WRRC 2024 Conference Dedicated to the Memory and Legacy of Thomas Meixner

Dec. 1, 2023
photo of tom meixner hiking

Image: Provided by the Meixner/Cotter family

On October 5, 2022, our community suffered a huge loss with the tragic and senseless death of Dr. Thomas Meixner, UArizona professor and department head of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. He was a world-renowned leader in biogeochemistry, admired and respected in the water community and by those to whom he was a colleague, professor, mentor, and friend. In honor of Meixner’s life and work, the WRRC’s 2024 conference, Implementing Water Solutions Through Partnerships, will be dedicated to his memory and legacy. He was a great friend to the WRRC, leading efforts to make UArizona water science locally and regionally relevant and encouraging his students and colleagues to do the same. We hope this will be an opportunity for those who knew Tom to honor him and reflect on his invaluable contributions to the community. His wife, Kathleen, expressed her hope that the dedication of this event will “help us all to find our way forward, with courage and love.”

Meixner’s interest in dirt, water, and plants began in childhood with playing in the backyard, gardening or picking strawberries with his parents, and enjoying the great outdoors. These quotes and reminiscences from his loved ones, friends, and colleagues paint a picture of his life and legacy:

  • He had a zest for life that was practically contagious.
  • He was a sweet and thoughtful husband and father.
  • He was a brilliant and inquisitive scientist.
  • He was invested in his community.
  • He was a four-time cancer survivor.
  • He always had some really interesting tidbits about the weather.
  • He knew exactly who he was and what he wanted to do with his life.
  • He was very practical and pragmatic.
  • He made sure to have meaningful interactions even though he was busy.
  • He was a big presence.
  • He commuted to work by bike.
  • He led a Boy Scout troop at weekly meetings.
  • He had a way of not sweating the small stuff.
  • He left a legacy of incredible scholarship.
  • He was an idea machine.
  • He treated people with fairness, enthusiasm, and belief in what they could accomplish.
  • He was an excellent professor and mentor.
  • He was a deeply kind individual.
  • He led by example with knowledge and caring.
  • He made delicious pancakes.
  • He had an unquenchable, boundless energy.
  • He was a profoundly kind and caring person.
  • He was an amazing family man.
  • He worked to educate the next generation of water researchers and to make the world better.
  • He was a man of routine and ritual.
  • He had an amazing memory.
  • He encouraged others to use their own strengths and talents.
  • He was a really good model of how to live.
WRRC 2024 Conference
Remembering Tom