Robert Holmes, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, F.EWRI, D.WRE

As Hydrodynamics Branch Chief, Dr. Holmes conducts research and oversees scientists and projects working in the areas of hydraulics, erosion, sedimentation, and geomorphology. As the National Flood Hazard  Coordinator, Dr. Holmes serves as lead flood scientist for  operational and scientific endeavors  nationwide, including serving as a senior advisor to USGS leadership on flood issues.

Biography

Education

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois

M.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla

B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla

 

Experience

2017-Current ---Chief, Branch of Hydrodynamics, U. S. Geological Survey

2008- Current --- National Flood Hazard Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey

1999-2008--Director, USGS Illinois Water Science Center

1997-1999-Chief of Network Operations, USGS Illinois Water Science Center

1996-1997--Surface Water Specialist, USGS Illinois

1994-1996--Hydrologist, USGS Illinois

1987-1994--Hydrologist--USGS Missouri

Dr. Robert Holmes serves as the Chief of the Hydrodynamics Branch and the National Flood Hazard Specialist and Coordinator for the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).  Additionally he holds an academic appointment as an Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). As USGS National Flood Hazard Specialist and Cooridnator, Dr. Holmes serves as lead flood scientist for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operational and scientific endeavors  nationwide, including serving as a senior advisor on flood issues to the USGS Director and Associate Directors.   As the Chief of the Branch of Hydrodynamics, he oversees USGS research and scientific investigations in the areas of open-channel hydraulics, erosion, sedimentation, and geomorphology.    Prior to taking his current position in 2008, he served for 9 years as the Director of the USGS Illinois Water Science Center in Urbana, Illinois.  Other USGS positions include: Chief of the Illinois Hydrologic Data Collection Section, Surface Water Specialist, Sediment Specialist, and Project Hydrologist.

Dr. Holmes has BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from the Missouri S&T and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois.  Holmes is a licensed professional engineer in Missouri, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Past President of the Mid-Missouri Section of ASCE, a member of the computational hydraulics committee of ASCE, and Chair of the St. Louis Section of ASCE EWRI.  He is also a member in the American Geophysical Union and the International Hydrological Science Association.  Dr. Holmes has received numerous awards from Missouri S&T, including induction into its Academy of Civil Engineers, the Alumni Achievement Award and several Outstanding Teaching Awards.  He has also received the Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award, USGS Excellence in Leadership Award, and the Shoemaker Communications Award.   In 2015, he received the ASCE Government Civil Engineer of the Year Aware.  Dr. Holmes has research interests and authored numerous papers in the areas of flood hydrology, surface-water hydrologic processes, river mechanics, open-channel hydraulics, and sediment transport.  
 

Publications

Streamflow Data  2017, Holmes, Robert R., Jr., in Handbook of Hydrology, 2nd Edition,  Editor, Singh, Vijay McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 5-1 to 5-8

Streamflow Ratings 2017, Holmes, Robert R., Jr., Handbook of Hydrology, 2nd Edition,  Editor, Singh, Vijay McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 6-1 to 6-14

Examination of Flood Characteristics at Selected Streamgages in the Meramec River Basin, Eastern Missouri, December 2015-January 2016 2016, Holmes, R.R., Jr. Koenig, T.A., Rydlund, P.H., and Heimann, D.C., U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1140  https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20161140

River Rating Complexity 2016, Holmes, R.R., Jr. , In Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics (River Flow 2016), Constantinescu, Garcia, and Haynes, (Eds), CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, London  pp 679-686

Preliminary Peak stage and streamflow data at selected U.S. Geological Survey streamgages for flooding in the central and southeastern United States during December 2015 and January 2016  2016, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Watson, K.M., and Harris, T.E., U.S. Geological Survey Open- File Report 2016-1092, 27 p. https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20161092

Streamflow Data in Flood Forecasting 2016, Wiche, G.J. and Holmes, R.R., Jr., In Flood Forecasting: A Global Perspective, Thomas E. Adams, III and Thomas C. Pagano, Editors, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp371-398 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801884-2.00013-X

