The mission of Riparia is to conduct, facilitate, and coordinate interdisciplinary research, monitoring and training regarding wetlands and related resources, with an emphasis on Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. Wetlands form part of a larger hydrologic system, a watershed palette, composed of other wetlands, streams, riparian areas, and the surrounding landscape. They contribute to the ecosystem services of an encompassing watershed.

Research conducted by the faculty, staff, and students of Riparia is directed at understanding how these integrated systems function and how they are perturbed by human activities. We view humans as part of these ecosystems.

Riparia produces and distributes objective and technically rigorous information about wetlands and related ecosystems and the issues surrounding their regulation and management to institutions, agencies, and industries. We conduct science to characterize ecosystem responses at the water-land interface and to inform policy and practice. We apply the principles and practices of the natural and social sciences to foster the conservation of biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems.

An extensive set of reference wetlands is available for field study, and laboratory and computer facilities are available to conduct analyses. Involved Department of Geography members include Robert Brooks, Denice Heller Wardrop, and other staff and students of Riparia.