CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 15, 2002
Nakato Appointed Manager Of Mississippi Research Station
Nakato, associate director of IIHR -- Hydroscience & Engineering, has
been appointed manager of the Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research
Station (MRERS), effective Jan. 15.
Operated by the University of Iowa College of Engineering's
IIHR unit, MRERS will be the only university-affiliated, comprehensive river
research station in the world. It will be housed in the Lucille A. Carver
River Research and Education Facility, located near Muscatine, Iowa. Construction
on the approximately $2.5 million, 8,400-square-foot structure began in May
2001 and is planned for completion this winter.
IIHR Director V.C. Patel says that the appointment will
ensure that MRERS fulfills its potential and is particularly appropriate because
the facility grew out of Nakato's vision. Nakato, in turn, says that he was
inspired by a 1995 five-week boat trip on the Mississippi River to investigate
riverbank erosion between St. Paul, Minn. and Cairo, Ill.
"I was overwhelmed by nature's work," Nakato says.
"Because it is practically impossible to reproduce the extremely complex river
ecosystem in the lab, we need a good field observation site." He adds that
the station will be a place where biologists, hydraulicians, hydrologists,
and other scientists will be working together to learn from one another as
well as contributing to the education of elementary school, high school, and
college students, who will also visit the facility.
Modeled after two world-renowned ocean research centers
-- Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, Calif. and Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute in Woods Hole, Mass. -- MRERS will take a similarly holistic approach
toward river research. It will stimulate multidisciplinary research to assess
the long-term impact of natural events and human activities on the river ecosystem
and investigate ways to protect the river.
The facility is being made possible, in large part,
by a $1.2 million gift to the UI Foundation from the Roy J. Carver Charitable
Trust of Muscatine. Lucille Carver is a member of the Carver Trust Board of
Trustees and the widow of the late Roy J. Carver Sr., the trust's founder.
She attended the UI, received the Distinguished Service Award from the UI
Alumni Association in 1972, and served on the UI Foundation Board from 1981
IIHR is one of the world's premier and oldest fluids
research and engineering laboratories. Students and visitors from around the
world have come to IIHR to study and conduct research and to carry acquired
expertise back to their home countries.