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Online Training in Watershed Management

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You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more."

This is the Watershed Academy's Distance Learning Program—Watershed Academy Web. The Web site offers a variety of self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. The modules are organized by the six themes listed above. Modules vary in the time they take to complete, from ½ hour to 2 hours. Fifteen of them (marked with asterisks * below) are the core modules for the Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

Module Themes

Introductory/Overview Modules
Watershed Ecology Modules
Watershed Change Modules
Analysis and Planning Modules
Management Practices Modules
Community and Social Modules
Water Law Modules


Image of a river valley in a  watershed

Introductory/Overview Modules

These modules introduce the principles of the watershed approach and the value of working at a watershed level.

   Sustaining Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems | Printable Version (PDF) (18 pp, 278K)
* Ecosystem Services: Benefits to Human Societies | Printable Version (PDF) (18 pp, 542K)
   The "Why Watersheds?" Report
   Ohio's Virtual Watershed Tour

Image of a stream bed with rocks and trees on the banks

Watershed Ecology Modules

These modules show that watersheds are natural systems that provide benefits to people and the environment when they are kept in good condition.

* Introduction to Watershed Ecology | Printable Version (PDF) (37 pp, 1.8MB)
* Protecting Instream Flows: How Much Water Does a River Need? | Printable Version (PDF) (22 pp, 1.2MB)
* Stream Corridor Structure | Printable Version (PDF) (34 pp, 8.0MB)
   Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Maintaining Natural Life Support Processes | Printable Version (PDF) (14 pp, 968K)
   Birds: Bellwethers of Watershed Health | Printable Version (PDF) (24 pp, 1.7MB)
   Wetland Functions and Values | Printable Version (PDF) (23 pp, 1.3MB)
   Understanding Lake Ecology | Printable Version (PDF) (57 pp, 871KB)
   The Role of Nearshore Ecosystems as Fish and Shellfish Nurseries | Printable Version (PDF) (14 pp, 186KB)

Image of a stream bed with rocks and trees on the banks

Watershed Change Modules

These modules describe both natural and human-induced changes in watersheds, and compare normal changes with changes of concern.

* The Effect of Climate Change on Water Resources and Programs | Printable Version (PDF) (40 pp, 3.2MB)
* Agents of Watershed Change | Printable Version (PDF) (49 pp, 3.2MB)
   Growth and Water Resources
* Nonpoint Source Pollution with Nitrogen and Phosphorus | Printable Version (PDF) (14 pp, 472K)
   Watersheds: Connecting Weather to the Environment
   Weather and the Built Environment
   Invasive Non-Native Species
   Human Alteration of The Global Nitrogen Cycle | Printable Version (PDF) (17 pp, 879K)
   Biotic Invasions: Causes, Epidemiology, Global Consequences and Control | Printable Version (PDF) (22 pp, 350K)
   Nutrient Pollution of Coastal Rivers, Bays, and Seas | Printable Version (PDF) (17 pp, 948K)
   Effects of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies | Printable Version (PDF) (14 pp, 232K)

Image of a stream bed with rocks and trees on the banks

Analysis and Planning Modules

These modules address how watershed planning, monitoring and assessment are important first steps toward solving problems.

* Introduction to Watershed Planning | Printable Version (PDF) (46 pp, 2.5 MB)
* Overview of Watershed Monitoring | Printable Version (PDF) (33 pp, 4.3MB)
   Rapid Bioassessment Protocols | Printable Version (PDF) (34 pp, 2.1MB)
   Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment | Printable Version (PDF) (34 pp, 2.0MB)
   Watershed Modeling | Printable Version (PDF) (35 pp, 8.9MB)
   Fundamentals of Rosgen Stream Classification System
   Training in Use of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and NHDPlus

Image of a bulldozer pushing up trees

Management Practices Modules

These modules show how watershed management challenges such as urban runoff, cropland management, forestry and other issues are addressed by techniques that reduce environmental impacts.

* 8 Tools of Watershed Protection in Developing Areas | Printable Version (PDF) (30 pp, 2.7MB)
* Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection | Printable Version (PDF) (54 pp, 2.7MB)
* Forestry Best Management Practices in Watersheds | Printable Version (PDF) (47 pp, 4.9MB)
   Stream Corridor Restoration Tools
   Introduction to EPA's Drinking Water Source Protection Programs | Printable Version (PDF) (119 pp, 4.5MB)
   Restoration: What's Right or Wrong with This Picture?
   Source Water Protection: Best Management Practices and Other Measures for Protecting Drinking Water Supplies | Printable Version (PDF) (125 pp, 3.6MB)
   Controlling Underground Injection of Wastewater | Printable Version (PDF) (65 pp, 2.1MB)
   Advanced Drinking Water Technology Workshop (Powerpoint Version for Web)
   Managing Transient Non-community Drinking Water Systems (Powerpoint Version for Web)
   Applying Ecological Principles to Management of the U.S. National Forests | Printable Version (PDF) (22 pp, 1.1MB)
   Ecological Principles for Managing Land Use | Printable Version (PDF) (14 pp, 231K)

Image of a group of people huddled around a document

Community and Social Modules

These modules cover social issues and communications. They concentrate on the human element of watershed management.

   Sustainable Finance Module | Printable Version (PDF) (75 pp, 1MB)
* Getting in Step: a Guide to Effective Outreach in Your Watershed | Printable Version (PDF) (49 pp, 2.4MB)
* Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned | Printable Version (PDF) (85 pp, 11.5MB)
   Water in a Changing World | Printable Version (PDF) (18 pp, 671K)
   Statewide Watershed Management | Printable Version (PDF) (21 pp, 1.6MB)
   Economics of Sustainability | Printable Version (PDF) (61 pp, 815K)
   Monitoring Consortiums
   Introduction to Public Water Systems | Printable Version (PDF) (125 pp, 2.8MB)
   Grade K through 12 Watershed Learning Links

US Capitol. Photo credit: Kevin McCoy, Wkimedia Commons

Water Law Modules

These modules cover relevant laws and regulations associated with watershed management.

* Introduction to the Clean Water Act | Printable Version (PDF) (90 pp, 4.99MB), Spanish Version (101 pp, 4.8MB)
   Key Concepts of Water Quality Standards
   Key Concepts of Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs
   Monitoring and Assessment
   NPDES Permit Program
   Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria
   Aquatic Life Criteria
   Introduction to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 | Printable Version (PDF) (100 pp, 1.9MB)

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