The 2007 Henry Darcy Medal is awarded to Lars Gottschalk for his innovative contributions to stochastic water resources modelling.
Being educated in Sweden and Moscow, Lars Gottschalk was appointed Chair of Hydrology at the University of Oslo in the 1980s. Since then he has contributed to an amazingly wide spectrum of topics in hydrology and water resources research. He has published extensively but perhaps more important than the sheer number of papers are the ideas, concepts and new insights he has contributed to water resources research.
He has developed stochastic concepts of flood risk analysis and made the dynamics of river flow regimes a tractable topic for water resources applications. More recently, he has developed methods of parameter estimation of distributed models exploiting Bayesian concepts and he has contributed new methods of assimilating satellite data into distributed models. He is perhaps based known for his novel objectives methods of mapping hydrological variables over landscapes and along the stream network.
In all of these research topics his interest has been on consistent statistical methods and on framing complex problems in a parsimonious way. The hallmark of his research has always been innovation. He has never been a follower but an intellectual leader devising new ideas and applying them to practical problems of water management. These contributions have significantly advanced the science of water resources research and have considerable practical implications for managing the world’s water resources in a sustainable way.
Lars Gottschalk has been involved in a number of international programmes such as the Northern Hemisphere Climate Processes Land-Surface Experiment (NOPEX). Most recently he has been heavily involved in guiding water resources management in Costa Rica based on the water resources concepts he has developed over the years.