Courses Offered

The following lists undergraduate and graduate level courses that are taught by faculty within the FLOWS research group. You can also download and read sample syllabi. Not all courses are taught every term or even every year so be sure to double check the CEE Department Courses site for more information.

CE 361 – Fluid Mechanics

Credits: 4

Lecture and Laboratory: Properties of fluid; fluid statics; fluid dynamics; control volume and Reynolds transport theorem; conservation of mass, momentum and energy; differential analysis; rotational and irrotational flows, non-viscous and viscous flows, Navier Stokes equations. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: EAS 215 and Mth 256

CE 410/510 – TOP: Extreme Events in Environmental Water Resources

Credits: 4

Lecture: The flooding risk of coastal and inland communities depends on the total water level, which is influenced by factors such as land subsidence, sea-level rise, tidal variation, waves, tsunami exposure, river flows, storm surge, and other climate processes. In this course we will investigate both the physics and science behind extreme water levels, using both theory and analysis of actual data, and address the difficult problem of changing (non-stationary) risk. Statistical methods of assessing risk will be introduced, and case-studies of particular areas will be made. ‘Soft’ engineering measures to mitigate floods will be discussed. Students will be expected to complete a project that focuses on data analysis and/or numerical modeling. Local practitioners will be invited to give guest lectures.


CE 410/510 – TOP: Remote Sensing in Coastal and Inland Waters

Credits: 4

Lecture: Remote sensing is becoming increasing important in consulting practice, yet is still under- utilized in coastal and inland waters. This project based class will introduce students to different types of remote sensing techniques used in water resources, including fixed imagery, airborne imagery, and satellite imagery. The focus of the class will be to learn how to analyze remote sensing data products, using the matlab programming environment. Data filtering and error analysis will be covered. A particular focus will be using remote sensing data to understand physical processes. Areas of interest include (a) using infra-red data to assess turbulent structures and turbulence statistics; (b) using infra-red data to assess temperature gradients, upwelling, plumes, and other features in nature; (c) assessing water quality (turbidity, CDOM); (d) imaging and analyzing coastal waves using SAR data; (e) Analyzing flow using Codar and similar instruments; and (f) Analyzing mean sea-level and tides using satellite altimetry. For graduate students, the course will include a final, data based project. The class will include guest lectures by practitioners in the field.


CE 481/581 – The Columbia River as a System

Credits: 2

Lecture: Explores the climate and hydrologic processes that shape the Columbia River basin ecosystem, and relates these processes to the basin’s management context. The geographic scope includes the watershed, the mainstem and its reservoirs, major tributaries, the tidal river below Bonneville Dam, the estuary, the Columbia plume, and coastal waters that interact with the plume.

Prerequisites: Junior standing
Recommended: CE 361 and CE 371

CE 482/582 – Introduction to Sediment Transport

Credits: 4

Lecture: Fundamentals of sediment transport in natural surface waters. Analysis of the governing equations of mass, momentum, and sediment conservation. Covers bedload and suspended material transport in riverine and estuarine waters, focusing on non-cohesive materials. Cohesive material transport will be briefly introduced. May be taken only once for credit.

Prerequisites: CE 361 and CE 362

CE 483/583 – Estuarine Circulation

Credits: 4

Lecture: Introduction to the physical processes that govern estuarine and buoyant plume circulation. These include tides, density‐driven circulation, internal tidal asymmetry and frontal propagation.

Prerequisites: CE 361 and CE 371
Recommended: CE 576

CE 489/589 – Introduction to Advanced Fluid Mechanics

Credits: 4

Lecture and Laboratory: Advanced introduction to the geophysical fluid flows, including properties of seawater; conservation of mass, energy and momentum; dimensional analysis; the Navier‐Stokes, Reynolds and turbulent kinetc energy equations; geostrophy and potential vorticity; long and short waves; and turbulence and boundary layers. May be taken only once for credit.

Prerequisites: EAS 215, Mth 256, CE 361, and CE 362