5-Day River Styles Short Course (Accreditation)

5-Day River Styles® Short Course

For Accreditation



The River Styles® framework provides a catchment-framed geomorphic summary of river character and behaviour, condition and recovery potential. The explanatory and predictive bases of this procedure provide a rigorous physical basis for river management decision making.

This five day Short Course was specifically developed as a training course for postgraduates and river professionals. It has been run successfully for over 15 years in Goulburn, NSW. Over 300 individuals have participated in the courses to date. Participants in previous courses have included Scientific, Policy and Planning staff from National, State and Local Governments, river consultants, Landcare/Rivercare officers, ecologists, postgraduate students, etc.

The course provides detailed analysis of Stage 1 of the River Styles framework (Baseline Survey of River Character and Behaviour), with insights into Stages 2-4 (Assessment of River Condition, Assessment of Recovery Potential and the Biophysical Basis for Prioritisation of Management Programs). Through lecture presentations, look-see field visits to a range of different River Styles®, and practical air photograph interpretation and field analyses, linkages between river forms and processes are explained for various geomorphic units. Procedures used to amalgamate these geomorphic units into River Styles® are demonstrated.

The intent of the River Styles® short course is NOT to provide fundamental training in fluvial geomorphology. Rather, through demonstration and practical application of the River Styles® framework, participants will develop an understanding of the underpinnings of this approach to river characterisation within a catchment. From this, participants will be able to interpret and use the results from the River Styles® framework as a physical template for better-informed decision-making about river rehabilitation and various other aspect of water resources (and aquatic ecosystem) management (e.g. environmental flow allocation, aquatic habitat assessment, prioritization etc.).


Aims of the course

To outline background principles of fluvial geomorphology
To demonstrate the use of geomorphology as a physical template for river management
To develop a working knowledge of the River Styles framework
To demonstrate how to identify and interpret the character and behaviour of River Styles
To identify River Styles and undertaken practical exercises in a local catchment
To discuss controls on downstream patterns of River Styles
To provide insight into he geomorphic condition and recovery potential of River Styles
To demonstrate linkages between River Styles and habitat associations along river courses

To discuss the implications of the procedure to river rehabilitation and waterways management

Quality control is a significant issue, and an accreditation procedure has been established through Access MQ.


Course timeline


The course begins at 8 am on a Monday morning, and concludes at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon.

  • Introduction to fluvial geomorphology, presented by Professor Gary Brierley and Associate Professor Kirstie Fryirs


  • Short introduction to the River Styles framework
  • Field assessment of various River Styles between Goulburn and Nowra


  • Hands-on exercises on aerial photograph interpretation of River Styles and identification of River Styles boundaries


  • Field analysis of sites at which aerial photograph analysis has been performed
  • Interpretation of downstream patterns of River Styles


  • Geomorphic assessment of river evolution and condition. Assessment task.
  • Use of the River Styles framework in river management practice


Course details


Duration: 5 days, generally Monday to Friday, 8 am – 5 pm

Presented by: Prof. Gary Brierley and A/Prof. Kirstie Fryirs

Venue: Goulburn, NSW

Cost: Between AU$3,000 and AU$3,500 (inclusive of GST), including textbooks “Geomorphology and River Management” and “Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems“.

  • A maximum of 20-25 participants will be accepted. Positions will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Those on the waiting list will receive first preference.
  • Please note conditions of cancellation and refund on the registration form.

Price includes:

  • Tuition, field booklet, site visits and bus hire, field costs and materials, venue, morning and afternoon teas.

Price excludes:

  • Travel to and from Goulburn
  • Accommodation in Goulburn
  • Main meals


Further information


To be placed on the mailing list for the next River Styles Short Course or to obtain further information please email info@riverstyles.com.