Robert G Reiser


Robert G. Reiser is a supervisory hydrologist with the Hydrologic Studies Program at the U.S. Geological Survey’s New Jersey Water Science Center. He has a BS in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University. He began his career with the USGS in 1985 as a field hydrologist. His experience in surface water hydrology involves streamgaging, computation and analysis of stream flow records and statistics. His experience in water quality includes collection, and analysis of water quality data, studies of nutrients, pesticides and VOCs in New Jersey streams, assessment of water quality status in New Jersey river basins and point/non-point source nutrient loads in the Raritan River basin. He managed the operation and maintenance of the USGS cooperative water data collection networks in New Jersey for 10 years. Since 2013 he has managed studies of surface-water quantity and quality in New Jersey in cooperation with other agencies.


Education: 1983, B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University


Scientific Organizations:

New Jersey Water Monitoring Coordinating Council – member since 2003

New Jersey Water Monitoring Coordinating Council – co-chair  2012 –present

Delaware River Basin Flood Advisory Committee – member since 2007


 Work Experience:

February 2016 - present  Chief of Water Quality Studies Program

·          Manages water-quality projects conducted by Center hydrologists. Develops work plans and budgets. 

·          Writes proposals for new projects

·          Maintains working relationships with colleagues from other agencies who have similar goals and objectives for new water-quality studies

·          Assists with writing technical reports. Performs colleague reviews of technical reports

March 2013 -  January 2016   Chief of the Hydrologic Studies Program, 

·          Manages surface water projects conducted by Center hydrologists. Develops work plans and budgets. 

·          Writes proposals for new projects

·          Maintains working relationships with colleagues from other agencies who have similar goals and objectives for new surface-water studies.

·          Assists with writing technical reports. Performs colleague reviews of technical reports.


May 2003 – February2013         Chief of the Hydrologic Data Assessment Program

·          Managed the operation and maintenance of the data collection networks at the Center, in cooperation with other Federal, State, and local agencies and water purveyors. Developed project work plans and budgets to accomplish program objectives.

·          Managed and supervised the work of 22-28 hydrologists and hydrologic technicians. Directly supervised 9-11 hydrologists and hydrologic technicians who collected, computed, analyzed, and published water quality, groundwater and surface-water data. Conducted performance appraisals. Also supervised the work of the surface-water section chief who supervised the other 13-16 hydrologists and hydrologic technicians collecting and analyzing surface-water data. Involved in the hiring new employees.

·          Reviewed the technical aspects of the hydrologic data network operations. Reviewed data analyses for specific sites for scientific and technical accuracy before data were published in the annual water data report. Provided technical reviews of other USGS publications.

·     Wrote funding agreements and developed project budgets for cooperative work with other agencies.


·          Maintained and promoted working relationships with water managers and professionals from other agencies in New Jersey through various forms of communication. Wrote funding agreements and developed budgets for work with other agencies.


April 2002 – May 2003                              Flow Characterization Project Chief

·    Assisted the former project chief in designing a public website to provide streamflow statistics for New Jersey Streams. Published a USGS factsheet about the web site to complete task 1 of the project.

·    Computed low and high streamflow statistics for all gaging stations in New Jersey from the beginning of record through 2001. Used MOVE1 correlation analysis to compute low flow statistics at partial-record low-flow sites.

·    Analyzed trends in n-day high and n-day low flow data at gaging stations. Evaluation of stream flashiness and trends in flashiness at gaged sites.

·    Used Arc GIS to compute land use in drainage basins above all sites

·      Wrote an explanation of procedures used to estimate flows at ungaged sites

·      Published results in a USGS Science Investigative Report


September 2001 - September 2002        Study of nonpoint sources of load in the Lower Delaware River basin

.  Compiled list of active and inactive sampling and AMNET sites in the study area.

.  Selected stream locations for field visits and evaluated locations for sampling and streamflow measurements

.   Used ARC GIS to delineate basin boundaries and calculate land use above the sites.

.   Selected 6 sites for water quality sampling that represent urban, undeveloped and agricultural basins

.   Installed staff gages and made streamflow measurements to develop stage/discharge ratings.


October 2001 – September 2002            Upper Delaware River Basin Project Chief

·    Studied water quality data for 9 constituents in the Upper Delaware River basin in New Jersey 1985-2001, from USGS/NJDEP, DRBC and NJDEP EWQ databases.

·    Used statistics generated in SAS to summarize data. Looked at variability in constituents with season and flow condition and trends at each site. Compared data between individual sites, subbasins and land use categories. Used GIS to present results. Compared with instream standards.

