Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Hydrologic Sciences,
Civil & Environmental Engineering,
and Biological & Agricultural Engineering


Irma Mariño (March 2016)

My dear Miguel:

You are the pillar of strength that I embraced 48 years ago. The one that has nourished my life ever since, and have been so fortunate to have you as my husband and friend. Your kind heart and loyalty has been constant in our lives. Because of these qualities, and that insatiable thirst for growth and learning, I was 'sold on you' right away. Throughout these years, your steady manner has been behind the soothing of hard times. Being a professor at UC Davis, you gave me the opportunity to meet and share with many colleagues, personnel, and graduate students that touched all of our lives in so many special ways and remain great friends to this very day. Thank you for being a loving father and excellent role model to Raquel and such a wonderful partner to me. I thank God every day for putting you in my path March 30th, 1967.

Irma & Miguel at Home (Spring 2011)

Raquel Mariño (March 2016)

Dearest dad:

I remember being a tiny girl and sensing what an amazing person I had as a father...your beautiful face and smile, your warm eyes and gentle presence always made me feel so at ease. I've always been in awe of your accomplishments, your tremendous intellect, confidence and ambition, but mainly, of your amazing heart. You were always caring and dedicated...always taking the time to do fun activities with me, and take the whole family on trips by car and plane-to experience the world and all it has to offer. As busy as you were with your career, you always made us feel valued and found time for us. Also, to help whoever you thought was in need, whether it be one of us, or one of your friends. You've been an inspiration to me and through your example, I also acquired your strength, confidence, and devotion-in all areas of life. Along with mom, you showed me to persevere-no matter what life may 'throw' at you, as well as the true meaning of commitment, duty, and sacrifice. You have been, and will always be, my everything and my best friend. Seeing how you have always loved mom too, has engrained in me what true love really is, and what to aspire to in the future. When my time comes, and I meet my life partner--that caring, positive, ambitious, healthy in every way guy, I will be beyond proud to introduce you to him, and him, to you. That day is coming and soon. You are always in my heart and I will love you forever.

Visiting parents (March 2016)


Ahmad Abrishamchi, Sharif University of Technology, Iran

I first met Prof. Miguel Mariño at UC Davis in the fall of 1973. I visited him in his office in Veihmeyer Hall. As a young graduate student I was impressed by his superior knowledge, discipline and friendly character. The teaching and mentorship skills I learned from him have been great assets to me during the last 34 years as a university professor. Even the distance did not put us out of touch over the last years, which has been a privilege for me. Miguel is an outstanding scientist in the field of water resources management. He is well-known for his research and publications, and significant contributions as a pioneer in his field of expertise. He has earned widespread respect and fame through his sincere manner, remarkable knowledge and academic accomplishments. Indeed, Prof. Miguel Mariñois a gentleman and a renowned scholar who has had many years of continued success; he has been sincere, respectful and compassionate in his life.

Miguel Mariño and Ahmad Abrishamchi (2008)

Ali Abrishamchi, Santa Clara University

My first academic meeting with Prof. Mariño was back in August 2002. He was the very first UC professor I met at Davis, and his class was the first graduate class I attended. I had the advantage of taking his other classes as well. In general, the courses he taught were perfectly structured and he was very well disciplined, organized, to the point and able to communicate his knowledge to the class. I also found him very approachable, helpful and encouraging as my master’s degree advisor. Prof. Mariño is a prominent figure in the field of water resources and made valuable contributions to the science and academia by his researches. He has mentored many outstanding professors and engineers who served diverse communities across the world. I am very grateful to Prof. Mariño for the sustained influences he had on me to grow in my field of interest. I have been inspired by hisknowledge, and his friendly and humble attitude. I express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to Prof. Miguel Mariño.

Ali Abrishamchi and Miguel Mariño (2008)


Abbas Afshar, University of Science and Technology, Iran

Miquel, you are the heritage of all beauties and preciousness in the world. I will never forget the first day at UCD when I walked into your office and the last day when I asked you to take care of my graduation issue on my behalf when I was over excited to go home after revolution in 1978. The kindness and enthusiasm that you brought to me was indeed contagious, leaving a lasting impression on my life and career. You have been a true star both on my social life and on my dark environment toward science and knowledge.

