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Programmes > HWRP > Training activities > Hydrological Sciences Distance Learning Course

Distance Learning Course in Hydrology I: Basic Hydrological Sciences

WMO, the COMET Program and NWS/NOAA organized a Distance Learning Course in Hydrology I: Basic Hydrological Sciences for professionals working in hydrological forecasting in the South-West Pacific region, from 6 September 2011 to 14 October 2011.

The course was designed to meet the needs of environmental forecasters who do not have formal training in hydrology, but who work with hydrologic data, particularly in flood forecasting. The course (in English only) was intended to provide an understanding of ground, surface, and atmospheric forms of water, and prepared the student for further study in hydrologic methods and forecasting.

Upon completion of this course, participants:

  • Understand the elements of the hydrologic cycle
  • Explain the rainfall runoff process
  • Describe the process of streamflow routing
  • Use a unit hydrograph for forecasting flows
  • Apply flash flood guidance taking into account the uncertainties in the product
  • Apply an understanding of hydrologic modeling methods currently in use
  • Apply statistical methods to assess flood risk

The course has been centered upon seven or more distance learning modules developed by COMET. On this occasion, a recently launched international edition of these modules, developed specifically to serve as the basis for courses such as this one, has been used.

There were 7 required modules: 1 introductory module (Understanding the Hydrologic Cycle), and 6 core modules including a flood forecasting case study. In addition students chose from among 5 elective modules based on regional interest. Students have been required to complete an online quiz at the completion of each module. While the modules can be downloaded directly from the COMET website, they have also be provided by courier on a single CD-ROM to each accepted participant.

The course also included two live events to be attended via Web technologies at the start and close of the course, as well as weekly online communications with course instructors and fellow students. The live sessions and online communications allowed students to ask questions, share their regional issues and experiences, and learn more deeply by discussing the course content with their peers and the instructors.

In addition to mastering the course content, each student has been required to complete a short final assignment, such as creating and sharing a short case study or report on local/regional climatology and hydrologic forecast systems. Successfully completing the course assignment and the online quizzes for each module will earn students a certificate of completion.

It has been estimated that the dedication needed to successfully complete this course is a total of 30 to 40 hours, or an average of about 6 to 8 hours/week. Supervisors of participants have been encouraged to release them of work responsibilities during those hours.



Mr Claudio Caponi: caponi email



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