ASCE has honored Daene C. McKinney, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2018 Julian Hinds Award for his significant and lasting contributions to groundwater systems modeling, system optimization, sustainable management of water resources and climate adaptation, concern for transboundary water issues and international water conflicts, and exemplary application of systems methods to national and international water resources problems.
McKinney has pioneered research in several areas of water resources planning and management. In the 1990s, he led research in groundwater systems modeling, publishing the first paper on the application of genetic algorithms for water resources systems analysis (McKinney and Lin, 1994, Wat. Resour. Res., cited 293 times, by Web of Science); another paper by his group around the same time (Jin et al. 1995, Wat. Resour. Res.) has also been cited widely (215 times, by Web of Science).
Starting from the late 1990s, McKinney has led research in sustainable management of water resources, especially the integration of engineering, economic, environmental, and political considerations in transboundary basins (e.g., Rosegrant et al., 2000, Ag. Econ.; Cai et al., 2003, J. Wat. Resour. Plng. & Mgt.; both have been cited approximately 130 times, by Web of Science). It is also notable that he pioneered the research on the game-theoretic approaches to transboundary water-sharing agreements.
Most recently he has pioneered research on climate change adaptation in major river basins, the impacts of climate change in glacier-dominated river basins, and the management of glacial lakes growing as a result of glacier melting. He is currently the comanager of the USAID High Mountains Adaptation Partnership Program to broaden understanding of high mountain environments while supporting communities who rely on glacial watershed systems.
Another contribution to the field are his students. McKinney has mentored dozens of students who have made significant contributions to education and research in water resources planning and management. He has mentored 20 Ph.D. students to graduation, six of whom are currently tenured/tenure-track professors.
The Julian Hinds Award is given to recognize the author or authors of that paper that is judged to make the most meritorious contribution to the field of water resources development. That award may also be made to an individual for notable performance, long years of distinguished service, or specific actions that advanced engineering in the field of planning, development, and management of water resources.