About Hallway Conversations

Contribution by Kevin Roche.

Hydrology is a broad field for good reason. I began this article after telescoping through a series of cited articles for two hours, moving from a review of bacterial biofilms to a paper on complex networks. We rely on scores of different specialties to connect our measurements to theory. Yet, if we ever hope to establish our academic autonomy, young hydrologists are tasked with digging in. For me, this “broadening-specialization dualism” is frustrating, perhaps because it forces me to admit (1) hydrology is far from being solved, and (2) I need an immense amount of help connecting my work to the big picture.

That help often comes in the form of a conversation. As we all do, I have begun collecting faces to accompany the countless names I see on articles. On lucky days, a five-minute discussion with a colleague has revealed the link between my hydrodynamics experiments and a distant research project; and on really lucky days, I’ve learned about the flooded labs, sleepless nights, and masking-tape field fixes behind some of my favorite papers.

We members of @younghs and @AGU_H3S believe these hallway conversations catalyze the “broadening” process of our scientific educations. With a focus on the big picture, we are jumpstarting a series of articles summarizing informal discussions between young hydrologists and established researchers. They will highlight the diversity of work that spans subdisciplines in hydrology, as well as explore links to other fields. We hope you enjoy listening in on our Hallway Conversations. As always, we welcome your feedback and your recommendations.

About the author
Kevin Roche is a PhD researcher at the University of Northwestern, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and active member of the YHS-AGU branch.