John Fleck has been appointed director of The University of New Mexico's Water Resources Program. Fleck is Professor of Practice in water policy and governance in the university’s Department of Economics, and has been the Water Resources Program’s writer-in-residence since January 2015.

“UNM’s Water Resources Program is a unique interdisciplinary program with faculty contributors from across campus,” said UNM Dean of Graduate Studies Julie Coonrod. “While many faculty members work across disciplines, John Fleck truly thinks in an interdisciplinary way. This rare quality, along with his highly-regarded reputation in the western water community will provide strong leadership for this graduate program.”

Fleck, a former staff writer for the Albuquerque Journal, has taught water policy, governance, and technical and scientific communication in the Water Resources Program since 2013. He used his position as writer-in-residence to complete Water is For Fighting Over: and Other Myths about Water in the West, a study of the water problems facing New Mexico and the Colorado River Basin and their possible solutions being published Sept. 1 by Island Press. He has written about water issues in southern California, New Mexico and across the western United States.

“Working with UNM Water Resources Program students over the last few years has been incredibly rewarding,” Fleck said. “The chance to continue that work as the program’s director, to connect our students with faculty working on water across the UNM campus to find ways to solve our water problems, is an exciting opportunity.”

An interdisciplinary program housed in Graduate Studies, the Water Resources Program brings together faculty from across the university to work on New Mexico’s water problems and solutions. The program’s primary focus is on training future water managers in hydroscience and water policy and management.

Fleck succeeds Economics Professor Robert Berrens, who has headed the program since 2013. “My appreciation goes out to Bob Berrens for his service as Director.  Dr. Berrens infused some new ideas into the program, including the asking of John Fleck to assist in teaching a foundational course,” Coonrod said.