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Empowering the Next Generation of Watershed Decision-Makers: A Pedagogical Design

1
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2
Natural Resource Science and Management Graduate Program, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040662
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 31 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Ecosystems in Times of Climate Change)
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Abstract

Watershed management is the art and practice of understanding stakeholder values for ecosystem services within a watershed and instituting management practices that consider trade-offs to sustain these goods and services. Effective watershed management practices are hydrologically defined, ecosystem-based, inclusive, and integrate biophysical as well as socioeconomic decisions. The uncertainties and unpredictability of climate change create an ambiguous backdrop to the increasingly social problem of water resource management. Inequities in watershed decision-making processes often lead to the reinforcement of power and resource imbalances. Future watershed managers must be able to engage across socioeconomic and cultural boundaries to support decisions that advance water as a human right in an uncertain future. We offer a design for a graduate level, 15-week university course that uses publicly available resources to help emerging watershed leaders prepare for an uncertain future. The design is interactive and constructivist, engaging the refereed literature and leading to an increased understanding of ecosystem-based watershed management under climate scenarios, with special attention to vulnerable populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: watershed management; graduate education; decision-making; water resources watershed management; graduate education; decision-making; water resources
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Perry, J.; Thompson, L. Empowering the Next Generation of Watershed Decision-Makers: A Pedagogical Design. Water 2019, 11, 662.

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