CUAHSI September Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,
Fall is right around the corner, and CUAHSI is dropping by to bring you September’s news!
Be sure to attend CUAHSI’s LTAW event next month at the East Boston Library! Details inside. 
As always, please contact with any questions or comments.
A Message from the Executive Director 
Dear Friends of Water Science:A couple of events had me thinking recently about the availability of information on the Nation’s stream network. First, students at the NWS – CUAHSI 2018 Summer Institute recognized that the idealized channel geometry used in the National Water Model (NWM) could lead to errors in the prediction of the timing of peak-flow arrival and in the extent of forecast inundation. Students investigated the effects of an alternative channel geometry formulation, but the channel geometry remained idealized, nonetheless. Second, a team from the NASA SWOT project participated in the CUAHSI Biennial and hosted a workshop. The SWOT mission is designed to provide observations of water level for rivers ≥100 m in width along roughly 72,000 km of river length in the contiguous U.S. Stream discharge will be estimated using measurements of surface-water slope, width, and estimates of channel geometry over approximately 10-km lengths. Clearly, new and emerging technologies will rely on estimates of channel form, which is constantly changing in most situations.The original National Hydrography Dataset was completed in 2007, and the NHD and the subsequently developed NHDPlus and NHDHi-Res are critical pieces of water science infrastructure. Derivative products like height above the nearest drainage (HAND) model and the Network-Linked Data Index (NLDI) provide even greater functionality. Nevertheless, NHD products are largely two-dimensional, with a few exceptions such as HAND, and new terrain products have helped provide floodplain topography, which can be useful in flood prediction.

It’s not as if data on channel geometry doesn’t exist. For example, scientists have made tens of thousands of discharge measurements in the Nation’s rivers, but generally, that information is not captured in a common data model. Work on channel restoration, stream habitat studies, and flood insurance studies, among others, include information on channel geometry. Data prior to about the end of the 20th century remain in paper files; since the advent of hydroacoustic methods, channel geometry information can be stored electronically, but, as far as I know, not in an accessible national, searchable database with a common set of metadata.

In order to fulfill the vision of continental-scale water prediction and remotely-sensed discharge estimates at large scales, the current NHD efforts need to be supplemented by a similar foundational data set that describes the third dimension of channel networks. Moreover, access to data of these type would be a tremendous asset to those studying channel form and migration, as well as sediment transport. A limiting factor, it seems is a comprehensive data model that the community could adopt, thereby beginning to capture these invaluable data.

All the best,




Now Accepting Applications for 2018 Pathfinder Fellowships!

Graduate training in water science often focuses on a single field site, analytical, or modeling approach. The Pathfinder Fellowship program provides travel funds to graduate students in hydrology and related sciences to make an extended trip to enhance their research by adding a field site to conduct comparative research, collaborating with a research group, or working with researchers on adding an interdisciplinary dimension to a project. Fellowships are awarded to cover travel costs of up to a maximum of $5,000.

Application deadline is October 31st!

Questions? Please contact Jon Pollak at



*****Now Accepting Applications for the Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant!

CUAHSI offers Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grants (IDTG) of up to $1,000 to help cover travel expenses for scientists at U.S. universities and colleges to visit colleagues with specific instrumentation expertise. The objective of the travel should be to efficiently and economically learn how to install, operate, maintain, and process data from one or more hydrologic instruments. IDTG’s can: (1) enable university scientists to visit other institutions or research sites, or (2) enable a reverse site visit to bring an expert to their own institution.The purpose of the grant is to minimize the costs to awardees while enabling them to learn about advanced water-related instrumentation from an expert.Priority will be given to proposals that focus on learning to use instruments sensors and/or devices.

Applications are due September 30th!




CUAHSI’s Data Down-low

Your data is now more discoverable through Google!

