By Lynn Martel, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Canmore, AB
March 11, 2010
Students and professionals converged in Kananaskis Country last week to participate in an intensive course on the physical principles of hydrology – the first of its kind in four decades.
Hydrology is the scientific study of the properties, distribution and circulation of water on earth – on the surface, below ground and in the atmosphere.
Taking place at the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute Barrier Lake Station, the course was hosted by the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for Hydrology in partnership with the Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences.
Running March 2-11, the for-credit course drew 40 grad students from the universities of Lethbridge, Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C.’s Simon Fraser, as well as professionals working as environmental assessment specialists, design engineers, environmental technicians, hydrometric technicians, water resource managers, streamflow forecasters and hydrogeologists with employers including Ducks Unlimited, Alberta Environment, Environment Canada and Syncrude.
The jam-packed agenda included full-day classroom sessions covering topics such as the fundamentals and physical principles of hydrology, precipitation and snow hydrology, the hydrology of glaciers, wetlands and groundwater, interception and evapotranspiration, infiltration and soil water, river networks, river hydraulics and ice.