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Hydroacoustic Training

The USGS offers a variety of training opportunities in hydroacoustics.  Available options include formal (in-person or virtual) training classes, short courses, workshops and web-based seminars.  Formal training options are scheduled annually and include basic, intermediate and topic-specific classes such as index-velocity and mid-section measurement methods.  

Hydroacoustic Training Classes 

The following classes have been developed by the USGS for the purpose of training users on a variety of hydroacoustics applications. These classes are offered at least once per year. The schedule for training classes for the next 12 months is published in late August. The USGS also provides training to other agencies, including Environment Canada, Environment Agency of England and Wales, New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the Swedish Meteorologic and Hydrologic Institute, and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. 

Course Descriptions 

Streamflow Measurement using ADCPs 

Introduces the use of both SonTek/YSI and Teledyne/RDI ADCPs for moving-boat streamflow measurements. USGS employees are required to attend this class for routine operation of ADCPs. The class combines lectures and hands-on use of ADCP's for collecting streamflow. The emphasis is on the practical aspects of using ADCP's for streamflow measurements. Topics that will be covered during the course include (1) basic principles of ADCP operation, (2) instrument configuration, (3) data collection procedures, (4) data processing and review, and (5) troubleshooting problems encountered in the field. USGS policy requires that ADCP operators attend this class before routinely using ADCPs. The class has an online portion (approx. 8 hours) that must be successfully completed prior to attendance. The week-long classroom portion starts at 1PM on Monday and ends by noon on Friday. 

Streamflow Measurements With ADCPs Refresher 

This two-day course will review essential methods and skills necessary for the use of hydroacoustics and also go over new developments regarding the latest hardware, software and procedures for moving boat ADCP measurements. Both Teledyne RD Instruments and SonTek/YSI hardware and software are covered along with the latest USGS software used with ADCP measurements. Streamflow Measurements Using ADCPs, is a prerequisite. By the end of this course, you should be able to: 1) Track available resources for keeping up-to-date and getting answers to hydroacoustic related issues, 2) understand the latest ADCP measurement procedures, 3) collect and finalize an ADCP moving boat measurement using the latest versions of SonTek RiverSurveyor Live with a M9/S5, and TRDI WinRiver II software with a Rio Grande, StreamPro and RiverRay ADCP, 4) use USGS software to electronically document notes for  ADCP measurements and import WinRiver II and RiverSurveyor Live files, 5) determine optimal profile extrapolation methods, based on site conditions, and collected data, and 6) recognize most common measurement issues, potential remedies, and evaluate their effect on measurement quality. This course is provided at local USGS Water Science Centers (WSC). Classes are scheduled based on WSC demand and availability of instructors. The cost for up to 12 students is $2000 which covers class materials and salary of one instructor. Instructor travel is not included in the cost. Please contact Mike Rehmel and Travis Knight for more information on scheduling. 

Intermediate Streamflow Measurements Using ADCPs 

This 5-day course is designed to expand on basic ADCP principles, while covering the latest in instrumentation, techniques, methods, and policies for both SonTek/YSI and Teledyne/RDI equipment. on the class focuses on in-depth data review and measurement quality, providing an excellent opportunity for questions on specific issues the student has encountered. ADCP discharge measurements in moving bed conditions are covered in detail including use of GPS, loop method corrections, and multiple stationary moving bed corrections. Some time is spent collecting data in the field. Hydrographers who collect or review ADCP discharge measurements could benefit from the shared knowledge in this class. Note: this is not a substitute for the introductory class, Streamflow Measurements Using ADCP, which is a requirement for USGS personnel who collect ADCP data (OSW memo 2002.02), but is intended for users that already have some ADCP experience. 

Streamflow Measurement Computation with ADCPs and Midsection Methods 

This 5-day class introduces students to the use of the mid-section method for streamflow measurements. The class combines lectures and hand's-on use of ADCP's for collecting streamflow using the mid-section method. The emphasis of this course will be on the practical aspects of using ADCP's for mid-section streamflow measurements. Some of the topics that will be covered during the course include: 

  1. Basic principles and procedures for mid-section ADCP measurements,  

  1. Use of various software packages for collection, processing, and review of mid-section measurements 

  1. Basic troubleshooting of problems encountered in the field. 

Streamflow Record Computation using ADVM's and Index-velocity Methods 

This 5-day class will provide an introduction to the use of acoustic Doppler velocity meters (ADVM's) for computation of continuous records of streamflow. Meters that will be discussed include ADVM's such as the SonTek/YSI Argonaut SL, SW, and XRs, TRDI’s ChannelMaster, and Nortek EZQs. The SonTek/YSI ADVMs will be discussed in detail. This training will concentrate on the development of index-velocity ratings for the production of streamflow records from velocity and stage data. Equipment used to make index velocity measurements will be discussed, but this will not be the focus of the class. Topics that covered during the class include: (1) basic principles of ADVM operation; (2) site selection, instrument installation and configuration considerations; (3) development and evaluation of index-velocity and stage-area ratings; (4) streamflow record computation; and (5) quality-assurance methods. The class will include lectures and "hands-on" exercises, such as developing ratings using real data and producing streamflow records from the data using the NWIS-TS/Aquarius. 

Velocity Mapping and Bathymetry with ADCPs 

This week-long class is designed to provide ADCP users with the skills, resources, and techniques necessary for velocity mapping and bathymetric surveys with ADCPs. Students will learn how to plan and execute surveys through several days of classroom and field work. Data collected by the students will be analyzed and exported in a range of formats for delivery to cooperators, modelers, and the general public. Attendees should have completed the USGS class, Streamflow Measurement Using ADCPs, before attending this class. It is recommended that the attendees have some familiarity with hydrographic surveying/navigation software and have it loaded on their laptop for class use. This might include a version of HyPack, Fugawi, ArcGIS10, or other software allowing real-time navigation display. 


