National Academies Press: OpenBook

Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences (1991)


Suggested Citation:"APPENDIXES." National Research Council. 1991. Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1543.
Page 316
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIXES." National Research Council. 1991. Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1543.
Page 317

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Funding for Research in the Hydrologic Sciences BACKGROUND In an effort to provide some context for its findings, conclusions, and recommendations, the committee sought to consider and include information in this report on the current (FY 1988), approximate lev- els of funding for research in the hydrologic sciences. To accomplish this, the staff conducted a survey of the agencies and departments of the U.S. federal government that were expected to have some level of research activity in the hydrologic sciences. The agencies and departments were given the committee's work- ing definitions of "hydrology"$ and "research"" and further informa- tion on the scope of the committee's interests. They were asked to provide basic information about their current research programs, in- cluding approximate current levels of funding. Specifically, the committee defined research in the hydrologic sci- ences as the development of understanding about (1) the paths along Hydrology the science concerned with the waters (solid, liquid, and vapor) of the earth; their occurrence, circulation, and distribution; their chemical and physical prop- erties; and their reaction with their environment, including their relation to living things. This definition was used in the survey, which was begun in the early stages of the committee's work before it had adopted the more comprehensive definition of hydro- logic science presented in Chapter 2. "Research the development of understanding through the conceptualization and testing of new ideas. 317

Next: APPENDIX A: Funding for Research in the Hydrologic Sciences »
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Hydrology—the science of water—is central to our understanding of the global environment and its many problems. Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences explains how the science of water historically has played second fiddle to its applications and how we now must turn to the hydrologic sciences to solve some of the emerging problems. This first book of its kind presents a blueprint for establishing hydrologic science among the geosciences.

Informative and well-illustrated chapters explore what we know about the forces that drive the global water system, highlighting promising research topics in hydrology's major subfields. The book offers specific recommendations for improving hydrologic education, from kindergarten through graduate school. In addition, a chapter on the basics of the science is interesting for the scientist and understandable to the lay reader.

This readable volume is enhanced by a series of brief biographical sketches of past leaders in the field and fascinating vignettes on important applied problems, from the relevance of hydrology to radioactive waste disposal to the study of ancient water flows on Mars.

The volume concludes with a report on current research funding and an outline of strategies for scientists and professional societies to advance the field.

Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences is indispensable to policymakers in science and education, research managers in geoscience programs, researchers, educators, graduate students, and future hydrologists.

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