skip to main content




Professor Victor Miguel Ponce's

Significant Career Achievements

1967-2020:  53 years

Year Description
1967Awarded the Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering (B.C.E.), November 24.
1968 Awarded the professional title of Civil Engineer, August 10.
Thesis title: Drainage Rehabilitation of the Camana Valley.
1970Awarded the Master of Science degree (Civil Engineering) (M.S.).
Thesis title: Shear strength of sand at extremely low pressures.
1976Awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Civil Engineering) (Ph.D.).
Thesis title: Boundary-flow interaction in straight alluvial channels.
1976Appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
1977Published (with coauthor Daryl B. Simons) Shallow wave propagation in open-channel flow (ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering). This paper and its sequel (Applicability of kinematic and diffusion models, 1978) feature a combined 548 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1977Published Muskingum-Cunge method with variable parameters (ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering). This paper has 261 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1979Received (with Daryl B. Simons) the ASCE Karl Emil Hilgard Prize for the paper Shallow wave propagation in open-channel flow (1977).
1979Retained by the Organization of American States (OAS) as consultant on the Integrated Development Study of the Upper Paraguay River Basin (EDIBAP), Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Cuiaba, and Campo Grande, Brazil, April and May.
1980Appointed Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
1996Appointed Professor of Civil Engineering at San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
1985Retained as Consultant on the hydrologic modeling of the Santa Cruz River Basin, Pima County, Arizona.
1986Awarded a sabbatical leave to study flood forecasting at the Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.
1986Retained by the Organization of American States (OAS) as consultant on the Planning for the Development of the São Francisco River Basin (PLANVASF), Brasilia, Brazil, June and July.
1986Published the paper Diffusion wave modeling of catchment dynamics, where the diffusion wave model was for the first time applied to an open-book catchment configuration. This paper features 97 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1989Published the textbook Engineering Hydrology, Principles and Practices, Prentice Hall. This book features 1097 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1989Retained as International Consultant on the sediment routing of the Pirai river, by the Servicio de Encauzamiento de Aguas y Regularización del Río Piraí (SEARPI), Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
1991Published the review paper The kinematic wave controversy, where the diffusivity of the convection-diffusion equation of flood routing was for the first time expressed in terms of the Vedernikov number. This paper features 107 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1991Published the paper New perspective on the Vedernikov number, expanding Hayami's diffusion analogy of flood waves (i.e., diffusion waves) to the realm of dynamic waves.
1992Published the book Fortran for Scientists and Engineers, San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
1993Awarded a sabbatical leave to study drought intensity, duration and frequency at the Universidade Federal de Ceara, Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil.
1995Published the 150-page report Hydrologic and Environmental Impact of the Parana-Paraguay Waterway on the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and its Portuguese version.
1996Appointed to the International Hydrologists' Panel convened for the review of the Environmental Impact Study of the Parana-Paraguay Waterway, Comité Intergubernamental de la Hidrovía (CIH/UNDP), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1996Published (with coauthor Richard H. Hawkins) Runoff curve number: Has it reached maturity? in the maiden issue (Vol. 1, No. 1) of the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. This paper features 996 Google scholar citations to date (May 2020).
1996Interviewed Vic Mockus, the developer of the NRCS runoff curve number methodology, prior to writing the closure of the paper Runoff curve number: Has it reached maturity? This was the only interview that Mockus gave for the record on his now famous and much-used methodology.
1999Initiated the development of ponce.sdsu.edu, a comprehensive online resource in water engineering and related fields, featuring more than 19,000 links to date.
2000Awarded a sabbatical leave to study online engineering, San Diego, California.
2000 Published the paper Characterization of drought across climatic spectrum, introducing a conceptual model of drought intensity-duration-frequency.
2001Created the Visualab at San Diego State University, a laboratory dedicated to teaching, research, education and service in online water engineering.
2004Created onlinecalc.sdsu.edu, an online calculator portal which features 381 calculators to date (August 2018).
2005Created The 33 Facts about Global Warming, which has more than has 500 000 visits to date (May 2020).
2005Appointed to the Panel of Experts convened for the Peer Review of the Regional Simulation Model (RSM) of the South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida.
2006Appointed to the international consultant team for the Guyana Coastal Flood Protection Program, The Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C., and Georgetown, Guyana.
