Sunday, June 5, 2011

In memoriam, Steve Brooks, 1959-2011

My brother Steve passed away recently, losing his battle with cancer.  Steve was both my inspiration and my nemesis at various points in my life.  He was the reason I went to school to become a hydrologist (he was already in the masters program at University of Arizona when I entered to pursue my BS).  I followed him into consulting in Arizona, where I was forever known as "Steve's younger brother" within much of the local hydrology community.  At times I think I may have left consulting to go to law school as a concession that I would never be as good a hydrogeologist as he was.  But the reality is, he had things he was really good at - computer modeling and theory - and I had things I was very good at - field hydrogeology and policy.  In the end I came to the understanding that he pushed me at times to make myself better at what I did (which I often resented), but ultimately I would not be where I am today without his influence in my life.  I am a better person both professionally and personally because he took the time to care about me and where I was going with my life.  I owe him a huge debt of gratitude that I was never very good at expressing.  I hope he occasionally looks down on me and smiles at my accomplishments.