ST JOSEPH, MICHIGAN—The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has named Dennis K. Karman recipient of the 2011 Award for the Advancement of Surface Irrigation. The award, which honors individuals who successfully demonstrate and publicize the effective use of surface irrigation, was presented at the 2011 ASABE Annual International Meeting, held recently in Louisville, Kentucky.
Carman was honored in recognition of his outstanding leadership contributions that have advanced the development of improved surface irrigation, management, and application efficiency through an exemplary 37-year USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) career and subsequent engineering consulting practice.
Early in his USDA-NRCS engineering career, Carman held various positions in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana, where he was responsible for planning, design, and construction of large flood control and drainage projects as well as for direct assistance to farmers for erosion control, drainage, and animal waste management.
From 1987 to 2000, Carman was state conservation engineer in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he provided irrigation engineering leadership for all NRCS programs within the state for large- and small-scale surface irrigation projects. His technical oversight and leadership resulted in irrigation advancements to thousands of acres throughout Arkansas and several other states. He managed the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, with much of the funding going for improvements to surface-irrigated cropland. From 2000 to 2007, he held the position of agricultural engineer at the USDA-NRCS Water Management Center in Little Rock, where he was involved in providing assistance nationally to NRCS water specialists, and other federal, state and local partners involved with irrigation and drainage, as well as assistance in other natural resource areas such as animal waste management, wetland restoration, flood control, and agricultural and urban erosion control.
Since retiring in 2007, Carman has been owner and chief engineer of Carman Professional Services PLLC, in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He provides professional engineering services for project management, management of water to meet quantity and quality requirements, technology development and implementation for climate data collection, water status, energy conservation, and system management. He also serves as chief engineer and director for managing and directing all local activities associated with implementing the $400 million Grand Prairie Irrigation Project, which will deliver excess surface water to 250,000 acres of irrigated land experiencing depletion of groundwater. In addition, Carman is involved in developing technology focused on automating surface irrigation systems.
Carman’s other awards and honors include: Arkansas Academy of Biological and Agricultural Engineering inductee; Arkansas Pork Producers Association Allied Industry Excellence award; NRCS Eagle award; University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Center Service award. His USDA awards include three Certificate of Merit awards, five Outstanding Performance Rating awards, six Special Service Act awards, Certificate of Merit for Exceptional Team Performance award, and a Superior Service Unit award. The ASABE Arkansas section presented him with an Outstanding Engineer award.
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an international educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to biological, agricultural, and food systems. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St Joseph, Michigan, ASABE comprises nearly 10,000 members from more than 100 countries. Further information on ASABE can found at www.asabe.org.