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Water Cohort Members

 Florence Cassel Sharma


Florence Cassel Sharma, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor – Irrigation/Water ManagementDepartment of Plant Science
Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and
California State University, Fresno
Office: Agricultural Sciences 11A
Phone: 559.278.2861


Ph.D. Soil Science and Agronomy, University of Wyoming.

Dissertation “Assessment of drip irrigation for managing nitrate contamination and sugarbeet production in Wyoming”

Research Interests

Florence Cassel Sharma teaches undergraduate courses in soil and water management, irrigation systems, food, society and environment, and agricultural laboratory techniques at the graduate level. Her research focuses on optimizing water use efficiency through low and deficit irrigation practices, improving irrigation scheduling, and utilizing remote sensing techniques for water resources management, crop water use, and soil salinity assessment. She also serves as Assistant Director of Research of the Center for Irrigation Technology. She was recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activity Award for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. She joined the department in 2012.


David Drexler

David Drexler

Scholarly Communications Librarian

Henry Madden Library
California State University, Fresno
Office: Library 3128A
Phone: 559.278.3144


M.A. Library and Information Studies,
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research Interests

David Drexler is Scholarly Communications Librarian at The Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno. He received his MLIS at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Library & Information Studies in 2008 and served previously as Systems Librarian at Eastern Oregon University. He is the library liaison to Fresno State’s Music department and a member of the Interdisciplinary Water Cohort.

Vickie D. Krenz, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Professor and Interim Chair
Department of PublicHealth
Phone: 559.278.2684Email:

Frederick Nelson

Frederick Nelson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Science Education

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Kremen School of Education and Human
California State University, Fresno,
Office: Education 257
Phone: 559.278.0261


Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, University of Florida
Major: Science Education
Dissertation: Conceptions of and Intentions for the Teaching of Reflection by Science Teacher Educators in University-Based Science Teacher Education Programs

Research Interests

Dr. Frederick Nelson is Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University-Fresno. He teaches courses in science methods and curriculum, instruction, and technology. Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, he was an Instructor of Science Education at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Secondary Education from Kansas State University, and was a high school science teacher for nine years before moving into teacher education. He also holds National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adult Science. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Water Cohort and Project Director of the STEM Concentration in Liberal Studies.


Fayzul Pasha

Fayzul Pasha, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering

Lyles College of Engineering
California State University, Fresno
Office: Room # EE 174
Phone: 559-278-2464 (cell)


Ph.D. Civil Engineering, University of Arizona
Area of Specialization: Water Resources Engineering
Dissertation: Uncertainty Analysis and Calibration of Water Distribution Quality Models

Research Interests

Dr. Pasha's work focuses quantitative analysis in water resources planning and management. During 13 years of research and professional experiences he developed numerous models and performed different quantitative analyses for sustainable decision-making in integrated water resources management. He uses statistical methods, numerical techniques, optimization theories, and machine learning approaches for the model development and analyses. His models and analyses are in the fields of

  • Hydropower resource assessment
  • Energy and water efficiency
  • Water distribution water quality modeling
  • Ground water modeling
  • Agricultural water and drainage management
  • Habitat fish modeling
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Water supply forecast
  • Hydrologic time series analysis including streamflow and rainfall
  • Flood control


Jes Therkelsen

Jes Therkelsen, MFA

Assistant Professor of Media Production

Department of Mass Communication and Journalism
College of Arts and Humanities
California State University, Fresno
Office: Speech Arts 140A
Phone: 559.278.5078


M.F.A. Film & Media Arts, American University

Professional Interests

Although formally educated as a geologist, Jes Therkelsen is visual storyteller, an educator and an activist. As a geologist he has worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory, NASA, and Lowell Observatory. As a documentary filmmaker, his projects have stretched across five continents and have confronted issues such as human rights, sustainable development, and environmental justice. His films have won a D.C. Peer Award, a CINE Golden Eagle, and have screened worldwide. He has been On Assignment as a photographer with National Geographic Student Expeditions in the Galapagos Islands, the Australian Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, the Indian Himalayas, Tuscany, Iceland, London, and Paris. He served as the first Filmmaker-in-Residence at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and has held teaching appointments at the Arts Institute of Washington, Catholic University, and American University. Originally from Lawrenceville, NJ, Therkelsen currently teaches media production and storytelling at California State University, Fresno.


Chih-Hao Wang Chih-Hao Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography and City and Regional Planning
College of Social Sciences
California State University, Fresno
Office: Science 154
Phone: 559-278-2797


Ph.D. City and Regional Planning, The Ohio State University


Dr. Wang’s research focuses on environmental planning from the perspective of natural hazard mitigation. Another of his research interest is to apply spatial statistics to analyze spatial or social interactions in earthquake process, transportation planning, and water management. His research focus is in the fields of:

  • Natural hazard modeling and mitigation
  • Land-use and transportation planning
  • Water planning and management
  • Spatial statistics and GIS applications


Beth Weinman

Beth Weinman, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
College of Science and Mathematics
California State University, Fresno
Office: Science II, Room 124
Phone: 559-278-1641


Ph.D. Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University

Research Interests

One of Dr. Weinman's main interests lies in trying to understand how landforms co-evolve with groundwater chemistry. In the populous and developing regions of Asia, she uses optical luminescence (OSL) dating to test whether landform histories can explain why wells located only a few meters apart can have order of magnitude differences in groundwater arsenic. In the Feather River and Kings Canyon basins of California, she uses OSL and soil geochemical mass balance models to figure out the rates at which rare earth elements (natural tracers) and arsenic (natural toxins) undergo physical and chemical weathering. More locally, she works with other EES faculty, students, and government agencies to geologically reconstruct the San Joaquin Valley’s depositional and flow histories in order to better understand what natural baseline flows should be for the river. Once completed, this study will provide a more predictive framework that will allow the communities reliant on the San Joaquin to more confidently forecast how the river will respond to upcoming changes in climate.

Friends of the Water Cohort

Other faculty and members of the campus community who have been especially active participants in Water Cohort projects:

Thomas Esqueda, Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability

Thomas Holyoke, Political Science

Deborah Kemp, Finance and Business Law

Alison Mandaville, English

Laura Ramos, Programs Manager, California Water Institute

Balaji Sethuramasamyraja, Industrial Technology