AUGUST 17 – 21, 2020

Instructors | Registration, fees, travel | Text & Materials | Agenda

COVID-19 Contingency Planning for Geomorphic and Ecological Fundamentals for River and Stream Restoration, at Sagehen Creek Field Station, 17-21 August 2020

As of 02 June, we await further updates from the Berkeley campus administration regarding the status of events planned for Sagehen Creek Field Station this summer.  For the moment, we are developing plans to hold the course with a reduced total number of participants, incorporating social distancing and face coverings, and shifting meal service entirely out-of-doors, consistent with most activities already planned for the course.  We will disperse participants across the station facilities for lodging and bathroom use to eliminate crowding and minimize contact, and we anticipate that many participants will stay off-site in Truckee.  On field trips participants will be asked to drive themselves to avoid having multiple people in close contact within vehicles.  We have postponed the deadline to cancel your participation from 15 June to 30 June.  Of course, if we must cancel the shortcourse, registrants will be entitled to a full refund or may defer their participation to August 2021.   We anticipate having a more definitive update before 15 June.  We thank you for your understanding.

Our five-day introductory course emphasizes understanding geomorphic and ecological process as a sound basis for planning and designing river restoration. It covers general principles and case studies from a wide range of environments. Incorporating insights from recent research in fluvial geomorphology and ecology, the course emphasizes developing predictive connections between objectives and actions, learning from built restoration projects, and developing restoration strategies and innovative management approaches to address underlying causes of channel or ecosystem change, rather than prescriptive approaches.

Read about the Sagehen Field Station near Lake Tahoe, CA

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Watch the following 1-minute video to get a flavor for the course.

The course integrates perspectives from leading academic researchers and consulting practitioners in river restoration. Lectures, exercises, field trips and case studies cover a range of restoration approaches from state-of-the-art hydraulics and sediment transport, to historical analysis and context-specific considerations ranging from urban infrastructure to natural resources. In addition to field data collection techniques, the course uses spreadsheet models to calculate sediment transport and channel design, map and aerial photo analysis, and sequential problem solving in approaching restoration of fluvial processes. The course includes field trips to the Truckee River and streams in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and workshops on restoration problems faced by participants for discussion where we develop ideas on analytical approaches and recommend resources.

This course emphasizes integration of hydrology, hydraulics, sediment transport, geomorphology, aquatic ecology, fisheries, and riparian ecology, and includes field measurements, mapping, and interpretation.

This course is brought to you by RiverLab at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

A related course, Sediment Transport in Stream Assessment and Design, builds upon principles and techniques covered in the Sagehen course, but is focused on sediment transport in channel design. The course is offered annually by Peter Wilcock, co-instructor of the Sagehen course over the past 15 years. Check back for 2020 course dates.


The Sagehen River Restoration Shortcourse and the College of Environmental Design of UC Berkeley more broadly are committed to attracting talented students with diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences and perspectives. We strive to cultivate an inclusive environment for our faculty and students that respect and reflect the diverse communities in which we live and work.
The intellectual exchange of ideas, learning to interact effectively with each other, and developing attitudes of responsibility for leadership in society and decision-making, are enhanced through a student community that respects and values the insights gained from various points of view. We welcome all participants to the Sagehen River Restoration Shortcourse and welcome you to join our community!