Gary Fisher

Biography

Gary Fisher retired from USGS in 2013 with 34 years of Federal service and nearly 40 years of professional hydrologist experience. He served as a project chief, supervisor, and manager ranging from local to national scope. His knowledge base includes surface-water hydrology and GIS, and he is a national expert in water web applications and database services.

 

Gary Fisher retired in 2013 as a hydrologist from the U.S. Geological Survey after 40 years of professional work, which included 32 years at USGS. He began Federal service in 1974 as an Engineering Technician with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. From 1976-1979 he worked in hydrologic research at the University of Maryland and on flood insurance studies with a consulting engineer. He began working for USGS in 1979 as Assistant Project Chief on the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) study in Baltimore, becoming Project Chief 2 years later. In 1984, he became Project Chief of another large runoff study, this time focusing on data collection and water-quality modeling of the Patuxent River Basin, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. This work included early applications of ARC-INFO GIS for hydrologic investigations. In 1989, he left USGS for 3 years to try his hand at GIS and environmental consulting, during which he managed the development of the first comprehensive modern GIS for the State of Maryland. He also taught classes in Water Resources Planning from 1987-1989. Gary returned to USGS in 1992 as the Surface-Water Specialist for the Potomac Unit of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA). In 1995, he became Chief of a new Automated Information Management Section for the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center. During this time, he introduced use of the World-Wide Web for daily operations. He also became a member of SPIDER, which was doing the same for the Water Mission Area in USGS. From 1996-2006, he was Surface Water Specialist for the Water Science Center, which included many changes to operations, such as the proliferation of real-time data and the introduction of hydroacoustics. He received and tested one of the four original Sontek FlowTrackers in production. Also notable during this time was extensive tracking and media outreach during the major East Coast droughts of 1999 and 2002, including a presentation at the U.S. Capitol, and a Potomac River time-of-travel study in 2006. In 1999, he also became a co-PI in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, an NSF-LTER, and continues to the present as a collaborator. In 2004-2005, he served as both Data Chief and Specialist for the Water Science Center. In 2006, he began a part-time detail to the Office of Water Information to lead the Automated Data Report Processing project, and in 2007 became full-time staff with that office. From 2007-2013, he chaired the National Water Information System (NWIS) Web User Group and led or coordinated other national projects sponsored by OWI, including the Site Information Management System (SIMS), Mobile Computing, WaterAlert, and WaterNow. Gary’s contributions helped NWISWeb to undergo significant growth and enhancements, serving more than 35 million requests per month in 2013. SIMS has become an essential part of USGS water site operations, as have Mobile Computing applications, and WaterAlert and WaterNow provide critical services to the public. A particularly significant contribution and career capstone was to lead the transition of the USGS Annual Water Data Report from paper to online products in 2006, and its replacement in 2014 with an equivalent product in NWISWeb.

Gary earned a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland. During his career, he has authored or co-authored at least 30 publications, including a Water-Supply Paper, other USGS reports, and journal articles.

In retirement, Gary remains active with USGS as a Scientist Emeritus, pursuing both new projects and fine-tuning some old results, and continues to collaborate with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study.

Download CV

 

 

 

List of Publications

Holtan, H.N., J.P. Ormsby, and G.T. Fisher. 1977. Application of a Maryland version of USDAHL-74 to a watershed in Prince Georges County, Maryland: Smithsonian Institution, Watershed Research in Eastern North America, Edgewater, Maryland, 1977, Proceedings, p. 887-908.

McCuen, R.H., W.J. Rawls, G.T. Fisher, and R.L. Powell. 1977. Flood flow frequency for ungaged watersheds - a literature evaluation: Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Northeast Regional Series No. ARS-NE-86, 136 p.

Fisher, G.T. 1978. Conversions and units in nonpoint source pollution: Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Miscellaneous Publication No. 929, 10 p.

Fisher, G.T., J.E. Ayars, and G.K. Felton. 1978. Projecting the hydrologic impact of a land use plan using USDAHL-74: American Society of Civil Engineers, Legal, Institutional, and Social Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage and Water Resources Planning and Management, National Specialty Conference, Blacksburg, Virginia, 1978, Proceedings, p. 256-265.

Ayars, J.E., G.T. Fisher, N.T. Martin, G.L. Conner, and R.D. Dixon. 1979. Instrumentation for surface runoff studies: Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Miscellaneous Publication No. 942, 32 p.

Fisher, G.T., J.E. Ayars, H.N. Holton, and D.L. Nelson. 1979. USDAHL-74 as a planning tool: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Transactions, v. 22, no. 6, p. 1347-1352.

Fisher, G.T., and J.P. Ormsby. 1982. The application of remotely sensed observations to hydrologic models: in Application of results from representative and experimental basins, Paris, France, The UNESCO Press, p. 409-428.

Katz, B.G., and G.T. Fisher. 1982. Analysis and characterization of urban storm-water runoff from selected basins in the Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area - project plan: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-1200, 53 p.

Fisher, G.T., and B.G. Katz. 1982. Guidelines for instrumenting and operating a surface runoff study - the Baltimore experience: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Paper NAR82-209, 29 p.

Katz, B.K., and G.T. Fisher. 1983. A comparison of selected methods for measuring flow rate in a circular storm sewer: International Symposium on Urban Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Sediment Control, Lexington, Kentucky, 1983, Proceedings, p. 359-369.

Fisher, G.T. 1984. Procedures for mapping and grouping hydrologic response units using digitized data: Unpublished thesis, Master of Science, Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 146 p.

Fisher, G.T. and B.G. Katz. 1984. Analysis of urban storm-water runoff characteristics of four basins in the Baltimore metropolitan area, Maryland: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4099, 51 p.

Hopkins, H.T., G.T. Fisher, and L.J. McGreevy. 1986. Reconnaissance of the ground-water, surface-water system in the Zekiah Swamp Run basin, Charles and Prince Georges Counties, Maryland: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4097, 48 p.

Fisher, G.T, and R.M. Summers. 1987. Development of a data base for water-quality modeling of the Patuxent River basin, Maryland: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Paper No. 87-2046, 18 p.

Fisher, G.T., and B.G. Katz. 1988. Urban storm-water runoff -- selected background information and techniques for problem assessment, with a Baltimore, Maryland, case study: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2347, 30 p.

Fisher, G.T. 1989. Geographic information system-watershed model interface: American Society of Civil Engineers, Hydraulics Division Specialty Conference, New Orleans, La., 1989, Proceedings, 6 p.

Fisher, G.T., and T.M. Lewis. 1990. Estimation of drainage density and overland flow length using digital cartographic data: Application of Geographic Information Systems, Simulation Models and Knowledge Based Systems for Landuse Management, International Conference, Blacksburg, Va., Proceedings, 10 p.

Fisher, G.T. 1995. Selected herbicides in major streams in the Potomac River Basin upstream from Washington, D.C.: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 107-95, 4 p.

Blomquist, J.D., G.T. Fisher, J.M. Denis, J.W. Brakebill, and W.H. Werkheiser. 1996. Water-quality assessment of the Potomac River Basin: Basin description and analysis of available nutrient data, 1970-90: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4221, 88 p.

Zappia, Humbert, and G.T. Fisher. 1997. Water-quality assessment of the Potomac River Basin: Analysis of available pesticide data, 1972-90: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4051, 80 p.

Tallman, A.J., and G.T. Fisher. 2001. Flooding in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland From Hurricane Floyd, September 1999, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 073-01, 6p.

Heisler, G.M., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, K. Belt, V. Fabiyi, G.T. Fisher, R.H. Grant, and S. Grimmond. 2000. A reference meteorological station for urban long-term ecological research, Baltimore Ecosystem Study. In: Third Urban Environment Symposium. Davis, CA. 14-18 Aug 2000. American Meteorological Society. Boston. p. 189-90.

