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Individual Highlight

Improving Watershed Management and Water Quality by Creating a More Informed Citizenry

Photo of A simple depiction of the hydrologic cycle Robin L. Quinlivan. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.A simple depiction of the hydrologic cycle Robin L. Quinlivan. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Primers about hydrology, watershed management, and soil erosion were written to provide scientific information in an easy to understand format for lay people, watershed groups, and educators. The journal-paper style of each paper provides a format that allows relatively comprehensive coverage of each subject. Previously, information about water resources for public use typically has been restricted to short fact sheets that lacked detail to fully explain even some of the most basic aspects of water resources.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Edwards, Pamela 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 987


In part due to unprecedented droughts, extreme flood events, and nationally reported water contamination events, citizens today have a tremendous interest in and concern for water. Indeed, individuals and watershed groups probably have more influence on water policy now than at any time in U.S. history. Until recently there has not been a source of detailed scientific information covering water resource concepts in a format that can be easily understood by the public or policy makers. A Forest Service scientist and her colleagues recognized that void and addressed it by publishing a series of journal-quality primer papers in the Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education that were directed at people interested in water resources who did not have a strong science background. The papers were designed to provide a foundational understanding of hydrology, water resources, and watershed management to create a more informed public and electorate. The papers also provide figures and artwork that can be extracted and used by high school and college educators.

Additional Resources

Realistic restoration targets(publication)

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Southern Illinois University
  • Universities Council on Water Resources