HydroLearn is an education project funded by the National Science Foundation to promote the collaborative development and adoption of authentic, active learning resources in hydrology and water resources.

HydroLearn aims to create a community of users who are interested in adopting innovative active-learning resources in hydrology and water resources. By providing educators with a mechanism for contribution, customization and sharing of educational content, HydroLearn aspires to alleviate existing development and adoption barriers to encourage educators to engage in active-learning innovations. HydroLearn also aims to propagate good pedagogical practices by providing instructors with support on how to develop sound and effective learning activities, learning onjectives and assessment rubrics. 

|pedagogical approach

|Building a community

HydroLearn aims to create a community of users who are interested in adopting innovative active-learning resources in hydrology and water resources engineering

|Spotlight Modules

Using HEC-HMS for
Hydrologic Design

In this learning module you will apply what you have learned about hydrologic processes and surface runoff in conjunction…

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Stream Solute

This module covers the required background knowledge to plan, execute, and interpret stream solute tracer studies.

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Frequency Analysis
in Hydrology

To design this new culvert, you will first need to understand the basics of probability theory and stochastic analysis in hydrology.

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Quantifying Runoff

In this module, you will learn to implement the Green-Ampt method for runoff generation which depends on watershed and soil properties…

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Analysis Of Water Stress Across the United States

This module introduces students to the concept of water stress through a set of data- and hypothesis-driven learning activities that…

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Developing a
Water Plan

In this module students explore the components of a water management plan and create a sustainable allocation plan for the…

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Hydrologic droughts and drying rivers

This module exposes students to quantitative and graphical analysis of hydrologic droughts with a focus on rivers and streams….

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National water

An introduction to the National Water Model (NWM). This course provides a brief history of how the National Water was created and how it is continually developing today….

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Introduction to
floodplain analysis

This course introduces students to floodplain analysis through a hands-on application to the Pecatonica River near Darlington, WI. ….

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Open channel
flow modeling

This introductory modeling module will provide: General overview of the basics of numerical modeling, model development, and applications…..

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Remote sensing applications in hydrology

This module offers background content on the fundamentals of remote sensing, but also integrates a set of existing online tools for visualization and analysis of satellite observations….

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Snow and

In this module, students will develop the vocabulary of snow-related terminology, relate snow processes to weather phenomena, develop skill in reporting technical information, use data from a variety of public sources to operate an online snow model…..

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|Author Highlight

Hydrologic Droughts and Drying Rivers

This module exposes students to quantitative and graphical analysis of hydrologic droughts with a focus on rivers and streams. We introduce students to hydrologic indices and indicators used by the federal government regarding drought or low flow conditions in streams. We visualize drying streams with Excel-derived colorful graphics called stream-flow  ​ stripes and stream-flow “heat maps” of annual and monthly data. Ultimately, students synthesize this information into a case study of a drying stream or streams to educate and inform stakeholders about water stewardship. These activities are relevant to students interested in careers in water monitoring, management, sustainability, and conservation.

Dr. Hilary McMillan

San Diego State University

Dr. Joann Mossa

University of Florida

Remote Sensing Applications in Hydrology

This module offers background content on the fundamentals of remote sensing, but also integrates a set of existing online tools for visualization and analysis of satellite observations. Specifically, students are introduced to a variety of satellite products and techniques that can be used to monitor and analyze changes in the hydrological cycle. At completion of the module, students will be able to visualize remote sensing data (both in terms of time series and spatial maps), detect temporal trends, interpret satellite images, and assess errors and uncertainties in a remote sensing product. Students are given the opportunity to check their understanding as they progress through the module and also tackle complex real-life problems using satellite-based Earth observations that professionals and scientists commonly use in practice.

Dr. Manuela Girotto

University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Vivana Maggioni

George Mason University

Frequency Analysis in Hydrology

Located near the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, John’s Creek is a mountain stream that is popular for recreation and kayaking. The stream also runs through New Castle, Virginia, a small rural town with a population of about 200 people (US Census, 2019). The location of the streamgage sits under a small bridge, where it has been determined that a large culvert should replace the current structure due to flooding concerns. You have been tasked by the Town of New Castle and Craig County to determine the necessary capacity of this new culvert by performing a flood frequency analysis. The resulting culvert should be able to carry the design flood safely while also remaining as economical as possible.

Dr. Landon Marston

Virginia Tech

Yunus Naseri

Virginia Tech

Open Channel Flow Modeling

Numerical models are effective and informative research, design, and planning tools. The substantial advancement in computational power has allowed numerical models to be a viable and efficient tool to solve complex problems and improve our understanding of the fundamentals in the water resources field. Therefore, it is critical to provide an in-depth understanding of the basics of numerical modeling techniques and recognize the strengths and limitations of these techniques. This introductory modeling module will provide: A general overview of the basics of numerical modeling, model development, and applications. It will include hands-on training through model application to streams and large rivers. This module will also include opportunities for the students to participate in hands-on applications to examine a research, design or a planning problem and explore ways where numerical models can provide usable information to answer or provide insights into these questions.

Dr. Ehab Meselhe

Tulane University

Snow and Climate

This module will provide the student with learning activities and tools needed to develop a basic knowledge of snow processes and complete the report for the client. This knowledge is developed by completing the five module sections that build off each other and start with the basics of snow formation and end with analyzing how snow processes are impacted by a changing climate. Students will act as a consultant hired by a snow centered business looking to expand their business across the US and is interested in knowing how climate change will impact snow and streamflow in the intermountain west and the northeastern United States. Students will project likely changes in future snow depth, snow duration and streamflow under climate change for each of these locations.

Dr. Joshua Roundy

University of Kansas

Dr. David Chandler

Syracuse University

Groundwater Flow

Did you know that 30% of the world’s freshwater is underground? And that it is constantly moving? Groundwater is typically stored and transmitted in subsurface aquifers, and travels at different rates and time scales to the land surface and into rivers, streams and oceans as a component of the hydrologic cycle. Groundwater flow characterization is crucial to many hydrogeologic problems, both theoretical and applied, over multiple scales of space and time. Since groundwater can only be observed indirectly, except at a few places where the water table intersects with land surface, it is vital to see the linkages between data that can be collected and the properties of aquifers that determine flow and transport. After learning how to access and interpret groundwater data form the US Geological Survey, you will learn the driving force behind groundwater flow, how to calculate groundwater flow direction and travel time, and how this information pertains to real-life examples of water resource management and contaminant transport.

Dr. Erin Haacker

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Mira Olson

Drexel University

Introduction to Hydrologic Design in PCSWMM

In this module, you will use a standard industry software called PCSWMM to perform a pre/post-development analysis of a watershed and to design stormwater controls that can reduce runoff and improve water quality. You will apply PCSWMM to delineate a watershed, develop land use/land cover maps, extract hydrologic parameters from these maps, parameterize and run the SWMM hydrologic model, size a stormwater detention pond, implement “green” stormwater controls, and analyze the present your results for alternative scenarios. The knowledge and skills you will gain through this course can be applied anywhere, but in the learning activities you will focus on a specific location, the Wake Forest University (WFU) Campus. The course is divided into three sections that are described further on the next page.

Dr. Zuhdi Aljobeh

Valparaiso University

Dr. Courtney Di Vittorio

Wake Forest University

Damien Di Vittorio

Columbia Engineering

|What People Say

|HydroLearn Team