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Water Resources

This guide compiles information on river dynamics, hydrology, groundwater and other important water-related topics.

Inquiry in the Disciplines

Interdisciplinary Research is a mode of research that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice.


The chart below, adopted from John C. Bean's Engaging Ideas, helps differentiate different types of inquiry and research:

Type of Inquiry Explanation What to expect in the Literature Example
Empirical Research Disciplinary knowledge & procedures are used to advance empirical understanding of the world. Articles with an Experimental Research Report and IMRD (introductions methods, results, discussion) Scientific Article from ScienceDirect
Problem Solving Research Professionals use disciplinary knowledge and procedures to solve real-world problems for a targeted client. Practical proposals to solve a problem White paper or article found in Business Source Complete or educational brochure such as ones created by the CO Foundation for Water Education
Interpretive/Theoretical Research Researchers interpret documents/artifacts/cultural phenomena through various theoretical lenses with expectations that problems will be continuously debated rather than “solved”. Disciplinary journal article (no clear structural template) A book chapter found using the catalog or journal article from JSTOR that interprets/analyzes primary source documents