WERI remembers Dr. Joseph D. Rouse

Dr. Rouse with a graduate student, Lyuqin Liu, at the WERI Water Quality Lab.

“All of us at WERI hold Dr. Rouse in the highest esteem for his integrity, competence, humor, collegiality, and graciousness. He was a team player…whose contributions were fundamental to the success of WERI and the University in serving the people of Guam and the region:

He was a first-rate classroom instructor and student advisor. He had genuine affection for his students and was dedicated to their success—while at the same time setting the highest standards for their performance and insisting on true mastery of the skills and knowledge of their science. 

He was a first-rate research scientist and professional engineer with extraordinary talent for innovative work on practical problems. His work on nitrate contamination of groundwater on Guam is of central importance to effective management of the quality of Guam’s drinking water. He was also leading pioneering research into the techniques of using seawater rather than freshwater for sewage treatment, which would help to conserve the island’s drinking water resources in the future. His work on small-island waste management and treatment in Yap and Pohnpei also epitomized the WERI mission of finding practical solutions for island water resources management. We will do our best to carry on these important lines of research.

Besides his contributions as an instructor and researcher, Dr. Rouse was one of the pillars of the University faculty:  For the past two years he chaired the Environmental Science Program, while also serving in the Faculty Senate.  Prior to that, he led the Senate’s Undergraduate Curriculum Review Committee, while also serving on its General Education Review Committee.  This past April, he was elected to serve on the University’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. And in May, he was re-elected to a second two-year term as chair of the Environmental Science program.  Throughout his tenure as a member of the WERI faculty he played a pivotal role in launching the University’s new School of Engineering by voluntarily assisting in its curriculum development, leading its search committees, and even advising its students, until the new school acquired sufficient faculty of its own.

Dr. Rouse’s soft-spoken and gentle demeanor—and his subtle sense of humor—endeared him to all who worked him.  He never lost his temper, and was a stabilizing influence and voice of reason in every group discussion.  He was one of the faculty’s acknowledged leaders—indeed, one of the university’s leaders.  His advice was respected and sought by everyone—administrators, faculty, staff, and students.

This is not gratuitous praise: Dr. Rouse’s scholarship, leadership, teaching, and mentorship of his students and younger faculty were exemplary, and his career epitomized the values of technical competence and professional integrity in science and engineering.

By now, most of you are aware that we are establishing the Joseph D. Rouse Scholarship for Professional Excellence and Integrity.  This is not only to honor Dr. Rouse’s memory but also—what would matter most to him—to preserve his legacy as a role model for university faculty and for our new environmental scientists and engineers whose careers are beginning with their education and training at the University of Guam.  In this way, he will not only have touched the lives and careers of his colleagues and students gathered here this afternoon, but the lives and careers of generations of UOG faculty, staff, and students to come.

We will greatly miss Joe, and are committed to honoring his memory and preserving his legacy.”

His family has expressed a desire to establish the Joseph D. Rouse Scholarship for Professional Excellence and Integrity in loving memory of Dr. Rouse and his work. Family and friends may make a contribution here to go towards funding this scholarship.

The Dr. Joseph D. Rouse Scholarship is made possible through UOG Endowment Foundation.

John W. Jenson
WERI Director


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