HPCCproject/modeling environmental change class

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Utah State University Modeling Environmental Change Course

Project description

This course is designed to be an introduction to the wide variety of approaches to mathematical modeling of environmental and ecosystem response to climate change. The goals are to a) identify key linkages at the interface of multiple disciplines, b) provide a conceptual overview of different modeling techniques, from ad hoc reduced complexity models to common off-the-shelf (and often highly parameterized) models, c) connect students with valuable tools and resources for obtaining data and finding/developing/coupling/calibrating/validating models, and d) give students hands-on experience with several models and data analysis tools.


Course objectives are the following:

1. Understand fundamental mathematical modeling principles, generalizations, and theories through reading and lecture.

2. Apply modeling theory, analysis, and critical evaluation through hands-on modeling exercises to improve problem conceptualization, model coupling, problem solving, and decision making.

3. Develop the technical skills needed by watershed sciences / atmospheric sciences / mathematics professionals.

4. Communicate and collaborate with scientists, modelers, and mathematicians in related, but distinct disciplines.

Objectives specific to the course WMT project are to:

1. Introduce students to the concept of plug-and-play modeling

2. Provide students hands-on experience working in with WMT

3. Have students explore several simple hypotheses with regard to landscape evolution using the CHILD model


September 1 - October 6, 2015

Models in use



The students used CSDMS CHILD lab exercises to develop parabolic hillslopes and explore the sensitivity of hillslope morphology to variations in parameter values. Secondly, students used CHILD to study landscape evolution of a simple block experiencing various rates of uplift and subsidence across a normal fault. Advanced students also studied the effects of different climatic forcing.


Patrick Belmont Instructor Simon Wang Instructor Sarah Null Instructor Luis Gordillo Instructor Eden Furtak Grad student Connor Penrod Grad student Bruce Call Grad student Mitchell Donovan Grad student Avik Mukherjee Grad student Sara Kelly  Grad student Colby Brungard Grad student Maggi Kraft Grad student Shannon Dixon Grad student Angus Vaughan Grad student Bimal Gyawali Grad student Todd Blythe Grad student Sammy Lyster Grad student Karthik Kumarasamy Post doc


This was a class at Utah State University.

Category:Lecture project