Identifying and Preserving High-Water Mark Data 2016, Koenig, T.A., Bruce, J.L., O’connor, Jim, McGee, B.D., Holmes,Jr.  R.R., Hollins, Ryan, Forbes, B.T., Kohn, M.S., Schellekens, M.F., Martin, Z.W., and Peppler, M.C., U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods Book 3, Chapter A24, 47 p., https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/tm3A24

Flooding in the South Platte River and Fountain Creek Basins in Eastern Colorado, September 9-18, 2013 2015, Kimbrough, Robert A. and Holmes, Jr., Robert R., U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5119, 34 p  http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155119

Examination of Streamflow Rating Complexity 2015, Holmes, Robert R. Jr, Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers Environment and Water Resources Institute World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Austin, TX, May 17-21,2015

Dealing with Loops in Rating Curves 2014, Holmes, Robert R., Jr., Proceedings of the American Water Resources Association Annual Water Resources Conference, November 3-6, 2014, Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Annual Exceedence Probabilities and Trends for Peak Streamflows and Annual Runoff Volumes for the Central United States During the 2011 Floods 2014, Driscoll, D.G., Southard, R.E, Koenig, T.A., Bender, D.A., and Holmes, R.R., Jr., U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1798-D, 89 p.,

http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1798d/

Assessment of Floodplain Vulnerability during Extreme Mississippi River Flood 2011 2014, Goodwell, Allison E., Zhu, Zhenduo, Dutta, Debsunder, Greenberg, Jonathan A., Kumar, Praveen, Garcia, Marcelo H., Rhoads, Bruce L., Holmes, Robert R., Parker, Gary, Berretta, David P., and Jacobson, R.B.  Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 2619-2625   http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es404760t

Mississippi River Streamflow Measurement Techniques at St. Louis, Missouri 2013, Watson, Chester C., Holmes, Jr., R.R., and Biedenharn, D.S.. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 139 (10), pp 1062-1070  http://ascelibrary.org/doi/pdf/10.1061/%28ASCE%29HY.1943-7900.0000752

Natural Hazards Science at the U.S. Geological Survey 2013, Perry, S.C., Jones, L.M., and Holmes, R.R., Jr.,  U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013–3082, 2 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2013/3082/.

Data for Emergency Management and Decision Making:  A Look at Streamflow and Its Inherent Uncertainty During the 2011 Floods 2013, Holmes, Robert R.. Jr., in 2013 National Hydrologic Warning Council Training Conference and Exposition, June 3-6, 2013, Ponte Vedra, Florida, 1 p

Documenting the Stages and Streamflows Associated with the 2011 Activation of the New Madrid Floodway, Missouri 2013, Koenig, Todd A. and Holmes, Robert R., Jr., United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 1798-E,  31 p

http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1798e/

Peak Streamflows and Runoff Volumes for the Central United States, February through September, 2011 2013, Holmes, Robert R., Jr., Wiche, Gregg J., Koenig, Todd A., and Sando, Steven K., United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 1798-C, 60 p

http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1798c/

U.S. Geological Survey Natural Hazards Science Strategy---Promoting the Safety, Security, and Economic Well-Being of the Nation 2013, Holmes, Jr. Jones, Lucile M.,  Eidenshink, Jeffery C., Godt, Jonathan W., Kirby, Stephen H.,  Love, Jeffrey J., Neal, Christina A., Plant, Nathaniel G.,  Plunkett, Michael L., Weaver, Craig S.,  Wein, Anne, Perry, Suzanne C. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1383-F, 79 p  http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1383f/

Landscape vulnerability analysis from historic Lower Mississippi River Flood in 2011 2012, Goodwell, Allison, Zhu, Zhenduo, Dutta, Debsunder, Greenburg, Jonathan, Kumar, Praveen, Garcia, Marcelo, Rhoads, Bruce, Parker, Gary, Berretta, David, and Holmes, Robert R, Jr., Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union, December 2012

Flood Risk Awareness during the 2011 Floods in the Central United States: Showcasing the Importance of Hydrologic Data and Interagency Collaboration 2012, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Schwein, N.O., and Shadie, C.E., in American  Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Leadership and Management in Engineering, Volume 12, Number 3, pp 101-110, July 2012  http://cedb.asce.org/cgi/WWWdisplay.cgi?298527

