McDonnell is associate director of the Global Institute for Water Security at USask and professor of hydrology in the School of Environment and Sustainability. McDonnell holds a PhD from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He held positions at NASA, Utah State and the State University of New York. McDonnell was the Richardson Chair in Watershed Science at Oregon State, before coming to USask in 2012.
AAAS’s purpose is to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." AAAS fellows are a distinguished group of scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines. The election of fellows can be traced back to 1874, and includes the likes of Thomas Edison, Maria Mitchell, Steven Chu, Ellen Ochoa and Irwin M. Jacobs.
“The AAAS’s goals align with USask’s mission to be the university the world needs,” said USask Vice-President Research Baljit Singh. “Dr. McDonnell is a shining example of the exemplary researchers and scholars helping us create discovery that has an impact across the planet.”
Over the past 30 years, McDonnell's work has focused on field-based runoff process descriptions around the world, leading to new measurement techniques and new understanding of the dominant controls of rainfall-runoff behaviour. He is author of more than 300 papers and co-edited the textbook Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology. Some of his recent work focuses on early career mentoring including his recent book Navigating an Academic Career: A Brief Guide for PhD Students, Postdocs and Early Career Faculty.
“I’m bursting with gratitude,” said McDonnell. “I’m also very aware that this honour really is one for my team of graduate students, technicians and postdocs. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have worked with some great young minds and I share this honour with them.”
McDonnell notes that “coming to USask 10 years ago was the best move of my career. To be back home in Canada and with such an outstanding group of water researchers in the Global Institute for Water Security has been a privilege.”
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