PhD programmes - Science and Technology
Home > Hydro Climatology and Paleohydrology

Hydro Climatology and Paleohydrology

Lecturers:  Glenn Tootle (University of Alabama); Giuseppe Formetta (UNITN/DICAM)

Timetable: May - June 2023 (to be confirmed)


Course Description: Students will examine hydrologic data (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow) and tree-ring data (proxies) and, when combining these datasets (Dendrohydrology), students will examine the past (paleo) variability of water. Students will participate in the collection (coring) of trees and an in-class lab on tree-ring cross dating. Students will gain knowledge in various statistical techniques including Stepwise Linear Regression and data filtering.

Course Goals: To provide students with exposure to diverse topics and crisscrossing science (Botany, Geography) and engineering. Students will be exposed to Dendrohydrology, Paleohydrology and Hydroclimatology. The course instruction is provided at an introductory level, thus, encouraging students from various Departments and Colleges to participate and expand their knowledge base. The introductory statistical methods are transformative and thus students can apply these methods to research efforts outside the focus areas. Students will examine new datasets, developing hypothesis and conduct research that supports (or opposes) such hypothesis.

Course Objectives: The faculty member will direct and mentor students and provide instruction on the topics identified in the Course Description.

  • Students will obtain (data mine) hydrologic and tree-ring datasets
  • Students will apply fundamental statistics to examine trends and variability of hydrology
  • Students will collect (core) tree-rings and examine their temporal variability (ring width)

Course Outcomes: At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast observed (measured, historic) data to that derived from tree-ring records. Does tree-ring derived (past) wet and dry periods exhibit more extremes than those in the historic record?
  • What are the climatic drivers of regional hydrology? What was the timing and hydrologic / climatic factors (e.g., excessive rainfall, snowpack melt, etc.) that caused extreme events?

Text and Journal Articles

• National Science Foundation (NSF), Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change (P2C2): Collaborative Research: NSF P2C2 - Paleo-perspectives of streamflow variability for Southeastern Interstate Rivers. The project description for the funded research award will be provided.

• Statistical Methods in Water Resources, 2002. United State Geological Survey. o Free textbook (

• Anderson, S., R. Ogle, G. Tootle and A. Oubeidillah, 2019. Tree-Ring Reconstructions of Streamflow for the Tennessee Valley. Hydrology, 6(2), 34;

Duration: 30 hours (4 credits)

Registration: in order to access the course please send an email to dicamphd [at]