Heisler, G.M., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, K.T. Belt, V. Fabiyi, G.T. Fisher, R.H. Grant, and C.S.B. Grimmond. 2000. A reference meterological station for urban long-term ecological research, Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Paper presented at Third Symposium on the Urban Environment, Davis, CA.

Fisher, G.T. 2000. Evolution of real-time streamflow data services in the U.S. Geological Survey: Poster HS023, Open Session on Hydrometry, European Geophysical Society XXV General Assembly, Nice, France, April 25, 2000.

Fisher, G.T. 2000. Overview of 1998-1999 drought impacts on water resources in the eastern United States: Poster HS050, Regional Analysis of Floods, Droughts and Low Flows, European Geophysical Society XXV General Assembly, Nice, France, April 27, 2000.

Belt, K.T., P.M. Groffman, G.T. Fisher, and L.E. Band. 2000. Stream chemistry patterns along an urban-rural gradient: preliminary results from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study an urban LTER site: Paper presented at Eos Trans AGU, Spring, Abstract H21A-05 30 May-3 June 2000, Washington, DC.

Doheny, E.J., and G.T. Fisher. 2000. Estimated flood frequency and corresponding water-surface elevations at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-461.

Belt, K.T., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, and G.T. Fisher. 2000. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and yields along an urban/rural gradient in the Gwynns Falls watershed. Paper presented at Maryland Water Monitoring Council 6th Annual Meeting; 1 December 2000, Maritime Institute, Linthicum, MD.

Band, L.E., K.T. Belt, P.M. Groffman, G.T. Fisher, D.E. Tennenbaum, and N.L. Law. 2000. Long term experimental watershed studies in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 81(48), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract H51B-03; 15 December 2000, San Francisco.

Fisher, G.T., and W.P. Stack. 2001. Evaluation of stream impacts from leaking infrastructure in the lower Gwynns Falls watershed: Maryland Water Monitoring Council 2001 Annual Conference Abstracts, Linthicum, Maryland, http://www.mgs.md.gov/mwmc/pub/mwmcprog01.pdfwww.usgs.gov

Belt, K.T., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, N.L. Law, and G.T. Fisher. 2002. Nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes in urban ecosystem watersheds: Paper presented at Eos Trans AGU, Spring, Abstract B52B-06 28 May 2002, Washington, DC.

Morlock, S.E. and G.T. Fisher. 2002. Hydroacoustic current meters for the measurement of discharge in shallow rivers and streams: Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods 2002, Proceedings, American Society of Civil Engineers, Estes Park, Colorado.

Fisher, G.T. and S.E. Morlock. 2002. Discharge measurements in shallow urban streams using a hydroacoustic current meter: Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods 2002, Proceedings, American Society of Civil Engineers, Estes Park, Colorado.

Fisher, G.T. 2003. Tidal hydrodynamics near a constructed wetland at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland: Sontek/YSI 2003 International Water Resources Users Conference, Henderson, Nevada, October 2-4, 2003.

Fisher, G.T., and K.T. Belt. 2002. Evaluation of indicators of sewage contamination in urban-impacted streams: Maryland Water Monitoring Council 2002 Annual Conference Abstracts, Linthicum, Maryland,http://www.mgs.md.gov/mwmc/conf/abs02.html

Smith, J.A., M.L. Baeck, R.A. Fulton, G.T. Fisher, and A.J. Miller. 2002. Hydrometeorological analysis of flash floods in the Baltimore metropolitan region: Eos, Transactions AGU, v. 83, no. 47, H62A-0836.

Groffman, P.M., N.L. Law, K.T. Belt, L.E. Band, and G.T. Fisher. 2004. Nitrogen fluxes and retention in urban watershed ecosystems: Ecosystems, v. 7, p. 393-403.

