The Watershed Science concentration focuses on the physical, chemical, social, and biological factors that affect the quantity, quality, and flux of water through engagement in the field, laboratory, and classroom. Students begin their program with core courses that build a strong foundation in the physical and natural sciences in preparation for upper-division coursework in land use and snow hydrology, land use and water quality, and watershed problem analysis. Courses emphasize field learning and technical skills, with core classes emphasizing watershed measurements, data analysis, modeling, and research. Students graduating in the watershed science concentration will qualify for federal hydrology jobs under the Office of Personnel Management series 1315.

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.
  • Describe how different types of land and water use affect hydrologic processes and water quality.
  • 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
ESS 120Intro to Ecosystem and Watershed Sciences 1
ESS 129Information Management for Sustainability 1
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 group from the following: 5
Group A:
  
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A 
Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A 
Group B:
  
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A 
General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)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 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion1C3
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3C3
 Total Credits 27-28
Sophomore
 
LIFE 320Ecology 3
MATH 155 or 160Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)
1B4
MATH 161 or 255Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)
Calculus for Biological Scientists II
1B4
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science 4
STAT 301 or 315Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics
 3
Select one group from the following: 10
Group A:
  
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
General Physics II (GT-SC1)3A 
Group B:
  
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)3A 
Arts and Humanities3B3
 Total Credits 31
Summer 
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements 5
 Total Credits 5
Junior
 
AREC 342Water Law, Policy, and Institutions 3
NR 322Intro. to Geographic Information Systems 4
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:23
Writing in the Disciplines: Sciences (GT-CO3)2 
Strategic Writing and Communication (GT-CO3)2 
Specialized Professional Writing2 
Arts and Humanities3B3
Electives 6
 Total Credits 30
Senior
 
WR 417Watershed Measurements 3
WR 440Watershed Problem Analysis4A,4B,4C3
Select one from the following: 4
Hydrogeology  
Soil Physics  
Select one course from the following: 3
Stream Biology and Ecology  
Limnology  
Watershed Science Department List (see list below) 6
Historical Perspectives3D3
Electives1 4-5
 Total Credits 26-27
 Program Total Credits: 120

Watershed Science Department List

Select a minimum of 6 credits from courses not taken elsewhere in the program. Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

AREC 311Agricultural and Resource Product Marketing3
AREC 340/ECON 340Introduction-Economics of Natural Resources3
AREC 375Agricultural Law3
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 353Global Change Impacts, Adaptation, Mitigation3
ESS 365Global Climate Justice3
ESS 400Global Perspectives on Sustainability3
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
GEOL 554Remote Sensing of the Earth System3
GES 440Sea Level Rise and a Sustainable Future3
GES 450Global Sustainability and Health3
GES 470Applications of Environmental Sustainability3
GR 320Cultural Geography3
GR 330Urban Geography3
GR 331Geography of Farming Systems3
GR 333Glaciers and Climate Change3
GR 345Geography of Hazards3
GR 348Biogeography3
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 330Human Dimensions in Natural Resources3
NR 365Environmental Education3
NR 370Coastal Environmental Ecology3
NR 375Environment and Natural Resources Leadership1
NR 400Public Communication in Natural Resources3
NR 422GIS Applications in Natural Resource Management4
NR 425Natural Resource Policy and Sustainability3
NR 450Geospatial Project Design and Analysis4
NRRT 330Social Aspects of Natural Resource Management3
NRRT 362Environmental Conflict Management3
RS 478Ecological Restoration3
SOC 322Environmental Justice3
SOC 323Soc. of Environmental Cooperation & Conflict3
SOC 461Water and Social Justice3
SOC 463Sociology of Disaster3
SOCR 322Principles of Microclimatology3
SOCR 370Irrigation Principles2
SOCR 371Irrigation of Field Crops1
SOCR 375Soil Biogeochemistry3
SOCR 440Pedology4
SOCR 500Environmental Measurement Laboratory1
WR 406Seasonal Snow Environments3
WR 492Seminar3
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).

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
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)X 1A3
ESS 120Intro to Ecosystem and Watershed SciencesX  1
ESS 129Information Management for SustainabilityX  1
WR 204/GR 204Sustainable Watersheds (GT-SC2)X 3A3
Select one group from the following:X  5
Group A
    
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)  3A 
Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)  3A 
Group B
    
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)  3A 
General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)  3A 
 Total Credits   13
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
STAT 158Introduction to R ProgrammingX  1
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 
Select 4 credits from the following:X  4
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)  3A 
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)  3A 
Diversity, Equity, and InclusionX 1C3
Social and Behavioral Sciences X3C3
CO 150 requirement must be completed by the end of Semester 2. X   
 Total Credits   14-15
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
MATH 155 or 160Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)
X 1B4
PH 121 or 141General Physics I (GT-SC1)
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)
  3A5
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science   4
Arts and Humanities X3B3
 Total Credits   16
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
LIFE 320Ecology   3
MATH 161 or 255Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)
Calculus for Biological Scientists II
X 1B4
PH 122 or 142General Physics II (GT-SC1)
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)
X 3A5
STAT 301 or 315Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics
X  3
WR 204/GR 204 must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and MeasurementsX  5
 Total Credits   5
Junior
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
NR 322Intro. to Geographic Information SystemsX  4
WR 416Land Use HydrologyX 4B3
WR 474Snow HydrologyX  3
WR 486Watershed Field PracticumX  2
Electives X 3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
AREC 342Water Law, Policy, and InstitutionsX  3
WR 418Land Use and Water QualityX  3
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 
Arts and Humanities  X3B3
Electives X 3
 Total Credits   15
Senior
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
WR 417Watershed MeasurementsX  3
Select one from the following:X  4
Hydrogeology    
Soil Physics    
Select one course from the following:X  3
Stream Biology and Ecology    
Limnology    
Watershed Science Elective (See list on requirements tab.) X 3
 Total Credits   13
Semester 9CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
WR 440Watershed Problem AnalysisX 4A,4B,4C3
Historical PerspectivesX 3D3
Watershed Science Elective (See list on requirements tab.)X  3
ElectivesX  4-5
The benchmark courses for the 9th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   13-14
 Program Total Credits:   120