José Rivera, a Center for Regional Studies research scholar and professor in community and regional planning in the School of Architecture and Planning, recently received the first ever Acequia Scholar Award from the New Mexico Acequia Association. Rivera was honored for his years of academic service to acequias.
"For most of my academic career at UNM, I have studied the acequias of the upper Rio Grande and comparative water institutions in arid lands around the world. After some 30 years of research, the Acequia Scholar Award from the New Mexico Acequia Association truly is the highest recognition that can be presented to any university faculty member. I am humbled and honored at the same time, especially the presentation of the award during the annual Congreso de las Acequias held in the 25th anniversary year of the NMAA," Rivera said.
Rivera is the author of Acequia Culture: Water, Land, and Community in the Southwest, a 1998 UNM Press publication. He also authored La Sociedad: Guardians of Hispanic Culture along the Rio Grande, UNM Press, 2010; and various research monographs related to water, environmental planning and Hispanic culture.
Rivera holds a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University, and masters in both social welfare, also from Brandeis, and in English literature from the University of Arizona. He has served as full professor in both the School of Public Administration as well as the School of Architecture and Planning. He served as director of the UNM Southwest Hispanic Research Institute and as special assistant to the provost and vice president for research. Rivera assumed an advisory role for the UNM School of Law Utton Transboundary Resources Center, and as faculty associate with the water resources program.