Please Note, due to global travel restrictions related to COVID-19 the course will be online and live-streamed for the 2020 offering

Dates: August 30 - September 4, 2020

Location: Online/Live-Streamed (lectures will not be recorded or available outside of the live-stream times)

Class Description

Photo: Nino Amvrosiadi

Course Overview

The Catchment Science Summer School is 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 

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

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)

Instructor Alumni

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

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.

Tentative Schedule 2020

Schedule details are still a work in progress:

Sunday August 30th, 2020

Course Reception (Zoom) — 3.45-7.15 pm (UTC +1)

Monday-Friday August 31-September 4th, 2020

Daily lectures (Zoom) — 1.00-6.00 pm daily (UTC +1)


Accommodation and Transportation

Students will need to make their own accommodation arrangements.

Information about on-campus accommodation can be found on the course information page Here.

Information about traveling to campus can be found on the University of Birmingham website.

Please plan to arrive in Birmingham on Sunday, Aug 30th in time for an introductory talk and reception at 4 pm. Course teaching will commence at 9 am on Monday, Aug 31st and continue through to Friday, Sept 4 at 4 pm.

Cost and Registration

Please note that due to global travel restrictions related to COVID-19, the coures will be online and live-stream for 2020.

We will offer the class over Zoom. As such, the regular tuition is greatly reduced for this one-time offering. Enrollment is limited and is on a first come, first serve basis. 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 outsied 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

 The tuition cost for the course is £200.

This cost covers field trip transportation, daily coffee breaks, and a Wednesday evening conference dinner.

Registration can be found Here.