In Memoriam – Jack Keller, Irrigation Engineer


In Memoriam – Jack Keller

 

JackKeller  Jack Keller, recognized internationally for his creativity, innovations, and expertise in irrigation and water engineering and management, passed away in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the age of 85. At the time of his death, Jack was working with International Development Enterprises to develop affordable irrigation technologies for small farmers in developing countries.

Prior to earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado in 1953, Keller served in the Navy and the Air Force reserves. He earned a master’s degree in irrigation engineering from Colorado State University in 1955 and a PhD in agricultural and irrigation engineering from Utah State University in 1967.

Keller started his career in irrigation with the W.R. Ames Company before joining the engineering faculty at Utah State University in 1960. He served as department head of agricultural and irrigation engineering from 1980 to 1986. He founded and served as CEO of Keller-Bliesner Engineering LLC, an irrigation and water resources engineering firm based in Logan, Utah, providing consulting services to clients in the U.S. and internationally. His work took him to more than 60 countries in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Despite being dyslexic, Keller was a voracious reader and authored more than 100 technical papers and reports as well as two textbooks, and received four U.S. patents.

“Irrigation,” Keller wrote, “is very important to the well-being of the world.” Jack never retired. He dedicated his entire career to addressing challenges related to irrigation. Jack was well known in the national and international irrigation engineering communities, earning the respect of his colleagues for his creative, holistic problem solving based on rigorous engineering principles.

He was the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors including the Scientific American 50 Award. Keller was a dedicated member of the National Academy of Engineering and willingly fulfilled member responsibilities for more than 25 years. He was a 58-year ASABE member.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sally Altick Keller, whom he met while studying at the University of Colorado. Other survivors are his brother Eugene; sons Andy (Lauren) and Jeff (Renee); daughter Judith (Nelson Cronyn); and grandchildren Ian, Antonia, Maria, Malayna, Erica, Max, Avery, and Zayk.

A member of the Baha’i Faith, Keller was buried in Boulder, Colo., according to Baha’i burial customs. A Celebration of Life gathering in Jack’s memory will be held in spring 2014 in Logan; details to be announced later. The family suggests memorial contributions in his name be given to Expanding Lives, 5541 N. Saint Louis Ave. Chicago, Ill. 60625, and Intermountain Bioneers, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 5 S. Main Street, Logan, Uah 84321.

As published in Inside ASABE, December 20 2013

 

Courses offered this semester at UPRM: Farm Irrigation and Agroclimatology (TMAG)


I will be offering the following two courses this semester at UPR-Mayaguez. Please click the following links for the course fliers.

TMAG 5017 Agroclimatology

TMAG 4019 Farm Drainage and Irrigation Systems

Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information about either course.

Eric Harmsen, Professor
University of Puerto Rico
Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681
email: harmsen1000@hotmail.com, eric.harmsen@upr.edu
phone: 787-955-5102
websites: http://pragwater.com , http://bahai.org

irrigation

Course offerings this semester at UPRM: Farm Irrigation and Agroclimatology (TMAG)


I will be offering the following two courses this semester at UPR-Mayaguez. Please click the following links for the course fliers.

TMAG 5017 Agroclimatology

TMAG 4019 Farm Drainage and Irrigation Systems

Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information about either course.

Eric Harmsen, Professor
University of Puerto Rico
Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681
email: harmsen1000@hotmail.com, eric.harmsen@upr.edu
phone: 787-955-5102
websites: http://pragwater.com , http://bahai.org

irrigation

Why Leaves Evolved


The Glory of Leaves

Click here to read article

leaves
Water Lily:  Like snorkels, the mouthlike stomata on water lily leaves point up, where they find the air they need.
From National Geographic Magazine, October 2012, http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/leaves/dunn-text

This article is very interesting, describing some of the evolutionary processes that created the wide diversity of plant leaves that exist over the surface of the Earth.  It also discusses the process of photosynthesis as a unique mechanism for deriving food directly from the sun.  The article, unfortunately, never once mentioned the extremely important temperature regulation mechanism of evapotranspiration, which is the other important function of the stomata (microscopic pores on the surface of leaves).  The reader may find it interesting that only about 1% of the solar energy received by the leaf is used for photosynthesis.  The other 99% is converted into other energy fluxes for maintaining the leaf temperature within a comfortable range.  When sufficient water is present in the soil, virtually all of the solar radiation is converted into the latent energy flux  (i.e., water vapor), which keeps the plant leaf cool,  the same way perspiration is used to cool humans.  Keeping cool is critically important for plants, to avoid heat stress and a reduction in their growth and yield (e.g., fruit, seed, etc.).

 

Surface Runoff Calculator Widget


This Wolfram-Alpha widget calculates the surface runoff (mm) based on the value of precipitation (mm) and the Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) Curve Number (CN).  More information on the methodology can be obtained from the following reference:  Fangmeier, D. D., W. J. Elliot, S. R. Workman, R. L. Huffman, and G. O. Schwab, 2005. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Fifth Edition. pp. 528.  Values of CN for various land covers, soils and antecedent moisture conditions are available in the NRCS Pond Construction Handbook.  Click here to download

Note to user:  Sorry about all the digits to the right of the decimal point.  I couldn’t find a way to control this when creating the widget.

DISCLAIMER: The information is provided “as is”. The authors and publishers of this information disclaim any loss or liability, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of applying the information provided herein, or in regard to the use and application of said information. No guarantee is given, either expressed or implied, in regard to the accuracy, or acceptability of the information.

 

 

CROP WATER USE ( HARGREAVES ET EQUATION) NEW WOLFRAM ALPHA WIDGET


CROP WATER USE ( HARGREAVES ET EQUATION) NEW WOLFRAM ALPHA WIDGET. Reference: Hargreaves, G. H. and Z. A. Samani, Reference Crop Evapotranspiration from Temperature. Appl. Eng. Agric., ASAE. 1(2). 1985,. pp.96-99.

Widget Application: Suppose you want to schedule irrigation by replacing the water evapotranspired by your crop each day. 1. Click on the appropriate link to get yesterdays solar radiation for your location: Puerto Rico or Northern Caribbean, 2. Check the internet for the average daily air temperature at your location (average = (minimum + maximum)/2), 3. Get the appropriate crop coefficient for your crop from this link, and 4. Finally, enter solar radiation, air temperature and crop coefficient into the widget to estimate ET. Multiply ET x acres x 1069.0663 to get the number of gallons of water you need to apply to your field.

NOAA CREST SUMMER CAMP at UPRM


Students from across Puerto Rico attended the NOAA CREST Summer Camp this week on the UPRM Campus.  This afternoon, they attended a workshop by Dr. Eric Harmsen, which focused on the use of GOES-PRWEB for scheduling irrigation in Puerto Rico.  Irrigation scheduling is important for water conservation and for achieving optimal crop yields.  The presentation is provided below:

DOWNLOAD PDF PRESENTATION HERE

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