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UF Student and Faculty Research the Evolution of Water Resource Science ,
Katie McCurley, UF PhD student, and Dr. Jim Jawitz, UF Water Institute Faculty Fellow, studied the evolution of water resource science through analyzing the titles of 16,591 papers from the past 50 years.
While the topic of hydrology is relatively established with its inception in the mid-20th century, it continues to develop and revolutionize.
"The main motivation was to get quantitative data to support what the hydrology community has been speculating with qualitative, narrative descriptions of hydrology and the future of hydrology," said Jawitz.
While there is a change in focus for water science, there has not been an abandonment of old subjects, rather an increase in breadth and complexity.
Through title analysis, they determined that subdisciplines including socio-hydrology, hydro-climatology, hydro-meteorology, and catchment-hydrology have gained significant momentum. However, hydro-geology and contaminant-hydrology experienced an increased followed by a significant decrease.
"Water issues are complex" said McCurley. "They are cross-disciplinary by nature. Gathering different perspectives helps better address water resource related questions."
McCurley and Jawitz hope that their research can be used to predict trends in hydrology, as well as other fields.
"The methods we used could be applied to any discipline where there are publications," said McCurley. "This process can be used to investigate the evolution of essentially any field."
To read the full article in the Water Resource Research Journal visit, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016WR019835/full. To learn more about the Landscape Hydrology Lab at UF visit, http://www.landscapehydrology.org/.