2014 Short Courses

Short Courses

UMSRS will offer the following pre-symposium short-courses to conference attendees:  

  1. Sediment Transport in Stream Channel Assessment and Design - Sunday, February 23rd, 2014; 1 pm to 5 pm

Instructors:      Dr. Peter Wilcock, Johns Hopkins University

Length:            Half day ($100)

Prerequisites:    None

The behavior of a stream channel depends on the balance between sediment supply and transport capacity, a widely accepted concept that has been made memorable with the graphical depiction of “Lane’s Balance”. But how often is this balance actually used to guide stream channel design? And can the balance really be used given the inherent uncertainty in making sediment transport estimates?

This short course presents a strategy for evaluating sediment supply, transport capacity, and channel behavior. The strategy builds on the classic definitions of threshold and alluvial channels. A threshold channel is one for which the bed material is immobile at a design discharge. An alluvial channel is one whose transport capacity must be balanced against the rate of sediment supply. It is useful to define a third type of channel that combines the first two – over-capacity threshold – in which transport capacity exceeds supply but design flows do not exceed threshold limits for channel erosion. This type of channel is more common than often realized, is unintentionally designed in many cases, and offers both advantages and disadvantages that can only be weighed if the design objectives are specifically defined.

Using these three channel types, we will develop a basis for evaluating the significance of sediment supply to the performance of a design channel. Importantly, we will make uncertainty an explicit part of the method. At small sediment supply rates, channel performance is relatively insensitive to uncertainty in sediment supply and may be designed as a threshold channel using principles of stream competence. At large sediment supply rates, the potential for storing or evacuating channel-changing quantities of sediment is much larger. A computational tool will be presented that assists in estimating the sensitivity of channel performance to uncertainty in sediment supply. The tool includes river state diagrams useful for reconnaissance evaluation and channel stability diagrams useful at the planning stage. 

Materials that attendees need to bring:  Reading materials will be distributed in advance of the course. Simple spreadsheet models will be made available and used in the short course. Bring a laptop if you wish to play along.



2. Understanding Urban Streams-Knowing When and How to Jump inSunday, February 23rd, 2014; 8 am to 2 pm

Instructors:     Karen Terry, Shane Missaghi - University of Minnesota-Extension; Jessica Kozarek, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota; Guest Lecturers Ed Matthiesen (Wenck Associates) and Marty Melchior (Inter-Fluve)   

Length:           SIX hours ($120)

Prerequisites:  None

If your job and/or your personal passion require that you make decisions about urban streams and how they fit into the landscape, this class will be beneficial to you. You will learn about streams in Midwestern “built environments” and associated land use impacts while also helping you strengthen your skills in communicating these complex concepts to others in your community .Topics will include:

  • understanding the basics of stream processes and ‘health’ in urban settings
  • land/water connections, impacts and implications
  • identifying when your stream has a problem
  • initiating restoration projects
  • common restoration and maintenance techniques

The workshop will consist of lecture and hands-on opportunities to explore stream processes using a stream model. The workshop will also include a discussion period during which we will examine specific issues, supplied by attendees, and discuss the decision making process to get from “Do I have a problem here?” to “I know the steps to take to implement a plan to fix the problem.”

Materials that students need to bring:  None.


3. Design of Road-Stream Crossings for Aquatic Organism Passage and Other Benefits - Sunday, February 23rd, 2014; 8 am to 2 pm

Instructors:     Mark Fedora and Dale Higgins, USDA Forest Service

Length:           SIX HOURS ($120)

Prerequisites:  None

This course provides a detailed overview of the stream simulation approach to designing road-stream crossings. It presents all the steps necessary to successfully design road-stream crossings for multiple benefits including: aquatic organism passage, maintenance or restoration of channel morphology, safety, structure longevity and minimal maintenance. There are eight short lectures that cover an overview of culvert hydraulics, culvert design methods, hydrology, site assessment, alignment and profile, stream bed and banks, selection of crossing structures and analysis of sediment mobility (stream bed) and stability (stream banks and key pieces). Ten exercises are interspersed with the lectures to illustrate key points and provide hands-on experience.

Materials that students need to bring:  None.