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D. Phillip Guertin
Area of Expertise:Watershed hydrology and management; watershed assessment and planning; nonpoint source pollution; geographic information science and technology
I have earned three degrees in watershed hydrology and management; a B.S. from Utah State University in Forest Hydrology, with a minor in Soils, a M.S. in Watershed Hydrology from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Forest Hydrology from the University of Minnesota. I also supervised a field project for the University of Minnesota for two years on wetland hydrology in northern Minnesota before starting my doctorate program and was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in Hydrology with the U.S. Geological Survey. I have been associated with the Watershed Management and Ecohydrology Program (WSMEH) in SNR at the UA since Fall of 1986. I served as the chair for the Landscape Studies Program in SNR from 1998-2007 and I am currently the chair in the WSMEH. I also have an extension appointment as a Watershed Specialist and have worked on two extension programs, the Arizona Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials program (AZ-NEMO) and the Arizona Master Watershed Steward Program (MWSP).
My two areas of expertise, watershed management and geographic information science (GIS), are both interdisciplinary in nature and have a strong focus on "real world" application. I have developed teaching, research and outreach programs that include both disciplines.
I currently teach five courses every year (Applications of GIS, Cartographic Modeling, Resource Mapping, Spatial Analysis and Modeling, and Watershed Management) where I have sole responsibility and one course with partial responsibility (Natural Resource Management Practices). Four of these courses are in GIS and represent a large portion of the GIS curriculum at the UA. My teaching philosophy is based on the concept that students learn best by doing. All my classes have laboratory sections that center of problem-solving activities. I like to place the student in the role of a professional with "real world" problems to solve and stress not only techniques, but also critical thinking. First and foremost I consider myself a teacher. What I find truly rewarding is to see the spark of understanding in a student's eye or to personally mentor a graduate student. The students are the primary reason a university exists and should be our first priority.
I have been involved in designing and developing curriculum at the UA for over 20 years. I have developed undergraduate and graduate GIS-based educational options in the SNR. I am a member of the Interdisciplinary Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Ph.D. minor (RSSA) and assisted in defining its Spatial Analysis (i.e. GIS) option. In collaboration between the Department of Geography and Regional Development and SNR, I also helped design a post-baccalaureate GIS Certificate. I currently help administer the GIS Certificate Program and serve as one of its academic advisors. I am currently on a committee designing a masters program in GIS. In 1988 I was a member of a SNR committee that designed and developed a set of courses that serve as the core for our undergraduate degree program in natural resources. I was responsible for developing and maintaining landscape studies option in the SNR for many years and I am currently oversee the watershed management option.
My research program has evolved over time. During the 1990's most of my efforts were focused on the application of GIS for natural resource management. This was an exciting period in the profession when everything was new and we were all trying to determine the limits of this new technology. During this period I was one of the co-founders of the Advanced Resource Technology Group (ART), the primary GIS faculty at the UA, and directed ART for seven years.
Since the late 1990's I have been concentrating on linking my two areas of interest, geographic information science and watershed management. I have been a member of a team developing GIS-based tools to support watershed analysis, assessment and planning. The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) is being developed by the UA, UW and USDA-Agricultural Research Service Southwest Watershed Research Center in a collaborative effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research Laboratory to support watershed assessment and planning (www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa/). In 2006 the AGWA effort was awarded the U.S. EPA, ORD Honor Award, Bronze Medal. AGWA is also planned to be used in the USDA Rangeland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). In 2007 the AGWA team was awarded a USDA-CSREES Rangeland Science grant to create a rangeland watershed assessment based on AGWA technology.
My research program has been shifting towards the development of Internet-based services and models. We have created an Internet version of AGWA (DotAGWA) with funding received from the U.S. EPA and USDA-CSREES. I am a member of a team developing WEPPCAT, an Internet version of Water Erosion Predict Project (WEPP) model that will simulate the impact of climate change on erosion with funding from the U.S. EPA. I have also supervised the development of several ArcIMS map services. I believe in the near future that most advanced, discipline-specific computer applications, as well as outreach materials, will be delivered by way of the Internet and that the design and development of these applications will be an important function at universities.
Although most of my efforts have been focused on hydrologic modeling and other computer applications, I have also maintained an active hydrologic field research program. Over the last 10 years I have been working with researchers with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Southwest Watershed Research Center using rainfall simulators to assess the affects of vegetation characteristics and fire on runoff and erosion in semiarid grassland and shrub systems.
My extension responsibilities include planning and implementing educational programs in watershed hydrology, watershed management and non-point source pollution, primarily using geospatial technologies. Most of my effort has concentrated on Arizona Nonpoint Education Municipal Officials Program (AZ-NEMO). I secured the original funding from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to initiate AZ-NEMO and initially supervised the NEMO Coordinator, several staff members and students. I have helped secure additional funds from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency to expand the scope of AZ-NEMO. I also helped develop the Arizona Master Watershed Steward Program (MWSP), a general adult education program focused on water resources patterned after the Master Gardener Program. I am also supervising the development of a series of fact sheets (Tips for Rural Landowners) for rural landowners in Arizona on sustainable management of small acreage homesteads.