Staff Affiliations

SC Water Resources Center Staff
Center for Watershed Excellence Staff

Jeffery S. Allen, Ph.D.
Executive Director
South Carolina Water Resources Center
(864) 646-2145
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Jeffery Allen, Ph.D. is the executive director of the South Carolina Water Resources Center at Clemson University. Dr. Allen previously served as the interim director of the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. As Interim Director of the Thurmond Institute, he was responsible for all aspects of the research centers, research programs, graduate education programs and public service activities. His work with the Center involves coordinating water research with a national network of water institutes and identifying and pursuing critical water research needs for South Carolina. Dr. Allen has served as the principle investigator on multiple grants from federal, state and local government agencies as well as private foundations. He has served on numerous regional and state committees and advisory councils, most recently on the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments Advisory Board, the Duke Energy Water Fund Board, the South Carolina Shoreline Change Advisory Council, and the Savannah River Basin Advisory Council. He has organized and sponsored several state-wide meetings on GIS mapping and water resources and is currently the Chairman of the South Carolina Water Resources Conference. He is a past-president of NIWR and served for three years on the NIWR Executive Board. Dr. Allen received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology and Natural Resources from Michigan State University and his M.S. degree in Geography from the University of South Carolina. He received a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Clemson University with an emphasis in natural resources policy. Prior to coming to the Thurmond Institute and the SCWRC, he worked for the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department in Columbia, SC and Clemson University’s Regional Resources Development Institute.

Lori Dickes, Ph.D.
Associate Director
South Carolina Water Resources Center
(864) 656-7831
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Lori Dickes, Ph.D. is the associate director of the South Carolina Water Resources Center. She is an assistant professor and program director of the Master in Public Administration Program at Clemson University in the College Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and College of Education. Lori has been at Clemson since 2005 and has worked in the Department of Applied Economics, the Strom Thurmond Institute; and has been the MPA Program Director since 2013. Currently and previously held positions include: assistant director of the South Carolina Water Resources Center at Clemson University; professor associate and outreach for SC Economics; and director of economic education at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Dr. Dickes has taught economics and policy for over 20 years and is committed to improving young people’s understanding of economics and the role economics plays in our lives. She has master's degrees in both applied economics and political sciences from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in policy studies from Clemson University. Her professional experience includes over 20 years of experience teaching economics at universities and colleges in Florida, Minnesota and South Carolina. For over 15 years, she has been one of the primary teacher trainers for the South Carolina Council on Economic Education. Her current research and professional interests are focused on regional and rural economic development, the economic and social impacts of public health innovations, and water policy and management. Lori’s research strives to understand economic incentives and costs related to public health initiatives in areas like immunization, food security analysis, and social and health issues like obesity. She is working in collaboration with a joint Greenville Health System and Clemson research team to study neonatal abstinence. She is also currently involved in a pilot study to understand the impact of social and cultural messaging on weight management programs.

Thomas C. Walker III, Ph.D.
Research Coordinator
South Carolina Water Resources Center
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Tom Walker, Ph.D. is the research coordinator for the South Carolina Water Resources Center.  Tom has been at Clemson since 2012 and worked and taught for the MPA program while pursuing his doctorate in Policy Studies.  He was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the SC Water Resources Center and his work primarily focused on the State Water Planning Process.  Dr. Walker received his B.A. degree in History from Randolph-Macon College and his M.P.A. in Public Administration with a Government concentration from Seattle University.  He received a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Clemson University with an emphasis in environmental and natural resource policy.        


Hamdi Zurqani, Ph.D.
Research Associate 
SC Water Resources Center
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Hamdi Zurqani, Ph.D. is a research associate at the South Carolina Water Resources Center. Dr. Zurqani received his MSc degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Tripoli and earned his Ph.D. in Forest Resources (Concentration: Environmental Information Science) from Clemson University in 2019. Dr. Zurqani is internationally recognized for his highly collaborative, multidisciplinary research in the areas of Environmental Information Science, Remote Sensing, Land Evaluation, Sustainability, Pedology, and Soil Science Education. He has conducted research across the world, including the United States of America, and Africa. He is the author and co-author of many peer-reviewed publications and technical publications (including teaching laboratory manuals). He has published broadly in many journals (e.g., International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation; Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Sciences; Frontiers in Environmental Science; Geoderma; Land; Frontiers in Environmental Science, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, and others). His recent publications include: "Mapping Urbanization Trends in a Forested Landscape Using Google Earth Engine" in the Journal of Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Sciences; "Geospatial analysis of land use change in the Savannah River Basin using Google Earth Engine" in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation; and "Comparing Field Sampling and Soil Survey Database for Spatial Heterogeneity in Surface Soil Granulometry: Implications for Ecosystem Services Assessment" in the Journal of Frontiers in Environmental Science.

Meredith Driver
Financials Manager
SC Water Resources Conference Coordinator
South Carolina Water Resources Center 
(864) 656-7592


Katie Callahan
Center for Watershed Excellence 
(864) 646-2158
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Katie has held multiple positions and roles at Clemson University since 2008, all related to water resources outreach and education, program development and implementation, and team building. She holds an B.S. in Marine Science – Chemical and Physical Oceanography and an M.S. in Environmental Science. She has more than 10 years of experience in surface water monitoring, monitoring plan development, and watershed assessment. She has co-authored numerous watershed management plans, has utilized microbial source tracking to prioritize watershed best management practices, directs environmental education programming and communication methods, and leads the collection of environmental attitudes and knowledge surveys in the state. Her current projects focus on building stakeholder resources and tools for improved water resources management. Primarily, this is being achieved through the co-coordination of the state's first adopted citizen water quality monitoring program, SC Adopt-a-Stream! Phase I of this effort includes tools and protocols for consistent, quality freshwater monitoring data, being stored in a secure and mobile-friendly database. More outreach efforts and research opportunities will develop under this ongoing project!

Zach Nemec
Watershed Project Scientist
Center for Watershed Excellence
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Zach Nemec has conducted conservation-focused research in a wide variety of aquatic environments: from wetlands in Ohio to streams in the Arizona desert to even coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. He currently works as a watershed project scientist working with South Carolina Adopt-A-Stream program at Clemson University's Center for Watershed Excellence. Zach empowers the public with the education and resources to monitor their own waterways throughout the state. He has been a scholar, mentor, and an alumni leadership fellow for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Programs (DDCSPs). DDCSPs are undergraduate programs that span across five universities with the purpose to educate and train underrepresented students to pursue careers and create a more diverse and inclusive environment in the field of conservation.