The Watershed Data concentration focuses on fusing data science skills and techniques with deep knowledge of the physical, chemical, social, and biological factors that affect the quantity and quality of water as it moves through ecosystems. Students will engage in field, laboratory, and classroom research in both watershed and data science courses, and graduate with a Minor in Applied Data Science in addition to their major. The program starts with students taking core foundational physical and mathematical courses that build towards an understanding of how to use watershed data to better understand watershed function and management. Core classes emphasize watershed science, data analysis, data science techniques, and combining these skills for dynamic research and reporting.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Articulate core concepts in watershed science and sustainability including climate processes, surface and subsurface hydrology, water quality, human uses of water, and sustainable water management.
  • Apply data science techniques to spatial and temporal datasets to address watershed and water resource problems.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret meteorological, hydrological, and water quality, water use and management data.
  • Analyze watershed problems and sustainability challenges using geospatial data, field observations, sensor data, and watershed models.
  • Demonstrate strong critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills.

Effective Fall 2022 

Freshman
AUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
CS 150BCulture and Coding: Python (GT-AH3)3B3
STAT 158Introduction to R Programming 1
WR 204/GR 204Sustainable Watersheds (GT-SC2)3A3
Select 4 credits from the following: 4
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)3A 
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A 
Select one course from the following: 4
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A 
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A 
Select one course from the following: 3-4
Physical Geography  
Introduction to Geology-Parks and Monuments (GT-SC2)3A 
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)3A 
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)3A 
Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers3A 
Select one course from the following: 4
Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion1C3
Electives 3
 Total Credits 31-32
Sophomore
 
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications 4
DSCI 369Linear Algebra for Data Science 4
NR 322Intro. to Geographic Information Systems 4
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science 4
Select one course from the following: 5
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Select one course from the following: 3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods  
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics  
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
Electives 3
 Total Credits 30
Summer 
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements 5
 Total Credits 5
Junior
Summer 
AREC 342Water Law, Policy, and Institutions 3
DSCI 335Inferential Reasoning in Data Analysis 3
STAT 341Statistical Data Analysis I 3
WR 416Land Use Hydrology4B3
WR 418Land Use and Water Quality 3
WR 474Snow Hydrology 3
WR 486Watershed Field Practicum 2
Select one course from the following: 3
Writing in the Disciplines: Sciences (GT-CO3)2 
Strategic Writing and Communication (GT-CO3)2 
Watershed Science Department List (see list below) 3
Historical Perspectives3D3
 Total Credits 29
Senior
 
WR 417Watershed Measurements 3
WR 440Watershed Problem Analysis4A,4B,4C3
Data Science Electives (see list below) 3
Watershed Science Department List (see list below) 6
Arts and Humanities3B3
Electives1,2 6-7
 Total Credits 24-25
 Program Total Credits: 120

Data Science Elective List 

Select a minimum of 3 credits from courses not taken elsewhere in the program. Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

AREC 335/ECON 335Introduction to Econometrics3
BZ 346Population and Evolutionary Genetics3
BZ 350Molecular and General Genetics4
BZ 425Conservation and Population Genomics3
CS 345Machine Learning Foundations and Practice3
ERHS 332Principles of Epidemiology3
ERHS 430Human Disease and the Environment3
ESS 330Quantitative Reasoning for Ecosystem Science3
F 321Forest Biometry3
FW 370Design of Fish and Wildlife Projects3
FW 401Fishery Science3
FW 455Principles of Conservation Biology3
FW 469Conservation and Management of Large Mammals3
FW 475Conservation Decision Making3
GEOL 454Geomorphology4
HDFS 350Applied Research Methods3
MKT 410Marketing Research3
NR 421Natural Resources Sampling3
PSY 250Research Design and Analysis I3
PSY 350Research Design and Analysis II3
RS 432Rangeland Measurements and Monitoring2
SOWK 300Research in Applied Professions3
STAT 305Sampling Techniques3
STAT 342Statistical Data Analysis II3

Watershed Science Department List

Select a minimum of 9 credits from courses not taken elsewhere in the program. Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

