An Educational Model for Hands-On Hydrology Education

Friday, 19 December 2014
Amir AghaKouchak, University of California Irvine, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Irvine, CA, United States, Navid Nakhjiri, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States and Emad H Habib, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA, United States
This presentation provides an overview of a hands-on modeling tool developed for students in civil engineering and earth science disciplines to help them learn the fundamentals of hydrologic processes, model calibration, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty assessment, and practice conceptual thinking in solving engineering problems. The toolbox includes two simplified hydrologic models, namely HBV-EDU and HBV-Ensemble, designed as a complement to theoretical hydrology lectures. The models provide an interdisciplinary application-oriented learning environment that introduces the hydrologic phenomena through the use of a simplified conceptual hydrologic model. The toolbox can be used for in-class lab practices and homework assignments, and assessment of students' understanding of hydrological processes. Using this modeling toolbox, students can gain more insights into how hydrological processes (e.g., precipitation, snowmelt and snow accumulation, soil moisture, evapotranspiration and runoff generation) are interconnected. The educational toolbox includes a MATLAB Graphical User Interface (GUI) and an ensemble simulation scheme that can be used for teaching more advanced topics including uncertainty analysis, and ensemble simulation. Both models have been administered in a class for both in-class instruction and a final project, and students submitted their feedback about the toolbox. The results indicate that this educational software had a positive impact on students understanding and knowledge of hydrology.