Chuck’s wife, JoAnne, his daughter Bo Farrell, his son-in-law, and his 10-year-old grandson Morgan are all here today to help us celebrate. JoAnne, Bo, and Morgan: please stand to be recognized for all of your contributions as well. Chuck says of JoAnne, “As usual, she deserves lots of the credit.”
“Without Chuck, water resources economics would not have come of age.” That was how one of the nominating letters characterizes Chuck’s contributions, and all of the evidence supports this claim.
Chuck received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 19….well, a long time ago… Chuck’s direction of the Water Resources Program at RFF from 1965 to 1970 was just the beginning of a long career as a champion of water resources research and policy. He is a world-renowned expert in the intricacies of western water economics, and his research has defined ALL the key issues in water economics, including:
- the demand for water (who hasn’t been told to go read Howe and Linaweaver, Water Resources Research, 1967?)
- the role of public water-investment projects in regional economic development
- management of integrated water projects
- interbasin transfers of water
- water supply reliability
Chuck served as the lead author of chapter on water resources (in relation to climate change) for the 2001 IPCC report, and chaired an NRC committee on the Privatization of Water Services in the US during 1999-2002.
Although now out of print, Chuck’s early natural resource economics text was one of the first designed for graduate students and it helped to train many excellent resource economists. This text also identified many of the major research issues discussed in our journals through the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Although Chuck has published many fine papers in economics and environmental economics journals, his publications also populate water law and water policy journals—a testament to his strength in interdisciplinary communication and the policy relevance of his work. His success in persuading the American Geophysical Union to add a distinct Policy Sciences section to Water Resources Research has helped many economists—who use rigorous economic models and methods to analyze specialized water-related issues—find a well-respected home for their research. In fact, AERE acts twelve years after the American Geophyiscal Union in recognizing Chuck as a Fellow their association. (I’m just glad we have the excuse that our Fellows program is so new.)
As a mentor, there are few as dedicated and generous as Chuck. Both Cliff Russell and Ron Cummings, two of last year’s new AERE Fellows, have credited Chuck with encouraging their professional development. Chuck’s support for his junior colleagues, young professionals, and graduate students has been immense. Almost every one of the nomination letters refers to Chuck’s indomitable optimism and cheerfulness, enthusiasm, drive, and refusal to expect anything less that the very best from others.
Chuck was one of the first members of AERE and has been a strong supporter of the organization down through the years. He served two stints on the Board of Directors, and was AERE President in 1989-1991.
Chuck spent thirty years as a Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, retiring in 2000…but retirement seems to represent his first “overwhelming failure.” A slightly out-of-date vita lists five articles or book chapters in 2005!
For his remarkable contributions to all aspects of the Economics of Water; for his willingness and remarkable ability to bring economic ideas into regional, national, and international debates about water and water-related issues such as climate change; for his service to AERE (both on the Board and as AERE President); and in recognition of his unselfish mentorship and the enthusiastic encouragement he has provided to his own students and so many other young economists, we today induct Charles W. Howe as a 2007 Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Congratulations, Chuck!