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River Mechanics and Modeling Requirements (Masters or Ph.D.)

Overview: This emphasis encompasses a broad range of interdisciplinary topics related to fluvial systems, including ecohydraulics, river mechanics, river engineering, surface water quality, physical hydrology, and restoration of aquatic ecosystems. Students in this specialization can design a graduate program to match their individual goals and interests, including both traditional study areas such as hydraulic engineering and applied interdisciplinary research areas related to river restoration and natural systems modeling. Students can supplement department offerings with courses in Watershed Sciences, Geology, Statistics, and other areas to build both the fundamental understanding and breadth of knowledge to solve the pressing challenges in river science and management.

Areas of current student research include: physical-ecological linkages in fluvial systems, surface water – groundwater interactions, water temperature modeling in natural systems, environmental flows, sedimentation processes and fluvial geomorphology.

Required Courses

  • CEE 6400 Physical Hydrology (Lane) – fundamentals of hydrologic cycle and processes [Fall]
  • CEE 5500/6500 Open Channel Hydraulics (Crookston) – steady uniform and gradually varied flow [Fall]
  • CEE 6660 Environmental and Hydrologic Data Analysis and Experimentation (Stevens) [Fall]
  • CEE 6800 Water and Environmental Seminar

Core Technical Electives

  • CEE 6930 (3 credits) – Hydrologic Field Methods (Lane) – fundamentals of in-field data collection and processing [Fall]
  • CEE 6470 (3 credits) – River Mechanics (Sedimentation Engineering) (Crookston) – fluvial processes of sediment transport including design and analyses [Spring, every other year]
  • WATS 6150 (3 credits) – Fluvial Geomorphology (Wheaton/Schmidt) – physical processes in streams that control their shape and bed material [Spring]
  • CEE 6540 (3 credits) – Hydraulic Structures Design (Tullis) – design of hydraulic structures [Fall]
  • CEE 6740 (4 credits) – Surface Water Quality Modeling – (Neilson) – physical modeling of water quality in rivers [Fall]
  • CEE 6490 (3 credits) – Integrated River Basin Management (Rosenberg/Schmidt) – tools, strategies, and challenges involved in the management of large river networks [Spring]
  • CEE 6450 (3 credits) – Hydrologic Modeling (Zeng) [Spring]
  • NEW – Computational Fluid Dynamics (Crookston) (3 credits) – Theory and application of 2D and 3D modeling of rivers and in-stream hydraulic structures [Spring, every other year]
  • CUAHSI virtual courses (Tarboton) (1-4 credits) – choose from GIS in Water Resources, Hydrologic Modeling for Hypothesis Generation and Scenario Development: Tools in R, Ecohydrology of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems and other online courses [Fall]

Note that with approval from the graduate committee, required courses can be waived if the student has successfully completed an equivalent course at Utah State University or elsewhere.

MS Plan A (30 credits required, 6-9 credits of Thesis Research) or MS Plan B (30 credits required, 2-3 credits of Thesis Research)

Year 1 Example

Fall

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6500 Open Channel Hydraulics 3
CEE 6400 Physical Hydrology 3
CEE 6930 Hydrologic Field Methods 3
CEE 6740 Surface Water Quality Modeling 4

Spring

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6470* River Mechanics (Sedimentation) 3
WATS 6150 Fluvial Geomorphology 3
CEE 6490 Integrated River Basin Management 3

Year 2 Example

Fall

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6660 Hydrologic Statistics 3
CEE 6540 Hydraulic Structures 3
CUASHI GIS   1-4

Spring

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6930* Computational Fluid Dynamics 3
CEE 6930 GIS for Water Resources 3

* taught every-other year

ME (30 credits) - 1 year plan

Fall

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6500** Open channel hydraulics 3
CEE 6400 Physical hydrology 3
CEE 6930 Hydrologic field methods 3
CEE 6740 Surface water quality modeling 4
CEE 6660 Hydrologic statistics 3
CEE 6800 Water Seminar 1

Other options:

  • CEE 6540: Hydraulic structures (Tullis) (3)
  • CUASHI GIS (Tarboton) (1-4)

Spring

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6470 River Mechanics (Sedimentation) OR CFD 3
WATS 6150 Fluvial Geomorphology 3
CEE 6490 Integrated River Basin Management 3
CEE 6450 Hydrologic Modeling 3
CEE 6800 Water Seminar 1

Other options:

  • PROPOSED: GIS for Water Resources (Zeng/Torres) (3)

** if you are starting your ME during spring semester, you will need to have taken CEE 5500/ 6500 the previous fall semester

ME (30 credits) – Sr. Year + 1 year plan

Senior Year Technical Electives:

Fall

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 5500 Open channel hydraulics 3

Spring

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 5490 OR
CEE 5450
Integrated River Basin Management OR
Hydrologic Modeling
3 OR
3

ME 1-year:

Fall

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6400 Physical hydrology 3
CEE 6930 Hydrologic field methods 3
CEE 6740 Surface water quality modeling 4
CEE 6660 Hydrologic statistics 3
CEE 6800 Water Seminar 1

Other options:

  • CEE 6540: Hydraulic structures (Tullis) (3)
  • CUASHI GIS (Tarboton) (1-4)

Spring

Course Number Course Title Credits
CEE 6470 River Mechanics (Sedimentation) OR CFD 3
WATS 6150 Fluvial Geomorphology 3
CEE 6490*** Integrated River Basin Management 3
CEE 6450*** Hydrologic Modeling 3
CEE 6800 Water Seminar 1

Other options:

  • PROPOSED: GIS for Water Resources (Zeng/Torres) (3)

** if you are starting your ME during spring semester, you will need to have taken CEE 5500/ 6500 the previous fall semester

*** take one of these classes not completed during BS