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Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology

HydroLearn Training Workshop and Hackathon Learning Module Development to Support CIROH Diverse Education and Workforce Development

Principal Investigator: David Tarboton
Research Team: Deanna McCay, Emad Habib, Melissa Gallagher, Courtney Di Vittorio, Cat Maiorca, Micah Bruce-Davis
Insitution: Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUASHI), University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Houston, Wake Forest University, Oklahoma State University
Start Date: June 1, 2023 | End Date: May 31, 2024
Research Theme:

To support the educational and workforce development mission of CIROH we will design and conduct a HydroLearn workshop and module development hackathon to develop 12 online learning modules on topics relevant to CIROH’s themes, identified in conjunction with the USGS, NOAA and CIROH. CIROH research will involve the training of many students, who will become the future workforce. Therefore, there is an opportunity and need to collaboratively develop and share learning material across CIROH institutions. The learning modules developed through this project will increase the impact of students’ research while exposing them to real world skills in operational hydrology. The workshop will use the HydroLearn platform ( and its pedagogical model to develop and adapt educational material across CIROH institutions, thereby elevating the level of learning across the community serving the field of operational hydrology.

The goal of this project is to develop educational and training resources that support the education and workforce development mission of CIROH. NOAA and USGS staff will be engaged as professional advisors to ensure consistency with CIROH’s research-to-operation mission. Faculty at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be recruited to ensure that the modules reach a diverse student population. The project will include a dedicated effort to disseminate the modules throughout the CIROH network and the broader water science community through a multitude of activities such as: webinars, social media events, and sessions during AGU, CUAHSI and CIROH’s meetings.

The workshop will start with a 1.5-day in-person meeting (likely in conjunction with the CIROH developer and users conference in May or June 2024) where the faculty participants, the instruction team, and CIROH-NOAA/USGS personnel can meet and begin planning the modules. This in-person meeting would be followed by a virtual, 8-day hackathon over a 3-week period. Each day faculty participants will spend 2–4 hours receiving training on the development of teaching content using research-based pedagogical approaches, 3–5 hours working in pairs on module development, and 1 hour receiving feedback from the workshop instructors and their peers. The work time will follow an iterative design approach with multiple sharing points and check-ins with other participants and the HydroLearn instruction team. Representative members from CIROH, NOAA, and USGS, will be invited to attend some of the workshop sessions to hear how the module development is progressing and give feedback to ensure the modules are following a research-to-operation approach. There will be two virtual post-workshop meetings where participants present their completed modules to the CIROH, NOAA, USGS, and broader hydrology education community (through CUAHSI), to disseminate the new modules and increase their adoption. The final modules will be deployed and shared on the HydroLearn web-based platform to ensure wide dissemination and usability across the CIROH institutions and the broader hydrologic and water prediction community.