Hereby, I would like to spread my words of appreciation for your great patient and mercifulness during my course of study at UCD and thereafter till today. You taught me how to backup my students and how to be grateful to all who have taught me a word.

AS your second PhD student, I am honored to have your precious contribution on more than 25 peer reviewed journal papers published from 1976 – 2013. I honestly owe much of my academic success to your help during last four decades in which you supported me as of the early days of my study at UCD. I and my family may never ever forget such a precious and lovely person in our lives.

Abbas Afshar and Miguel Mariño (Ph.D. Commencement 1979 - Davis, Summer 2014)


Amin Afshar - Leila Ostadrahimi, University of California Davis

We believe few couples get a chance to share almost everything; Not many people get a chance to do PhD, a percentage of them go to UCD, a portion of them do water resources, and few of them were lucky to work with Miguel. We are proud and grateful that we were able to share a valuable asset to UCD as our supervisor.

Miguel is someone you will instantly love and never forget once you meet him. Not only is he extra ordinary in his field of expertise, he is nice to others, brilliant in ideas, friendly with colleagues, supportive to students, trustworthy for friends, helpful and generous to everybody.

We hope that we could be as lively, enthusiastic, and energetic as Miguel and to someday be able to pass all we learned from him to the next generations.

We will forever be thankful to Miguel for all he did for us as a family.

Leila Ostadrahimi and Miguel Mariño (Ph.D. Commencement, 2014)

Tudor Botzan, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority – Ontario, Canada

Thank you, Miguel, for having been so great a friend and mentor all those years since my post-doc Fulbright grant at U. C. Davis, back in 1992. It was such a privilege working with and for someone like you! You have generously shared with me and many of your mentees, whom I met in the Department of LAWR, both scientific aspects of our profession and secrets of good editing. No matter how busy you were, you have always found time for some extracurricular activities or for meaningful discussions, leading in me to a learning journey for life. And it all came not only from someone with such a wonderful character and open mind, but also with a fine sense of humor and sensible soul.


Omid Bozorg-Haddad, Associate Professor, University of Tehran

I was pleased to get this opportunity to write some words about Professor Miguel A. Mariño. So, I tried to review, summarize, and make up my mind regarding Miguel’s qualities and try to express my ideas about his positive and bold characteristics, but for a while however, I was unable to do so. The reason being that all aspects of his life are above standard, at all levels. I have had much experience with teachers and friends in my life, but Miguel has undoubtedly been among the best in both areas (as a teacher and friend) and all-around great individual. I have had challenging situations during my academic career; the only guy standing by me was Miguel, strong and responsible. He has not changed in the way he deals with me in all situations. I have benefited from his cooperation, guidance, and suggestions, in addition to comments provided throughout the years. I owe all my academic success and achievement to him. I have learned a lot from him not only academically, but personally. All of my memories are meaningful and also unforgettable. His valuable, unique services in the development of water resources engineering and management sciences is very much appreciated and it can be undoubtedly concluded that he is the most distinguished professor in the field of water resources. The wide range of his investigations and teaching, as well as the training of current and former students in water technology, has contributed immensely to the development of the field of water quantity and quality. He has played an amazing role in representing university professors throughout the world in general, and specifically, in our country of Iran. I would like to dedicate these words to him because of his effective and unselfish cooperation, as well as more than half a century of valuable efforts in water resources engineering and management.


Xuefeng Chu, North Dakota State University

Dear Miguel: I am grateful beyond words for your kindness, support, encouragement, and friendship. I was so lucky to be one of your graduate students. More importantly, I have been so lucky to have you as my lifetime mentor. You have guided me to go through a number of important steps in my career and my personal life. Your guidance and advice have been far beyond my graduate studies at UC Davis. I have benefited tremendously from you and learned countlessly from you – your passion for your career, your dedication to your research and education, your services for the professional communities, and your willingness to help your students and colleagues. The special DVD album I made often brings me back to the enjoyable days shared with you and your family in Davis. Best wishes to you and your family.

Xuefeng Chu, Miguel Mariño and John Tracy (San Antonio, 2001)


Richard H. Cuenca, Oregon State University

I am proud to say that I have enjoyed the opportunities of my career due to the kindness of Prof. Miguel Mariño.  I have been a Professor at Oregon State University, a Research Director on sabbatical leaves in France and Ireland, a Program Director for Hydrologic Sciences at NSF all because Prof. Miguel Mariño opened his door.  I started my Ph.D. program in Water Resources Engineering at UC Davis under Prof. Jaime Amorocho for whom I will always have tremendous respect.  But when it came to the last year of my Ph.D. program, Prof. Amorocho was on sabbatical leave in South America.  I therefore asked Prof. Miguel Mariño if he would serve as Major Professor as I finished my Ph.D. program.  I belong to a select group of individuals around the world that Prof. Miguel Mariño opened his door to.  This is a debt it is impossible to pay back, except by following his example and opening my door and giving to others.  Gracias Miguel por todo. 

Richard Cuenca (2014)


Randall Gentry, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

I consider Miguel to be both a friend and mentor. For so many of us who were active in academia, government, EWRI and AGU, Miguel was a steadfast approachable leader. He has the strongest integrity and honor, which is recognized by his students and colleagues. Most of all, as mentioned by others, he is a nice guy. A nice guy who has contributed to the training and mentoring of so many water resources scientists and engineers. I consider myself fortunate to have been mentored and influenced by Miguel, my friend.


Eduardo Holzapfel, University of Concepcion, Chile

To my Professor Miguel Mariño I want to express my great appreciation and gratitude to my teacher Dr. Miguel Mariño for the invaluable support that he provided me in my vocational training and research. This action granted me important prizes throughout my career, for instance, at this moment my University of Concepción gave me the title of Emeritus Professor. I like to share this with Dr. Mariño. In the personal relationship he has been a great and very human friend, all my family recognize him as great man.

Mariño and Holzapfel Families (Napa Valley 1983)


Jan W. Hopmans, Past Department Chair, Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR),
University of California, Davis

Miguel, at the time of your retirement, you authored 295 articles that consistently provided new ideas to the water resources management and groundwater hydrology disciplines. You were recognized as a leading authority in your disciplines and such is reflected in a host of honors and awards that include the Julian Hinds Award of the American Society of Civil Engineering in 1996 and the Warren A. Hall Medal of the Universities Council on Water Resources in 2002. You have established a strong national and international reputation for your research, examining the proper design and management of hydrologic systems and the dynamics of flow and transport of contaminants in ground waters. You are recognized as an international authority on topics that encompass: conjunctive use of surface and ground waters, simulation of flows in soils and aquifers, optimization of reservoir operations, management of pesticides in surface and groundwater, and agricultural and integrated water resources management. As recognition of your service to the scientific community, you were elected Fellow of two most prestigious professional societies in your disciplines, namely the American Water Resources Association and the American Geophysical Union. You were an excellent teacher and mentor of graduate students, and you were also a dynamic and unselfish collaborator. LAWR faculty recognize your devotion to research and your national/international reputation in your scientific disciplines. The LAWR department acknowledges your contributions and is proud to have served as your main academic home.


Tariq Kadir, California Department of Water Resources

I’ve had the privilege to know Dr. Mariño for 30 plus years now as my professor, research advisor, friend, and racquetball partner. His lectures on simulation modeling (analytical and numerical) and systems analysis are a treasure. I still remember our first meeting long ago when asking about what type of classes to take as a graduate student; “Learn math”, he advised, “and the rest will follow”. I am always impressed by the breadth of his technical contributions where mathematics played a vital role; from purely analytical, to numerical analysis, to systems analysis, and these days to applications of evolutionary algorithms. We enjoyed playing racquetball together for over 10 years until his retirement…always a fierce competitor considering our difference in age. Professor Mariño is a world renowned academic and truly one of finest people I’ve come to know; a gentleman in every sense of the word.


