Dr. Jude A. Benavides is an environmental scientist and engineer with a focus area in hydrology and Geographic Information Systems. He has over 15 years academic experience and holds the rank of associate professor of environmental science and hydrology at the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. He has an additional 13 years of combined private sector experience (engineering consulting) and military service (U.S. Navy, Honorable Discharge 2008, Lieutenant Commander). He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame along with a commission as a naval officer in 1992. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering with an emphasis in surface water hydrology from Rice University. His project and academic research area experience include: surface water hydrology and modeling, flood damage reduction modeling, flood mitigation system design, and development of watershed protection planning partnerships and associated water quality monitoring of surface water systems.
Dr. Benavides has both led and contributed to numerous projects around the United States and Mexico. He has obtained funding from the NSF, FEMA, EPA, TWDB, TSSWCB, IBWC, and numerous other state and local water authorities and utility districts. He has authored publications in local, state and national engineering journals as well as hydrology and GIS chapters in popular college level textbooks. His current research focuses on the development and implementation of watershed protection planning and watershed characterization for selected (and largely understudied) small watersheds in and around the Lower Rio Grande Valley and northeastern Mexico – with a detailed focus on the ancient distributaries of the Rio Grande River, locally referred to as “resacas.” He was recently appointed a board member of the Brownsville Public Utilities Board and helps to oversee the Resaca Restoration Program spearheaded by that agency. He is also a proud member of the Valley Zoological Society (Gladys Porter Zoo) Board of Directors, the Arroyo Colorado Conservancy, and the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership.