National Research Program
About the National Research Program
The NRP had its beginnings in the late 1950's. Since that time, the program has grown to encompass a broad spectrum of scientific investigations. The sciences of hydrology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, ecology, biology, geology, and engineering are used to gain a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect the availability, movement, and quality of the Nation's water resources. Results of NRP's long-term research investigations often lead to the development of new concepts, techniques, and approaches that are applicable not only to the solution of current water problems, but also to future issues that may affect the Nation's water resources. Basic tools of hydrology that have been developed by the NRP include ground water modeling, geochemical modeling, and regional flood frequency analysis. These and other tools developed by the NRP are in common use today throughout the USGS, in other agencies, and in the private sector. Additional information about the NRP is provided by a fact sheet published in 2005, The National Research Program in the Hydrological Sciences (also available in pdf format, 1.6 MB). U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1195 (pdf format, 9 MB) provides some indication of the scope of research problems that were being addressed in 2000, when it was published.
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The NRP is located principally in Reston, Va., Denver, Colo., and Menlo Park, Calif. A Chief, Branch of Regional Research, (BRR) at each location is responsible for managing the program. The Chief, BRR, reports directly to the Chief, Office of Hydrologic Research, who oversees the entire program. For technical administration, the NRP is subdivided into six research disciplines with a Research Adviser and Assistant Research Adviser assigned to each. The Research Advisers serve as a peer resource to the research projects and as a technical consultant to management.
Encompassing a broad spectrum of scientific investigations, the NRP projects integrate hydrological, geological, chemical, climatological, and biological information related to water resources and environmental hazards. For convenience, several indexes are provided to individual project descriptions and bibliographies or a project search may be done (see left-hand bar). An index to information about former projects, arranged by Discipline, is also available.