2007Awarded a sabbatical leave to study salinity impacts of irrigation development, with special focus on the Vitor Valley, Arequipa, Peru.
2007Developed Online Modified Einstein, an online calculator of total sediment transport by the Modified Einstein Procedure, a first on the web.
2007Published the milestone online article Sustainable yield of groundwater.
2008Retained as International Consultant on the Flood hydrology of the La Leche river flood control project, Proyecto Especial Olmos-Tinajones (PEOT), Chiclayo, Peru.
2009Created all.sdsu.edu, an online video portal for teaching, research, education, and service in water engineering and related topics, featuring 483 videos to date (May 2020).
2009Retained as International Consultant on the Environmental impact assessment of the La Leche river flood control project, Proyecto Especial Olmos-Tinajones (PEOT), Chiclayo, Peru.
2009Created pubs+calcs, a website where users can read a paper online while simultaneously using a related online calculator, a first on the web. The site has now 23 pubs+calcs (May 2020).
2010Retained by Backcountry Against the Dump as consultant for the review of the Draft Suplemental Environmental Impact Assessment for the Campo Regional Landfill Project, San Diego County, California.
2013Awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Hermilio Valdizan National University, Huanuco, Peru, June 17.
2014Published the free online live edition of the textbook Engineering Hydrology, Principles and Practices (2nd edition).
2014Published the free online (2nd) edition of the book Fortran for Scientists and Engineers.
2014Presented the invited paper Chow, Froude, and Vedernikov in the Ven T. Chow Commemorative Session of the ASCE EWRI World Environment and Water Resources Congress, held in Portland, Oregon, October 1-4, 2014.
2014Published the free live online textbook Fundamentals of Open-channel Hydraulics.
2014Awarded a sabbatical leave to study the nascent field of ecohydroclimatology at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador.
2015Published the free live online textbook Fundamentos de la Hidráulica de Canales.
2015Introduced the concept of live paper for the online reporting of field work in progress, a first on the web. The first live paper is  The linear oasis: Ecohydrology of red shank.
2016Developed an online calculator for the inherently stable channel, a channel for which the Vedernikov number is zero (V = 0), regardless of stage or flow depth. a first on the web.
2016Received the Monty Award by the Alumni and Associates, of San Diego State University, California, for outstanding contributions to the University, August 25.
2016Developed an online calculator for the Muskingum-Cunge convergence ratios, enabling the assessment of the numerical accuracy of the Muskingum-Cunge method, a first on the web.
2016Developed an online calculator for the Thomas problem of flood propagation, enabling the study of runoff diffusion under varying flood characteristics (peak flow and time-to-peak), a first on the web.
2017Awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the National University of Cajamarca, Peru, March 28.
2018 Awarded the title of Professor Emeritus by San Diego State University, upon incorporation into the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) ranks, August 20.
2019 Published the YouTube video The right of Nature to dispose of its salt waste, a 36-min technical video that argues in favor of letting rivers dispose of Nature's salt waste in the oceans.
2019 Published the YouTube video Time Engineering: The singular case of the Salton Basin, an 11-min technical video that introduces the concept of Time Engineering.
2019 Published the YouTube video Effect of global climate change on the White Range of Peru, a 20-min technical video that documents the effects of climate change on the tropical glaciers of Peru.
2019 Published the online article The control or roll waves in channelized rivers. The article, Pub+Calc No. 023, features an online calculator for β, the exponent of the rating in a prismatic channel cross-section.
2019 Published the YouTube video The choice between groundwater use and ecosystem preservation, a 14-min technical video that documents the effects of excessive or unregulated groundwater use on ecosystem preservation.
2019 Published the technical paper The properties of water. The paper is a comprehensive account of the properties of water, considering physical, chemical, and biological properties.
2019 Published the YouTube video Runoff diffusion reexamined, a 10-min technical video that explains the differences between runoff diffusion in reservoirs, channels, and catchments.
2019Appointed to the Panel of Experts convened for the II Peer Review of the Regional Simulation Model (RSM) of the South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida.
2019 Published the YouTube video The myth of groundwater resource evaluation, a 17-min technical video that explains the myths behind groundwater resource evaluation.
