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Watershed Management (WM)

Faculty Coordinator: Tom Sanchez, Yang Zhang, Ralph Hall

In the 21st century, challenges that relate to watershed management and the need to protect water quantity and water quality will be intensified in Virginia and the nation, owing to increased water demand, changes in land-use, and other competing interests. Management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. Universities and colleges have a major responsibility to prepare future water and land managers to meet these challenges. Future water managers and decision makers need knowledge and training in natural science, technical assessment, economics, planning, and policy. In recent years, it has been recognized that the most effective approach of water resources is at the watershed scale with input from various stakeholders. Furthermore, there have been significant advances in understanding watershed science both in the natural and social sciences, and there is a national trend to integrate various facets of watershed studies in interdisciplinary programs.

The Watershed Management Certificate (WSMC) program integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. The program provides excellent opportunities for students from many disciplines to study watershed management and develop interdisciplinary skills necessary for effective professional work in this emerging field.

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category (PhD, MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree) can be admitted into the WSMC program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application. Acquiring the Certificate requires the completion of 11 credit hours. Students must complete the core class “Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy” and choose three other courses in Watershed Science and/or Watershed Analysis.