Submitted to: Journal of Hydrology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Environmental conditions in the world are subject to change and stress from a variety of factors including a changing climate and increasing population with related land use change to support more people. In many cases scientists trying to understand and predict environmental conditions have worked within relatively narrow fields of study such as hydrology, biogeochemistry and ecology. This approach is not capable of addressing the difficult problems of effective and complete resource management. Cooperation among scientists of different groups is essential to understanding the complex interactions present in our environment. Several methods and suggestions for fostering cooperation between Agricultural Research Service scientists from the various natural resource disciplines mentioned above are presented.
Technical Abstract: Environmental concerns facing the world today include such issues as increasing atmospheric CO2 global climate change, desertification, regional drought and flooding, limited supplies of water and other natural resources, and decreasing quality of these resources from pollution. Scientists in the fields of hydrology, biogeochemistry and ecosystems research are addressing these issues by making measurements and developing simulation models that will give policy makers and resource managers a better understanding of the changing natural environment. Conducting research experiments and developing models at larger spatial scales required for policy makers (beyond the laboratory or field scale) generally requires a multi-disciplinary approach and necessitates cooperation between hydrologists, biogeochemists and ecologists (abbreviated H, BGC and ECO). Such cooperation not only pools expertise toward a common goal, but also allows most efficient use of limited human and budgetary resources. The result will be more complete resource management tools and a deeper comprehension of the complex processes affecting the earth.