A River Runs Through It

Project: Design a habitat restoration solution for a local stream with building and testing of prototypes

Many rivers run through urban environments and can be negatively impacted by human activities. In this course, you will gain a solid understanding of river dynamics and related ecosystems, particularly in urban settings. You will learn about methods and tools to restore habitat for certain aquatic species, to stabilize banks, and to rehabilitate important natural functions in urban streams. The section will be divided between lectures and hands-on field-based activities in the laboratory and outdoors, where you will use a local stream as the field site. Attendance will be mandatory and taken at the five field activities and at all labs. First, you will quantify the dominant hydraulic and biological parameters defining stream health. Then, based on the needs of the local biota, you will design in-stream structures, placements, or methods for bank stabilization that may improve the health of the stream. Finally, you will test the fluid dynamics of a model of your design in the laboratory. This course is intended for students genuinely interested in civil and environmental engineering and/or fluid mechanics in general.  There is one midterm, and one final exam.