Geoscientist Named New Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Dr. David Hyndman, a geoscientist with 25 years of experience as a researcher, educator and academic administrator, has been named dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at The University of Texas at Dallas, effective Feb. 1.
Before joining UT Dallas, Hyndman was professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University. He received his undergraduate degree in hydrology and water resources from the University of Arizona and his master’s and doctoral degrees in hydrogeology from Stanford University.
Hyndman is an expert in hydrogeology, the study of groundwater that includes how water gets into the ground, how it moves under the surface, and how it interacts with the surrounding soil and rock. His research focuses on developing novel methods to characterize the aquifers that store and transmit water supplies critical to human and ecological health, and quantifying how human activity, such as changes in climate and land use, impact the water cycle. His research involves coupling novel models with high-resolution field data to explore the physical, chemical and ecological processes in natural and anthropogenically altered systems.
Funding for Hyndman’s research has included grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I am honored to join the strong and collaborative leadership team as dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas,” Hyndman said. “I have been impressed by the exceptional growth trajectory of the University and the positive and forward-thinking views of everyone I met during the interview. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, alumni and administrators to advance UTD’s future.”
“Dr. Hyndman’s record of leadership in research, teaching, service, and faculty and alumni engagement shows a shared commitment to these principles that make him an excellent choice to lead the school and contribute to the success of the University.”
Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost
Hyndman worked as a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey before joining Michigan State as an assistant professor in 1995. There, he rose to the rank of professor in 2008, and from 2010 to 2020 served as department chair. During his decade of leadership, he successfully led the revitalization of the department by adding tenure-system faculty, growing research programs, enhancing curriculum with study-abroad opportunities and increasing alumni endowments.
In addition to more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, Hyndman has published a textbook, Natural Hazards and Disasters, now in its fifth edition, which he co-wrote with his father, Dr. Donald Hyndman.
In 2002, Hyndman was the Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Groundwater Science for the National Ground Water Association, and in 2006 he was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America. He served as associate editor of the journals Water Resources Research from 2000 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2005, and of Groundwater from 1997 to 2011.
“A commitment to research and education in the natural sciences and mathematics was a cornerstone of UT Dallas’ genesis in 1969, and that commitment to excellence in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics continues to be integral to our identity as a national research university,” said Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost, vice president for academic affairs and the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership. “Dr. Hyndman’s record of leadership in research, teaching, service, and faculty and alumni engagement shows a shared commitment to these principles that make him an excellent choice to lead the school and contribute to the success of the University.”
The School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics includes the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and Science/Mathematics Education.
Hyndman’s appointment follows a national search after Dr. Bruce Novak, professor of chemistry, resumed regular faculty duties in 2020 after serving eight years as dean of the school. Dr. A. Dean Sherry, professor of chemistry and the Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology, served as the school’s interim dean.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].