Sunday, November 27, 2022

Remembering Ignacio

My 3 minute tribute to Ignacio at his Memorial, College Station (TX), November 28th, 2022.
"Wish I were there. Ignacio made you my family and my research family. I would say, I feel at home and this is another great gift from him. Though being away has an advantage, I can still think that Ignacio is there, and I feel that he really is.
Difficult to say … so many thoughts accumulate emotionally in these days.
Like the thousands convective cells that clogged the sky in 1995 after the Mass at saint Thomas Aquino's church in College Station, those 510 mm  that made that rainfall historical. And our wives , Mercedes and Giovanna, making fun of our bold statement that a convective cell perdures twenty minutes.
Like our walks around the Wisenbaker building at the Texas A&M discussing not necessarily of hydrology but of life events, of meetings and the essence of good ideas.
Optimality. Optimality was not only a science target but a way of life turning positive what could have been negative. River networks shape and form could not be casual. And the randomness was a necessity for the free will but also for getting river shapes that were not that trivial. 
Chance and necessity. Chance made me to meet Ignacio, even if he met us before, having been the anonymous reviewers of one  of our most cited papers. My first one that turned my career into what I am now academically.
Oh, how much we laughed together, making fun of situations, Ignacio imitating and joking irresistibly. Oh, how was great that Sunday at your swimming pool, someone of us singing Italian operas pieces and you flooding us with anecdotes. I think Juan Valdes also remind it (and yes, Luis, you put a little too much lighter on the BBQ).
What is the gold medal ? Following the gold of science we have found also the gold of life.
So, hydrology is not just inanimate but an entanglement of processes which obey fundamental laws of thermodynamics and it is a dynamical interactions among creation of opportunities by energy and their consummations. That is not “what is life?” but has many aspects of life and is mixed with plants growth. Soil creation, sediment cycle, water cycle, carbon cycle. Linked.
In front of this picture that I due to you, I excavated my nest and my niche in the next thirty years and I gave, maybe, some contribution.
And the great enthusiasm of just three months ago. If vegetation covers the landscape, does it co-evolve optimally with it ?  Is optimality of the networks also reflected in optimality of vegetation use of resources ? How are these optimalities tied ?
Now you know all of it Ignacio. Our travel time has still to be understood instead. Ignacio, I was gifted to meet you, we all have been gifted. "

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