Hugo A. Loaiciga, University of California, Santa Barbara

I worked with Miguel Mariño while I was a doctoral student at the University of California at Davis from 1982 through 1986. Those were professionally and intellectually formative years for me. I enjoyed the UC Davis years thoroughly. Miguel played a major role on my decision to pursue an academic career. In that sense, he was very influential on my life pathway. Decades later, I am convinced that the said decision was a very good one. Our professional collaboration continues to this date. Miguel was a common-sense adviser. I remember him telling me that “No man is an island”, that “the neighbor’s grass always looks greener”, that “the more money you make, the more taxes you pay”, that “you can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink it”, and so on and so forth. Now that I may be wiser, I realized how right he was.


Pete Loucks, Cornell University

Miguel, you have been among our growing group of water resource systems engineers, planners, managers, and professors who has made a lasting impression in, and contribution to, our field. Your contributions are not only all your publications - including those in every water resources journal that exists along with chapters in numerous books on the subject - but perhaps more importantly your most generous personality and willingness to help others of us do a better job and receive recognition. If I had ever obtained that appointment at UC Davis I was once interviewed for, a long time ago, I would have surely benefited from your wisdom and counsel on how best to survive in the ‘west’, and specifically in California. Thanks so much for all your support and friendship throughout these past decades, and hoping for the very best for you.

Pete Loucks (2002)


Jay Lund, University of California, Davis

Miguel Mariño (and Jerry Orlob) were the founders of water resources systems engineering at UC Davis. The success of our program today rests on the foundation built by them from decades of intense and earnest work. Miguel has always brought an incredible technical range to his research and teaching, with fundamental contributions in a wide range of areas. He has always been intensely dedicated to the success of students - all students. And he has always been a nice guy, even in faculty meetings. We miss his presence on the campus, after his retirement.

Kaveh Madani, University of Central Florida

With no doubt, Miguel is one of the instrumental figures in building an international reputation for water resources system engineering at UC Davis. Miguel is highly admired in Iran (where I come from) as an academic grandfather of many water resources systems educators and engineers. I had a pleasure of working with Miguel as a member of my Ph.D. committee and later as a mentor and a supportive friend. I keep admiring Miguel for his generous personality, kind heart, and willingness to support the young fellows in the field to stand on their feet. I have benefitted a lot from Miguel’s kind advices and words of wisdom. Miguel, I really thank you for your endless support and wish you all the best. It is my pleasure to put this special issue together with Miguel’s kind colleagues, friends, and former students to thank you for what you have done for our community.


Miguel A. Medina, Jr., Duke University

It has been my privilege to have known Miguel Mariño professionally for over 30 years. I have admired his academic trajectory, and consider him a giant in his field, with unparallele breadth and depth of knowledge: this is a self-evident fact. I have also worked closely with him when he was President of the American Institute of Hydrology: his tenure was characterized by utmost integrity and an uncommon civility towards others. He exhibite quiet understanding when there were events beyond his control. I wholeheartedly salut him on his outstanding achievements, I thank him for his stewardship, and I am proud to be counted among his friends, not just as another colleague.


Behzad Mohammadi, Microwizard

My Dear Friend Miguel: Your friendship has truly been a privilege that we all cherish and honor. I would like to thank Kaveh for providing this opportunity for us to share our thoughts and express our appreciations for how you have mentored us.
I first met Miguel in the fall of 1979 while taking his class on deterministic optimization models. By the end of the term, he asked me if I would like to work with him on a research project. I must have made a good impression on him, which by no means was one-sided. I guess “that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship” which has lasted over 3 decades. As I got to know Miguel and his family, Irma and Raquel, I was mesmerized by his decency, humility, dignity, honor, compassion, and most of all his humanity. Miguel has had a profound impact on my life and who I have become. You have been a teacher, a mentor, and at (many) times a big brother to me. But above all, you have been a true friend. We have been to many conferences together from San Francisco AGU conferences to the one in University of Exeter, and many more in between. I remember our first trip together to Toronto Canada, where I was presenting a paper for the first time in a technical conference. I was very nervous and you gave me an advice which I have never forgotten. You said “you know more about your paper than anyone else in the audience; don’t worry!” That gave me the confidence which I still carry with me every day when I make presentations to my clients. Obviously, I have learned many technical subjects from you, including what to say and not to say in a Ph.D. oral exam. But I have also learned (I hope) how to be a human.


