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ENV 234L Watershed Hydrology

Course Stats

Instructor(s):  Dr. Gabriel Katul

Units:  4

Semester Offered:  Usually Fall


Official description here: http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/programs/courses/environ234l.html

Skills and Career Applications

Insert comments on the intent and career applications of this class. Comments/Quotes from Nicholas Alumni are especially valued.

Concepts and methods taught:

  • Precipitation physics
  • Interpolation for areal rainfall estimates (arithmetic, grid, Thiessen)
  • Darcy's Law
  • Double-mass analysis
  • Hydraulic jump calculation
  • Manning's equation
  • Froude number
  • Groundwater contaminant infiltration projections
  • (MORE)

Tools used:

  • Matlab
  • Mathematica
  • Excel

Registration Advice

Insert comments here on how prospective students should approach registration for this class (hard to get into; sign up early; permission numbers; don't take if you already have heavy load; etc.

  • This is a workload-intensive class.  Homework assignments are typically take minimal of 10 hours to complete.  Learning Matlab and Mathematica will also some patience.
  • The "lab session" is really just another lecture.  With the MWF schedule, this makes for 4 lecture sessions a week.  But the MWF hours are short, 50 minute sessions, which is about all the math you can handle anyway in one sitting.  The lab lecture session usually covers a method or concept in more detail
  • There is no textbook for this class.

Student Opinions

This space is intended to compile general comments from past students on the course. It will be judiciously moderated for extreme and unprofessional comments, but otherwise, it is open to a broad range of student feedback.

  • The instructor is one of the friendliest and most casual at the Nic School, which takes the edge off an otherwise fairly demanding class.  Students good at calculus and algebra and at language-based math software will have a easier time in the class.  It really does just take a lot of patience and willingness to practice -- the equations taught in the class are very basic concepts for the field of hydrology, and this is really an introductory course for those tools. 

The Instructor's Take...

This space is exclusively for the instructor to broadly comment on his or her course, and respond to commonly received feedback, explain methods and approaches, and encourage student registration. Instructors: Please limit to 300 words, or link to a wiki page of your own creation to explain in detail.