Miller, A.J., J.A. Smith, C. Welty, K.N. Esleman, M. Piasecki, K.L. Prestegaard, K.L. Brubaker, M.A. Palmer, P.T. Imhoff, P.R. Wilcock, T.M. Scanlon, G.T. Fisher, R.J. Shedlock, A.C. Gellis, P.M. Groffman, K. Belt, L. Toran, R. Traver, and T. Jordan. 2004. The Potomac River basin and western shore Chesapeake Bay drainage as a proposed CUAHSI hydrologic observatory: Paper presented at Eos Trans. of the AGU, Fall Meet. Suppl., H31C-0382 INVITED 13 December 2004, San Francisco.

Kaushal, S.S., P.M. Groffman, G.E. Likens, K.T. Belt, W.P. Stack, V.R. Kelly, L.E. Band, and G.T. Fisher. 2005. Increased salinization of fresh water in the northeastern United States: PNAS (Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), v. 102, p. 13517-13520.

Fisher, G.T. 2005. Status of hydroacoustics implementation in the USGS: Sontek/YSI International Water Resources Users Conference, Orlando, Florida, January 2005.

Heisler, G.M., J. Walsh, and G.T. Fisher. 2005. Accessing long term ecological research program climate and hydrology data: Paper presented at ESA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Ecology Conference; 12-13 March 2005, Baltimore, MD.

Smith, J.A., A.J. Miller, M.L. Baeck, P.A. Nelson, G.T. Fisher, and K.L. Meierdiercks. 2005. Extraordinary flood response of a small urban watershed to short-duration convective rainfall: Journal of Hydrometeorology. 6:599-617. doi:10.1175/JHM426.1.

Fisher, G.T. 2006. Future of the annual data report - Automated data report processing in the Water Resources Discipline: USGS 2006 National Data Conference, Sacramento, California.

Belt, K.T., C.M. Swan, R.V. Pouyat, S.S. Kaushal, P.M. Groffman, I. Turcsanyi, W.P. Stack, and G.T. Fisher. 2006. Altered hydrology and vegetation: effects on the transport and breakdown of organic matter in urban streams: Paper presented at Marine Estuarine Environmental Science 2006 Colloquium, Invited; 30 September 2006, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies, Appalachian Laboratory.

Belt, K.T., C.M. Swan, R.V. Pouyat, S.S. Kaushal, P.M. Groffman, W.P. Stack, and G.T. Fisher. 2006. Transport and breakdown of organic matter in urban and forested streams: the effects of altered hydrology and landscape position: Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU 87(36), Jt. Assem. Suppl., Abstract B23A-03; 24 May 2006, Baltimore, MD.

Bushey, J.T., P.M. Groffman, C.T. Driscoll, and G.T. Fisher. 2006. Mercury cycling and transport within Gwynns Falls, an urban watershed in Baltimore, MD. Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Jt. Assem. Suppl., Abstract B24A-03; 23-26 May 2006, Baltimore.

Shields, C.A., L.E. Band, P.M. Groffman, G.T. Fisher, and S.S. Kaushal. 2006. Temporal distribution of nitrogen loading: an urban-rural gradient?: Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Jt. Assem. Suppl. B23A-07; 26 May 2006, Baltimore, MD.

Groffman, P.M., L.E. Band, R.V. Pouyat, K.T. Belt, G.T. Fisher, J.M. Grove, S.S. Kaushal, and P.M. Mayer. 2006. The bio-geo-socio-chemistry of urban watershed ecosystems: Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Jt. Assem. Suppl., Abstract U31A-02 Invited; 24 May 2006, Baltimore, MD.

Belt, K.T., W.P. Stack, R.V. Pouyat, G.T. Fisher, G. Heisler, and P.M. Groffman. 2006. Watershed 263 small headwater storm drain catchment hydrology: ultra urban hotspot?: Paper presented at Proceedings of the 2006 AWRA Annual Conference; 8 November 2006, Baltimore, MD.

Fisher, G.T., W.P. Stack, and K.T. Belt. 2006. Reflections on the Baltimore NURP results, 25 years later: American Water Resources Association 2006 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland.

Fisher, G.T. 2006. Introducing the new USGS annual water data report: American Water Resources Association 2006 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland.

