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Resilience and Adaptive Governance of Stressed Watersheds, an IGERT Program

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship


This program was interested in fundamentally changing academic culture by coalescing students and faculty from natural science, social science, computational science and law around a common goal: the responsible management of over-appropriated watersheds.

As the next generation of natural resource scientists, managers, and policymakers, students were to increase their scientific understanding of how resilience – the ability to withstand multiple stresses without losing critical structure and function – is generated in complex systems of people and nature.

  • The program provided opportunities for minority students.
  • Students received academic training in resilience and adaptive management. Training covered the complex interactions of ecological and societal systems affecting water management, and the use of sophisticated mathematical and computational tools for decision support. There were many possibilities for research projects.
  • Students also participated in externships and workshops that exposed them to real-world applications and transfer knowledge in a way that would be useful to policymakers.
  • An international experience compared compromised watersheds in the Great Plains of the United States to similarly challenged watersheds in Europe.
  • Local, state and federal agencies helped shape curricula in natural science, policy and law by developing student research externships.

The NSF IGERT program was intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The program is funded through July 31, 2016.

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation