On October 5, the University of Arizona community suffered a huge loss with the tragic and senseless death of Dr. Thomas Meixner, professor and department head of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. He was beloved by friends and family and highly regarded by his colleagues. At the WRRC, Meixner was considered a kindred spirit: he led efforts to make University of Arizona (UArizona) water science locally and regionally relevant, encouraging his students and colleagues to do the same.
Assistant Dean for Faculty Advancement in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Jean McLain, who was the WRRC’s Associate Director for six years, wrote that when she first met Tom, “I was struck by his no-nonsense attitude — he would enter a meeting with a goal or an agenda, and that goal would be accomplished. It was quite impressive — and I quickly learned to trust his judgment.” In her first months at the WRRC, Meixner encouraged her to succeed him as a member of the City of Tucson Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee, believing the committee should have an effective UArizona presence. Not only was he mentoring a colleague new to water resources, but he also was ensuring continued UArizona engagement with the water community. Remembering their interactions, WRRC Director Sharon Megdal stated “Tom was an absolutely wonderful colleague — as good a colleague as there could be. … He was brilliant. Tom was generous with his time and counsel and was always responsive. He helped the campus community in so many ways … I can still hear him saying "understood." He understood so much! … My heartfelt sympathies to the family and all who knew and/or worked with Tom.”
Our condolences go out to all of Dr. Meixner’s friends, family, students, and colleagues. There is a GoFundMe to support the Meixner family, and a UArizona memorial fund has been set up to honor his legacy.
Dr. Thomas Meixner Memorial Fund