• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

Training hydrologists to be ecohydrologists and play a leading role in environmental problem solving

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2012)

McClain M E, Chícharo L, Fohrer N, Gaviño-Novillo M, Windhorst W and Zalewski M

DOI: 10.5194/hess-16-1685-2012

Vol 16, pp 1685–1696


Ecohydrology is a relatively new and rapidly growing subject area in the hydrology curriculum. It is a trans-disciplinary science derived from the larger earth systems science movement and examining mutual interactions of the hydrological cycle and ecosystems. It is also an applied science focused on problem solving and providing sound guidance to catchment-scale integrated land and water resources management. The principle spheres of ecohydrology include (i) climate-soil-vegetation-groundwater interactions at the land surface with special implications for land use, food production and climate change; (ii) riparian runoff, flooding, and flow regime dynamics in river corridors with special implications for water supply, water quality, and inland fisheries; and (iii) fluvial and groundwater inputs to lakes/reservoirs, estuaries, and coastal zones with special implications for water quality and fisheries. We propose an educational vision focused on the development of professional and personal competencies to impart a depth of scientific knowledge in the theory and practice of ecohydrology and a breadth of cross-cutting knowledge and skills to enable ecohydrologists to effectively collaborate with associated scientists and communicate results to resource managers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders. In-depth knowledge in hydrology, ecology, and biogeochemistry is emphasized, as well as technical skills in data collection, modeling, and statistical analysis. Cross-cutting knowledge is framed in the context of integrated water resources management. Personal competencies to be fostered in educational programs include creative thinking, cooperation, communication, and leadership. We consider a life-long learning context but highlight the importance of master's level training in the professional formation of ecohydrologists.

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