hydrologic sciences that is key to tackling the challenges and opportunities in this report.
• Education: To successfully solve today’s complex water problems, scientists, engineers, and water managers need disciplinary depth and intellectual breadth to bridge disciplines and the ability to effectively communicate science to policy makers.
• Translational Science: Multiway interactions among scientists, engineers, water managers, and decision makers (termed “translational hydrologic science”) are needed to more closely connect science and decision making in order to address increasingly urgent water policy issues.
The committee elaborates on these points with advice, in boldface, below.
The charge to the committee is not specific to NSF. Although NSF (and, in particular its Hydrologic Science (HS) program) will play a critical role in hydrologic science research, other agencies and organizations also support hydrologic science and offer various modalities to advance hydrologic research. Therefore, the following advice applies in varying degrees to other agencies and programs in addition to NSF.
Research grants and contracts to individual Principal Investigators (PIs) come from a variety of federal, state, and local agencies as well as from private sources. An important part of this broad support package is NSF’s HS program, which enjoys an expanding and vibrant talent pool, as reflected by a high proposal submission rate. Hydrologic science is well served by the HS program’s support of standard grants. This core research capability will continue to be important as NSF addresses the opportunities and challenges described in this report. As other agencies and organizations approach the challenges described in this report, their support of individual PIs also will be important.
Along with single PI research, larger interdisciplinary groups and community capacity building has to be envisioned with an eye toward the future to tackle interdisciplinary science questions. All efforts should work in harmony rather than in competition to ensure a culture of sharing and growing within a curiosity-driven research environment for the benefit of society. Collaborative, community building efforts will continue to be relevant for the multiple agencies and organizations that support hydrologic science, including NSF in general and the HS program in particular, in responding effectively to many of the opportunities and challenges presented in this report. Numerous federal agencies and international organizations have varying degrees of responsibility in water science or water management. NSF-supported research and the programs of other agencies can be mutually beneficial. Expansion of cross-agency programs and exploration of novel mechanisms of cross-agency partnerships, including opportunities