Parker elected to National Academy of Sciences

5/2/2017 1:17:05 PM

Professor Gary Parker was among 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for 2017. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors a scientist can achieve and is granted in recognition of “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” Parker is the first CEE at Illinois faculty member to achieve this honor since Nathan M. Newmark 51 years ago.

“I thank the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for providing the very friendly and stimulating environment that made this possible,” Parker said. “My two departments, CEE and Geology, and the University as a whole, have been outstanding places to be for the last 12-and-a-half years.”

Parker joined the Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE at Illinois) in 2005. He holds a B.S. from the Department of Mechanics and Materials Science of John Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his position on the CEE at Illinois faculty, Parker holds a 25 percent appointment in the Department of Geology, where he is the W.H. Johnson Professor of Geology.

Parker’s research interests are in morphodynamics, the study of the evolution of landscapes and seascapes in response to the erosion and deposition of sediment, associated with rivers, debris flows and turbidity currents. His work on meandering rivers led to his selection as winner of the 7th Prince Abdul Aziz Surface Water Prize, awarded at the United Nations headquarters in New York in November 2016. Parker has received numerous other honors over the years, including the Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award (2016), the Water Resources Research Editor’s Choice Award (2014), the American Geophysical Union G. K. Gilbert Award (2014), and the BSG Wiley Blackwell Award (2012). He appears frequently on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.

The newly elected NAS members will bring the total U.S. membership to 2,290 and the number of foreign associates to 475.

From left, Estela Canga, Professor Marcelo H. Garcia, Waraporn Parker and Gary Parker at a reception honoring Parker's election to the National Academy of Sciences.