The Major Program
Hydrology is the study of the occurrence, distribution, circulation, and behavior of water and water-borne materials in the environment of Earth. It includes practical measurement and technical analysis of water phenomena underground, on the Earth's surface, and in the atmosphere. Contemporary hydrologic problems include environmental restoration, sustainability of groundwater and surface water resources, water pollution, and natural disasters such as floods, droughts, landslides, avalanches, and land subsidence. The management of these problems demands hydrologic scientists with the comprehensive, interdisciplinary education embodied in this program. Beyond its societal utility, hydrology can be an exciting science for the curious-minded. Hydrologists explore natural phenomena such as climate change, waterfalls, health of coral reefs, biogeochemical cycles, and aquifers.
A hydrologist needs a strong background across the basic sciences of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Breadth of understanding comes from exposure to ecology, geology, engineering, policy, and law. Depth of experience is provided by core hydrology courses, internship opportunities, and practical outdoor training. Students choose electives to match their interests and career goals. Transfer students should have completed as much as possible of the preparatory subject matter listed below.
Internships and Career Alternatives
Job opportunities in hydrology exceed the available supply of trained hydrologists. Students commonly obtain internships and jobs with state and federal agencies, private consulting firms, environmental interest groups, irrigation districts, and utility companies. Federal agencies hiring hydrologists include the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Fish & Wildlife, Agricultural Research, Forest Service, and National Resource Conservation Service), Environmental Protection Agency, and national research laboratories (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). State and local agency employers include California's Departments of Water Resources, Conservation, Fish & Game, and Toxic Substances as well as the Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards. To obtain higher levels of responsibility and salary, hydrologists often seek advanced degrees, and the hydrology major is designed to provide students with a highly competitive education to get into graduate school.
Lead Faculty Advisor
Isaya Kisekka (Land, Air & Water Resources)
Hydrology Major Advisor
1150 PES Building
|Preparatory Subject Matter
|Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
|Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
|Physical Geology Laboratory
|Engineering Problem Solving
|Introduction to Programming
|Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal
|Depth Subject Matter
|Introduction to Fluid Mechanics for Civil & Environmental Engineers
Equivalent of either.
|Choose ECI 114 or STA 130 series:
|Probabilistic Systems Analysis for Civil & Environmental Engineers
| Mathematical Statistics: Brief Course
and Mathematical Statistics: Brief Course
|or HYD 151
|Field Methods in Hydrology
|Water Policy & Law
|Resource & Environment Policy Analysis
|Water Policy & Politics
|Water Science & Management
|GIS & Remote Sensing
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
|Environmental Analysis using GIS
|Aerial Photo Interpretation & Remote Sensing
|Environmental Remote Sensing
|Irrigation Systems & Water Management
|Evapotranspiration Principles, Measurement & Modeling
|Water Science & Design
|Hydrogeology & Contaminant Transport
|Depth Subject Matter Subtotal
|Upper division courses to supplement or expand areas of student interest selected with approval of advisor.
|Restricted Courses Subtotal