Ohio Watershed Academy

Registration for the 2017 Ohio Watershed Academy is now open (see below for details)

The Ohio Watershed Academy (OWA) is a professional development course offered by Ohio State University Extension. The purpose of OWA is to build the capacity of current and future watershed group leaders in Ohio to facilitate and participate effectively in collaborative watershed management initiatives.

  • Increase your knowledge and skills in watershed management
  • Undergraduate credit hours available through the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR)
  • Course is mostly online with one optional face-to-face, hands-on session that will take place at the 2017 Ohio Watershed Leaders Conference (September 7-8) at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Who should participate in the Ohio Watershed Academy?

Anyone with an interest in collaborative watershed management can participate in the program. Individuals with a wide range of backgrounds have participated in previous Academies, including paid watershed coordinators and other water resource professionals, watershed group volunteers, county health department and planning agency staff, and university students and faculty. OWA is a survey course, providing an introduction to multiple themes associated with collaborative watershed management. Because of the multi-disciplinary nature of the topic, no single topic can be covered in great depth, but most modules include recommendations for further study outside the course.

What will I learn?

The Ohio Watershed Academy curriculum has recently been revised based on research conducted by the program directors to identify the educational needs of watershed leaders and changes in Ohio's watershed planning and management policies and programs. The updated curriculum includes instructional modules on the following topics:

  • Running an effective watershed organization.
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Water policies
  • Watershed science (e.g., aquatic ecology, stream processes, causes and sources of impairment)
  • Watershed planning and implementation
  • Education and outreach
  • Monitoring and assessment

The course will begin the week of August 22 and will end the week of December 5 with an assignment due each week, except for the week of Thanksgiving.

Students of the Ohio Watershed Academy receive a certificate of completion. You can also receive undergraduate credit hours through the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. Contact Joe Bonnell (bonnell.8@osu.edu) for more information.

What past students have said about the Ohio Watershed Academy

“My time management and organizational skills in watershed planning have been greatly increased due to lessons I learned from the Academy.”

“I gained a much deeper, more effective understanding of the documents and procedures that OEPA and ODNR develop and how to collect and utilize that data within my watershed action plan.”

“I have used some of the knowledge and ideas I’ve gotten from this course to help make our watershed meetings more productive.”

“Through the correspondence with the instructors, I feel I have some experts I could consult if needed.”

“Writing about things like the watershed meetings…and our Acid Mine Drainage monitoring program gave me a great opportunity to think about the issues in a different light.”

What does it cost?

Registration for the Ohio Watershed Academy is $125. Registration for the Ohio Watershed Leaders Conference is paid separately. Registration for OWLs is typically around $75.

How do I register for the Ohio Watershed Academy?

Registration is handled online through the eXtension website. Click on the link, below (or type campus.extension.org into your browser) and enter "Ohio Watershed Academy" in the "Search courses" box. You will need to create an account with eXtension to access the course.

Register for the 2017 Ohio Watershed Academy