Geospatial Science 362

GEOS 362
Water Resources

Catalog Entry

GEOS 362 Water Resources
Four hours lecture, laboratory, and field work (4)

Prerequisites: GEOS 130, GEOL 100, or GEOL 105, and GEOS 250, or permission of the instructor.

An introduction to the science and policy aspects of water resources with emphasis on U.S. context. 


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course will cover watershed processes and the hydrologic cycle; physical processes of rivers and streams, lakes, wetlands, and groundwater; characteristics of lentic and lotic ecosystems; human uses of and impacts on freshwater environments; and public policy regarding both water allocation and water quality. 


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course will consist primarily of lectures, supplemented with geospatial laboratory exercises; field methods; research or applied projects; and other learning opportunities.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the physical forces and principles involved in the characteristics, movement and work of water.
  2. Perform calculations of streamflow, groundwater movement, and pollutant concentration, and analyze discharge data.
  3. Perform basic field data collection for water quality, habitat assessment, and fluvial geomorphology.
  4. Use GIS and other geospatial technologies to delineate watersheds, analyze watershed characteristics, and analyze stream networks.
  5. Describe ecosystems of different freshwater environments, the major groups of organisms in them, and adaptations of organisms to the physical conditions of those environments.
  6. Describe the effects of altered flows, channelization, and land use changes on freshwater ecosystems and human uses of freshwater environments.
  7. Describe the sources and effects of the major categories of water pollution, and methods of reducing their impacts.
  8. Describe the major features of the policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for stream use, allocation, and protection.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed on the basis of written examinations, homeworks, lab assignments, class projects, and class participation.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

February, 2010