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, 2020 - Barrier Lake Field Station, Kananaskis Valley, Alberta

PoH 2019 course photo

2019 Principles of Hydrology course members

More pictures from 2019 here!

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 principal hydrological processes active in Canadian contexts
  • 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, 2020. 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.

Contact Hours and Schedule

Details of course content and the schedule of the 2020 course will be posted prior to the course.

If you have medical issues that will affect you on these field trips please contact Professor Pomeroy to discuss beforehand.

The closed book final examination (2 hour) will be given on the last day of the course. Exercises and literature review are due two months after they are assigned and are submitted electronically to Dr. Pomeroy via the Blackboard system.

NOTE: you must work independently and originally in all assignments and examinations, cite appropriately in submitted essay material and follow the University of Saskatchewan Academic Dishonesty Rules. For suggestions this website is clear:

Marking and Evaluation

Details on marking and evalulation will be posted prior to the course.

Non-credit (audit) students must complete the quantitative exercises and attend all lectures and field excursions. Those taking the course for university credit must complete all assignments, the literature review and the final examination.

All students are required to enroll in Geography 827 at the University of Saskatchewan in either an audit or credit capacity. Options are available to switch between these for some time after the course. See below for more details.

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).



Please note that both logistics fees and tuition fees are payable by all course participants, whether they are students or professionals, and attending for audit or credit.

The logistics fees, which cover the use of the facilities, meals and accommodation, are payable to the CSHS: tuition fees are payable to the U of S. Both vary with your status (e.g., student or professional), and are detailed below.

There are thus two stages involved in registering for the course, as follows:

Stage 1: Registration With CSHS, and Payment of Logistics Fees.

Logistics fees, which cover the use of facilities, and meals and accommodation at the Biogeoscience Institute, are as follows:

Status CWRA Member? Fee
StudentYes $1000
StudentNo $1030
ProfessionalYes $2500
ProfessionalNo, But eligible for Young Professional membership $2565
ProfessionalNo $2630

To register with the CSHS for the course, and to pay these fees, please follow this link, then continue to Stage 2...

Registrants who cancel will be refunded 85% of these logistics fees, but only if their cancellation is received in writing by the organizers before 1st December, 2019. No refunds will be possible after this date, for any reason.


Stage 2: Registration With the USask, and Payment of Tuition Fees.

All participants must apply for registration as a graduate student with the University of Saskatchewan, and must therefore satisfy the university's admission requirements, which are detailed here.

When registering, please use the following details:

  • Class GEOG 827.3 (02) (T2)
  • CRN 23158
  • Session 202001

Fees are payable by all participants, but vary with your status (student or professional, whether you are attending for audit or credit, and - if you are a student - the institution at which you are studying).

To see details of the appropriate process for registration and fee-payment,

  • If you are currently a student, and your institution is shown in the drop-down list below, selecting it will display the relevant information
  • If you are not a student, or your institution is not listed, please choose the Professional or Institution Not Listed option:


If you would like to request transfer of credit to your home institution, please order your transcript for the course directly through your PAWS account or this link.

Withdrawal from Course, or Switching from Credit to Audit
If after taking the course you decide to withdraw or switch from credit to audit, please contact U of S Student Central (e-mail, or phone 1-877-650-1212) for details. If you do so by 10th February 2020, you will receive a 50% reduction in the tuition fee. It is still possible to switch from credit to audit until 26th March 2020, but there will be no reduction in the tuition fee.

For further information...

  • For questions about course content - Prof. John Pomeroy (e-mail)
  • For CSHS-related matters - Amber Penner (e-mail)
  • For queries related to registration - Joni Onclin (e-mail)
  • For information related to switching from credit to audit - U of S Student Central (e-mail, or phone 1-877-650-1212)

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

The following pictures were taken during the 2019 course: