University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology /
CWRA Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences
Kananaskis Short Course on Principles of Hydrology

Available for credit from the University of Saskatchewan as Geography 827

10-21 January, 2015 - Barrier Lake Field Station, Kananaskis Valley, Alberta

Please Note:
The 2015 course is now full: these details are posted for applicants who have already registered with CWRA / CSHS, and still need to register with the University of Saskatchewan


PoH 2014 course photo
2014 Principles of Hydrology course members

Course Objectives
This course aims to describe and explain -

  • The physical principles and processes that govern hydrology, with special reference to Canadian conditions.
  • Mass and energy balance calculations and their application in hydrology.

On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the features of the primary Canadian hydrological processes
  • Assess the effects of variable boundary conditions on hydrology
  • Apply coupled energy and mass balance equations to calculate hydrological fluxes including runoff and streamflow.

Course synopsis
The University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology with the assistance of the Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences is offering an intensive course on the physical principles of hydrology with particular relevance to Canadian conditions. Factors governing hydrological processes in Canadian landscapes will be discussed including precipitation, interception, energy balance, snow accumulation, snowmelt, glaciers, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, groundwater movement and streamflow routing and hydraulics. These processes will be framed within the context of distinctly Canadian landscape features such as high mountains, glaciers, peatlands, prairies, tundra, boreal forests, frozen rivers and seasonally frozen ground. Students will be exposed to an overview of each subject, with recent scientific findings and new cutting edge theories, tools and techniques. They will complete numerical and essay assignments to develop skills in problem solving and in synthesizing complex hydrological concepts. Field examinations in nearby environments and research basins will enhance the learning experience. Students will emerge from the course with a deeper understanding of physical hydrological processes and how they interact to produce catchment water budgets and streamflow response.

The course will take place at the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute’s Barrier Lake Station in the Kananaskis Valley from 10-21 January, 2015. The course will focus on classroom instruction, but will take advantage of the proximity to the Marmot Creek Research Basin and the Canadian Rockies Hydrological Observatory to expose students to cold regions hydrological phenomenon, state of the art field instrumentation and measurement techniques. Each day will start with lectures on the primary subject, and include time to work on assigned exercises. Certain days will include a field work component to examine the processes and measurement techniques relevant to the lectures.

The course is intended for hydrology and water resources graduate students and early to midlevel career water resource engineers, hydrologists, aquatic ecologists and technologists who are either working directly in hydrology and water resources or are looking to broaden their understanding of hydrological systems and processes. This physical science course is quantitative in nature and so a firm foundation in calculus and physics at the first year university level and some undergraduate hydrology or hydraulics training is strongly recommended.

Instructors and Preliminary Schedule

Date Subject Instructor

Jan 10th

Fundamentals & Hydrological Cycle

Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 11th

Micrometeorology & Precipitation

Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 12th

Interception & Evapotranspiration
- Snow Survey Field Trip
- Assignment 1
- Essay Assignment

Dr Richard Petrone
Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 13th

Snow Accumulation & Redistribution

Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 14th

Snowmelt and Snowcover Depletion

Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 15th

Glaciers & River Ice Formation
- Assignment 2

Michael Demuth PEng PGeo

Jan 16th

Groundwater Hydrology
- Assignment 3

Dr Edwin Cey

Jan 17th

Infiltration & Soil Water
- Instrumented Site Visit

Dr Charles Maulé
Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 18th



Jan 19th

Hillslope and Catchment Hydrology
- Assignment 4
- Stream gauge visit

Dr Sean Carey

Dr Alain Pietroniro

Jan 20th

River Networks, Hydraulics & and Hydrographs
- Synthesis
- Assignment 5

Dr Kevin Shook
Dr Alain Pietroniro
Dr John Pomeroy

Jan 21st

Final exam (credit students only)

Contact Hours and Schedule
Lectures will be held in an intensive 10-day period at the Biogeoscience Institute, Barrier Lake Field Station, Kananaskis Valley, Alberta starting January 10th, 2015. Dr Pomeroy will be available on site during the whole period and by e-mail afterwards: individual instructors will be available for portions of the course, corresponding to their lecture day and the next day. The final examination (two hours) will be given on the last day of the course. Exercises and literature review are due four weeks after completion of the course.

Marking and Evaluation
Students taking the course for credit will be evaluated with a final exam (20%), a literature review on a hydrological process selected in consultation with Dr Pomeroy (30%), and five quantitative exercises (10% each for 50%). These will include;

  • Micrometeorology and evapotranspiration
  • Groundwater hydrology
  • Snow accumulation, glaciers and melt
  • Soil and hillslope hydrology
  • River basin hydrology and hydraulics

Audit students are only required to complete the five quantitative exercises.

All students are required to enroll in Geography 827 at the University of Saskatchewan in either an audit or credit capacity. Please note that you will have the option to switch from one to the other until 26th March 2015.

All students attending will receive a certificate from CSHS recognizing their participation in the course. Those that attend and complete the assignments will receive a certificate from CSHS stating they have completed the course. All others will receive a certificate from CSHS stating that they attended the course.

Course Texts and Readings
Students are highly encouraged to purchase the following two texts for use at the course.

Physical Hydrology, 3rd Edition, S.L. Dingman, 2014:
Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL, ISBN 978-1-47861-118-9
(Available from November in the U of S Bookstore)

The Surface Climates of Canada, W.G. Bailey, T.R. Oke and W.R. Rouse, 1998:
Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univ Press
(Available on Amazon)

Handouts and readings will be distributed via PAWS (University of Saskatchewan student web services).


There are two parts to the course registration:

1. Please follow this link to register and pay fees associated with facilities, course instruction, and meals and accommodation at the Biogeoscience Institute. These fees are as follows:

Status CWRA Member? Fee
StudentYes $1000
StudentNo $1030
ProfessionalYes $2500
ProfessionalNo, But eligible for Young Professional membership $2550
ProfessionalNo $2605

2. All participants must register with the University of Saskatchewan, class GEOG 827.3 (02) (T2). The CRN is 28197, and the session is 201501.

To see the appropriate registration details, please select your current university, or choose the 'Professional or Institution Not Listed' option:

Please note that the latest date you may choose to switch from taking the course for credit to audit (or vice versa) is 26th March 2015.

Please send completed form(s) and any other required details, by 1st December 2014, to:

Dept of Geography & Planning (CH Short Course 2015)
University of Saskatchewan
Room 125 Kirk Hall
117 Science Place
Saskatoon SK S7N 5C8

OR by fax to 1-306-966-5680
All forms will be forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies and Research once signed by the Department Head in Geography and Planning.

Because of budgetary commitments, registrants who cancel will only be refunded 50% of their tuition, and only if their cancellation is received in writing by the organizers before 1st December, 2014. No refunds will be possible after this date, for any reason.

For further information...
Please contact John Pomeroy (e-mail) with questions about course content,
Erika Klyszejko (e-mail) for CSHS-related matters,
or Joni Onclin (e-mail) for queries related to registration.

Web Disclaimer
© 2012
Centre for Hydrology
University of Saskatchewan
e-mail webmaster