Implementing a coordinated research program in the hydrologic sciences



The Committee on Hydrologic Science (COHS), jointly organized by the National Research Council's (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board and Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, is aiming to engage the Earth science community to provide hydrologic science input to U.S. and international programs. The timing is opportune in that there are emergent new demands for applications and scientific partnerships, and enhancements in technical capability that can rapidly transform the discipline.

There have been similar decision points in the past, most notably as recently as just a decade ago. The 1991 NRC report,“Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences,” marked a major shift in the discipline toward framing its role as an Earth science. Expanded horizons in hydrologic science led to intensive cultivation of new research ideas dealing with couplings across the Earth sciences, with the application of new mathematical frameworks for dealing with wide-scale disparities characteristic of hydrologic processes, and with the use of new data types,such as those resulting from remote sensing.