Cameron Handyside
Tennessee River watershed

Cameron Handyside received his Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering in 2009 and spent over 14 years conducting research and teaching at UAH’s Earth System Science Center.


He led a USDA program in partnership with Auburn University to conduct agricultural Environmental Assessments on watersheds across Alabama, efforts included in-depth hydrological, agricultural and economic modeling to understand the impact of irrigated agriculture in the state, region and country. He worked closely with local and state NGOs to address environmental, social and economic concerns related to agriculture and irrigation. The goal was to develop resilient, sustainable irrigation programs using the best available science and practices that both benefitted agriculture and preserved farmland and local ecologies. The program resulted in $20M + in direct grants to agriculture producers with continued program expansion into new watersheds throughout the state.


Cameron was appointed by the Alabama Governor to lead the Alabama Water Agency Working Group (AWAWG) sub- committee focused on water conservation efficiency and reuse. The sub-committee included stakeholders from government, industry, communities and a variety of non-profit organizations concerned with water use and conservation, served as the committee’s chairman, fielding stakeholder concerns, creating actionable water policy recommendations, facilitating working meetings, and reporting results to the Governor’s office.


Cameron created an ongoing program to conduct bi-yearly surveys of irrigation across the state of Alabama. Led student research efforts to analyze high resolution aerial photography identifying center pivot irrigation systems, forecasting irrigation growth and water demand, and developing automated irrigation identification utilizing remote sensing and machine learning. Key findings continue to be critical to downstream research and development efforts for the Alabama Office of Water Resources



In 1993 Cameron received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent 18 years as a structural/manufacturing engineer in the ship building and offshore platform industry.


Beginning in May, 2021, he and his wife had the opportunity to take time away from their careers to pursue a variety of personal interests and life-long goals. During this time, he traveled extensively, developed skills in a variety of hobbies, volunteered for a variety of nonprofit organizations including the North Alabama Land Trust, a new Sustainability Commission for the city of Huntsville, Alabama and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Rivers Alliance.