Chief Research Officer
James S. Bonner, Ph.D., P.E., a nationally recognized expert in real-time water monitoring technologies, leads the development and implementation of the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) as Beacon Institute Chief Research Officer. Bonner is also a member of the Institute's Science and Technology Advisory Board.
REON allows for continuous monitoring of physical, chemical and biological data from points in New York's Hudson, Mohawk and St. Lawrence Rivers via an integrated network of sensors, robotics, mobile monitoring and computational technology deployed in the rivers.
Bonner holds an M.S. in civil engineering and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Clarkson University, as well as a B.A. in biology from SUNY Plattsburgh. In the early 1990s, he spearheaded an effort with colleagues from Texas A&M University to pursue a long-term research project to improve understanding of modern oil spill remediation and countermeasure technologies. He is the recipient of a 2012 Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (OSPRA) award of the Texas General Land Office for providing innovative technological solutions in oil spill preparedness and prevention.
Bonner serves as the Regional Director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and the Coastal Oil Spill Simulation System (COSS) in Corpus Christi, TX where he established the Shoreline Environmental Research Facility and developed and implemented technologies that use high-frequency radar to map surface water along the Texas coastline. He has developed new technologies that provide real-time continuous monitoring with in-situ sensing ("sensing in place") to measure important water parameters. With funding from the National Science Foundation, he has undertaken a national effort to create a cyber-collaboratory framework, enabling collection and circulation of real-time data and data analysis in the study of oxygen depletion in water.