Jerad Bales


Dr. Jerad Bales is the U.S. Geological Survey’s Chief Scientist for Water.  Jerad is the USGS Senior Executive re­sponsible for the planning and devel­opment of national basic and applied research programs related to the hydro­logic environment.  He also oversees and evaluates the results of research efforts conducted by universities under the mandates of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984; coordinates the USGS Hydrologic Re­search and Development Program and the Water Resources Research Institutes Program; and assists other USGS lead­ers with external national and interna­tional programs.  Bales represents the USGS on a number of external committees including co-chair of the Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality (a Federal interagency committee under the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability), Water Sector lead for the U.S. 2013 National Climate Assessment, member of the National Science Foundation’s Critical Zone Observatory Advisory Board, Chair of the U.S. Committee for the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, representative to the Region IV WMO Working Group on Hydrology, and as the USGS representative to the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Water Theme.

Dr. Bales has been principal investigator or Co-PI on numerous water-resources investigations throughout the U.S., as well as internationally.  His research has covered a broad range of topics related primarily to surface-water processes, including small basin studies, flood studies, modeling of rivers, reservoirs, and estuaries,  and research on small stream metabolism.  This work has been funded by more than 20 Federal, State, and local agencies.  Dr. Bales has authored more than 120 articles and technical reports, is invited to speak nationally and internationally and water and climate issues, and has received numerous awards for his government service with USGS.  Prior to his position as Chief Scientist, Dr. Bales was Director of the U.S. Geological Survey North Carolina Water Science Center in Raleigh, NC.  Concurrent with his position with the USGS, he served as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Visiting Assistant Professor in Forestry and Environmental Studies atDuke University, Durham.



·   Ph.D. Civil Engineering (Water Resources Engineering), University of Texas, Austin; December 1986

·   M.S. Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering), University of Tennessee, Knoxville; August 1978

·   B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; March 1977



·       2009 – present:                 USGS Chief Scientist for Water, Reston, VA

·   Feb.2013 – May 2014:      Acting Associate Director for the USGS Water Mission Area, Reston, VA

·   Jan. – May 2012:               Acting Associate Director for the USGS Water Mission Area, Reston, VA

·   2007 – 2009:                     Director, USGS North Carolina Water Science Center

·  1986 – 2007:                      Hydrologist and Supervisory Hydrologist, USGS, Raleigh, NC

·  1990 – 1996:                      Adj. Prof., Dept. of Geography, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill



·      Co-Chair, Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality (SWAQ); SWAQ is a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability, and is the primary committee coordinating water science and technology among Federal agencies, 2010 - present.

·      Lead, Water Sector Chapter for the 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment, 2011-2014.

·      Member, National Science Foundation’s Critical Zone Observatory Advisory Committee, 2010 – present.

·      USGS representative to GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Water Theme, 2009 – present.

·      Participant, U.S. Department of the Interior Working Party on Biodiversity, Water, and Ecosystems for the Environmental Policy Committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), 2010 – present.

·      North Carolina Geographic Information Coordination Council (appointed by the Governor) 2008 – 2009.

·      North Carolina Endocrine Disruptors Workgroup, 2008 – 2009.

·      Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Stormwater Advisory Committee, 2008

·      USGS representative to National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s Committee for Design of National Monitoring Program 2004 – 2006.

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Bales, J.D., Gollehon, N., and Bernacchi, C., 2011, Water resource impacts of feedstock production and conversion in Karlen, D., and Steiner, J., Sustainable Feedstocks for Advanced Biofuels, Soil and Water Conservation Society, 25 p.

Cabrera, R., Dube, S.K., Murty, T.S., Feyen, J.C., Bales, J.D., and Amer, S., 2010, Storm surge modeling and applications in coastal areas: in Chang, J., ed., Global perspectives on tropical cyclones: World Scientific Publishing, pp. 363-405

Paerl, H., Christian, R.R., Pierls, B.L., Hall, N.S., Joyner, A.R., Bales, J.D., and Riggs, S.R., 2010, Human and climatic impacts on the USA's largest lagoonal ecosystem, Pamlico sound: Formulating science and management in the face of climate change: Kennish, M., and Paerl, H., eds., in Coastal Lagoons: Critical Habitats of Change, CRC Press.

Wehmeyer, Loren L.; Bales, Jerad D., 2009. Relation Between Flow and Dissolved Oxygen in the Roanoke River Between Roanoke Rapids and Jamesville, North Carolina, 1998-2005. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5238, vi, 33 p. [Link]

Bales, J.D., and Wagner, C.R., 2009, Sources of uncertainty in flood inundation maps: J. of Flood Risk Management , 2(2):139-147, doi: 10.1111/j.1753-318X.2009.01029.x.

Frankforter, J.D., Weyers, H.S., Bales, J.D., Moran, P.W. and Calhoun, D.L. 2009, The relative influence of nutrients and habitat on stream metabolism in agricultural streams: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 461-479, DOI 10.1007/s10661-009-1127-y.

Bales, J.D., 2008, Uncertainties in flood inundation mapping: Toronto, Canada, Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Flood Defence, 8 p.

Bales, Jerad D.; Nardi, Mark R., 2007. Automated Routines for Calculating Whole-Stream Metabolism: Theoretical Background and User's Guide. Geological Survey (U.S.) Techniques and Methods 4-C2, x, 35 p. [Link]

Bales, Jerad D.; Wagner, Chad R.; Tighe, Kirsten C.; Terziotti, Silvia, 2007. LiDAR-Derived Flood-Inundation Maps for Real-Time Flood-Mapping Applications, Tar River Basin, North Carolina. Geological Survey (U.S.) Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5032, vi, 42 p. [Link]

Bales, Jerad D., 2007. Review of Selected Documents Related to Flooding at City of Salisbury Facilities on the Yadkin River Upstream from High Rock Dam, North Carolina, September 2007. Geological Survey (U.S.) Open-File Report 2007-1314, iv, 11 p. [Link]

Bras, R., Bales, J.., Graham, W., Gunderson, L., and Stone, P., 2007, Scientific Peer Review of the Natural System Regional Simulation Model (NSRSM) v2.0: West Palm Beach, FL, South Florida Water Mgmt. District.

Buchak, E.M., Bales, J.D., and Martin, J.L., 2007, Modeling systems and their application in Martin, J.L., Edinger, J.E., Higgins, J.M., and Gordon, J., A., eds., Energy production and reservoir water quality: Reston, VA, American Society of Civil Engineers, p. 6-1 – 6-4.

McCarthy, A.M., Bales, J.D., Cope, W.G., and Shea, 2007, Modeling pesticide fate in a small tidal estuary: Ecological Modeling, 200:149-159.

Nustad, Rochelle A.; Bales, Jerad D., 2006. Simulation of Constituent Transport in the Red River of the North Basin, North Dakota and Minnesota, During Unsteady-Flow Conditions, 1977 and 2003-04. Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5296, vi, 58 p. [Link]

Bales, Jerad D.; Tomlinson, S. A.; Tillis, Gina, 2006. Flow and transport in the Suwannee River estuary, Florida, 1999-2000: Analysis of data and three-dimensional simulations . Professional Paper 1656-B, 76 p. [Link]