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Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
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Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey

Committee on U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Research

Water Science and Technology Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1997

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant No. 1434-93-A-0982.

Copies of this report are available from the Water Science and Technology Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418.

Cover art by Angela Brubaker. Angela is a research assistant with the Water Science and Technology Board staff. The sketch is intended to convey an image of the relationship between the "scales" of interest in hydrology, a characteristic that presents one of the great challenges to the science.

Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

COMMITTEE ON U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chairman,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

LISA ALVAREZ-COHEN,

University of California, Berkeley

KENNETH R. BRADBURY,

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Madison

KIMBERLY A. GRAY,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

C. THOMAS HAAN,

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

CONSTANCE HUNT,

World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.

DAWN S. KABACK,

Colorado Center for Environmental Management, Denver

DAVID H. MOREAU,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

CYNTHIA L. PAULSON,

Brown & Caldwell, Denver, Colorado

FREDERICK G. POHLAND,

University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

LEONARD SHABMAN,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

MITCHELL J. SMALL,

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DAVID A. WOOLHISER,

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

National Research Council Staff

STEPHEN D. PARKER, Project Director

ANITA A. HALL, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD

DAVID L. FREYBERG, Chair,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

BRUCE E. RITTMANN, Vice Chair,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

LINDA M. ABRIOLA,

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

JOHN BRISCOE,

The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM,

The World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.

WILFORD R. GARDNER,

University of California, Berkeley

EVILLE GORHAM,

University of Minnesota, St. Paul

THOMAS M. HELLMAN,

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, New York

CHARLES D.D. HOWARD,

Charles Howard and Associates, Victoria, British Columbia

CAROL A. JOHNSTON,

University of Minnesota, Duluth

WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR.,

University of Colorado, Boulder

JOHN W. MORRIS,

J.W. Morris Ltd., Arlington, Virginia

CHARLES R. O'MELIA,

The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

REBECCA T. PARKIN,

American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.

IGNACIO RODRIGUEZ-ITURBE,

Texas A&M University, College Station

FRANK W. SCHWARTZ,

Ohio State University, Columbus

HENRY J. VAUX, JR.,

University of California, Riverside

Staff

STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director

SHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff Officer

CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer

JACQUELINE MACDONALD, Senior Staff Officer

GARY D. KRAUSS, Staff Officer

JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Associate

ANGELA F. BRUBAKER, Research Assistant

ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant

ELLEN de GUZMAN, Senior Project Assistant

STEPHANIE VANN, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

PATRICK R. ATKINS,

Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

JAMES P. BRUCE,

Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario

WILLIAM L. FISHER,

University of Texas, Austin

JERRY F. FRANKLIN,

University of Washington, Seattle

THOMAS E. GRAEDEL,

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

DEBRA S. KNOPMAN,

Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C.

KAI N. LEE,

Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

PERRY L. MCCARTY,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

JUDITH E. McDOWELL,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

RICHARD A. MESERVE,

Covington and Burling, Washington, D.C.

S. GEORGE PHILANDER,

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

RAYMOND A. PRICE,

Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario

THOMAS C. SCHELLING,

University of Maryland, College Park

ELLEN K. SILBERGELD,

University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore

VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL,

Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida

E-AN ZEN,

University of Maryland, College Park

Staff

STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director

STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director

MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director

GREGORY SYMMES, Reports Officer

JAMES E. MALLORY, Administrative Officer

SANDRA S. FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth l. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

Preface

This report is a product of the Committee on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Research, which provides consensus advice to the Water Resources Division (WRD) of the USGS on scientific, research, and programmatic issues. The committee is one of the groups that works under the auspices of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council. The committee considers a variety of topics that are important scientifically and programmatically to the USGS and the nation and issues reports when appropriate.

This report concerns WRD watershed research activities. Within the USGS, this work is dispersed in a number of WRD program areas, including basic research, regional and site assessments, and data collection activities.

The work of the USGS in this area is important, as government agencies with natural resource management responsibilities are exploring the potential for program integration on a watershed basis. The interest in program integration and multiple-objective watershed management creates new demands for understanding of and information on hydrologic processes and related chemical, physical, and biological effects. Improvements in our understanding of the total ecosystem within a watershed, including the complex interrelationships among the various components, are needed.

This report addresses an overall framework for the agency's research in watershed systems while suggesting general areas of scientific opportunity, including communications and education. The report does not represent an in-depth review of all germane WRD watershed-related programs and projects but instead is intended to provide strategic advice to WRD management.

The committee began this project in November 1994, with briefings by USGS personnel and the selection of a set of questions to be addressed.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
×

Subsequently, the committee met five more times before completing this report. At the meetings committee members were briefed by USGS personnel on a variety of watershed-related programs and visited USGS field sites at Panola Mountain, Georgia, and Luquillo Experiment Forest, Puerto Rico. Committee members drafted individual contributions and deliberated as a group to achieve consensus on the content of this report.

As the committee became more cognizant of USGS watershed-related activities, productive discussions occurred between committee members and USGS personnel. This interaction was critical to the success of the project. The committee is particularly grateful to Dr. Robert M. Hirsch, chief hydrologist, Dr. Harry F. Lins, WRD hydrologist, and their colleagues for all the information and cooperation they provided.

It is hoped that this report will convey the importance of understanding hydrologic processes in a watershed context and will lead to improvements in watershed and environmental management, consistent with society's broader goal of sustainable development. Successful work by the USGS in this area is very important to making progress in this critical aspect of hydrologic science.

George M. Hornberger, Chair

Committee on U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Research

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1997. Watershed Research in the U.S. Geological Survey. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5589.
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Watershed research is conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to expand our understanding of basic hydrologic mechanisms and their responses at the watershed scale and to provide information that serves as the basis for water and environmental management activities carried out largely by other governmental and private entities. The work of the USGS in this area is carried out by its Water Resources Division and occurs in three general program areas: basic research, regional and site assessments, and data collection. These activities are becoming increasingly important, especially in the context of water and environmental management, where contemporary problems are being approached more than ever on an integrated ecosystems or watershed basis and where the underlying physical, chemical, and biological science is complex.

Although the value of this type of hydrologic research is well recognized within the USGS, available financial resources to support it remain modest. Thus, this study seeks to help maximize the effectiveness of the agency's work. The study took two years, during which time the committee visited field sites, received briefings, reviewed descriptive materials, deliberated toward conclusions, and wrote this report. Recommendations are intended to assist the USGS in improving its overall strategy for work in this area; descriptions of a number of scientific opportunities are included, and appropriate circumstances for collaboration with and support for others are identified.

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