Gilles G. Patry, President, Canada Foundation for Innovation and President Emeritus,
University of Ottawa

Dear Miguel, just a short note to say thank you! I feel so fortunate to have had the privilege to work with you during my years at UC Davis. I remember fondly our weekly meetings in your office in LAWR – chatting about my research, obviously, but about so many other things as well. The advice, encouragement and support I have received from you throughout my studies have proven to be invaluable. In recent years, I have had the opportunity to assume more administrative responsibilities. Following my time at McMaster University, I launched a consulting firm (Hydromantis, Inc.) and then became dean, provost and president of the University of Ottawa. I now have the opportunity to lead a great organization dedicated to the support of world-class research and technology development (Canada Foundation for Innovation). If I have been able to do this, it is largely because of your influence and the role that you have played in my life. Miguel, I thank you for your friendship and for your kindness. You have been a wonderful source of inspiration and a great mentor. All the best to you and your family.


Gills Patry (Ph.D. student, 1980 - President of CFI, 2010)

Carlos E. Puente, LAWR, University of California, Davis

Miguel above all
inspiration to follow
gentle, bright, special
unusual insights
expert sound advice
laudable contributions.
Adorned by virtue
nurtured in pain
great with the racquet
elegant with the pen
loving husband and dad.
My friend did it all
and helped great many
rose to every occasion
inciting germane work,
ño, what a guy
o simply the best!


Andrés Sahuquillo, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia & Real Academia de Ciencias
Exactas, Físicas y Naturales

Miguel Mariño contributions to surface and groundwater hydrology and water resources management in the last decades have been substantial. He mentored nearly a hundred doctoral and master students that currently are in the forefront of research centers, universities, management and professional practice. His research and those of their students on groundwater hydrology and water resources management are reflected in numerous publications, are always innovative and have been recognized by outstanding journal paper awards from societies and publishing organizations. In addition to his professional and academic contributions, it must be stressed above all his bonhomie, his affability and nice character. I met Miguel in 1981 at a meeting in Bangor Wales in the UK. Since then I've always heard excellent opinions about Miguel to everybody, students, colleagues and his many friends. Everyone agrees it's a good person friendly and very welcoming. And is fortunate to sharing these qualities with his wife Irma and his daughter Rachel who adore him and cared for him wonderfully especially in these time of delicate health. Irma confirms the saying that behind every great man is a great woman. We always remember Irma´s goodness, and the transparency and elegance of her Spanish. Os recordamos con mucha frecuencia con mucho cariño y muchas veces hemos comentado que las cartas y palabras de Irma tienen una calidad literaria poco común.


Samuel Sandoval Solis, University of California, Davis

Dear Miguel. I have the privilege to be in the same university and department that you were on your career. I am benefiting of the legacy that you built in the water resources systems field. At this moment, I am collaborating with many of your former graduate students, from Dr. Eduardo Holzapfel in Universidad de Concepcion in Chile to Dr. Abbas Afshar of Iran University of Science and Technology, I always find all around the world people that benefited from your wisdom and knowledge. Thanks for your support and advices, I cherish them all. My very best regards.


Slobodan P. Simonovic, University of Western Ontario

Some people come into our lives and quickly disappear. Others stay longer and leave their mark on us forever. Miguel belongs to the second group. From my arrival in Davis to do my graduate work until now he was a teacher, role model, colleague and friend. He was there to tell me what is good and what Is not in my work, as well as how to deal with the baby that did not want to go to sleep without crying every night. Miguel did not let any of his ‘team members’ fall behind. His help was essential for my professional carrier and as time was progressing, I think, he became very proud of my progress. Miguel thank you for the support and best wishes to you and your family.