Class Policies 


Attendance to USGS training classes is limited to USGS employees and cooperating agencies. USGS cannot provide training to private-sector personnel except in very rare circumstances. USGS cooperators and other agencies may attend if they have a current funding agreement with a USGS office and if space is available. Attendance to most classes is typically limited to 16 students, except for the ADCP refresher class. Some offerings of the Streamflow Measurement using ADCPs class accommodate as many as 24 students. Priority is given to scientists who are actively engaged in use of hydroacoustic instruments and methods. A cancellation fee of 75% of the tuition will be assessed if a student cancels after the class roster is finalized. 


Attendees must complete pre-class activities. Class pre-requisites may include reading assignments, loading, and testing the necessary software, and verifying proper versions and updates of such software. In addition, each student attending the Streamflow Measurements Using ADCPs class must commit to making at least 2 discharge measurements within 2 months of class completion. The post-class measurements must be submitted and successfully reviewed by a USGS ADCP class instructor. Attendees for each of the classes will be required to have basic PC computer skills, including rudimentary knowledge of how to use Windows programs, edit files with a text editor, etc. 


Other Training 

The USGS provides several other opportunities for training, in addition to formal courses. These include some Web-based training, workshops, and short courses offered periodically. 

Wading Discharge Measurements (Flowtracker) 

A CD-ROM based training class called Measurement of Stream Discharge by Wading, was developed by K. Michael Nolan and Ronald R. Shields. This course contains a section that covers the use of the Flowtracker for making wading discharge measurements. 

Hydroacoustics Workshops 

The goal of hydroacoustics workshops is to provide an opportunity for a diverse audience to learn about recent developments in hydroacoustics and successful tools and techniques employed by others as it relates to the measurement of velocity, streamflow, and sediment concentrations. The workshops are sponsored by the USGS and attract a wide audience from other water-resources agencies and international organizations. 

Short Courses 

The USGS offers short courses, often in conjunction with the Hydroacoustics Workshop and meetings such as regional data conferences. These short courses are announced in conjunction with these conferences. They include such topics as "Techniques for Reviewing ADCP Discharge Measurements", "Complex Index Velocity Ratings", "StreamPro Policies and Procedures", "Use of Flowtracker", and "Best Practices for ADCP Measurements". 


Training Class Registration   

In order to register for a class, USGS personnel should login to DOI Talent and search for the course name in the course catalog. Click the green Enroll button to enroll in a course, then select a specific class date and "Request Appoval". After your supervisor approves the course, wait to hear from the instructor after registration closes. Direct links in the table below may be used to access the related course after logging in to DOI Talent. 

USGS Cooperators may register for a class by completing the non-USGS Course Application form. Cooperators will need to provide correspondence from the local USGS Water Science Center stating that you are a cooperator and why it is in the USGS interest for you to attend the class. Please note, USGS students will be given priority if enrollment exceeds class capacity. 

Classes are setup in DOI Talent with an initial roster maximum of 16 students. If a class you wish to attend is listed as full, please continue with your registration. Additional students that register, after the first 16, will be placed on a wait list. After registration closes, class roster will be finalized. Typically, final class size will be between 18 and 24 students. Some of the students initially placed on the wait list will make the final roster. 

The cost for each in-person course is \$1,300. The cost for each Virtual Training Course is \$900. A cancellation fee of 75% of the tuition will be assessed if a student cancels after the class roster is finalized.


Current Hydroacoustic Training Schedule 

Course Code Course Name Course Dates Location Contact  Closes
SW1321 Intermediate Streamflow Measurements

using ADCP's
1/22/24 - 1/26/24 Houston, TX Jeff East 11/8/23
WNRM-20-011 Mid-section Streamflow Measurements

using ADCP's
3/18/24 - 3/22/24 Asheville, NC John Mazurek  1/5/24
SW1321 Intermediate Streamflow Measurements

using ADCP's
3/18/24 - 3/22/24 Orlando, FL Nick Stasulis 1/17/24

Intermediate Streamflow Measurements

using ADCP's

4/15/24 - 4/19/24 Louisville, KY Shawn LeMaster 2/1/24
SW1319 Streamflow Record Computation using

ADVM's and Index-Velocity Methods
4/15/24 - 4/19/24 Baton Rouge, LA Peyton Hendrix 2/1/24

Refresh and Advance: Streamflow Record

Computations using ADVMs and

Index-Velocity Methods

4/22/24 - 4/26/23 Iowa City, IA

Travis Knight

SW1321 Streamflow Measurements using ADCP's 5/13/24 - 5/17/24 Iowa City, IA Jason McVay 3/1/24

Mid-section Streamflow Measurements

using ADCP's 

6/10/24 - 6/14/24 Boise, ID Travis Knight 4/12/24
SW1321 Streamflow Measurements using ADCP's 6/24/24 - 7/28/24 Troy, NY Chany Huddleston-

SW1321 Streamflow Measurements Using ADCP's 7/15/24 - 7/19/24 Boise, ID Mike Beardsley 5/1/24
SW1321 Streamflow Measurements Using ADCP's 8/12/24 - 8/16/24 Augusta, ME Nick Stasulis 6/9/24

Streamflow Record Computation

using ADVM's and Index-velocity Methods 

9/16/24 - 9/20/24 Salt Lake City, UT Mike Freeman 7/1/24