Writer: Melissa Nicole Hubbell
James Phillip King, associate department head and associate professor of the civil engineering department at NMSU, was recently appointed associate director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE). King has been associated with the university since 1991. He will bring a broad emphasis in water resources to the IEE.
“Dr. King has been involved in various water related issues for many years and will bring significant expertise to the Institute, augmenting our current capability in this area,” Executive Director of IEE Abbas Ghassemi said.
King received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1982 from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s and doctorate in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University and a master’s in business administration in 2003 from NMSU.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, King joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer engineer in Malawi, Africa. During this time, he designed irrigation systems for two research stations, taught two training courses for extension agents and other Corps volunteers and was chosen as Peace Corps Volunteer of the Year in 1984.
King was recently honored with the Donald C. Rousch award for excellence in teaching. His research has included irrigation, hydrology, and water quality studies of the Rio Grande and related groundwater systems. He has worked with Elephant Butte Irrigation District since 1991 in the development of flow monitoring systems and organizational infrastructure to allow the district to manage its water supply more effectively, and he provides technical support for dispute resolution on area water issues, including the recent landmark settlement between New Mexico and Texas on the Rio Grande.
King has worked with irrigators, municipalities, Native American tribes, and World Wildlife Fund to develop new approaches to water management, including intersectoral transfers and reuse among agricultural, municipal and industrial, and environmental interests. He serves as a director for the Leasburg Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association, as a supervisor for the La Union Soil and Water Conservation District, and he is Governor Bill Richardson’s designee on the New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation Commission.