June 4, 2014

Ankeny, Iowa—Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) would like to congratulate Dr. Mark Nearing, research agricultural engineer with the Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, for receiving the 2014 Hugh Hammond Bennett Award. The Hugh Hammond Bennett Award is the Society’s most prestigious award and recognizes extraordinary national and international accomplishments in the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

“Because of his important contributions to the science of erosion modeling and his mentoring of scientists who carry on erosion research worldwide, Dr. Mark Nearing is fully deserving of the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award,” said Rob Lawson, Chair of the SWCS Awards Committee.

Nearing is a 25-year member of SWCS and was directly involved in the development of the Water Erosion Prediction Model (WEPP), which is a major international tool in erosion prediction. His career has also contributed substantially to the development of new interrill erosion and hydraulic relationships that have improved WEPP. His work at multiple scales, from rill networks to basin scale systems, has contributed significantly to understanding the erosion process. Under his technical leadership, WEPP is being extended to rangelands through the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM).

In addition to his major contributions to the science of erosion prediction, Nearing has mentored many young scientists at the University of Arizona, University of Georgia, and Purdue University. Many of these students teach, research, and promote soil conservation throughout the world. Nearing has also made major contributions by informing policy makers about natural resources. For example, he contributed to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.

Nearing will be presented with the award at the 69th SWCS International Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on July 29, 2014, in Lombard, Illinois. Additional information about SWCS awards and tickets to the luncheon are available on the SWCS website.


Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that fosters the science and art of natural resource conservation. For more information on Soil and Water Conservation Society mission, programs, and events, visit www.swcs.org, or follow on Facebook at /soilandwaterconservation or Twitter @swcsnews.

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