e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

SUNY-ESF Professor's essays on water

New feature on WRVO radio

Peter E. Black, emeritus professor of water and related land resources at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), is a man on a mission and he is taking to the radio airwaves to fulfill that mission. Black will be on WRVO radio[1] with a weekly essay on water beginning January 7, 2006.

Water Drops - Celebrating the Wonders of WaterListen to "Water Drops" on The WRVO Stations

Celebrating the Wonder of Water! "Water Drops" by Peter E. Black can be heard Saturdays at 12:57 PM and an encore presentation Sundays at 11:28 AM on The WRVO Stations.

Black explains, “Water is life. That’s why water has fascinated me so much for so many years of my life. I have spent my whole adult life studying and teaching about water in our environment. I want to share some of my wonderment of what water is and how it behaves; how we use it; how we try to control it; and some fun things about it that you can see yourself.”

The Water Drops weekly radio features will begin airing on Saturday, January 7, 2006, 12:57 PM (EST) and then will be repeated on Sundays at 11:58 AM following WRVO’s weekly round-up of regional news, “Then And Now”. The 90-second essays can also be heard on WRVO’s web site www.wrvo.fm. Programs and scripts will also be available at www.esf.edu and Black’s web site www.watershedhydrology.com.

“Water is really a most astonishing substance. It exists at normal temperatures as a gas, liquid, or solid. It’s the basis for life on this planet. It’s the reason earth looks like a big, blue marble in all those wonderful pictures we now take of ourselves from space. It’s what we’re looking for on Mars and other planets because we believe it’s the only way we’ll find life in other parts of the universe.” continued Black.

Black said, “Water is also the center of our personal universe; the human body is mostly water. The body uses water to cool us in hot weather but perspire too much without replacing that water and we suffer hypothermia.” In fact, Black points out, we can live a lot longer without food than we can without water.

Also, water is needed to grow food; manufacture products; transport goods around the world; produce electricity; extinguish fires; and have fun like fish; boat; ice skate; and ski.


Black is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. He has taught at ESF since 1965. He received his BSF and MF from the University of Michigan and his PhD from Colorado State University. His courses included forest management, surveying, forest and watershed hydrology, conservation and environmental impact analysis.

Dr. Black retired in 2000 but continues to teach short courses, advise students and provide public service. He has published an educational film, numerous articles on hydrology and water resources, and three books entitled Environmental Impact Analysis (Praeger, 1981), Conservation of Water and Related Land Resources (CRC Press/Lewis Publishers, Third Edition, 2001); and Watershed Hydrology (Ann Arbor Press, Second Edition, 1996).

In 1974, Black co-founded with other ESF faculty IMPACT CONSULTANTS, a private firm in Syracuse, for which he served as EIS project manager for twelve years. He has served as President (and held many other offices) in the American Water Resources Association. He served as Associate Editor for Watershed Management of the Journal of American Water Resources Association and Water Resources Impact.

Black has served on local, state, and national advisory committees; the Board of Directors of the Universities Council on Water Resources (1994-7); the US Army Corps of Engineers' Environmental Advisory Board in 1992-6, and as its Chairperson in 1995-6, for which he received the Commander's Award for Public Service in November, 1996.

Black was appointed SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in 1997. He holds Professional Hydrologist certification by the American Institute of Hydrology.


Release No. 37, December 29, 2005