Water Education: Applied Fluvial Geomorphology for an Urbanizing World
Colorado Riparian Association (CRA) and Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers (CASFM) recently hosted Applied Fluvial Geomorphology for an Urbanizing World. The three-day course November 13-15th, held at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, CO, was taught by Dr. Brian Bledsoe and Dr. Ellen Wohl. Both are professors at Colorado State University. The course focused on applying the concepts and principles of fluvial geomorphology to develop an understanding of approaches and methods for using geomorphology in stream restoration.
The instructors discussed topics such as conducting geomorphic assessments, fluvial classification systems, design discharge and the stable stream concept, sediment transport, and using wood in urban streams. At the conclusion of the course, participants synthesized the topics, the principles and relationships for stream restoration, and tools for managing hydromodification in urbanizing watersheds.
The course was not strictly academic, but rather had many practical examples that can directly be applied to work on the ground. The teachers provided supplemental information which allowed the participants to dig deeper in their own time to the subjects that most apply to their job or interests. Dr. Wohl’s and Dr. Bledsoe’s presentations were also quite approachable and made the subject matter even more interesting as a result.
The course was well-attended with 25 participants who came from all over Colorado’s Front Range with backgrounds in engineering, environmental management, ecology, and planning. Overall the course was successful and plans are in the works for a follow up course in the summer of 2015.
Comments from Attendee:
The instructors were very thorough given the amount of time they had, and they left us with notes, references, online tools, and even links to spreadsheets that we could explore later. I was impressed with the range of professions and backgrounds of the attendees. It resulted in some very interesting discussions of practical problems in stream restoration that I had not considered before. The course left me with a good review of material I had not looked at recently, and a new perspective on many stream restoration approaches. And of course, Sylvan Dale Ranch in the snow is stunning.
-Rachel Williams, Water Resource Engineer at Walsh Environmental