Courses


CEE 368: The Fractal Beauty of Landscapes

Spring 2000

Why do rivers look like trees and arteries like transit systems? Why is nature fond of spirals and dendritic structures? This course will look at natural forms in the context of their function. The fractal structure of fluvial landscapes is studied as result of the interplay between water and sediment transport. It is shown that the infinite variety of river basin shapes responds to some unifying principles whose signature is found across highly different conditions. Analogies with other fields will be made throughout the course.



CEE 587/ENV 587: Ecohydrology

Fall 1999, 9:00-10:20 TTh

The course seeks to describe the hydrologic mechanisms that underlie ecological observations. The space-time dynamics of soil-plant-atmosphere is studied at different temporal and spatial scales. A review is done of the role of environmental fluctuations in the distribution of vegetation. Emphasis is made in the dynamics of soil moisture. The signatures revealing fractal structures in landscapes and vegetation are reviewed as a result of self-organizing dynamics. Unifying concepts in the processes responsible for these signatures will be studied with examples from hydrology and ecology.



CIV 600: Special Topics in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources: Eco-Hydrology

Spring 1999

Climate-soil-vegetation interaction is analyzed at different temporal and spatial scales. Soil moisture dynamics is studied under different conditions of climate and vegetation. Probabilistic representations of climate fluctuations are coupled with spatially distributed vegetation models. The impact of natural and/or anthropogenic disturbances is quantitatively discussed. The organization of channel networks in river basins is linked to the probabilistic structure describing vegetation and streamflows.