Dr. Chansheng He wins WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Chansheng He.

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KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An internationally known expert on water resource management has been named Western Michigan University's 2015 Distinguished Faculty Scholar.

Dr. Chansheng He, professor of geography, has been selected to receive WMU's highest award for a faculty member and will be honored at the University's Academic Convocation at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Outstanding leadership, tireless efforts

A WMU faculty member since 1995, He has been lauded for his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about a wide range of issues related to water resources management. One nominator noted He's knowledge of water resource modeling and assessment, integration of geographic information system and simulation modeling for watershed management.

He also is well-versed in integrating hydrological and biological indicators into watershed management, the use of hydrologic budget and chemical data for groundwater assessment, and integrating landscape ecological principles and land evaluation for sustainable land use.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1982 and a master's degree in 1985 from Northwestern Agricultural University in Yangling, Shaanxi, China, and a doctoral degree in resource development from Michigan State University in 1992. He has numerous journal articles and more than a half dozen book chapters to his credit. He also is frequently featured as a keynote speaker at conferences across the world on such topics as climate change and water resources sustainability and watershed science and water resource management. He is the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, including a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, and he has received more than $3 million in external grants from both national and international funding agencies.

'Rigorous researcher'

"Not only is Professor He an exceptional geographer and quite a rigorous researcher with both disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches, but also he gave very personal attention to all his doctoral students," wrote the nominator, who had attended a conference with He.

"Dr. He has a distinguished, creative and exemplary record of scholarship and is highly regarded nationally and internationally for his research and leadership on questions of water resources management and watershed hydrology," wrote another nominator. "His high level of professional and scholarly activity would merit recognition as a distinguished scholar in any major U.S. university."

The nominator became aware of He's work because of mutual research interests and He's many contributions of creative scholarship and leadership that are evident around the world.

Innovative and practical

"The scholarly contributions of Professor He are innovative as well as practical," the nominator continued. "He has been instrumental in developing a new way to model the effects of land use on water quality in watersheds and he has contributed a new concept, 'hydrologic resource shed,' to the analysis of water resources."

He's research has been funded by a variety of agencies, notably in the United States by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and also by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

"Dr. He's research helps to manage and reduce problems of water quality, particularly in the Great Lakes Basin of the United States, as well as problems of water scarcity, a major concern in northwestern China," the nominator wrote. "He has built resourceful collaborations in North America and Asia, which have resulted in an impressive number of published contributions in recent years. These collaborations show promise to continue to yield new information, insights and solutions."

About the Distinguished Faculty Scholar award

Established in 1978, the Distinguished Faculty Scholar award recognizes those whose work constitutes a significant body of achievement, most of which has been accomplished while a faculty member is at WMU. Nominations are sought campuswide for recipients, who also must be widely recognized beyond the University. The award includes a plaque and a $2,000 cash award. As an award recipient, He also will have $2,000 added to his base salary.

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