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NCED 2011 Annual Report
Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi (National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, 2011)

NCED 2011 Annual Report

Issue Date

National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics


Civilization, by its very nature, has involved reshaping the natural environment to fit human needs. We have altered landscapes and ecosystems to enhance food supplies, reduce exposure to natural dangers, and promote commerce. We have converted approximately fifty percent of the world’s surface to grazed or cultivated cropland. We have built dams to control rivers for hydropower, irrigation, and flood mitigation. Nearly six times more water is now held in storage than occurs in free-flowing rivers. Climate change and a growing imbalance among freshwater supply, consumption, and population have dramatically altered the hydrologic cycle, a situation that will only intensify over the next century. During its nine-year tenure, NCED has ushered in a new investigational paradigm in understanding landscape dynamics and their response to change. Through the integration of geomorphology, ecology, hydrology, sedimentary geology, engineering, social sciences, and geochemistry and the synergistic combination of field investigations, physical experiments, and computational models, NCED has facilitated the development of a quantitative, predictive Earth-surface science. It is a paradigm shift that will enable us to address the challenges of the future and provide science-based solutions for adaptation and mitigation of environmental change. Our mission: to understand the dynamics of the coupled processes that shape the Earth’s surface—physical, biological, geochemical, and anthropogenic—and how they will respond to climate, land-use, and management change. To use this knowledge to deliver the science-based solutions necessary for addressing environmental change.

Appears in Collection(s)

Series/Report Number
National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics Annual Progress Reports

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Suggested Citation
Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi. (2011). NCED 2011 Annual Report. National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.