Bill Simpkins, chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, was honored with The Geological Society of America, Hydrogeology Division’s George Bruke Maxey Distinguished Service Award.The award was presented in November 2015 at the Annual Meeting of the Society in Baltimore, Maryland. Nominator Janet Herman and Bill Simpkins.
Simpkins has a history of active involvement in GSA’s Hydrogeology Division that spans multiple decades, and was recognized for multiple roles and contributions both to the field of hydrogeology and to the organization. He was credited with the success of the division’s operations, outreach, reputation and sustainability. Recognizing his service in roles from council liaison, to chair, to session convener at meetings, it was noted that Simpkins served the division and the society in almost every capacity possible.
Also known for his musical talents and zeal for entertaining, Simpkins put a unique spin on his award acceptance speech. He sang an improvised version of famous hydrologist Luna Leopold’s "Better Get the Garbage Before it Gets You," to a more-than-approving crowd.Bill Simpkins and wife Cathy.
Bill continues his service to the division as a GSA fellow and councilor, and also serves on two GSA committees (Distinguished Service Award and Diversity Committees). He is also the local committee chair for the North-Central Section GSA meeting to be held April 2018 in Ames.
Hydrogeology is defined as a branch of geology which is concerned with "the character, source, occurrence, movement, availability, and use of water." Simpkins’ research focuses broadly on aquitard (till) hydrogeology and the effects of intensive agriculture and urbanization on groundwater. He is well known for his published works, presentations, and his advisory role to the City of Ames for more than 25 years.