Empowering the next generation of watershed decision-makers: A pedagogical design

Jim Perry, Louise Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Watershed management is the art and practice of understanding stakeholder values for ecosystem services within a watershed and instituting management practices that consider trade-offs to sustain these goods and services. Effective watershed management practices are hydrologically defined, ecosystem-based, inclusive, and integrate biophysical as well as socioeconomic decisions. The uncertainties and unpredictability of climate change create an ambiguous backdrop to the increasingly social problem of water resource management. Inequities in watershed decision-making processes often lead to the reinforcement of power and resource imbalances. Future watershed managers must be able to engage across socioeconomic and cultural boundaries to support decisions that advance water as a human right in an uncertain future. We offer a design for a graduate level, 15-week university course that uses publicly available resources to help emerging watershed leaders prepare for an uncertain future. The design is interactive and constructivist, engaging the refereed literature and leading to an increased understanding of ecosystem-based watershed management under climate scenarios, with special attention to vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number662
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Decision-making
  • Graduate education
  • Water resources
  • Watershed management


Dive into the research topics of 'Empowering the next generation of watershed decision-makers: A pedagogical design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this