Hydrodynamic Observations During Operation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway During the 2011 Mississippi River Basin Flood 2012, Holmes, Jr., R.R. and Koenig, T.A.,  in Illinois Water Conference, September 24-25, 2012, Urbana, Illinois

The 2011 Mississippi River Basin Flood: A Perspective on Forecasting, Water Control, and Flood Fighting 2012, Shadie, C.E., Lee, D.H., Farhat, J.S., Bell, R.W., Graschel, Jeffrey, and Holmes, Jr., R.R.. in World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, May 20-24, 2012 Albuquerque, New Mexico

Large Fluctuations in Flow Measured on the Lower Mississippi River, during  the 2011 Mississippi River Flood 2012. Oberg, K.A., Boldt, J.A., Mueller, David S., and Holmes, Jr., R.R., in American Society of Civil Engineers Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods 2012 Conference, Snowbird, Utah, August 12-15, 2012 7 p

Natural Hazards Science Strategy 2012, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Jones, L.M., Eidenshink, J.C., Godt, J.W., Kirby, S.H., Love, J.J., Neal, C.A., Plant, N.G., Plunkett, M.L., Weaver, C.S., Wein, Anne, and Perry, S.C., U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1088, 75 p.

Assessing the Impact of the 2011 Mississippi Megaflood on the Landscape Using Lidar and AVIRIS Spectrometer Data 2012, Debsunder, Dutta, Goodwell, Allison, Greenberg, Jonathan, Kumar, Praveen, Rhoads, Bruce, Garvey, James, Jacobson, Robert, Minyard, Thomas, Berretta, David, Holmes, Robert, Presented at American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference on Remote Sensing of the Terrestrial Water Cycle, February 19-22, 2012

Flood of June 11, 2010, in the Upper Little Missouri River Watershed, Arkansas 2011, Holmes, Jr., R.R., and Wagner, D.M., U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5194, 31 p.

http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20115194

Using observed postconstruction peak discharges to evaluate a hydrologic and hydraulic design model, Boneyard Creek, Champaign and Urbana, Illinois 2011, Over, Thomas M., Soong, David T. and Holmes, Jr., Robert R. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5176, 37 p.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5176/

Mississippi River Flood of 2011 and the Activation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway:  Observations and Modeling of a Levee Breach 2011, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Koenig, T.A., McDonald, R.R., Nelson, J.M., and Simoes, F.J.,   Abstract B24D-01  presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, 5-9 December.

Measurements of Large-Scale Fluctuations in Flow, Lower Mississippi River, May 2011 2011, Oberg, K.A., Mueller, D.S., Holmes, Jr., R.R., Garcia, C.M., and Tarrab, Leticia,    Abstract EP21A-0663  presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, 5-9 December.

Establishing an Improved National Capability for Collection of Extreme Storm and Flood Data 2011,  Birkemeier, William, Catlett, Dan, Coulbourne, W.L., Holmes, Jr., R.R., Mason, Jr., R.R., Ramirez, A.R., Shaffer, Wilson, and Turnipseed, D.P., in  Proceedings of 2011 National Hydrologic Warning Council Conference, May 9-12, 2011 San Diego, California

Flood Hazards: Communicating Hydrology and Complexity to the Public 2010, Holmes,Jr., R.R., Blanchard, S.F., and Mason, Jr., R.R., Abstract NH43B-05 presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, 13-17 December.