Google has released a new beta version of a Dataset Search, creating a central place for discovering and accessing different repositories. All data and models published with HydroShare can now be discovered in Google searches. HydroShare provides an extensive metadata profile to inform Google’s or any other search engine algorithm. The same metadata profile feeds into Google’s new service to search for datasets, which can be found here:
Interested in hosting a CUAHSI water data services workshop? Contact
CUAHSI HIS Datasets – UMBC Groundwater Observations
The mission of the Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) at University of Maryland Baltimore County is to advance the understanding of the environment, social, and economic consequences of the transformation of the urban landscape through research, conferences and symposia, support of university teaching programs and assistance to K-12 education. Such public research and outreach necessitates data publication. The Director of CUERE, Claire Welty, is a former CUAHSI Board of Director and longtime user of CUAHSI’s data services. Dr. Welty has recently uploaded a new data set containing groundwater levels, and groundwater temperature in Philadelphia, PA and suburban Baltimore, MD. To find out more about this dataset click here or search using HydroClient.  
Let’s Talk About Water Event to be held in Boston!
The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), the Office of State Representative Adrian Madaro, and the University of Massachusetts Boston present a free film screening: H2Omx, a documentary film highlighting the economic, political, and geographical difficulties that stand between Mexico City’s 22 million residents and a safe, reliable water supply.The film will be followed by a panel discussion exploring climate change and the storm-water management affecting all East Boston residents.When: Thursday, October 4th from 5-7 p.m ET

Where: East Boston Library – 365 Bremen Street

To learn more about Let’s Talk about Water (LTAW), visit here.




2018 JAWRA Featured Collection of Summer Institute 

We are excited to announce the publication of the Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) Featured Collection: National Water Model. The feature showcases a compilation of papers produced from research at the 2016 NOAA National Water Center Innovators Program – Summer Institute. The collection includes nine papers written by participants and advisors that encompass the four research themes of inundation mapping, flood modeling, assessment of forecast errors, and emergency response.  Highlights include a description of the methodology and supporting cyberinfrastructure of Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) approach and implementation of several decision support web applications used to disseminate and visualize NWM and other hydrologic information.

This is the second time Summer Institute research has been highlighted as a JAWRA Featured Collection and it is quite an accomplishment for the SI fellows and research advisors. Papers from the 2017 Summer Institute currently are under review for a third featured collection. For more information on authors and topics of papers in the collection, view the August 2018 JAWRA table of contents or read an overview of the compilation, written by Sagy Cohen, Sarah Praskievicz, and David R. Maidment.


Rick Hooper, CUAHSI’s Director Emeritus Receives the Edward Flinn Award!

Rick Hooper, CUAHSI’s Director Emeritus is the recipient of the 2018 Edward Flinn award!

The Edward Flinn award is given to an “individual or small group who personifies the American Geophysical Union motto, “unselfish cooperation in research through their facilitating, coordinating, and implementing activities.” Rick’s accomplishment is featured in this month’s issue of Earth and Space Science News.

“I am gratified by the recognition by my colleagues, particularly those who took the time to nominate me for this award. I hope that my efforts have laid the foundation for community cooperation that will advance the interdisciplinary science of water and I look forward to continuing success for CUAHSI” – Rick Hooper

Congratulations, Rick!

Meet the CUAHSI Community
This is the next installment of our series as we shine the spotlight on a member of the CUAHSI community.[Know a CUAHSI member that deserves to be highlighted? Contact with a nomination!]
This month’s Meet the CUAHSI Community introduces you to one of our 2018 Summer Institute Course Coordinators, Lauren Grimley. Lauren is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa where she completed her Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

What are your research interests? / What types of projects are you currently involved in?
I am interested in urban hydrology and flood forecasting. I recently completed my master’s thesis at the University of Iowa where I used a nested regional-local model to study the impacts of urban rainfall runoff dynamics and the spatiotemporal resolution of radar rainfall on streamflow predictions.How did you get involved with CUAHSI? 
I first got involved with CUAHSI when I participated in the National Water Center Summer Institute 2017, and I returned to be a Course Coordinator for the Summer Institute 2018!
What is one word you would use to describe CUAHSI? 
Collaborative – CUAHSI does a great job of connecting researchers in the field of hydrologic sciences across the nation whether it is through workshops, conferences, or other events. This network is invaluable, especially for young professionals in the field.

What has been your proudest professional accomplishment to date?
Completing my master’s degree in civil & environmental engineering.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to graduate students who are embarking on careers in water science?
I would encourage graduate students to expand their knowledge outside of their core research focus. Having an open mind and being curious can help put your research into perspective. There are a lot of valuable experiences, opportunities, and perspectives to embrace that may be outside of your home university.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
I love playing strategy board games or exploring off the beaten path whether it is by foot, bike, kayak, etc.




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