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Online Training in Watershed Management

Watershed Academy Web, is the program's distance learning program. The website 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 topics listed below. Modules vary in the time they take to complete, from ½ hour to two hours. Fifteen of them (marked with asterisks * below) are the core modules for the Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

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Watershed Academy Topics 


This section introduces the principles of the watershed approach and the value of working at a watershed level.

Resources & External Modules

Sustaining Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems
* Ecosystem Services: Benefits to Human Societies by Natural Ecosystems
"Why Watersheds?"
Ohio's Online Virtual Watershed Tour

decorativeWatershed Ecology 

This section shows 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, 1.8 MB)
* Protecting Instream Flows: How Much Water Does a River Need? | Printable Version (PDF)(22 pp, 1.2 MB)
* Stream Corridor Structure | Printable Version (PDF)(34 pp, 8.0 MB)
Birds: Bellwethers of Watershed Health | Printable Version (PDF)(24 pp, 1.7 MB)
Wetland Functions and Values | Printable Version (PDF)(23 pp, 1.3 MB)

Resources & External Modules

Understanding Lake Ecology
The Role of Nearshore Ecosystems as Fish and Shellfish Nurseries

decorativeWatershed Change 

This section describes both natural and human-induced changes in watersheds and compares normal changes with changes of concern.


* Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources | Printable Version (PDF)(53 pp, 7 MB)
Local Government Climate Adaptation Training Online Module
* Agents of Watershed Change | Printable Version (PDF)(49 pp, 3.2 MB)
Growth and Water Resources

Resources & External Modules

Nonpoint Source Pollution with Nitrogen and Phosphorus 
Watersheds: Connecting Weather to the Environment
Weather and the Built Environment
Dealing with Drought
Invasive Non-Native Species
Excess Nitrogen in the U.S. Environment: Trends, Risks and Solutions
Biotic Invasions: Causes, Epidemiology, Global Consequences and Control
Effects of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies

decorativeAnalysis and Planning 

This section addresses 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, 4.3 MB)
Rapid Bioassessment Protocols | Printable Version (PDF)(34 pp, 2.1 MB)
Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment | Printable Version (PDF)(34 pp, 2.0 MB)
Watershed Modeling | Printable Version (PDF)(35 pp, 8.9 MB)
Fundamentals of Rosgen Stream Classification System

Resources & External Modules

Training in Use of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and NHDPlus

decorativeManagement Practices 

This section shows 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, 2.7 MB)
* Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection | Printable Version (PDF)(54 pp, 2.7 MB)
Forestry Best Management Practices in Watersheds | Printable Version (PDF)(47 pp, 4.9 MB)
Restoration: What's Right or Wrong with This Picture?

Resources & External Modules

Applying Ecological Principles to Management of the U.S. National Forests

decorativeCommunity and Social 

This section covers social issues and communications and the human element of watershed management.


Sustainable Finance Module | Printable Version (PDF)(75 pp, 1.0 MB)
* Getting in Step: a Guide to Effective Outreach in Your Watershed | Printable Version (PDF)(49 pp, 2.4 MB)
Statewide Watershed Management | Printable Version (PDF)(21 pp, 1.6 MB)
Monitoring Consortiums

Resources & External Modules

decorativeWater Law 

This section covers relevant laws and regulations associated with watershed management.


* Introduction to the Clean Water Act | Printable Version (PDF)(90 pp, 4.99 MB), Spanish Version(101 pp, 4.8 MB)
Key Concepts of Water Quality Standards
Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs
Monitoring and Assessment
NPDES Permit Program
Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria
Aquatic Life Criteria
Aquatic Resources Awareness Course for Real Estate Appraisers | Printable Version (PDF)(26 pp, 342 K)

Certificate of Completion 

How to receive the Watershed Academy Web Training Certificate