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USU Logan - Spring 2017 Semester Long


January 10- May 4, 2017 in Logan @ USU
A semester-long version of the Geomorphic Change Detection class will be taught for USU students. 

WATS 6850 - Geomorphic Change Detection: Restoration Monitoring
Instills background theory of geomorphic change detection and sediment budgeting in rivers and surveying with repeat topographic surveying. Builds proficiency in applying principles to real datasets using GCD software.


Students should register on Banner for WATS 6850 - Spring 2017 CRN 26222 The course is 1 credit


Office Hours: Generally Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:00 - 1:00 PM in NR 360 (see here for calendar)

Meeting Time & Place

The course will typically meet on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:00 in NR 105, and will have some field trips (including 1 Saturday field trip).

Course Texts

We will rely heavily on the primary literature for course readings. However, we will use one optional text for this course as a reference on understanding fluvial systems and interpreting geomorphic changes. Seehere for this course's text on the USU Campus Store site

Course Materials

Primary Learning Outcomes

This class is intended for graduate students interested in monitoring topographic changes and interpreting those changes. Students will come away with:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of the theory underpinning geomorphic change detection, such that students will be able to apply such theory in their own analyses of geomorphic change and evaluate the significance of uncertainty on their analyses.
  2. The fundamental background necessary to design effective repeat topographic monitoring campaigns and distinguish geomorphic changes from noise (with particular focus on restoration applications)
  3. Methods for analyzing and interpreting  morphological sediment budgets quantitatively in terms of both geomorphic processes and changes in physical habitat
  4. Mastery of performing GCD analyses using the GCD software through group-led and self-paced exercises
  5. An opportunity to create your own GCD analyses of  your own data


Spring 2017- WATS 6850 - Geomorphic Change Detection Course Syllabus

Provisional syllabus, subject to change.

Students should visit Canvas ( for latest calendar, assignment deadlines, etc. Below is provisional.

WATS 6850- GCD Workshop

Course Policies:

Our own course policies include: 

  • Late work. Any work submitted past the due date will receive an automatic 10% reduction unless due to a pre-approved excused absence. Any work turned in over one week past the due date may not be accepted without prior approval. 
  • Working together. You are welcome and expected to work together on assignments and projects. However, each student must undertake their own analyses, make their own maps, produce their own figures, conduct their own peer reviews and contribute to the production of group reports. Specific guidelines for these expectations will be provided on each assignment. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Copying figures or text without appropriate citations or permission will not be tolerated. 
  • Academic Dishonesty. Use common sense. Don’t cheat. 
In addition, we adhere to the University’s course policies: 

Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibilities (Faculty Code)

Academic freedom is the right to teach, study, discuss, investigate, discover, create, and publish freely. Academic freedom protects the rights of faculty members in teaching and of students in learning. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in teaching, research, and creative activities, subject to the limitations imposed by professional responsibility. Faculty Code Policy #403 further defines academic freedom and professional responsibilities: USU Policies Section 403 

Academic Integrity - "The Honor System"

Each student has the right and duty to pursue his or her academic experience free of dishonesty. The Honor System is designed to establish the higher level of conduct expected and required of all Utah State University students. 

The Honor Pledge: To enhance the learning environment at Utah State University and to develop student academic integrity, each student agrees to the following Honor Pledge: "I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself with the foremost level of academic integrity." A student who lives by the Honor Pledge is a student who does more than not cheat, falsify, or plagiarize. A student who lives by the Honor Pledge: 
  • Espouses academic integrity as an underlying and essential principle of the Utah State University community; 
  • Understands that each act of academic dishonesty devalues every degree that is awarded by this institution; and 
  • Is a welcomed and valued member of Utah State University. 

Grievance Process (Student Code)

Students who feel they have been unfairly treated [in matters other than (i) discipline or (ii) admission, residency, employment, traffic, and parking - which are addressed by procedures separate and independent from the Student Code] may file a grievance through the channels and procedures described in the Student Code: Article VII Grievances 


Plagiarism includes knowingly "representing, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person as one's own in any academic exercise or activity without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged used of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials." The penalties for plagiarism are severe. They include warning or reprimand, grade adjustment, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding of transcripts, denial or revocation of degrees, and referral to psychological counseling. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined by the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as any "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may talk to or file a complaint with the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Office located in Old Main, Room 161, or call the AA/EEO Office at 797-1266. 

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act states: "Reasonable accommodation will be provided for all persons with disabilities in order to ensure equal participation within the program. If a student has a disability that will likely require some accommodation by the instructor, the student must contact the instructor and document the disability through the Disability Resource Center (797-2444), preferably during the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking of examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by the instructor. In cooperation with the Disability Resource Center, course materials can be provided in alternative format, large print, audio, diskette, or Braille." 
Withdrawal Policy and "I" 

Grade Policy

Students are required to complete all courses for which they are registered by the end of the semester. In some cases, a student may be unable to complete all of the coursework because of extenuating circumstances, but not due to poor performance or to retain financial aid. The term 'extenuating' circumstances includes: (1) incapacitating illness which prevents a student from attending classes for a minimum period of two weeks, (2) a death in the immediate family, (3) financial responsibilities requiring a student to alter a work schedule to secure employment, (4) change in work schedule as required by an employer, or (5) other emergencies deemed appropriate by the instructor.