Dr. Robert O. Evans, who retired this summer as head of the N.C. State University’s Department of Biological and Engineering (BAE), has been named to the International Drainage Hall of Fame. He was honored in April at the International Drainage Hall of Fame award dinner and ceremony, held at The Ohio State University.
Evans, an expert in water table management and water quality, received the prestigious award for his internationally recognized contributions to drainage, drainage water management, stream and wetland restoration, riparian buffers and nonpoint source pollution control. He is noted for his contributions to applied research, extension and public acceptance of drainage water management and controlled drainage. His work has made a difference to agricultural production and profits on drained soils, water quality and the environment.
From his early research, Evans determined crop response to shallow water tables and developed algorithms for predicting yields losses in terms of water table depths and durations. His results were incorporated into DRAINMOD, a computer simulation model developed by the BAE Department’s Dr. Wayne Skaggs. The model simulates the hydrology of poorly drained, high water table soils and predicts the effects of drainage and associated water management practices on water table depths, the soil water regime and crop yields.
An alumnus of N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Evans earned his 1976 bachelor’s, 1981 master’s and 1991 doctoral degrees from the BAE Department. Prior to becoming department head in 2006, he was professor and department Extension leader. Throughout his career at N.C. State, he has made significant contributions in research, graduate teaching and Extension administration, as well as leadership in local and national committees, professional societies, study commissions and task forces.