Welcome to GEOL-301: Hydrology!

Nick Bader, Spring 2017

Log into Schoology for more course resources
Note: we are testing this course management software as a possible alternative to CLEo.

About this course

This is a class devoted to understanding water resources, including both surface water and groundwater. We will study the hydrologic cycle and the properties of water, the shape and behavior of streams, the recharge and movement of groundwater, and environmental management of water including wells, dams, irrigation, and water contaminants. Lab topics will include stream gauging and the construction of hydrographs and hyetographs, determining peak discharge, water sampling, flow nets, well tests, and computer modeling of groundwater and contaminant flow. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week.

Nick's office: Hall of Science 150
Office hours: Tuesdays 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Wednesdays 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Lectures: Hall of Science 111;
Mon/Wed/Fri 11 - 11:50 am

Labs: Hall of Science 176;
Mondays 1 - 3:50 pm


What will this class do for you? In this class, I hope you will:
  • Develop a "toolbox" of hydrologic techniques that will help you solve realistic problems in hydrology
  • Learn about our local rivers and groundwater systems
  • Understand the importance of hydrology to humans, and how humans interact with water resources

Course structure

Each week, there will be three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory period. In lecture I will introduce background and important concepts in hydrology and hydrogeology. In the lab we will apply these concepts in exercises or in the field. Labs are usually held in the GIS lab (Science 176), but for some activities not requiring a computer we may move to our regular lecture classroom.

Course materials

  • Required textbook: Hendriks, Martin. Introduction to Physical Hydrology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Required textbook: Leopold, Luna. A View of the River. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • Additional readings are available on the Schoology page for this course.

Field Trips

We will have a number of field trips in this class. Standard precautions regarding field trips apply: please wear reasonable shoes (I will leave the meaning of "reasonable" up to you), and bring things you might need, like sunscreen, a hat, water, garlic to repel vampires, etc. You will also want to bring a notebook and pencil so that you can take notes.

Getting help

My official office hours this semester are listed in the table above.  However, if you cannot make those times, please email me to set up an appointment.  You may also ask questions by email; if I think that other students might share your question I will respond to the whole group.


I use a standard system for grading based on your percentage of total possible points:

Percentage Grade
97 - 100% A+
93 - 96% A
90 - 92% A-
87 - 89% B+
83 - 86% B
80 - 82% B-
77 - 79% C+
73 - 76% C
70 - 72% C-
67 - 69% D+
63 - 66% D
60 - 62% D-
< 60% F

Exams (45% of the class grade)

There will be four exams, each worth an equal fraction of the course grade. Exams will primarily cover material from lecture, although material from the readings in the text can also appear on exams. The exams are generally not cumulative, although some material from previous exams can reappear on later exams. The first three exams will be held during the lecture periods indicated on the course schedule; the fourth exam will be held during the final exam slot listed on our schedule below.  This time is set by the registrar and is not negotiable. If circumstances beyond your control force you to miss an exam, please contact me ahead of time by phone, email, or in person to discuss it.

Lab exercises: (40% of the class grade)

I will provide the labs and readings and give you enough hydro background to complete each week's assignment. You are responsible for completing lab assignments if you run out of time during class. All lab exercises and field trip summaries are due by the beginning of lab the following week.

Homework exercises: (15% of the class grade)

As part of this class there will be regular homework assignments. My aim is to have lots of small assignments in order to keep you practicing the quantitative skills essential for hydrology. Unless otherwise noted, assignments will be due at the beginning of the next class. Assignments cannot be turned in late, but you are automatically excused from one missed assignment. If you miss class it is your responsibility to get the assignment from a classmate, and it is likewise your responsibility to get the assignment to me when it is due. You are welcome to work together but you must turn in your own work.


I do not enforce your attendance in lecture. However, there is no doubt that your attendance habits will affect your grade! The exams will cover materials discussed in lecture, not all of which can be found in the textbooks. Labs and field trips are important to your grade and usually cannot be made up. If some event beyond your control forces you to miss a lab, please let me know beforehand, even if it's a quick email.

Late work

Some work can be handed in late, but you will lose points for each day the assignment is late as shown below. I understand that sometimes unexpected obstacles arise, so everyone gets one "pass" for a two-day extension - just let me know when you need to use it. If you have special circumstances that prevent you from turning in an assignment, contact me ahead of time to discuss it.

Less than one day late: -5%
One to two days late: -15%
Two to three days late: -25%
Three days to one week late: -35%
More than one week late: -45%

Schedule of events

View this calendar in other formats

If you use Google Calendar, you can view these events in your own calendar.  Just click the button at the bottom right of the calendar.  You will be offered access to two calendars; one called something like "Hydrology" with most of the course events, and a second calendar called "Bader - all classes" that includes office hours and special events.

If you want a schedule suitable for printing, you may click here to download a pdf.  Warning: our schedule may change during this semester, rendering the pdf version obsolete.  The Google calendar will remain up-to-date and should be your primary reference.