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February 23, 2023

Webinar: USGS Water Observing Systems Network and Response to the 2022 Tropical and Extratropical Storms

Join SECOORA to learn about the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Water Observing Systems network and response to 2022 tropical and extratropical storms. The webinar will be presented by Brian McCallum (USGS) and Athena Clark (USGS) on March 7 at noon ET. This “network of network” has monitoring locations in all fifty states and many territories. The presentation will also focus on ongoing research into ways to collect water data reliably, safely, and more cost-effectively.


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) continues to be a world leader in the collection, processing, quality-assurance, and dissemination of water data collected through the multi-faceted Water Observing Systems (WOS) network. This “network of networks” is comprised of a collection of monitoring locations across all fifty states and several territories that are operated by USGS personnel through federal appropriations and hundreds of cooperative agreements.

This “network of networks” consists of surface water, groundwater, and atmospheric data collection efforts. It’s primary component is the USGS national stream gaging network of more than 8,400 real-time streamflow stations, which was first established in 1889 on the Rio Grande River near Embudo, New Mexico. Groundwater data are collected with the National Groundwater Monitoring Network and Climate Response Network of wells. Water quality data are collected with the National Water-Quality Network for both surface water and groundwater. Atmospheric quality data are collected via the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. These national networks are augmented by state and regional data collection efforts through the USGS cooperative program and other initiatives—and all performed by USGS field crews located across the country.

The USGS continues to invest and improve in the WOS through investments in the Next-Generation Water Observing Systems (NGWOS), Hazards, and National Hydrologic Monitoring programs. Ongoing research into ways to collect water data reliably, safely, and more cost-effectively will also be presented. This continued investment into the technologies and processes used to operate the WOS will ensure that the USGS continues to lead in the collection and analyses of water data worldwide.

About the Presenters

Brian E. McCallum, Supervisory Hydrologist, USGS Water Mission Area, Observing Systems Division, Hydrologic Networks Branch

Brian McCallum is currently the National Streamgage Network Coordinator within the USGS Water Mission Area, Observing Systems Division. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelors (1991) and master’s degrees (1992) in civil engineering. He started full-time with the USGS Baton Rouge, Louisiana office in 1993, and became a data chief in 2000 until he took his current role in 2021.

Brian has a passion for communicating USGS science to stakeholders and partners. From 2014 to 2022, Brian was the program coordinator for an extensive collaboration between the United States and Brazil for water resources monitoring. He is also the project chief on the NOMS national effort to merge data feeds into a unified dashboard viewer called the National Water Dashboard.  Brian loves spending time with family, following Nebraska football, and traveling. He has been married since 1992 and has two daughters.

Athena P. Clark, PE, USGS Coastal Storm Team Leader, USGS Southeast Region Science Advisor and Tribal Liaison

Athena Clark is currently serving as the USGS Coastal Storm Team Leader, USGS Southeast Region Science Advisor and Tribal Liaison.  Prior to her current role, Athena also served as the USGS Alabama Water Science Center Director and USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Deputy Director.

Athena has a MS in Environmental Engineering and a BS in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and a BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and holds a Professional Engineer License in the State of Alabama.

Prior to working for USGS, Athena served as an Environmental Engineer for the US Environmental Protection Agency – National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory and the Assistant City Engineer for the City of Montgomery, AL.

Athena is the recipient of the US EPA Bonze Award for Commendable Service and the EPA National Notable Achieve Award.