Photo: Nino Amvrosiadi

A 5-day short course that is intended for post-graduate students and post-docs interested in a hands-on catchment science curriculum, focusing on northern catchments, runoff processes and combined hydrometric, isotope/chemical tracer and modeling techniques in catchment hydrology. The learning objectives for this short course are to understand:

  • Rainfall-runoff processes

  • Rainfall-runoff model development, use, and testing

  • Hydrochemical and isotopic measurement and analyses

  • Linking field experiments with modeling approaches

  • Evolution of empirical and theoretical understanding of runoff processes

  • Landscape analysis, land-use and climate change impacts on streamflow 


Course Coordinator

Dr. Jeff McDonnell (University of Saskatchewan and University of Birmingham)

Course Instructors

Course instructors bring a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge from a variety of universities with water programs. This course is an excellent opportunity for professional networking and planning next-steps in your career.

Dr. Jeff McDonnell (University of Saskatchewan and University of Birmingham)

Dr. Chris Soulsby (University of Aberdeen)

Dr. Jan Seibert (University of Zurich) Dr. Ilja van Meerveld (University of Zurich)
Dr. David Hannah (University of Birmingham) Dr. Stefan Kraus (University of Birmingham)
Dr. Doerthe Tetzlaff (Humboldt University & IGB Leibniz Institute Berlin, Germany)

Instructor Alumni

Dr. Jossie Geris (University of Aberdeen) Dr. Rick Hooper (CUAHSI, USA)
Dr. Keith Beven (Lancaster University)


Registration Open is Now Open

Dates: August 29th - September 3rd, 2021

Location: The 2021 offering is online via Zoom 

Registration closes, August 27th, 2021

Enrollment in the class is limited to 30 students on a fist come, first serve basis. Our aim is for a hands-on course experience with a low student-teacher ratio.

While most students come from across Europe, we welcome participants from across the globe—for learning, networking and career development. The course will run mainly during normal UK business hours (for those considering participation from outside of Europe).

A final note that the course will run mainly in the afternoons United Kingdom time, which is UTC +1 (for those considering participation from outside of Europe—to enable North American participation given the time zone difference. Check your time difference (below)

Check Your Time Difference

Registration can be found Here.

Course Materials

Required reading for evening discussions:

For Monday:

  • Beven, K.J. (2006) "Introduction" in Streamflow Generation Processes: Benchmark Papers in Hydrology. IAHS, Wallingford.
  • Mosley, M.P. (1979) Streamflow generation in a forested watershed, New Zealand, Water Resources Research 15: 795-806.
  • Sklash, M.G. and Farvolden, R.N. (1979) The role of groundwater in storm runoff, Journal of Hydrology 43: 45-65.
  • Pearce, A.J., Stewart, M.K., Sklash, M.G. (1986) Storm runoff generation in humid headwater catchments: 1. Where does the water come from? Water Resources Research 22, 1263–1272.
  • Sklash, M.G., Stewart, M.K., Pearce, A.J. 1986. Storm Runoff Generation in Humid Headwater Catchments: 2. A Case Study of Hillslope and Low-Order Stream Response. Water Resources Research 22(8), 1273–1282, DOI: 10.1029/WR022i008p01273.

These papers will be made available via dropbox, a link for which will be emailed to the class.

Additional reading material:

Students with little background in hydrology should also read Hewlett, J.D. (1982) Principles of Forest Hydrology. The University of Georgia Press, Athens. (particularly read chapters 5 and 7). This will also be made available via dropbox.

Wednesday all-day field trip:

The class will visit the Plynlimon Experimental Catchments in Wales. Information about the site can be found Here. (Please note the Field Trip will not be offered in 2021)

2021 Schedule


Sunday, Aug 29th, 2021

3.45 pm to 7.00 pm — Welcome and Introductions

Weekday Classes are from 1.00 pm to 6.30 pm daily (Birmingham UK Time)

Monday, Aug 30, 2021

— Perceptual Models in Catchment Science (McDonnell)

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021

— Conceptual Models in Catchment Science (McDonnell & Seibert)

Wednesday, Sept 1, 2021

— Tracers in Catchment Science (Soulsby, Hannah & Krause)

Thursday, Sept 2, 2021

— Catchment-scale Processes: Scale Issues in Modeling (McDonnell, Tetzlaff & Soulsby)

Friday, Sept 5, 2021

— Land use and Climate Change Impacts on Catchment Science and Course Wrap-up (McDonnell, van Meerveld, Seibert, Hannah, Krause, Tetzlaff & Soulsby)

Cost and Registration

Please note that due to global travel restrictions related to COVID-19, the 2021 course offering will online.