Term Paper


With the potential exception of the modeling labs, the term paper is the single largest piece of work you will produce for this class. Every person taking this course is currently immersed in interesting research that in someway relates to fluvial hydraulics and ecohydraulics. As such, this term paper assignment is meant to help you move beyond a conceptual understanding of fluvial hydraulics and a working knowledge of the modeling tools into a critical awareness of how such knowledge and tools apply to your own research. The assignment is not intended to be a comprehensive review of everything we cover in class, but instead a specific and focused investigation into the subset of fluvial hydraulics and/or ecohydraulics that is pertinent to your research.


The purpose of the term paper is to help you synthesize your understanding of fluvial hydraulics and ecohydraulics into a compelling literature review of direct relevance to your own research. The related objectives of the assignment are as follows:
  • Extend your understanding from the text-book and modeling software, into the peer-reviewed literature of research in fluvial hydraulics & ecohydraulics
  • Force you to articulate the significance of a sub-set of the fluvial hydraulic and/or ecohydraulic literature to helping you better understand and contextualize your own research questions
  • Give you a return on the time investment you make in this class in the form of a complete and tangible piece of text you can hopefully use in your thesis or dissertation

Basic Requirements

  1. The term paper must define a research question and/or topical area of direct relevance to your own research; and in so doing must clearly state the objectives of the review. The research question must be submitted and approved ahead of time.
  2. The term paper should either be written as either a:
    • Stand-alone literature review article manuscript that meets the submission guidelines for Progress in Physical Geography (5000-8000 words); Note: There is no requirement that you actually submit the manuscript for publication.
    • OR a Chapter or Sub-Section that would fit directly into your thesis or dissertation (this will depend on the format and outline of your thesis or dissertation; c. 5000-10,000 words). Note: There is no requirement that you actually use the text in your thesis.
  3. You will present a 15-20 minute overview of your term paper and lead a 15 minute discussion on your term paper at the end of the semester. We will all read each others term papers.

Key Dates

  • February 8th, 2011 - Submit Term Paper Proposal outlining number 1 above of the basic requirements. (< 500 words)
  • March 3rd, 2011 - Submit a working Annotated Bibliography and draft Outline for your Term Paper
  • April 25, 2011 - Final Term Paper due (in PDF format)
  • April 26 & 28, 2011 - Present Term Papers to Class
See Calendar too!