Research activities undertaken by faculty specializing in hydrology within the Department of Forest Resources Management at the Faculty of Forestry provide scientifically based information, knowledge and expert advice to promote sound policies, solve urgent operational problems and provide a solid foundation on which to build sustainable forest and water resources management in British Columbia and elsewhere in the world. Faculty provide graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with balanced training between experimental and computational hydrology, field work and modelling, water quality and quantity, fundamental science and applied hydrology, physical/process-based and engineering hydrology.

Faculty utilize feedback mechanisms between field and computational research methods to advance the science and professional practice in hydrology. The approach is to make field measurements to test hypotheses, parameterize existing models, and build new model structures. However, a key element is the developed of models to better understand processes and design new field experiments.


Younes Alila
Forest Engineering, Hydrology

Associated Research Links

Watershed Hydrology Laboratory

Adjunct Faculty

Rita Winkler, MOF, Victoria

Research Staff 

Recent and Ongoing Research

  • Riparian processes and management (stream temperature, microclimate, woody debris dynamics);
  • Physical water quality (suspended sediment, temperature);
  • Understanding and modeling of the physical basis underlying the “nonlinear nature” of hydrologic processes;
  • Climate-glacier-streamflow relations;
  • Stream-hyporheic-groundwater interactions in headwater streams;
  • Runoff generation in headwater catchments;
  • Establishment of wireless sensor clusters to measure a range of variables for understanding watershed hydrological patterns;
  • The application of water “tracers” which measure the movement or pathways of water through the landscape.

Past and Current Projects

  • Forest management in interior British Columbia: moving beyond equivalent cut area. Project supported by BC Forest Science Program, Tembec, and BC Ministry of Forest.
  • Wireless sensor cluster for high-resolution spatial-temporal monitoring of water flow and solute transport in watersheds. Project funded by NSERC.
  • Tsitika River Sediment Budget project. Project supported by BC Forest Science Program.
  • Hydrologic decision making tools for sustainable forest management in rain dominated coastal BC watersheds. Project supported by BC Forest Science Program
  • An investigation into the effects of Mountain Pine Beetle effects on streamflow characteristics using the UBC Watershed Model. Project funded by BC Ministry of Forests.
  • Western Canadian Cryospheric Network. Project supported by Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science.
  • Climate change and low flows: influences of glaciers and groundwater. Project funded by the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations Research Network.
  • Ecology and management of riparian – stream ecosystems: a large-scale experiment using alternative streamside management techniques. Project funded by the Forest Science Program of BC.

To view a current list of graduate students and publications in each area of research, please click on the link of a faculty member listed above.