With a growing awareness of water's fundamental role in the global ecosystem and of the scope and critical nature of pressures on the earth caused by a burgeoning world population and by the demands of agricultural and industrial activities throughout the globe has come a recognition of the need for a broad new approach to hydrologic science.
If we are to understand water in all of its manifestations (weather and climate, as plant water vapor, as lakes and rivers, as glaciers, as permafrost, as a shaper of landscape, recreation, source of electric power, drought, land subsidence, avalanches, and sudden fault movement, as a nourisher of life) we must expand the study of water from its traditional place as a subspeciality of engineering, geology, and agricultural science. If we are to address such problems as groundwater contamination and overdraft, cropland salinization, wetlands degradation, and the need to balance ever-growing and competing water needs, we must push out the boundaries of hydrologic science to encompass water-related phenomena at every scale of space and time from the microscopic to the watershed, the continental, and the global, and from fleeting events to seasonal cycles and global climate change evolving over centuries.
In 1991 the National Research Council noted a shortage of qualified hydrologists in both the short term and the foreseeable long term. The Council called for hydrologic science to be formulated as an independent scientific discipline with distinct training and research programs to bring about "a coherent understanding of water's role in the planetary-scale behavior of the earth's system."
UC Davis has responded to this need with a new multidisciplinary program that offers a vigorous integration choosing among chemistry, physics, biology, ecology, geology, law, soil science, engineering, mathematics, and atmospheric science designed to broaden the skills and knowledge of the natural science or engineering student interested in any aspect of water-related phenomena. The program draws on the historic strengths of several water-related educational and research programs on campus.
The need for hydrologic experts is urgent, and career opportunities are both wide-ranging and relatively independent of economic cycles.
For more information, contact:
Shila Ruiz, Student Affairs Officer
Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
1152 PES Building
Davis, CA 95616-8627
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.