WERI News

 USGS: WERI is “OUTSTANDING” 

The Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific at University of Guam is one of 12 institutes out of 54 federally authorized water research institutes in the nation receives the U.S. Geological Survey’s top rating of “outstanding” in its latest five-year evaluation. Read more (UOG News) >>

Read more (Pacific News Center) >>
Read more (Guam Pacific Daily News)>>

January 2020 | WERI Team

2019 Graduates
Master of Science in Environmental Science

WERI is proud to announce four new brilliant Masters of Environmental Science Graduates of 2019: Ms. Jennifer O. Cruz, Ms. Bekah Dougher, Ms. Lyuqin Liu, and Mr. Daniel G. Superales. These outstanding graduates are the product of the University of Guam’s Graduate Studies Program, Master of Science in Environmental Science who each produced WERI Master’s Thesis Projects.

Ms. Jennifer O. Cruz

Graduated May 2019
Committee: Denton, Biggs, Donaldson, and Jenson

Ms. Bekah Dougher

Graduated May 2019
Presidential Thesis Award
Comm: Habana, Jenson, Lander, and Ho

Ms. Lyuqin Liu

Graduated December 2019
Comm: Kim, Rouse, Jenson,
and Wu

Mr. Daniel G. Superales

Graduated December 2019
Comm: Habana, Jenson,
and Gingerich
superalesd@triton.uog.edu

 2019 Year Photo Gallery of WERI Graduates

Select a photo to open image viewer.

Thankful for clean, running water, electricity 

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I’ve been thinking about how good we’ve got it. My parents were members of the Great Generation that grew up during the Great Depression and started their adult lives during World War II.

Dad grew up on a sheep ranch in a mountain valley of Idaho, elevation 6,000 feet, with mountains on both sides rising to 12,000 feet. Cold, snowy winters and short, dry summers. His house had what dad called “outdoor plumbing” — an outhouse in back, with a hand-dug well on the other side, from which they drew water one bucketful at a time, by hand.

They heated water on a pot-bellied wood stove, and occasionally, in the summertime, heated about 10 gallons — enough to fill a portable bathtub — once. Everyone in the family took their turn, using the same bathwater. His three sisters took their turns first, so the water was cold and soapy by the time it was dad’s turn.

They did their homework next to a kerosene lamp. When he enlisted in the Navy, dad couldn’t believe how great life was in boot camp: hot food (all he could eat) that he didn’t have to cook himself, electric lights, flush toilets and showers … warm showers. And he didn’t have to do any real work, just calisthenics every morning, laps around a track and occasional runs through an obstacle course.

The Navy gave him a whole footlocker full of new clothing, taught him to swim and even fixed his teeth. And when he got on the ship, he had all of those same luxuries and only had to pull watch for four hours at time (instead of all night long, as during lambing season). Navy life was the best!
 
My generation was the first to grow up taking all those luxuries for granted, but hardly a day went by that I didn’t hear my dad express his gratitude that he didn’t have to carry water into the house, or heat it on the stove and that he could read under a clean electric light instead of a smoky kerosene lamp.

Dad’s generation on Guam also had outdoor plumbing; they relied on roof catchments instead of hand-dug wells but also had to bring water into the house by hand, and only used a few gallons a day. Most all of us now use an average of 70 to 100 gallons a day of hot and cold, disinfected, pressurized water delivered 24/7 right inside our houses.

We live better than the richest royalty of centuries past. Who among our great grandparents, let alone the generations before them, could have imagined that people of our time, even in cities of millions of people or islands surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean would have clean drinking water, let alone electrical power, delivered to every house?

We who live on Guam are probably more mindful of this miracle than our contemporaries in the states, who have never gone without power or water in the aftermath of a big storm, but even we can take these luxuries for granted. We are blessed to have reliable, well-led utilities that deliver these luxuries to us for a fair price year-round.

So, I’m thankful for the men and women of GWA and GPA, and our drillers, regulators and all the other professionals who work together to provide us with clean running water, flush toilets, electric lighting, air conditioning and the good life that my dad never took for granted.

John W. Jenson, Ph.D., is Director of the Water & Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific, Chief Hydrogeologist and Professor of Environmental Geology at the University of Guam.

Original source from Guam PDN
Published 11:15 a.m. CHST Nov. 20, 2019
Posted on 12/15/2019

WERI remembers Dr. Joseph D. Rouse

“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

Posted 8/27/2019

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