Measurement of Bedload Transport in Sand-Bed Rivers: A Look at Two Indirect Sampling Methods 2010, Holmes, R.R., Jr., in Bedload-Surrogate Monitoring Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5091 J.R. Gray,  J.B. Laronne, and J.D.G. Marr, 37 p.  http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2010/5091/papers/Holmes.pdf

Flooding in the United States Midwest, 2008 2010, Holmes, Jr. R.R., Koenig, T.A., and Karstensen, K.A., U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1775, 63 p.  http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1775/

100-Year Flood—It’s All About Chance 2010, Holmes, Jr., R.R. and Dinicola, Karen, U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 106, 4 p.  http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/106/

100-Year Flood:  What Is It and Why Have We Had Two in Fifteen Years 2009, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Abstract for Invited Keynote Talk at Missouri Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association Annual Conference, April 17, 2009, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Mapping Hurricane Inland-Storm Tides 2008, Turco, M, East, J.W., McGee, B.D., McCallum, B.E., Pearman, J.L., Sallenger, A.H., Holmes,Jr., R.R., Berenbrock, C.E., Turnipseed, D.P., Mason, R.R., in Proceedings of American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Abstract G43A-0643

Assessment of flood remediation with minimal historic hydrologic data:  Case study for a small urban stream 2008, Holmes, R.R., Jr. and Over, T.M., Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Flood Defence, Managing Flood Risk, Reliability, and Vulnerability, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 6-8, 2008.

Flow over Bedforms in a Large Sand-Bed River: A Field Investigation 2008, Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Garcia, M.H., Journal of Hydraulic Research, International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp 322-333.  https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70194115

Qualitative Comparison of Streamflow Information Programs of the U.S. Geological Survey and Three Non-Federal Agencies 2008, Norris, J.M., Lewis, Michael, Dorsey, Michael, Kimbrough, Robert, Holmes, Jr., R.R., and Staubitz, Ward, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1426, 11 p.

1993 Upper Mississippi River Basin Flood:  A Personal Look Back and A Look Forward at Preparations for the Next Major Flood 2007, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Water Resources Impact, American Water Resources Association, Volume 9, Number 6, pp 8-11

Dam Removal and Knickpoint Migration: Case Study at Brewster Creek near St. Charles, Illinois  2007, Straub, T.D., Holmes, Jr., R.R., Watson, C.C., and  Roseboom, D.R., in Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Tampa, Florida, May 2007

Indicators and Indices of Surface Water Availability 2006, Holmes, R.R., Jr., in Proceedings of  Illinois Water 2006:  Preparing for the Future, Urbana, IL, October 3-4, 2006, p 16

Sediment analysis of a Gradual Dam Removal on Brewster Creek near St. Charles, Illinois 2006, Straub, T.D., Roseboom, D.P., Johnson, G.P., Holmes, R.R., Jr., Watson, C.P., and Schrader, D.L., in 8th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Reno, NV, April 2006 pp 1012-1017

The Great Flood of 1993 on the Upper Mississippi River---10 Years Later  2004, Johnson, G.P., Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Waite, L.M.., U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3024, 6 p.

Flow Field Over Bedforms in the Lower Missouri River 2003, Holmes, R.R., Jr., in Seventh Annual Missouri River Natural Resources Conference, June 1-4, 2003 Atchison, Kansas, p 27

Vertical Velocity Distributions in Sand-Bed Alluvial Rivers 2003, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 325 p.

Velocity and Sediment Concentration Measurements over Bedforms in Sand-Bed Rivers 2002, Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Garcia, M.H., in Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods Conference, July 28-August 1, 2002, 9 p (CD version)

Introduction to Field Methods for Hydrologic and Environmental Studies 2001, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Terrio, P.J., Harris, M.A., and Mills, P.C.,  U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 01-50, 241 p.

Managing for Extreme Flow Events: Data-Collection and Dissemination Efforts  2001, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract, in Governor’s Conference on Management of the Illinois River, October 2-4, 2001, Peoria, Illinois

Suspended-Sediment Budget, Flow Distribution, and Lake Circulation for the Fox Chain Of Lakes in Lake and Mchenry County, Illinois, 1997-99  2000, Schrader, D.L. and Holmes, Jr., R.R., U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 00-4115, 23 p.

The Necessity for a Real-Time Streamflow Data Network: The Multitude of Uses and a Look at the Cost Issue 2000, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract, in Illinois Water 2000, November 13-14, 2000, Urbana, Illinois

The U.S. Geological Survey in Illinois 1998, Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Johnson, G.P., Illinois Water 98, November 1998, Urbana, Illinois

The U.S. Geological Survey in Illinois 1998, Holmes, R.R., Jr., in Illinois Municipal Review Magazine, April 1998, 3 p.

