Modern Hydrographer Training – YouTube Channels, Google Classroom & e-Learning Resources
Water monitoring is a place-based activity. The work is wherever the water is, which is all over the planet.
A stream hydrographer can cover a very large geographic area so regional offices typically only concentrate a small number of hydrographers at any one location and there are many locations. Water monitoring agencies have limited resources available to develop specialized training material or to send hydrographers on specialized courses so the most prevalent mode of career development is on-the-job training.
A stream hydrographer trained in one part of the world should be able to measure and monitor water in any part of the world.
Differences in processes and procedures or units of measure are small with respect to the physics of flow and fundamental principles of sampling and measurement of water.
Whereas on-the-job training is very practical, the global distribution of qualified trainers is generally inadequate especially during the demographic shift the industry is currently experiencing.
Evan Baddock from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has a good idea. Online Training can make training resources equally available to everyone everywhere in the world. Services like Google Classroom could be employed to provide quizzes and test sections, and enable sign-off by a supervisor.
There is some progress already being made within agencies like NIWA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to develop and publish online training resources.
NIWA e-Learning is a Youtube channel targeted at New Zealand hydrology, but useful for anyone in the world, with an option to subscribe to the e-learning training videos. Hydrotube is a USGS training video resource with chapters on software, surface water rating curves, ADCP midsection method, and groundwater technical procedures.
There are probably other e-learning resources out there that I am not aware of. It is true that you can’t trust everything you learn on the internet but I’m pretty sure we can trust content developed and curated by NIWA and USGS.
Ideally, trusted agencies like USGS and NIWA will eventually consider managing these resources as an online hydrometric career development progression. Accreditation from an e-school in water monitoring would greatly assist in improving water monitoring competencies around the world.