Doheny, E.J., and G.T. Fisher. 2007. Hydraulic geometry characteristics of continuous-record streamflow-gaging stations on four urban watersheds along the main stem of Gwynns Falls, Baltimore County and Baltimore City, Maryland: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006–5190, 24 p.

Schmidt, M., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, G.T. Fisher, and N.L. Law. 2007. Exploring watersheds in Baltimore: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Millbrook, NY.

Fisher, G.T. 2007. Hydroacoustic discharge and velocity measurements for estimation of travel time in rivers: Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods 2007, Proceedings, American Society of Civil Engineers, Lake Placid, New York.

Kaushal, S.S., P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, C.A. Shields, R.P. Morgan, M.A. Palmer, K.N. Eshleman, K.T. Belt, C.M. Swan, S.E.G. Findlay, and G.T. Fisher. 2008. Interaction between urbanization and climate variability amplifies watershed nitrate export in Maryland. Environmental Science & Technology. 42(16):5872-5878. doi:10.1021/es800264f.

Shields, C.A., L.E. Band, N.L. Law, P.M. Groffman, S.S. Kaushal, K. Savvas, G.T. Fisher, and K.T. Belt. 2008. Streamflow distribution of non-point source nitrogen export from urban-rural catchments in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: Water Resources Research. 44(W09416). doi:10.1029/2007WR006360.

Fisher, G.T., D.S. McCulloch, and E.E. Fischer. 2008. Online access to USGS water-resources data:  2008 National Water Quality Monitoring Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Fisher, G.T. 2008. Update on SIMS, RMS, and the ADR: USGS 2008 National Data Conference, Tunica, Mississippi.

Bushey, J.T., C.T. Driscoll, P.M. Groffman, S.S. Kaushal, E.F. Mason, C.B. Fuss, and G.T. Fisher. 2009. Mercury dynamics in an urban watershed ecosystem: Paper presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 90(22), Jt. Assem. Suppl., Abstract B13D-06, Toronto.

Fisher, G.T. 2009. Highlights from the Office of Water Information: Plenary presentation at the USGS 2009 National Data Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Fisher, G.T, and Y.E. Stoker. 2010. Where's the data? Improvements in access to USGS water data: 2010 National Water Quality Monitoring Conference, Denver, Colorado.

Groffman, P.M., L.E. Band, K.T. Belt, S.S. Kaushal, and G.T. Fisher. 2010. Long-term (10 year) trends in the chemistry of urban streams: Paper presented at Fall Meeting AGU, Abstract B41J-04; 16 December 2010, San Francisco, CA.

Fisher, G.T., Mark Hamill, et al. 2011. Update on USGS Water Data for the Nation (aka NWISWeb): USGS 2011 National Surface Water Conference, Tampa, Florida.

Fisher, G.T., B.D. Reece, D.R. Terry, and S.L. Vasquez. 2011. I Didn’t Know SIMS Could Do That…: USGS 2011 National Data Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Fisher, G.T. 2012. USGS Water Data for the Nation (NWISWeb) - An overview: Advisory Council on Water Information 2012 Annual Meeting, Herndon, Virginia.

Fisher, G.T. 2012. Highlights from the Office of Water Information: Plenary presentation at the USGS 2012 National Data Conference, Portland, Oregon.

Fisher. G.T. 2013. Current river conditions available nationwide from USGS: The Buzz, April 2013, http://www.nfrmp.us/state/docs/news/April_2013_The_Buzz.pdf

Fisher, G.T. 2013. Role of agricultural engineers in the Water Mission Area of the U.S. Geological Survey: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference, Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Fisher, G.T. 2014. Water data and related tools from the U.S. Geological Survey: Lecture at National Dam Safety Program Technical Seminar, Emergency Management Institute, Emmitsburg, Maryland, February 2014.

Hirsch, R.M. and G.T. Fisher. 2014. Past, present, and future of water data delivery from the U.S. Geological Survey: Journal of the University Council on Water Resources, Special Issue (publication pending)