Physical and Chemical Data of Sediments Deposited in the Missouri and Mississippi River Flood Plains During the July Through August 1993 Flood 1998, Schalk, G.K., Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Johnson, G.P., U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1120-L, 62 p.  http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1993/circ1120-l/html/pdf.html

Flood Tracking Chart for the Illinois River Basin 1998, Avery, C.F., Holmes, R.R., Jr. and Sharpe, J.D.,  U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 98-390

Suspended-sediment budget for the Kankakee River Basin, 1993-95 1997, Holmes, R.R., Jr., U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 97-120, 8 p.

Floods in Northern Illinois, July 1996 1997, Holmes, R.R., Jr. and Kupka, A.L.,  U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 97-425, https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1997/0425/report.pdf

Development, Verification, and Application of a Simplified Method to Estimate Total-Streambed Scour at Bridge Sites in Illinois  1996, Holmes, R.R., Jr. and Dunn, C.J., U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Inverstigations Report 95-4298, 44 p.

Hydraulic, Geotechnical, Geomorphic, and Biologic Data for the Cache River/Heron Pond Area in Southern Illinois 1996, Holmes, R.R., Jr., U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 96-467, 21p.

Sediment and Hydraulic Data Collected During the Upper Mississippi River System Flood of 1993   1996,  Holmes, R.R., Jr. and Oberg, K.A., in Sixth Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 1996, pp 38-44.

 Velocity and Scour Measurements In and Near The Miller City Levee Break 1996, Oberg, K.A., Holmes, R.R., Jr., and Johnson, G.P., Abstract, in the Sixth Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 10-14, 1996, Volume 2, pp 75-78.

Sediment Transport in the Lower Missouri and Central Mississippi Rivers During the 1993 Flood 1995, Holmes, R.R., Jr., U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1120I,  23 p.   http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1993/circ1120-i/html/pdf.html

A Simplified Method For Estimating Total Streambed Scour at Bridges in Illinois  1995, Holmes, R.R., Jr, Ghere, D.G., and Dunn, C.J., in Proceedings of the First International Conference Water Resources Engineering, August 14-18, 1995, pp 1046-1050.

Simulation of Rainfall-Runoff for Basins in the Rolla,Missouri Area 1994, Holmes, R.R., Jr. and East, J.W., U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 94-4019, 24 p.

Sediment Discharges in the Upper Mississippi River Basin During the 1993 Flood1994, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract in 1994 American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, Baltimore, MD, May 23-27, 1994.

Floodplain Sediments Deposited by the 1993 Floods in the Missouri and Upper Mississippi Rivers 1994, Jacobson, R.B., Holmes, R.R.,Jr., and Gomez, Basil, Abstract in 1994 American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, Baltimore, MD, May 23-27, 1994.

Geomorphic Effects of the Flood of 1993 on the Floodplains of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers  1994, Jacobson, R.B. and Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract , in Conference on Sustaining the Ecological Integrity of Large Floodplain Rivers, Lacrosse, WI, July 12-15, 1994.

Laboratory Procedures and Data Reduction Techniques to Determine Rheologic Properties of Mass Flows 1993, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Huizinga, R.J., Brown, S.M., and Jobson, H.E., U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 93-4123, 17 p http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri934123

 Suspended-Sediment Concentration Trends on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Cairo, Illinois1993, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract in 25th Annual Meeting of the Mississippi River Consortium, Lacrosse, Wisconsin, April 22-23, 1993.

Sediment Data Collection Associated with the 1993 Flood on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers 1993, Holmes, R.R., Jr., Abstract in 1993 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 6-10, 1993

Mudflow Rheology in a Vertically Rotating Flume 1990, Holmes,R.R., Jr., Westphal, J.A., and Jobson, H.E., in  1990 International Symposium on the Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands as part of the 1990 Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, July 1990 pp 212-217.

Effect of Bed Roughness on Energy Dissipation in Mudflow1989, Holmes, Jr., R.R., Thesis in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, 96 p.