Title Image
About the Instructor -
Dr. John Field
Course Description

This three-day short course will explore the principles of fluvial geomorphology, stream restoration, and watershed management with an optional virtual field trip on the fourth day to impaired streams and restoration sites. 

Dates & Duration

Day 1: Monday, November 18, 2024            10am-5pm ET      Virtual instruction through Zoom

Day 2: Tuesday, November 19, 2024            10am-5pm ET      Virtual instruction through Zoom

Day 3: Wednesday, November 20, 2024        10am-5pm ET      Virtual instruction through Zoom

Day 4: Thursday, November 21, 2024           10am-3pm ET      Virtual field trip (optional) 


2025 Course Dates:  May 6-10, 2025 and Nov. 17-21, 2025

Testimonial 1

Course Description  

Stream restoration has become a catch-all phrase nationwide to describe all sorts of river management activities including flood and erosion control, habitat enhancement and endangered species recovery, and sediment and nutrient reduction efforts. An understanding of fluvial geomorphology can be helpful in establishing the underlying causes for stream degradation and bank erosion, anticipating how the stream will change over time if no restoration occurs, developing appropriate restoration strategies for the given setting, and foreseeing how streams will respond to a proposed restoration project. In this way, the actual needs for restoration can be documented, restoration projects tailored for a given site, and better restoration outcomes achieved. This course will utilize examples from around the country (and in fact the world) with particular focus on New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, but will be of value to all, regardless of location, as the basic principles of fluvial geomorphology and stream restoration to be covered in the course are applicable everywhere.

This three-day short course (from 10am-5pm Eastern Time each day) will explore the principles of fluvial geomorphology and stream restoration in a virtual format. An optional virtual field trip of stream restoration sites in the Chesapeake Bay region and possibly other locations is also available and will include live interaction with the field trip leader. The course is designed for government officials, environmental and engineering consultants, non-profit watershed groups, construction contractors, educators and students, and others trying to sustainably address flooding, erosion, habitat, and sediment and nutrient loading issues along rivers and streams.

While some quantitative methods will be introduced, the course will focus on the underlying concepts of fluvial geomorphology that are needed to effectively apply and interpret the results of quantitative analyses used in stream restoration designs. Fluvial geomorphology is also critical for anticipating how streams respond, both positively and negatively, to human activities along rivers and streams, including stream restoration projects. The short course will highlight process-based restoration practices, which are typically more effective, sustainable, and cost effective than form-based practices. Whether designing stream restoration projects yourself or reviewing plans to determine their potential effectiveness, this short course will provide you with the background and practical experience to identify the best restoration approaches for a particular setting and set of project objectives.

The short course will consist of visual presentations, small group exercises, and activities that will provide participants with practical experiences and examples to recognize unstable channel reaches in a watershed and identify the most appropriate stream restoration techniques that will best address the identified instabilities, if present. The first day of the short course will focus on the basic concepts of fluvial geomorphology including extended discussions on stream equilibrium and channel classification. The second day will consist of hands-on activities in small breakout groups to reinforce the geomorphic concepts learned during day 1 and will provide practical experiences using resources (e.g., topo maps, aerial photographs) critical for completing geomorphic assessments at the watershed scale. The final day will apply the knowledge gained to examine numerous stream restoration practices through a series of case studies (working in small groups) that will highlight the many issues that must be considered to successfully and sustainably restore rivers and streams and to anticipate potential problems even before a restoration design is complete. The optional virtual field trip will tour examples of restoration sites that will reinforce the concepts and lessons of the first three days. 

 This course is pre-approved for 10 continuing education credits under SER's Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) program.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Explain and appropriately apply the key concepts of fluvial geomorphology such as the principles of equilibrium, channel classification methods, channel evolution, and sediment transport capacity.

  • Demonstrate how fluvial geomorphology can be used in watershed assessments to identify the underlying causal mechanisms for channel instabilities that lead to erosion, flooding, and nutrient loading problems that are responsible for significant infrastructure damage and environmental degradation.

  • Identify common errors made during stream restoration projects when the basic principles of fluvial geomorphology are poorly understood and anticipate such problems during the design and review process prior to implementation.

  • Discuss the appropriate settings and conditions within which to employ a variety of widely used stream restoration techniques and the benefits they provide.

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RMS Membership is not required to register. However, the discounted course rate is more than the price of an
Associate membership, so we HIGHLY encourage you to join and stay connected!

Click here to register

Testimonial 2

About the Instructor - Dr. John Field

John Field

     Dr. John Field, President and founder of Field Geology Services, received a PhD in 1994 from the University of Arizona with concentrations in fluvial geomorphology and hydrology.  As a university professor, Dr. Field received two excellence in teaching awards and was active in training teachers and government agency personnel on techniques for assessing the stability and habitat conditions of rivers and streams.  Dr. Field’s research on flooding and habitat issues has been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and presented at professional meetings throughout North America.  In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Field has 20 years of consulting experience that has included geomorphic assessments on over 1,000 miles of rivers and streams in 15 states and 11 other countries worldwide to identify the causes for riverine problems such as erosion, flooding, elevated sediment/nutrient loading, and habitat degradation. The assessment results have informed the design and implementation of over 40 miles of bank stabilization and stream restoration projects. Since starting Field Geology Services, Dr. Field has offered short courses that have been attended by hundreds of participants.  Dr. Field’s excellence in assessing and restoring unstable streams was recognized through receipt of U.S. EPA’s Environmental Merit Award.

 Field Geology Services logo 

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The classroom portion will take place on Zoom from November 18 through 20, 2024.

Membership is not required to attend sessions or the field trip. However, the discount for the classroom portion is more than an Associate membership, so we HIGHLY encourage you to join and stay connected!

  • Early Bird Course Registration (on or before October 18): $955 for non-members / $900 for RMS members
  • Regular Course Registration (after October 18): $995 for non-members / $940 for RMS members
  • Virtual Field Trip: $245 for non-members / $220 for RMS members

Register 3 or more people at the same time and receive $50 off each person's registration. Email [email protected] for more details.

This course is eligible for 10 SER Continuing Education Credits related to the Society for Ecological Restoration certification program.



Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your reservation and you notify RMS by October 18, 2024, we will return your full payment. If we receive your cancellation between October 19 - November 4, we will return the amount of your payment minus $50. While we will not be able to return funds for cancellations received after November 4, we will apply fifty percent (50%) of your total registration to a future workshop hosted by the RMS River Training Center or Field Geology Services. 

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