2019 Published the YouTube video The properties of water, a 29-min technical video that explains the physical, chemical, and biological properties of water.
2019 Published the YouTube video Nutrient balance under flood pulse, an 11-min technical video that explains the relationship between flood pulse, denitrification, and nutrient export in riverine floodplain environments.
2019 Published the YouTube video Chow, Froude, and Vedernikov, a 17-min technical video that explains why the Vedernikov number remains to this date an obscure subject in open-channel hydraulics.
2019 Published the YouTube video The S-curve explained, an 20-min technical video that explains the Ponce and Simons 1977 theory of shallow wave propagation.
2019 Published the YouTube video Narrow urban channel draining into Carpintero Lagoon, Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, a 2:17 min technical video that features an online calculation of the Vedernikov number for a narrow urban drainage channel, confirming that it is stable (V < 1), a first on the web.
2019 Published the YouTube video The facts about river basin salinity, an 6:11-min technical video that enumerates thirteen (13) facts about river basin salinity.
2019 Published the YouTube video The facts about groundwater sustainability, an 6:34-min technical video that enumerates thirteen (13) facts about groundwater sustainability.
2019 Published the YouTube video Critical shear stress vs critical velocity, an 4:30-min technical video that formulates the relationship between critical shear stress and critical velocity (in open-channel flow) in terms of the Chezy dimensionless friction factor f.
2019 Published the YouTube video 1000 years of Mississippi-Atchafalaya history, an 3:21-min technical video that describes the interaction between the Mississippi river and its Atchafalaya distributary in the past 1000 years.
2020 Published the YouTube video Plants and animals: How many are they?, an 8:04-min technical video that relates the varying concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the varying terrestrial banks of floral and faunal biomass, thus underpinning anthropogenic global warming.
2020 Published the YouTube video How much water could be pumped from an aquifer to remain sustainable?, an 20:37-min technical video that compares the concepts of safe yield and sustainable yield, and uses L'vovich's cybernetic water balance to evaluate vertical groundwater recharge.
2020 Published the YouTube video Diseño de un canal estable con fuerte pendiente, in Spanish, an 11:04-min that shows how to design a stable channel with a steep slope, using the exponent of the discharge-flow area rating.
2020 Published the YouTube video My conversation with Vic Mockus, an 6:15-min video that details Prof. Ponce's conversation, in July of 1996, with Vic Mockus, the developer of the runoff curve number method, NRCS's popular hydrologic method for the estimation/calculation of surface runoff, originally published in 1954.
2020 Published the YouTube video Facts on Lake Titicaca, an 12:37-min technical video that describes the most relevant meteorological and hydrological facts on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.
2020 Published the YouTube video The true source of the Missouri river, an 5:12-min technical video that pinpoints the true source of the Missouri river, on the southeastern slope of Mount Jefferson, on the Centennial Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, right on the U.S. Continental Divide.
2020 Published the YouTube video Muskingum-Cunge method explained, a 10:15-min technical video that explains the capabilities of the Muskingum-Cunge method of flood routing.
2020 Published the YouTube video Q&A on the return period to be used for design, an 8:11-min technical video that answers questions on how to choose the return period for hydraulic design.
2020 Published the YouTube video The price to pay for agricultural sustainability, a 9:59-min technical video that explains the plight of arid-land irrigated agriculture in view of the salinity menace.
2020 Published the YouTube video Initial abstraction revisited, an 5:29-min technical video that revisits the initial abstraction concept in the runoff curve number methodology.
2020 Published the YouTube video Cascade and Convolution: One and the same, a 5:29-min technical video that explains and compared the hydrologic methods of cascade of linear reservoirs and effective hyetograph convolution.
2020 Published the YouTube video General dimensionless unit hydrograph, an 6:27-min technical video that describes the development of the general dimensionless unit hydrograph.
2020 Published the YouTube video Origin of the New river, a 3:21-min technical video that tells the story of the creation of the New river, in Imperial Couty, California, in 1905, as a river diversion gone awry.
2020 Published the YouTube video The resource dilemma: The settlement of less-than-otimal lands, an 4:54-min technical video that explains the dilemma of effectively using water and nutrients resources together, without causing salinity problems.
2020 Published the YouTube video Creager and flood wave diffusion, a 6:14-min technical video that reinterprets the Creager curves in light of the prevailing theory of flood wave diffusion.