AREC 442Water Resource Economics3
ATS 350Introduction to Weather and Climate2
ATS 351Introduction to Weather and Climate Lab1
BSPM 445Aquatic Insects4
BZ 440Plant Physiology3
BZ 441Plant Physiology Laboratory2
BZ 471Stream Biology and Ecology3
BZ 472Stream Biology and Ecology Laboratory1
CHEM 334Quantitative Analysis Laboratory1
CHEM 335Introduction to Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 338Environmental Chemistry3
CIVE 322Basic Hydrology3
CIVE 330Ecological Engineering3
CIVE 413Environmental River Mechanics3
CIVE 423Groundwater Engineering3
CIVE 425Soil and Water Engineering3
CIVE 440Nonpoint Source Pollution3
ERHS 448Environmental Contaminants3
ESS 311Ecosystem Ecology3
ESS 312Sustainability Science3
ESS 471Special Topics in Ecosystem Sustainability1-6
ESS 474Limnology3
F 311Forest Ecology3
F 324Fire Effects and Adaptations3
FW 300Biology and Diversity of Fishes2
FW 301Ichthyology Laboratory1
GEOL 446Environmental Geology3
GEOL 452Hydrogeology4
GEOL 454Geomorphology4
GEOL 551Groundwater Modeling3
GEOL 552Advanced Topics in Hydrogeology2-3
GEOL 553Use of Tracers in Hydrogeology3
GES 470Applications of Environmental Sustainability3
GR 410Climate Change: Science, Policy, Implications3
GRAD 592Water Resources Seminar1
NR 310Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being3
NR 320Natural Resources History and Policy3
NR 323/GR 323Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation3
NR 370Coastal Environmental Ecology3
NR 422GIS Applications in Natural Resource Management4
NRRT 330Social Aspects of Natural Resource Management3
NRRT 362Environmental Conflict Management3
RS 478Ecological Restoration3
SOC 461Water and Social Justice3
SOCR 322Principles of Microclimatology3
SOCR 370Irrigation Principles2
SOCR 371Irrigation of Field Crops1
SOCR 440Pedology4
SOCR 500Environmental Measurement Laboratory1
WR 406Seasonal Snow Environments3
WR 492Seminar1-18
WR 575Snow Hydrology Field Methods1
1

Select enough elective credits to bring the program total to a minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 42 must be upper-division (300- to 400-level).

2

Completion of this major may satisfy requirements for a minor. Contact a Watershed Science advisor for more information.

Distinctive Requirements for Degree ProgramThis program assumes that students will either test out of or take the prerequisite Mathematics courses (MATH 117, MATH 118MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126) prior to the courses listed in this plan.
 

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 107 or 111Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)
X 3A4
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)X 1A3
MATH 155 or 160Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)
X 1B4
WR 204/GR 204Sustainable Watersheds (GT-SC2)X 3A3
 Total Credits   14
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 150BCulture and Coding: Python (GT-AH3)  3B3
STAT 158Introduction to R ProgrammingX  1
Select 4 credits from the following:X  4
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)  3A 
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)  3A 
Select one course from the following:X  3-4
Physical Geography    
Introduction to Geology-Parks and Monuments (GT-SC2)  3A 
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)  3A 
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)  3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)  3A 
Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers  3A 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion X1C3
Electives X 3
 Total Credits   17-18
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications   4
PH 121 or 141General Physics I (GT-SC1)
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)
X 3A5
STAT 301 or 315Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics
X  3
Electives X 3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
DSCI 369Linear Algebra for Data ScienceX 3C4
NR 322Intro. to Geographic Information SystemsX  4
SOCR 240Introductory Soil ScienceX  4
Social and Behavioral Sciences X3C3
WR 204/GR 204 must be completed by the end of SemesX   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and MeasurementsX  5
 Total Credits   5
Junior
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
STAT 341Statistical Data Analysis IX  3
WR 416Land Use HydrologyX 4B3
WR 474Snow HydrologyX  3
WR 486Watershed Field PracticumX  2
Select one course from the following:X  3
Writing in the Disciplines: Sciences (GT-CO3)  2 
Strategic Writing and Communication (GT-CO3)  2 
Specialized Professional Writing  2 
 Total Credits   14
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
AREC 342Water Law, Policy, and InstitutionsX  3
DSCI 335Inferential Reasoning in Data AnalysisX  3
WR 418Land Use and Water QualityX  3
Watershed Science Department List (see list on Concentration Requirements tab) X 3
Historical Perspectives X 3
 Total Credits   15
Senior
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
WR 417Watershed MeasurementsX  3
Data Science Electives (see list on Concentration Requirements tab) X 3
Watershed Science Department List (see list on Concentration Requirements tab) X 3
Electives   3-4
 Total Credits   12-13
Semester 9CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
WR 440Watershed Problem AnalysisX 4A,4B,4C3
Watershed Science Department List (see list on Concentration Requirements tab)   3
Arts and Humanities X3B3
Electives X 3
The benchmark courses for the 9th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   12
 Program Total Credits:   120