Congratulations to Hoshin Gupta, 2014 EGU John Dalton Medalist

Photo Hoshin Gupta
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

(previously published in 2014 on HWR website)

A huge round of applause and our warmest congratulations go to Dr. Hoshin Gupta, HWRS Professor, recipient of the 2014 European Geosciences Union John Dalton Medal!   

The Dalton Medal was presented by the European Geosciences General Assembly* on April 29 in Vienna, Austria, and awarded to Gupta "for his seminal contributions to systems approaches to hydrologic science, for training a large number of outstanding young scientists, and for unselfish stewardship of hydrologic science and practice on a global scale.”

Professor Gupta was nominated by one of his former post-doctoral students, Dr. Thorsten Wagener, now Full Professor and Chair, Water and Environmental Management Research Centre, Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, University of Bristol (UK).  Wagener's letter of nomination cited Gupta's pioneering work on systems modeling for the field of hydrology:

"Gupta’s ideas, methods, and vision set the standard for the last 25 years and have tremendously enhanced our ability to use models for learning and prediction in hydrology.  He and his colleagues:

  • Developed the first global optimization algorithm specifically suited to the particular characteristics of hydrological models (parameter regionalization)

  • Identified and formalized the need for multi-objective optimization of watershed models

  • Developed new stochastic approaches that became the standard for the field hydrology

  • Proposed a new theory of diagnostic model evaluation...."

Wagener's introductory remarks identified the hallmarks of Gupta's work, namely, "his ability to identify, break down, and solve complicated problems; his ability to communicate complex issues; and his encouragement of young scientists."

The official EGU resume outlined more fully Gupta's contributions to the field of hydrology and water resources:

 
“Hoshin V. Gupta is largely responsible for, and is the most visible symbol of, the evolution of systems approaches in hydrologic and land surface modelling.  Gupta developed the first global optimization algorithm specifically suited for the particular characteristics of hydrological models.  (He) was among the first to use the notion of the perceptual, conceptual, mathematical, and numerical stages of model development, and the first to present a generalized representation of model structure, which then allowed a single evaluative framework for considering data assimilation, parameter optimization, and ensemble modeling.
 
Gupta was one of the first to identify the need for multi-objective optimization of watershed scale hydrologic models.  He brought artificial neural networks into hydrologic modeling and demonstrated how they can be used for continuous rainfall-runoff modelling.  He developed new Bayesian stochastic approaches for uncertainty analysis.  Gupta also proposed a new theory of diagnostic model evaluation, which, for the first time, explicitly included hydrologic process understanding, in the form of runoff signatures, in the formulation of objective functions. 
 
His contributions to hydrologic science, especially modelling, have been phenomenal and consistently of excellent quality maintained over three decades:   Gupta is one of the most visible hydrologists at the international level.
 
Gupta has collaborated widely and has mentored a large number of outstanding young scientists.  He is an acknowledged world leader, with a long sustained international record of leadership of and service to the discipline via international committees and editorial activities. 
 
Few scientists have left a deeper footprint in hydrology.  For Gupta’s pioneering, seminal, and sustained contributions to systems approaches to watershed hydrologic modelling, for his role in the training of a large number of young scientists, and for his unselfish stewardship of hydrologic science and practice on a global scale, Gupta is awarded the John Dalton Medal.”
 

Congratulations, Hoshin, for this outstanding and much deserved lifetime achievement award!

*Official citation, European Geosciences Union John Dalton Medal 2014