Stream-Based Channel Assessments

Course Description

This course provides an introduction on how to recognize and classify channels based on their form and function. Students will learn how to recognize and measure important stream features and will practice field techniques for conducting standard field measurements.

The information learned in this course will help participants collect, analyze, and interpret meaningful stream morphology data that will provide insight into stream function and ecological stability of freshwater stream habitat.


Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and differentiate between stream types
  • Assess stream type using digital tools
  • Describe the relationship between the morphology and stability of a channel
  • Explain the key elements that promote lateral migration and scour within a stream
  • Measure channel parameters using digital tools
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately identify stream parameters
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately and effectively collect stream data while following appropriate safety procedures
  • Synthesize the data collected to demonstrate an understanding of channel function


Class: 1 day; Field 1.5 days

This course will be conducted over a two or three-day period. Participants must be prepared to work outside and in streams for extended periods of time. 



You Supply

Students are responsible for supplying their own personal equipment for the field-day, as outlined below. 


  • chest waders
  • foul weather gear
  • pen, pencil, paper, clipboard, ruler, calculator

Recommended (please bring your own, if you have it):

  • field vest
  • clinometer
  • rotary measuring tape
  • compass
  • foldable ruler

All other supplies and field equipment will be provided for you.

Upcoming Deliveries and Registration Information

See our program schedule for a list of all upcoming NREP course deliveries. If this course is not currently noted in the schedule, please contact to enquire about future opportunities. Prior to registering for any NREP course, please review the program's registration guidelines, including important cancellation and refund policy information.