OSU.”

Halihan explained that OSU has been the home of groundwater and subsurface fluid research since the BPSoG was founded, and is bolstered by collaborations with the National Ground Water Association and a number of state businesses and organizations.

“With more than 98% of our available freshwater in the ground, groundwater has to be the focus of our efforts if you are going to sustain humanity,” Halihan said. “Helping people find clean water or remediate dirty water is the most rewarding career you can find.”

To learn more about what OSU is doing in the field of groundwater, visit the Boone Pickens School of Geology website and NGWA University Powered by OSU

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