Foundation Professor Scott W. Tyler has been named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. The AGU honor is given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees. Tyler, a faculty member in the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Science, is being inducted for his fundamental advancements of desert, river, lake, and glacial processes through novel measurement, theory, and international collaboration.
This honor is bestowed on one-tenth of one percent of the membership in any given year. The AGU Fellows program, which began in 1962, will recognize at their annual meeting the 60 individuals - including Tyler - who have been elected as 2015 Fellows. The ceremony will be on Dec. 16 at the 2015 AGU fall meeting in San Francisco. Tyler joins fellow College of Science faculty members Geoffrey Blewitt, of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and James Brune, Emeritus faculty member of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, as only the third Nevada System of Higher Education faculty member to be inducted as a Fellow of the AGU.
Tyler's areas of science span the wide range of hydrology and environmental fluid dynamics. He is a professor with the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering and adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research is focused on water, solutes and energy fluxes in the subsurface, as well as their exchange into the atmosphere and across glaciers.
He serves as the director of the Centers for Transformative Environmental Sensing Programs (www.ctemps.org), a National Science Foundation-supported instrument center focusing on the development of distributed fiber optic sensing and drone monitoring of the environment.
His work with CTEMPS keeps him busy around the state, the country and the world. With a big spool of fiber-optic cable and a large suitcase-size laser generator, Tyler travels the world taking the earth's temperature. For example, he has dropped a cable through Antarctic ice to the ocean bottom to measure the temperature and gauge the melting of the ice sheet. His cable has been to Switzerland to study glaciers, to Germany to study coal mine reclamation and acid mine drainage, to the depths of Lake Shasta to monitor salmon populations, and to Death Valley to study water temperature at Devils Hole to help protect the endangered Devils Hole pupfish.
Tyler has conducted research on water and climate in the Atacama Desert of Chile and on the glaciers of Switzerland, developed paleoclimate response of desert soils and aquifers, quantified the role of convection on Antarctic lakes and studied the impact of the 2004 Asian tsunami on groundwater quality in Sri Lanka. He is the former editor for AGU's Water Resources Research, past Chair of the Geological Society of America's Hydrogeology Division and former Distinguished Darcy Lecturer.
Tyler earned his bachelor of science and engineering degree in 1978 from the University of Connecticut, his master's degree in 1983 from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his doctorate in hydrology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1990.