First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7078878, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
AV2091, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track FOREST AND NATURE FOR THE FUTURE [002LE]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SPECIAL TOPICS IN FORESTRY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/05 Forestry and Silviculture 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 3.0 24 51.0 No turn
Lecture 3.0 24 51.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 GATTO PAOLA (Presidente)
BORGA MARCO (Membro Effettivo)
1 Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 LAWRENCE ANNA (Presidente)
GATTO PAOLA (Membro Effettivo)
SECCO LAURA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: None
Target skills and knowledge: This course aims to provide an introduction to applied hydrology and water resources management, with a particular attention to water prediction models (rainfall-runoff models) and the behaviour of catchments under change (i.e., impacts of changes such as afforestation or deforestation and climate change on water resources quantification and management). It covers the main processes in hydrological sciences, data processing in hydrology and modelling for water predictions in operational hydrology and applied research.
The course is built around a set of hydrological applications useful to society, particularly in the field of floods and drought. It includes role play games on the use of predictions to make decisions related to water and risk management in hydrology. Key concepts related to integrated water management are introduced: e.g., policy, governance, economic value, virtual water and trading, nature-based solutions for hydrometeorological risk reduction.
The course relies on lectures, interactive classroom activities and practical work on computer, where students will engage in model calibration and validation, and in the evaluation of model predictions.
Students will be able to understand how the modelling tools of applied hydrology are designed to capture the main hydrological processes. They will learn how models are calibrated and validated to provide water predictions for different applications and stakeholders’ needs. They will engage in model sensitivity analysis, with a focus on the role of forest recovery and/or climate (precipitation and temperature) changes.
Examination methods: Class exercises, written report and oral presentation of a group project (2 students per group) on the impact of evolving watershed conditions (e.g., afforestation or deforestation, climate change) on the quantification of water resources.
Assessment criteria: The final mark will be the weighted average of 3 evaluation criteria:
1. Active participation in lectures and during class exercises (20%)
2. Written project presentation: ability to explore data and succinctly present modelling results (40%)
3. Oral project presentation: ability to share and discuss results with others (40%)
Course unit contents: The specific topics of the course is: “Dynamic hydrology: water prediction and management in a changing world”
The course is organised in four modules:
1. Introduction to hydrology and hydrological processes: basic concepts and common misconceptions; key concepts in integrated water management.
2. Data and modelling: data collection and processing in hydrology; hydrological model conceptualization, building and setup.
3. Calibration and validation of hydrological models: main techniques and impact of modelling choices on predictions; making water-related management decisions based on model predictions
4. Understanding the behaviour of model predictions when catchments undergo land use or climate changes: group project work on sensitivity analysis (groups will work on different case studies and present their results to the class)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The main topics are presented through lectures (ppt presentations). Learning methods comprise also exercises in class, readings and classroom discussions, and learning through role play games. Moreover, the group project work will include case-study analysis, as well as the discussion of results and knowledge sharing in class.
Additional notes about suggested reading: PPT presentations and list of readings, including scientific papers, will be provided.
The airGRteaching package, free and open-source package dedicated to teaching hydrological modelling, will be used. It is available on all platforms (Linux, Mac OS & Windows) and provides a graphical interface to help students exploring data and model results without the need for programming skills. An introduction to and getting started with session on the package will be included in the course to facilitate the use of hydrological models in the group project work.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Maidment David R., Handbook of Hydrology. --: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1993. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dingman S. Lawrence, Physical Hydrology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc., 2002. Second Edition 2002 Cerca nel catalogo
  • --, --. --: --, --. Additional short texts and references will be provided during the course