2019 Ohio Watershed Academy Syllabus


Welcome to the 2019 Ohio Watershed Academy course. The Ohio Watershed Academy (OWA) was first offered in 2001 and you will be participating in the 18th class. The purpose of OWA is to build the capacity of current and future watershed leaders to facilitate and participate effectively in collaborative watershed management issues.  This introductory professional development course addresses technical, social, and administrative competencies needed by watershed leaders.

This course syllabus is intended to provide OWA participants with an overview of the course structure, including instructional modules and assignments, and expectations and responsibilities of the program leaders and participants.

If you have any questions about the course feel free to contact Anne Baird, OWA Program Director baird.41@osu.edu or by phone at 614-292-8603.

Program staff

Anne Baird – Program Director (baird.41@osu.edu, 614-292-8603)

Mary Slyby – Office Associate (slyby.5@osu.edu, 614-688-3421)


The course begins on Monday Oct. 14, 2019 with an orientation webinar from 12-1 pm. The first assignment will be due Monday October 21st and the last assignment will be due on Monday November 25th.   The webinar will be recorded and available for you to view later if needed. 

The complete schedule of assignments will be posted on the course calendar.

Instructional modules and assignments

The primary method of instruction is through online instructional modules. Each module has an assignment. Assignments are completed within one week and submitted for review. There are 10 required assignments.

Most modules include some introductory information and some additional required readings or videos. Required readings and videos are accessible online. Additional links and recommended readings are included for those who would like to delve deeper into a particular topic.

Some assignments involve creating a Word document and responding to a standard set of questions. The document is submitted through the online course platform.  The instructor marks assignments as “complete” or “incomplete”. If an assignment is marked incomplete, you will need to resubmit with recommended additions or changes in order to get credit for the assignment. You will also receive comments on your assignment intended to provide helpful feedback. Past students have indicated that these instructor comments have been one of the most beneficial aspects of the course, so be sure to read the comments on your assignments. Assignments submitted after the deadline will be reviewed for completeness but may not be returned with comments.

Some assignments involve completing an online quiz – you’ll need to score 70% to complete the assignment but you can take the quiz multiple times until you achieve the required score. Other assignments will involve participating in an online, asynchronous (meaning you can post comments at any time during the week) discussion.

You must complete 10 assignments in order to receive your certificate of completion.

Instructions for submitting assignments

All assignments are submitted via the online course platform. The submission procedure will be reviewed during the orientation webinar. A recording of the orientation webinar will be posted on the online course platform. You can refer to the recording for a demonstration of the assignment submission process.

Office hours


The OWA Program Director will be available for one-on-one or group office hours throughout the course. To arrange for an appointment, email Anne Baird <baird.41@osu.edu> or send her a message through the online course platform.

Ohio Watershed Academy Modules for 2019

Draft Quick View Calendar

Due Date

Module Topics

Oct. 14

Orientation webinar at 12pm (optional but recommended).

Discussion forum for Core Competencies Module opens.

Oct. 21

Core Competencies of Watershed Leaders

Oct. 28

Stream Ecology: A Basic Overview

Oct. 28

Using Biological Criteria to Assess Watershed Health

Nov. 4

Watershed and Stream Processes: Hydrology and Geomorphology

Nov. 4

Effective Watershed Planning 

Nov. 11

Effective Communication

Nov. 11

BMPs: Selection and Targeting

Nov. 18

Government Institutions: roles and responsibilities

Nov. 18

Estimating Environmental Benefits

Nov. 25

Make up day (this is a chance to submit any assignment(s) you may have not completed earlier)