The purpose of this course is to give you an overall understanding of the basic principles of watershed hydrology, from the relationship between watershed hydrology and the global water cycle, to the specifics of groundwater flow, stream flow generation, and water quality management at the watershed scale.
After completing this course, you will be able to: (1) describe and define watersheds and their boundaries; (2) know the distribution and movement of water through hydrologic reservoirs on the global and watershed scale; (3) comprehend hydrological data, including meteorological, stream flow, water quality data; (4) describe the components of the hydrologic cycle in watersheds, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, surface runoff and groundwater flow; (5) describe and understand key processes affecting water quality at the watershed scale and (6) identify current water quality management strategies commonly used in agricultural and urban watersheds.
Major concepts or methodologies include: (1) introduction to the fundamental hydrologic unit - the watershed; (2) the hydrologic cycle at the global and watershed scales; (3) how water and energy budgets are used to quantify major components of the water cycle; (4) relationships between water movement and water quality; (5) pathways by which water and associated solutes move from the upland environment to the stream channel; (6) methodologies used to collect or acquire hydrologic data, including downloading publicly-available data sets from the internet and interpretation of actual field observation to solve common hydrological problems; and (8) Microsoft Office Excel 2010 skill development.
FOR 740: Advanced Watershed Hydrology and Biogeochemistry (Spring Only)
The course consists in a detailed review of major theories and concepts explaining the processes regulating the fate and transport of water and major elements and environmental contaminants in watersheds, from first a whole watershed perspective, and then a riparian zone/wetland perspective, and a stream perspective. Over the course of the semester, the impact of global climate change, atmospheric deposition, land use, and land cover on the fate and transport of water and major elements and environmental contaminants in watersheds will be integrated in readings and discussions.
After completing this course, the student should be able to: 1) understand and describe recent development in watershed hydrological theory; 2) understand and describe major biogeochemical cycles, as well as complex interactions between major elemental cycles (N, P, C, S, Hg); 3)understand and describe the variables regulating the fate and transport of major water quality contaminants in watersheds (pesticides, emerging contaminants, nitrate, phosphorus, heavy metals, pathogens); 4) analyze actual data linking hydrology, water quality, and biogeochemistry in a variety of environments