Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Kevin A Oberg

Hydrologist and expert in the application of hydroacoustic methods in hydrology while dabbling in the application of surface velocity measurement methods for measuring flow.

Kevin is a Scientist Emeritist with the Central Midwest Water Science Center (CMWSC). He is currently providing assistance to the CMWSC in the activities that include Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting, hydroacoustics training, and staff mentoring. Prior to his retirement, Kevin served in the Hydrologic Networks Branch and Office of Surface Water (OSW), serving as the National Coordinator for Hydroacoustics. In this position, he led OSW’s efforts in the application of acoustics to hydraulic and hydrologic measurements. This involved methods development, technical training, technical support, and quality assurance of hydroacoustic methods within the USGS. Kevin is a skilled instructor of classes on the application of ADCPs for the measurement and analysis of streamflow, velocity, and bathymetry data for the USGS and other international hydrometric agencies. Kevin is the author of numerous technical papers on the application of hydroacoustics.

Kevin began his USGS career with the USGS as GS-2 Hydrologic Aid while completing his education at the University of Illinois. Upon completion of his degree, he was involved in rainfall-runoff modeling, network analysis and design, peak flow frequency analysis, and the validation of hydrodynamic models while employed by the Illinois Water Science Center. In 1991, he was appointed Chief, Hydrologic Data Collection and Analysis section; with responsibility for all routine USGS surface water, sediment, and water quality data collection activities in the ILWSC. Beginning about this time, he became a leader in the application of ADCPs for streamflow measurement in rivers throughout the Midwest. From 1995-2000 he also led a team of programmers who developed the first comprehensive system for serving surface-water data on the World-Wide Web. Kevin transferred to the OSW in 1999, becoming the National Coordinator for hydroacoustics in the OSW.

In addition to his work within the USGS, Kevin also has worked with international hydrologic services, including: Water Survey Canada, New Zealand Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Norwegian Power and Energy Directorate (NVE), Swedish Meteorologic and Hydrologic Institute (SMHI), and the Environment Agency of England and Wales (EA). Kevin is still collaborating with personnel from the Environment and Climate Change Canada, the National University of Cordoba, National Littoral University of Santa Fe, and the University of Illinois Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory. Some of the topics of research include: sampling strategies for ADCP discharge measurements, ADCP measurement uncertainty, methods for estimating suspended sediment transport using acoustics, and testing and evaluation of acoustic instruments for streamflow measurements.


Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Member and past-chair of the ASCE Technical Committee for Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods (2002-present)

  • Coordinating Committee for Great Lakes Hydrologic and Hydraulic Data (2009-2017)

  • Water Survey Canada’s Hydroacoustic Technical Working Group (2013-2015)

Honors and Awards

  • U.S Department of Interior Distinguished Service Award (highest DOI honor) – 2016

  • USGS Excellence in Leadership Award (with the USGS Hydroacoustics Work Group) - 2014

  • Co-recipient of the IAGLR Chandler-Misener Award for Most Notable Paper in the Journal of Great Lakes Research for 2012

  • U.S Department of Interior Superior Service Award – 2004

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander's Award for Public Service, 1992 Chicago Tunnel Flood

Abstracts and Presentations

  • Díaz Lozada, J. M., García, C. M., Scacchi, G., & Oberg, K. A. (2021). Dynamic Selection of Exposure Time for Turbulent Flow Measurements. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 147(10), 04021035.

  • Despax, A., le Coz, J., Hauet, A., Mueller, D. S., Engel, F. L., Blanquart, B., Renard, B., & Oberg, K. A. (2019). Decomposition of Uncertainty Sources in Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Streamflow Measurements Using Repeated Measures Experiments. Water Resources Research, 55(9), 7520–7540.

  • Szupiany, R., Garcia, C. M., & Oberg, K. (2017). Acoustic Instruments for Mean Flow Characterization in Field Conditions: Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP). In Experimental Hydraulics: Methods, Instrumentation, Data Processing and Management: Volume II: Instrumentation and Measurement Techniques. CRC Press. 417 p.

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government