2020 Published the YouTube video Runoff diffusion reexamined, an 9:12-min technical video that reexamines the concept of runoff diffusion in order to clarify its role in connection with unsteady free-surface flow routing in reservoirs, channels, and watersheds/basins.
2020 Published the YouTube video Effect of form friction on the sediment rating curve, an 8:04-min technical video that examines six measured sediment rating curves through a wide range of discharges. At high discharges, the sediment rating curve tends to asymptotically approach a maximum sediment concentration. that reinterprets the Creager curves in light of the prevailing theory of flood wave diffusion.
2020 Published the YouTube video Synthetic unit hydrographs explained, a 7:04-min technical video that reviews and compares the various synthetic unit hydrographs currently in use.
2020 Published the YouTube video How did Las Vegas get its name?, a 2:34-min technical video that traces the origin of the name "Las Vegas" to the Armijo expedition of early California in 1829.
2020 Published the YouTube video Will the Amazon rainforest help in taking up excess carbon from the air, a 5:14-min technical video that argues that the Amazon rainforest will not be able to uptake the excess carbon currently in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels.
2020 Published the YouTube video The price to pay for sequestering all runoff, a 4:45-min technical video that argues in favor of reserving a certain amount of river runoff to carry the salts to the ocean.
2020 Published the YouTube video The 800-mm isohyet, a 6:16-min technical video that explains why a regions with 800 mm of mean annual precipitation is likely to have a good supply of both water and nutrients to support both health and hope.
2020 Published the YouTube video Andes, Hyelan, and Craton: The Faces of the Rivers, a 15:13-min technical video that describes the colors or Amazonian basin waters in terms of the geological, geomorphological, hydrological, and ecological properties.
2020 Published the YouTube video The ford bridge: Sustainable river crossings in arid regions, a 8:01-min technical video which describes the ford-bridge, a structure that has the properties of both fords and bridges, to be used in wide ephemeral streams and rivers in arid regions.
2020 Published the YouTube video The age of impermanence, a 7:03-min video that describes the new phenonemon of online publishing, with its advantages and disadvantages.
2020 Published the YouTube video Cognitive learning: A vector/raster roller-coaster, a 3:32-min video that contrasts the use of vector and raster formats throughout the past 500 years of human history.
2020 Published the YouTube video Milestones in global climate change, a 3:14-min video that describes the milestones in global climate change.
2020 Published the YouTube video Intelligent video: A new way to communicate effectively, a 4:07-min video that describes intelligent videos, which contain a balanced mix of raster, vector, voice, music, still photos, and animation components.
2020 Published the YouTube video How? What? When? Old energy vs. new energy, a 4:13-min video that compares the usage of old energy vs. new energy.
2020 Published the YouTube video Gradually varied flow profiles using critical slope, a 12:53-min video that expresses the gradually varied flow equation (of open-channel flow) in terms of critical slope, thus, precisely resolving the variation of the depth gradient.
2020 Published the YouTube video Andes, Hyelan, and Craton: The Faces of the Rivers, a 15:19-min video that describes and compares the properties of the three types of rivers of the Amazon basin, in relation to the color of their waters
2020 Published the YouTube video Sustainable runoff for basin salt balance, a 10:42-min video that calculates the amount of runoff that must be kept in a river in order to achieve a certain measure of basin salt balance.
2020 Published the YouTube video Why is the cybernetic hydrologic balance better suited for yield hydrology than the conventional approach, a 10:44-min video that compares the cybernetic hydrologic balance of L'vovich with the conventional method, concluding that the latter has a double counting problem which precludes it from being accurately applied for yield hydrology.
May 2020 Prof. Ponce's Google scholar record, beginning in 1983, is: h-index = 29 (28 publications cited at least 28 times); i10-index = 43 (43 publications cited at least 10 times); and total number of citations = 4 759.
Prof. Ponce's website (ponce.sdsu.edu), established in 1999, has been visited more than 313 629 times. During the academic year, the website registers about 80 visitors per day.
Prof. Ponce's two (2) Youtube channels, established in 2011, have 1632 subcribers to date. The current number of visitors (last 2 days) is 600 per day.
200503 21:30 (PST)

Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view; download Adobe Acrobat Reader.