Courses : Syllabi : 483
Geography 483 Watershed Analysis
Humans and ecosystems depend on and affect watershed processes that move water, sediment, and chemicals through a landscape. Watershed analysis describes and quantifies connections between natural landscape properties, human activities, and ecosystem services related to soil, water resources, and aquatic ecosystems. In this course students will learn procedures for watershed analysis with a focus on understanding the main processes that control water quantity, water quality, sediment transport, and aquatic habitat. A particular focus will be given to the effects of urbanization and fire on watershed processes in semi-arid climates. Field projects on campus and in Los Penasquitos Watershed will familiarize students with methods for measuring landscape properties, and the class project involves analysis of a watershed problem of interest to the student. While some technical skills will be covered, emphasis will be placed on critical understanding of conceptual underpinnings of the most widely used techniques and models. A major emphasis is placed on the critical use of simple calculations and observations to test working hypotheses about water, sediment, and nutrient flows though watersheds.
There will be at least two required field trips to Los Penasquitos Watershed. Times and dates TBA depending on student schedules.
Your grade in this course will be based on the following elements:
- Problem Sets: 40%
- Class participation: 15%
- Final Presentation: 10%
- Research Project
- Proposal (1 page): 5%
- First draft: 13%
- Peer review: 2%
- Final Report: 15%
The culminating activity of the course is a comprehensive analysis of a problem in a watershed of the student's choosing. The paper will pose and address a question of interest to the student related to watershed analysis.
Books and Materials
Required: Environmental Hydrology, 2nd Ed. Ward and Trimble. 2004, CRC Press.
Recommended: Dunne and Leopold, 1978, Water in Environmental Planning.
Additional articles will be posted on Blackboard
|Week One||Intro to class
Watershed structure and delineation
|Week Two||HYDROL 1: Precipitation|
|Week Three||HYDROL 2: Runoff processes, infiltration, SCS|
|Week Four||HYDROL 3: Evaporation, soil moisture, vegetation and water yield|
|Week Five||HYDROL 4: Stream discharge, floods|
|Week Six||SED 1: Erosion; USLE|
|Week Seven||SED 2: Sediment budgets; urbanization and sediment production|
|Week Eight||SED 3: Channels, Stream restoration|
|Week Nine||WATER QUALITY 1: Dissolved oxygen and nutrients|
|Week Ten||WATER QUALITY 2: Heavy metals, toxics, pathogens|
|Week Eleven||WATER QUALITY 3 : TMDLs|
|Week Twelve||HABITAT 1|
|Week Thirteen||HABITAT 2|
|Week Fourteen||HABITAT 3|