Watershed Science Certificate

The Watershed Science Certificate is designed for students interested in gaining a better understanding of the interactions among the physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect our watersheds and wetlands. Students pursuing the certificate take a range of courses that focus on water resources and watershed science. In addition to hydrology, students take at least one half-course in applied watershed science, and choose additional watershed science courses from a list that contains offerings in a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, forestry, geology, and environmental studies. Each student completes the Certificate with the Watershed Science Capstone course, a multidisciplinary, project oriented course in which students address issues related to two or more of the following topic areas: the interaction of biological processes and watershed function, chemical processes in streams and watersheds, the relationship between forested landscapes and hydrologic systems, or geological processes in terrestrial aquatic systems. The capstone project may be a semester project created solely for the capstone, or  may begin as a watershed-related summer internship project that is further developed by the student during an academic semester.

Students who obtain the Certificate will be better prepared to pursue graduate training in watershed science and other hydrologic disciplines, or to begin careers associated with watershed science and management.

Students deciding to pursue the certificate should contact one of the faculty members of the Watershed Certificate Organizing Committee to develop his or her study plan. The Organizing Committee is also available to help a student identify his or her area of emphasis and primary faculty supervisor for the ESci 430 Watershed Science Capstone; together the student and primary supervisor identify the second discipline and arrange to work with a faculty member in that area.

Watershed Certificate Organizing Committee

  • Professor Knoll, Forestry and Geology
  • Associate Professor McGrath, Biology
  • Assistant Professor White, Chemistry

Five-and-a-half courses required (these courses cannot be used to fulfill any degree requirements in the student’s major or minor).

Core Watershed Science courses required (10 semester hours)

  • Geol 314 / Fors 314: Hydrology
  • Either Geol 315: Watershed Contaminant Hydrology (half course, 2 hours) or Fors 260: Forest Watershed Measurements (half course, 2 hours)
  • ESci 430: Watershed Science Capstone

Additional Watershed Science coursework required (12 semester hours from the following)

  • Fors 262: Forest and Watershed Restoration
  • Fors 270: Water Resource Policy and Law
  • Fors 303 / Geol 303: Soils
  • Fors 305: Forest Ecology
  • Either Chem 211 (Environmental Analysis) or Chem 411 (Geochemistry of Natural Waters)
  • Biol 210: Ecology
  • Biol 235: Freshwater Conservation
  • Biol 237: Freshwater Biology
  • EnSt 217: Fundamentals of GIS or other GIS course, (half or full course, 2 or 4 hours)
  • EnSt 240: Island Ecology (summer program; only 4 hours count toward the Certificate)
  • EnSt 310: Comparative Watershed Studies (half course, 2 hours)
  • EnSt 311: Comparative Watershed Studies Field Course (summer; half course, 2 hours)
  • EnSt 317: Advanced Applications of GIS