Margulis Research Group

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


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The teaching philosophy in our group is driven by a desire to provide a strong foundation in the fundamental physical processes that control environmental problems, with an emphasis on hydrologic and hydraulic phenomena. This foundation is then applied to real-world/engineering problem-solving. A key component of this philosophy is a focus on homework and laboratory/project exercises that involve hands-on problem solving using real data and models. This philosophy is integrated into all courses taught in our group. A list of recently/currently taught courses include:

C&EE 150: Introduction to Hydrology

Course Description: Study of the hydrologic cycle and relevant atmospheric processes, water and energy balance, radiation, precipitation, snow processes, infiltration, evaporation, transpiration, groundwater flow, streamflow, and flood processes.

Course Objectives: Water is key to life as we know it.  Knowledge of how water moves through the environment, and is stored within it, is necessary for water resources engineering projects and many other scientific/engineering pursuits.  By the end of the course you will be familiar with the primary physical processes involved in the hydrologic cycle and how they are measured and modeled.  You should also understand how hydrology is related to important scientific, engineering, and societal issues.  You will also have added to your engineering “toolbox” by using various analytical and numerical techniques for solving real problems.

This course uses:

"Introduction to Hydrology" e-textbook and accompanying Matlab-based Modular Distributed Watershed Educational Toolbox (MOD-WET)

C&EE 157L: Hydrologic Analysis

Course Description: Collection, compilation, and interpretation of data for quantification of components of the hydrologic cycle, including solar radiation, precipitation, evaporation, infiltration, runoff and other relevant processes. We will use hydrologic variables and parameters for development, construction, and application of models and analysis for selected problems in hydrology and water resources engineering.

Course Objectives: This course builds directly on CEE 150 with an emphasis on hands-on problem solving using real data and models. The first-half of the course involves urban problems including runoff, solar energy and water use efficiency. The second half of the course focuses on natural watershed problems including remote sensing of snow, snow modeling and watershed modeling. The course will involve collecting some in situ data, as well as downloading and analyzing real data and using data to build, calibrate, and run simulation models and other analyses relevant to hydrologic and environmental problems. Students will get significant experience in hands-on problem solving, including data collection and model usage, along with technical report writing.

C&EE 250C: Hydrometeorology

Course Rationale: We will be studying the physical processes that link the hydrologic cycle with meteorological phenomena.  Our focus will be on those processes in the lower atmosphere (atmospheric boundary layer and troposphere) that link the surface and atmosphere and are largely responsible for determining weather and climate conditions near the surface. The course involves using real physically-based models including a general circulation (i.e. climate) model.

Course Description: Introduction to basic physical concepts of remote sensing as they relate to surface and atmospheric hydrologic processes. Applications include radiative transfer modeling and retrieval of hydrologically relevant parameters like topography, soil moisture, snow properties, vegetation, and precipitation.

C&EE 251C: Remote Sensing with Hydrologic Applications

Course Rationale: In hydrology we are generally interested in estimating hydrologic states and fluxes. Remote sensing observations, especially those from satellite platforms, are providing a new source of spatially-distributed information relevant to hydrologic processes across large scales.

Course Description: In-depth study of the surface components of the hydrologic cycle and their connection to the atmosphere.  The role of hydrology in the climate system, precipitation and evaporation processes, atmospheric radiation, exchange of mass, heat, and momentum between the soil and vegetation surface and the overlying atmosphere, flux and transport in the turbulent boundary layer.