Peter S. Eagleson Global Change, A Catalyst Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Development of Hydrologic Science* 1. Introduction hazard has been with humans throughout their exis- tence on earth, but not until the Hellenic civilization, The scientific origins of hydrology lie in the engineer- about 600 B.C., did man attempt to understand nature ing problems of flood control, water supply, and sani- just for the sake of understanding. tation. Thus the education and motivation of its prac- Precipitation was first measured in the fourth cen- titioners has been oriented to problem solving. Over tury B.C. by Kautilya of India and streamflow by Hero time, with development in the size and complexity of of Alexandria in the first century A.D. Little further ad- human society, there has been an evolutionary expan- vance in understanding occurred until the Renais- sion in the scale of these problems, but until relatively sance when the work of Palissy (a French potter and recently, scientific understanding has not been an naturalist), Perrault (a French lawyer), and Halley organizing principle of the accompanying hydrologic (English Astronomer Royal) collectively established research and education. While we have spent lavishly the hydrologic cycle and marked the
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 1, 1991
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