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Cherkauer appointed director of IWRRC

Effective Sept. 1, Keith Cherkauer, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, will assume the role of director for the Indiana Water Resource Research Center (IWRRC). The IWRRC, one of the 54 Water Resources Research Institutes established under the authority of the federal Water Resources Research Act, is housed on Purdue University’s campus.   

Linda Prokopy, department head of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, will step down as director of the IWRRC after six years of serving in the role. 

“Keith is the perfect person to take the Center to the next level,” Prokopy said. “He has spent his career at Purdue focused on water issues relevant to the state and he is very much in tune with stakeholder needs. I have confidence that he will help to raise the profile of the work the Center does throughout the state.”   

The IWRRC’s three main goals are to support water research in the state, train future water scientists and disseminate research results to water managers and the public. Over the years, the IWRRC has funded numerous research projects that enabled both junior and senior scientists at universities throughout Indiana to conduct studies that led to publications and future competitive grants.   

As the new director, Cherkauer said he is interested in getting the IWRRC more involved in outreach across the state, aiming to engage residents with the center’s research. Building a stronger bridge between water researchers and public water resource managers around Indiana is just one of the ways he plans to achieve this. 

“While fundamental research will continue to be a core focus at the center, I would like to see the IWRRC take on a larger role disseminating those results throughout the state, Cherkauer said. “Getting more people involved in state water resources research helps ensure that no one is feeling left out of the overall efforts.”   

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