We offer tailor-made and off-the-shelf workshops to fit the needs of each client. All of our workshops include a combination of classroom lectures and exercises, which are reinforced with field tours and activities. The workshops include real-world examples of stream assessment and restoration applications from a wide range of conditions, including: rural and urban watersheds, steep and low gradient streams, sand and gravel bed material, and others.

2024 Workshop Schedule

Natural Channel Design Review Checklist

April 15-19, 2024
Cleveland, Ohio

The workshop description, cost, and additional information is provided under each payment option. This information can be viewed before finalizing payment.

Debit Calculator Workshop

May 7-9, 2024
Madison, WI

Stream Functions Pyramid and Quantification Tool Workshop (In-Person)

September 9-13, 2024

Cleveland Metroparks’ Watershed Stewardship Center, 2277 West Ridgewood Drive Parma, OH 44134

Stream Quantification Tool Field Camp

September 30-October 4, 2024

Milwaukee, WI


Course Descriptions

This off-the-shelf workshop provides participants with training on how to use the Natural Channel Design Review Checklist that was published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The checklist was co-developed by Will Harman and Rich Starr.

The course starts with an overview of the checklist structure and document. Presentations and exercises (both classroom and field) are used to teach participants how to complete each section of the checklist. The presentations provide conceptual and background information needed to understand the purpose of the checklist question and section. The exercises apply the checklist to an actual natural channel design project, so that by the end of the fourth day the checklist has been completed. Ancillary presentations and exercises are used to provide participants with tools to identify fatal design flaws and flags that could indicate a potential for excessive maintenance. The last day of the workshop includes a field visit to a local natural channel design project. A complimentary site-inspection form is used to evaluate the project.

Who Should Attend?

This course is primarily for individuals who review stream restoration projects using the natural channel design approach; however, the concepts will help in the review of any restoration approach. A basic understanding of fluvial forms and processes is needed to get the most out of this workshop.

This course is for individuals involved in stream assessment and restoration/mitigation projects and provides a framework for assessing stream functions. Participants will learn that stream functions follow a hierarchical structure, which has been organized by the following categories: hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, physicochemical and biology. The course starts with lectures and exercises on stream functions following the Pyramid Framework and then moves into applications. Participants will work with function-based parameters, measurement methods, and associated performance standards.

Participants will also work with the Stream Quantification Tool (SQT) to calculate the difference between a restored and existing stream condition. Field data will be collected and enterted into the tool to determine the existing condition. Participants will then model the proposed condition to calculate functional lift.

Learn how the framework can be used to:

  • Improve project goal setting by focusing on stream functions rather than changes to dimension, pattern and profile;
  • Run the SQT to determine functional loss or gain; and,
  • Develop stream mitigation debit and credit determination methods.  

The workshop includes lectures, classroom exercises/discussion, and field exercises. 

Who Should Attend?

  • Members of Interagency Review Teams, In-Lieu Fee Providers and Mitigation Bankers
  • Federal, State and Local Agencies with regulatory responsibilities
  • Natural channel design and stream restoration practitioners

This course is for individuals who have taken the Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop and want further training on how to collect and enter field data into the Stream Quantification Tool (SQT). Three out of five full days will be spent collecting field data using both the rapid and detailed methods. One and a half days (plus an evening) will be spent processing the field data, entering it into the SQT, and playing with functional lift and loss scenarios. A review of the SQT and key metrics will be provided during the first half of day one.

This is an intense course. It is designed for scientists and engineers who plan to use the SQT on future projects. Most days will be spent in the field regardless of weather conditions (unless the conditions are unsafe). One evening will be spent processing data. And the course doesn't end until 5:00p on Friday. If you've had the pyramid course and like adventure, this course is for you. Here is a general overview of the week.

Day 1 - Rapid Assessment of Impacted Stream Reaches

Day 2 - Detailed Assessment of a Reference Stream

Day 3 - Classroom Day: Process and enter data into SQT. Play with scenarios

Day 4 - Detailed Assessment of a Restored Site. Process data and enter into SQT.

Day 5 - Rapid Assessment of a Restored Site. Process data and enter into SQT.

This off-the-shelf workshop series is designed for public agencies and private engineering firms who have secured a specific stream reach for a restoration project. The series includes four intensive workshops, all integrated into the restoration project. The workshop titles and description include:

Stream Assessment and Restoration Potential Workshop

The workshop provides intensive instruction on watershed condition assessments, baseline functional assessment based on the Stream Functions Pyramid, and the determination of restoration potential. The workshop is a mix of classroom lectures and field work on the project reach. In addition to the project reach, the workshop includes field work at gage stations and/or reference sites to partially develop watershed-specific regional curves, reference reach ratios and design criteria. The information generated by the workshop can be used to complete the design criteria, which is used to develop a natural channel design in the second workshop.

Natural Channel Design Workshop

The workshop provides intensive instruction on applying the natural channel design process to the project stream reach. The results from the function‐based assessment, restoration potential, and design criteria developed in the Stream Assessment and Restoration Potential Workshop are required to complete the design. Optional post‐workshop services include preparation of plan sheets and specifications that can be used to prepare final construction documents.

Construction Workshop

During the construction phase of the project, this workshop will provide instruction on key construction observation and inspection techniques. Participants will learn how to lay out in-stream structures, inspect channel dimensions, and affectively work with the contractor. An optional component includes working with local contractors to construct a natural channel design.

Project Monitoring and Adaptive Management Workshop

This workshop uses past demonstration projects to assess project performance and develop adaptive management plans. The workshop builds on the results of past off-the-shelf workshops, including the assessment, design, and construction workshops. Participants must have taken these three workshops in order to take this workshop. The monitoring will include cross sections, longitudinal profiles, bed material samples, vegetation assessments, and possibly macroinvertebrate and fish sampling. The data will be entered into spreadsheets to determine stability and functional condition trends since construction. Special focus will be given to determining if channel adjustments are within the natural range of variability or if adaptive management/maintenance is needed.

Workshop Description: The Debit Calculator and Stream Mitigation Workshop is targeted toward public and private entities who complete permit applications for stream impacts (e.g., DOTs and private consulting firms).

The course provides attendees with a mix of classroom instruction, data collection and processing, and an overview of stream mitigation policy used by the host state. The field component includes the rapid stream assessment method to assess degraded and reference-condition sites. The classroom portion then uses the Debit Calculator to predict the functional loss based on a variety of impact scenarios. Participants will learn how to collect data, process the data, enter field values into the Debit Calculator, and then calculate functional loss. These methods will help practitioners regardless of the SQT and Debit Calculator that they use, i.e., it is applicable to all states using a Debit Calculator. The mitigation policy portion of the workshop will focus on the state hosting the workshop.

Prerequisite: This course is only offered to participants who have already taken the Stream Functions Pyramid and Quantification Tool Workshop.

Sample Agenda

Day 1: Review key concepts / metrics and rapid site assessment of a degraded stream.

Day 2: Process rapid data and complete second site assessment of a reference-condition stream.

Day 3: Process field data, model functional loss scenarios, and discuss mitigation procedures.

Who Should Attend: This is an advanced course designed for regulators, scientists, and engineers who have completed the Stream Functions Pyramid and Quantification Tool Workshop and plan to use the Debit Calculator in the field or to review project submittals.