The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

New Adjunct Faculty Member Dr. Bob Webb Receives DOI Distinguished Service Award

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dr. Bob Webb, a new SNRE Adjunct faculty member, was honored with the highest award issued by the U.S. Department of Interior, the Distinguished Service Award:

Robert H. Webb
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the U.S. Geological Survey in the fields of hydrology, geomorphology and landscape ecology.
Dr. Webb is an internationally renowned expert in arid-lands hydrology, geomorphology, and landscape ecology, and one of the U.S. Geological Survey’s most talented and productive practitioners of natural resource management. His highly-acclaimed research in the Grand Canyon provided much of the basis for the now common practice of using controlled floods from large dams to manage downstream habitat for plants and wildlife. He also generalized how flow regulation could sustain river ecosystems in Dams and Rivers, A Primer on the Downstream Effects of Dams (USGS Circular 1126), which was honored by the first Eugene M. Shoemaker Communications Award. His award-winning books The Mojave Desert: Ecosystem Processes and Sustainability (2009) and Ribbon of Green: Change in Riparian Vegetation in the Southwestern United States (2007) are capstones from his leadership in the highly-influential multi-agency efforts, the Mojave Vulnerability and Recoverability of Desert Ecosystems Project and the Southwest Ground Water Resources Program. Dr. Webb has contributed to habitat conservation plans in the Mojave and California Deserts, sited alternative energy development facilities in California, evaluated soil compaction from off-road vehicles, and assessed ecological effects of accelerated traffic by undocumented aliens along the Mexican border. His scientific expertise proved essential in a Department of Justice case that set legal precedent for wilderness areas by successfully maintaining road closures in Canyonlands National Park. His world’s largest archive of repeat photography, which includes over 6,000 historical photographs that provide rich evidence for a century of landscape change, is captured inGrand Canyon, A Century of Change (1996), The Changing Mile Revisited (2003), Cataract Canyon, A Human and Environmental History of the Rivers in Canyonlands (2004), andRepeat Photography: Methods and Applications in the Natural Sciences (2010). 
For his outstanding contributions to the USGS, Dr. Robert H. Webb is granted the highest honor of the Department of the Interior, the Distinguished Service Award.