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Integrated Watershed Management
Integrated Watershed Management.jpg
SOIL 515
Section: 001
Instructor: Sandra Brown
Office: MCML 156
Office Hours: By appointment
Class Schedule: Online course
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Integrated Watershed Management

Course Overview

Water resources are best examined and managed using a watershed framework, which allows for an integrated assessment of the processes and impacts of all types of land uses and human activities on water. It facilitates simple and cumulative effects assessments, water and contaminant modelling and mass-balance analysis of key factors that are responsible for effective ecosystem functions.

This course presents a comprehensive overview of the principles of integrated watershed management. It is intended for community leaders, professionals and graduate students interested in integrated water resource management. It is offered as a combined on-campus / online learning course using an online textbook which contains the course material, and the UBC Connect Learning Management System for class discussions, announcements and assignments, and a tutorial session for on-campus students.

The course is equivalent to a 3-credit graduate level course and students can register for UBC academic credit in SOIL 515.

The course has the following components:

  • A multimedia textbook that can be accessed online from your desktop and most mobile platforms (iOS, Android) - see "E-Textbook" section below.
  • Course information is posted on UBC Connect, including course announcements, discussion boards, links to resources, review questions, etc.
  • Assignments will be posted on UBC Connect.
  • Tutorial session for on-campus students; online moderated discussion sessions for off-campus students.

Course instructors:

SOIL 515 is offered in Winter Term 1.


As this is a graduate level course, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as environmental sciences, engineering, planning, geography, forestry or biology is recommended. Students with other backgrounds such as planning, economics and policy analysis might also find the course of interest but are advised that a large part of the course consists of scientific information and descriptions using quantitative analysis techniques. Academic or professional experience related to land and water resource management is desirable.

There are no course prerequisites.

For further interest, the Watershed Management course series also offers SOIL 516 - Urban Watershed Management, SOIL 518 - Water in International Development, and SOIL 520 - Agricultural Watershed Management.


The main readings for the SOIL 515 course are based upon the Integrated Watershed Management e-textbook. The e-textbook is designed so that it can be accessed through your web browser on your desktop and most mobile devices (iOS, Android). Access to the textbook will be emailed to registered students the first week of classes.

Assessment and Grading

Component Grading
Assignments (3) 45% of final mark
Final Examination - written 40% of final mark
Course Participation (tutorial or discussion) 15% of final mark

Note: for MLWS students and students registered in SOIL 515 that are on-campus, participation marks will be based on weekly tutorial sessions (Wednesday 4:30-6:00). Participation in the tutorial is required for MLWS students. For other students registered in SOIL 515 who have a class conflict or are off-campus, participation marks will be based on online discussion sessions. Contact if you have any questions.

Assignments: There are 3 assignments for this course which combined cover the major components of a watershed assessment and an initial assessment of potential management options. The assignments are project oriented, building on concepts covered in the course E-textbook and tutorial (or discussion) sessions.


Tutorial Discussion
MLWS students + on-campus SOIL 515 Off-campus SOIL 515 students (distance only version)
Weekly tutorials, Wednesdays 4:30-6:00 pm: including practical exercises, group work, concepts + Q&A 3 online discussion sessions, topics: water science, land-water interactions, water/watershed management

The final examination will be based on the materials presented in the online textbook, assignments and discussions throughout the term. The final exam will be a written examination scheduled during the December examination period (December 6-21, 2016). The date for the exam will be posted by UBC scheduling services and will be available through SSC mid-October.

All assignments and exams will be marked using the UBC grading scale. Final mark for UBC graduate credit = 3 credits.

Academic Integrity

The academic enterprise is founded on honesty, civility, and integrity. As members of this enterprise, all students are expected to know, understand, and follow the codes of conduct regarding academic integrity. At the most basic level, this means submitting only original work done by you and acknowledging all sources of information or ideas and attributing them to others as required. This also means you should not cheat, copy, or mislead others about what is your work. Violations of academic integrity (i.e., misconduct) lead to the breakdown of the academic enterprise, and therefore serious consequences arise and harsh sanctions are imposed. For example, incidences of plagiarism or cheating may result in a mark of zero on the assignment or exam and more serious consequences may apply if the matter is referred to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Careful records are kept in order to monitor and prevent recurrences.