Penn State's Graduate Option in Watershed Stewardship

by David R. DeWalle,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Management and Operations Management 2000


A Graduate Option in Watershed Stewardship has been created at Penn State with the objective of educating water resources students to implement team-oriented, interdisciplinary problem solving within the context of community-based watershed management planning projects. The program is a response to the growing need for watershed stewards to guide the large number of nonprofit watershed associations proliferating in the East and to manage land use change and urban/suburban growth specifically to minimize non-point source water pollution. The program was initiated jointly by the School of Forest Resources and the Department of Landscape Architecture through a newly-created Center for Watershed Stewardship with funding from a private foundation. The Graduate Option requires breadth coursework in each of four subject areas: 1) water resources science; 2) social science, public policy or economics; 3) humanities and 4) communications and analysis and two seminar courses. The program culminates in a year-long capstone course (Keystone Project) where the students work as a team with community leaders to develop a plan for a selected watershed in Pennsylvania. The graduate option can be added by either Masters or PhD students from a variety of academic programs. Funding is available for students and faculty affiliates within the program. The Graduate Option in Watershed Stewardship has been well received by students and is proposed as a convenient way to provide practical experience in watershed management planning for students from a variety of academic disciplines.

Subject Headings: Watersheds | Engineering education | Students | Graduate study | Water resources | Construction management | Water pollution | Pennsylvania | United States

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