William C. (Bill) Ackermann was a nationally known hydrologist who helped set the nation's water resources policies and the research agenda for the field of hydrology during the 1960s and 1970s. Bill Ackermann achieved a position of national recognition and influence following a career route that was very different than that of most scientists.
He learned the fundamentals of hydrology at the Unviersity of Wisconsin (graduating in 1935) and during 20 years as a hydrologist with the Tennessee Valley Authority. After a short stint with the Agricultural Research Service, Bill Ackermann became Chief of the Illinois State Water Survey in 1956, remaining in that capacity for 23 years. Ackermann's experience as a practicing hydrologist provided him with the sound foundation needed to become a leader in hydrology.