·    Provided cooperator with maps, tables and figures. Published results in a USGS WRI report.


September 2000 – December 2001            Sparta Flood Study

·    Assisted others with flagging and recording high water marks at 21 sites in the Wallkill and Rockaway River basins after the flood of August 11-14, 2000.

·    Assisted in selection of 2 stream reaches for indirect measurements of peak flood flow. Coordinated and led the surveying of the stream reaches for slope area computations. Computed the indirect measurements of peak flow.

·    Published a factsheet and a WRI report on the flood.


September 1999 – December 2001         Raritan River Basin Project Chief

·    Studied water quality data for 17 constituents collected at 21 surface water sites in the Raritan River basin from 1991-97.

·    Used statistics to summarize data. Looked at variability in constituents with season and flow condition and trends at each site. Compared data between individual sites, sub-basins, and land use. Used SAS and ARC GIS to present results.

·    Used streamflow and water quality data to compute total instream loads at various flow conditions.

·    Used time-of-travel data from previous studies and attenuation rates provided by a consultant to evaluate the point source component of instream loads. Computed nonpermitted load and related it to basin characteristics.

·    Project results published in a USGS WRI report.


April 1995 - November 1999          Surface Water Hydrologist for LINJ NAWQA Project

·   Assisted with retrospective analysis of streamflows and nutrient data in the study area covering New Jersey and Long Island New York. Assisted with the design of the surface water sampling network and selection of sites for surface water and biological monitoring.

·   Water quality sampling for field parameters, major ions, nutrients, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and bed sediments.               

.   Biological sampling for fish, macro-invertebrates, and algae. Habitat assessments along stream reaches.

·   Quality assurance of data. Statistical analyses and interpretation of water quality data. Used the SAS statistical package, ARC GIS, and G2 plotting software to analyze and present results.

·   Published 4 reports: two USGS WRI reports and a factsheet on pesticides and a USGS WRI report on VOCs. Gave presentations of results to professional audiences on Long Island and in New Jersey.

·   Coordinated the surface water portion of the project after the surface water specialist left the position in 1997.



·   Assisted with the study of effects of development on streamflow in two New Jersey streams. Gathered streamflow and precipitation data, generated plots of streamflow and computed statistics for the project chief. Contributed to the publication of the results in Water Resources Bulletin.


April 1989 – March 1995

·   Coordinate the streamgaging component of the water-quality staff gage program. Schedule field trips to collect streamflow measurements at network sites. Maintain rating curves for each site. Determine streamflow at the time water quality samples were collected by using rating curves and correlation analysis with daily flows at gaging stations.

·   Determine peak flood flows by indirect methods. Work with others to flag and survey high water marks. Determine the indirect method and flow procedures to compute peak flow.

·   Assist with answering requests for streamflow data and statistics at gaging stations.

·   Review streamflow records for final approval before data is published in the annual data report.


April 1987 – March 1995           Low-flow Project Chief

·     Coordinate the low-flow project. Schedule and coordinate regular field trips for streamgagers to measure low streamflows at a network of 40-50 sites. Check measurements and publish data in the annual data report.

·    Evaluate the network of sites. Select new sites and discontinue sites when an appropriate amount of data is collected.

·    Use lowflow measurements to compute statistics of lowflow frequencies by correlating with flows at gaging stations.

·    Periodically update low flow frequency statistics at gaging stations and low flow sites.

·    Answer requests by consultants and other government agencies for estimates of low-flow statistics at gaged and ungaged sites.


September 1985 – March 1995      Surface Water Hydrologist

·         Enter streamflow measurements and gage height data into the database. Analyze data and compute    instantaneous and mean daily streamflow. Develop stage/discharge rating curves, shift curves and datum corrections that reflect changing field conditions to produce accurate streamflow data for publication in the annual data report.

·    Measure flood flows at gaging stations and crest-stage gage sites during and after storm events using various direct and indirect methods. Use hydraulic equations to calculate peak flows from surveyed high water marks and channel geometry.

   Measure base-flow conditions at low-flow sites and other types of sites for hydrologic studies of drought conditions.

·    Run levels at gaging stations and crest-stage gage sites in order to maintain the proper datum and to record elevations of high water marks after floods.


September 1985 - March 1989        Surface Water Field Hydrologist

·   Collection of stream stage and flow data at gaging stations and crest-stage gage sites.

·    Installation, maintenance, calibration, and repairs to hydrologic instrumentation, including various data loggers, data collection platforms and an ultrasonic velocity meter.

·   Installation and maintenance of gaging structures and crest-stage gages.

·   Measurements of ground water levels in observation wells.