Srinivasan receives Vice Chancellor's Award for international involvement

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan, 979-845-5069, r-srinivasan@tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan, Spatial Sciences Laboratory director at Texas A&M University and a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, was honored with the  Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in International Involvement.

Srinivasan receives Vice Chancellor's Award for international involvement

Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and director of the Texas A&M University Spatial Science Laboratory, College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo)

Established in 1980, this awards program recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The award was presented Jan. 6 at the 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence Ceremony in College Station.

Srinivasan is also a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management and a senior scientist for the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture.

He has brought “impressive national and international recognition to Texas A&M University over the past 15 plus years in the area of spatial sciences, climate change impacts on hydrology and crop production, and computer-based natural resource modeling,” according to the nomination.

Srinivasan is one of a group of scientists from AgriLife Research and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service who developed the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, or SWAT model, as it is known.

SWAT is a river basin-scale computer model developed to quantify the impact of land management practices in large, complex watersheds. The public-domain model is widely used to evaluate the land management and climate change impact on water quality and quantity.

It can help predict impacts of weather, soils, land use and land management on water supplies and pollution as well as soil erosion, fertility and crop production. Srinivasan’s contribution to this model is the integration of large-scale, internationally available nature resource databases and geographic information systems, the nomination said.

The nomination read, “His work was pioneering in that no one had incorporated these databases and used GIS in the manner Dr. Srinivasan did. Without these applications, the model’s use would be very limited. SWAT serves as a virtual laboratory for testing the effectiveness of alternative environmental and agricultural policies and pollution control programs.”

Researchers and decision-makers across the U.S. and in other countries continue to take notice of SWAT and Srinivasan’s work. He maintains and continually establishes collaborative projects with international institutions for research in Mexico, Germany, India, Portugal, Canada, China and Africa.

Because of the international growth of SWAT, Srinivasan and other researchers began organizing international SWAT conferences in collaboration with universities in Colorado, South Korea, Spain, India, France and Brazil. Attendees represent government agencies, universities, municipalities, consulting agencies, regulatory agencies, and policy and management resource groups for water and natural resources.

In addition, Srinivasan has obtained approximately $5.3 million in grants and funding for research in the last five years. He also is co-principal investigator on a five-year, $12 million U.S. Agency for International Development project working in three African countries on researching innovative solutions for small-scale irrigation enhancements.