Miguel Mariño and Slobodan Simonovic (Japan, 1999)


Soroosh Sorooshian, University of California, Irvine

Dear Miguel: thanks to Kaveh for asking me if I wanted to share a few words to be included in this special issue of BJECC honoring you for your remarkable career and long-lasting contributions to water resources and hydrologic engineering. When I started as a graduate student at UCLA back in 1972, I kept hearing references to your name from my professors John Dracup and Bill Yeh. They spoke of you as one of the successful graduates of the program saying “Mariño is now a faculty at UC Davis”. It was almost 7 years later that I finally met you in my first ever meeting of AGU in San Francisco at the then famous Jack Tar Hotel. Ever since, you have been a great mentor, colleague and a trustworthy and kind friend. Great memories over the years have stayed with me, including the time back in mid-80’s when I was visiting you at UC Davis when the cab who was to come and take me to the Sacramento airport failed to show up. You kindly took one of the pickup trucks in front of one of the agricultural lab buildings and drove me to the airport just on time for my flight. Miguel it has been great to know you, Irma and Raquel whom Shirin and I had the pleasure of getting to know them at the night of AGU’s honor banquet in 2001 when you became a fellow. Best to you my friend and I am attaching a photo of our younger days in late 80s when a good number of editors of various hydrology-related journals were attending the same meeting.

(L to R) Rick McCuen, Soroosh Sorooshian, the Late Leo Beard, Walter Grayman,
Bill Yeh and Miguel Mariño (AGU Meeting, 1980's)


Ali Taghavi, RMC Water and Environment

Miguel has been a role model for me in my personal and professional life for over 30 years. I’ve always admired his demeanor, high ethical values, and dedication to teaching, research and professional growth. While I was a Ph.D. student working under his supervision, he paid special attention to the details of my research, while never losing sight of the big picture. His special care about his students, their personal lives, and their families, even to-date, is admiring. Miguel always advised me to pursue my dreams, and pushed me to join the private consulting sector shortly after my graduation. I owe all of my professional success to Miguel and the example he set has influenced me to this day. He always told me that a successful engineer is one who can relate the highly technical information to the lay people in the simplest manner. This has always been a challenge to much of the engineering community, and has become the guiding principle of my professional career. His pioneering work on integrated hydrologic modeling combined with application of optimization concepts to integrated water resources systems have formed much of my career, and for that I am indebted to Miguel. Miguel: I truly appreciate all what you have done for me and my family. Marzie, Ehsan, Imaan and I talk about you and your principles on many occasions. I cannot end without thanking Irma for her dedication and support to Miguel’s success, and congratulating Raquel for having such a wise and dedicated father. Thank you for everything and it’s truly been a blessing to be your student, and your friend, for so many years.


William W-G. Yeh, University of California, Los Angeles

Dear Miguel: I feel most fortunate to have had you as my first PhD student at UCLA. As a starting and struggling junior faculty member at UCLA in the late 60’s, I learned a great deal from you through our mutual discussions. Our close relationship has continued since you left UCLA. I’ve enjoyed the times we’ve spent together at the AGU and ASCE/EWRI meetings. Your dedication and contributions to the profession are well recognized by the water resources engineering community. But, most importantly, your honesty, integrity, kindness, and willingness to support your colleagues have been greatly appreciated. It was an honor for me to write (with Kaveh Madani) this special issue’s editorial in your honor. I cherish our friendship. I wish you a happy retirement and the best of health.



Irma and Miguel (AGU - San Francisco, 2001)


Miguel Mariño and Jerry Orlab (Moscow, 1990)


Miguel Mariño and Joao Saad (Davis, 2009)


From Left to Right: Ali Abrishamchi, Miguel Mariño, Fabian Bombardelli, Mohamed Hantush (Louisiana, 2006)


Miguel Mariño and Changming Ji (China, 1998)


Irma and Behzad Mohammadi (Davis, 1985)


Enrique Lavernia and Miguel Mariño (Davis, 2004)


Left to Right: Bill Yeh, Juan Valdes,Jery Stedinger, Miguel Mariño, Hugo Loaiciga, G.V. Loganathan, Daene McKinney, Ximing Cai (ASCE Meeting, Fort Worth, Texas, 1990)


Jesus Carrera and Miguel Mariño (Barcelona, 1985)


From Left to Right: Hugo Loaiciga, Bill Yeh, Ben Yen, Miguel Mariño, Nien-Sheng Hsu, and J. T. Kuo. (ASCE Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1991)


From Left to Right: Eugene Peck, Miguel Mariño, Larry Mays, Mac McKee, and Richard Hawkins (Dubai, UAE, 2004)


Department of Land, Air and Water Resources - University of California, Davis