Associate Professor

Associate Professor
Room EV1-310, ext. 35490

S2019 Office Hours: 9:30-10:15am MondaysJohn Beebe

John joined the Department in 2017 after a long career in the private sector. His research interests are in integrated fluvial geomorphology and urban stormwater management as well as impacts from resource extraction on surface/groundwater interactions. His research relies on both detailed field investigations and numerical modelling.

Student Supervision

As of his return to academe John has not recruited graduate students but has in the past supervised and acted as external committee member in the fields of fluvial and aeolian geomorphology, urban stormwater management, civil and environmental engineering, and fish habitat restoration. Examples include:


The Geomorphologic Implications of Surface Water-Taking for Irrigation on Stream Systems in Southern Ontario (MSc Thesis Supervisor)

ISO14001 Integration with the FEP in Ontario (MA: Committee Member)

Glacial Geomorphic Processes in Iceland (Graduate Independent Studies Supervisor)


Dion, K. C. Channel morphology and distribution of juvenile salmon habitat in the Ste-Marguerite River following the Saguenay flood of 1996. M. Sc. Thesis, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. 1997.

Ness, R. An evaluation of natural channel design applications in Southwestern Ontario. M. Sc. Eng. Thesis, University of Guelph, Faculty of Engineering. 2001.

McMullen, R. A parcel-based GIS approach to watershed management in Ontario. MA Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Guelph. 2002.

Pfeiffer, Zoe. Post-glacial development of sand dunes in the Prairie Provinces of Canada. MSc Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Guelph. 2002.

Brown, Laura. PhD Qualifying Exams, External Examiner. Department of Geography, University of Guelph, 2002.

Ford, James. PhD Qualifying Exams, Committee Member. Department of Geography, University of Guelph, 2003.

Glasbergen, K.  Entrapment of Cohesive Sediments in Coarse Gravel Bed Streams. M. Sc. Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Waterloo, 2013.


The Use of Stormwater Retention Ponds in Water Quality Remediation (BA)

Spatial variability of suspended sediment in Southern Ontario rivers (BA)

Saturation and shear strength in soils (BA)

Long-term water quality and stream flow response trends following partial urbanization of a small rural catchment (BA)

National park policy and its failure in Banff National Park (BA)

Impact assessment of development on discharge and pollution loads in streams with headwaters in the Oak Ridges moraine (BA)

Tornado warning systems in Ontario and the US: A comparative study of effectiveness (BA)

Effects of coarse woody debris on sediment transport, Silver Creek, Ontario (Undergraduate Independent Research Studies Supervisor)

Coarse woody debris impacts on velocity profiles: a flume study (Undergraduate Independent Research Studies Supervisor)

Evaluating the effectiveness of riparian buffers on stream morphology and function (Undergraduate Independent Research Studies Supervisor)

Use of ADV technology to track micro-variation pulses in stream flow: a flume study (Undergraduate Independent Research Studies Supervisor)

Development and testing of a free-energy source of electricity, Iceland glacial outwash fields (Undergraduate Independent Research Studies Supervisor)

Recent Courses Taught

GEOG201: Fluvial Geomorphology

GEOG368/PLAN341: Conservation of Resources in the Built Environment

GEOG/PLAN453: Urban Stormwater Management

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the interaction between fluvial geomorphology and land use change (both for urban residential/commercial development as well as resource extraction). In both cases, a focus on the changing timing and volume of runoff and how these changes affect water quality are key.

Fundamental to my research is the understanding of cause and effect. A great deal of my work stems from forensic assessments of large-scale events to aid in understanding of the conditions that led to the event as well as addressing possible ways to mitigate potential problems before they occur. This requires field and analytical assessment and modelling; John has used emerging technologies to aid in this work (ie UAV’s, LiDAR, and remote sensing.

Recent Publications

In the private sector I have written over 450 reports, design drawings, and technical memos. Prior to that, I published the following in academic journals:

Beebe, J. T. 2003. Evidence of micro-rotational cells in fluid flow and their possible implications for sediment transport. Physical Geography 24(2):153-169.

Beebe, J. T. 2001. Flow disturbance caused by cross-stream oriented coarse woody debris. Physical Geography 22(3):222-236.

Beebe, J. T. 2000. Flume studies on the effect of perpendicular log obstructions on flow patterns and bed topography. The Great Lakes Geographer, 7(1):9-25.

Beebe, J. T. 1999. ISO 14001 and world markets. Spectrum 26(4).

Beebe, J. T. 1999. Sustainability and ISO 14001. Spectrum 26(3).

Beebe, J. T. 1999. Environmental and business benefits of ISO 14001. Spectrum 26(2).

Beebe, J. T. 1999. The ISO 14000 Standards. Spectrum 26(1).

Beebe, J. T. 1998. ISO 14000 Environmental management systems: The new kid on the block. Spectrum 25(5).

Beebe, J. T. 1996. Fluid speed variability and the importance to managing fish habitat in rivers. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 12(1):63-79.       

Hewitt, K., H. C. Saunderson, J. T. Beebe and R. S. Pyrce. 1993.  Geomorphology of South-Central Ontario: A field excursion guidebook. 3rd Int. Geomorphology Conference, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Bellamy, K., J. T. Beebe, H. C. Saunderson and J. G. A. Imhof 1991. River morphology, sediments and fish habitats: The problem and strategic basis for management. Int. Assoc. of Hyd. Sciences, Publication 210, p.309-314.

University of Waterloo

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