How people use and manage water is the core concern of water policy. Although the scientific and technical aspects of water issues are essential, the social and political aspects are now our larger challenge.
The University of Arizona has responded to the growing public and professional interest in water policy by establishing a new Graduate Certificate in Water Policy. The Certificate builds on the world-renowned expertise of UA faculty and programs in all aspects of water resources.
The University of Arizona's Graduate Certificate in Water Policy offers breadth and depth of education. The Certificate is intended for two different and complementary groups of people who want to build their expertise in water policy: working professionals and UA graduate students. There is flexibility in both course selection and schedule, to meet the specific needs and interests of a variety of students.
The program is interdisciplinary. Although there are some administrative details that differ between working professionals and UA graduate students, all people admitted to the program must fulfill the same substantive requirements.
Much of the course-work emphasizes local and regional water policy issues in Arizona and the Southwestern U.S. However, students can also focus on broader national and international issues.
Further information, including application details and the certificate requirements can be found at http://gcwp.arizona.edu
Graduate students in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) benefit from the broad range of faculty expertise and strong links to interdisciplinary research centers across campus. Our work spans the discipline, from physical geography (climate science, dendrochronology, remote sensing, spatial science), to human-environment (political ecology, water policy, climate change) to human geography (development, state theory). Our shared commitment to collaboration and community makes for a lively and engaged department.
SGDE offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, two professional master’s degrees, and participates in several graduate certificate programs
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Required GRE Subject tests:
Recommended GRE Subject tests:
Minimum GRE Verbal:
Minimum GRE Quantitative:
Minumum GRE Written:
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Completion of 12 credits is required to earn the certificate including 6 units of Core Courses selected from:
AREC 575 (or cross-listings), (3), Economic Evaluation of Water and Env. Policy
LAW 641, (3), Water Law
PA 581 (or cross-listings), (3), Environmental Policy
RNR 580, (3), Natural Resources Policy and Law
SWES 596B (or cross-listings), (3), Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-Arid Regions
Thematic courses include a wide variety of specific topics and disciplines so that students can customize a program to meet their particular interests. Each student must have their courses approved by the Faculty Coordinator.
ABE 555 (also C E 555) - Soil and Water Resources Engineering (3 units) Fall. Introduction to soil and water relationships, irrigation systems, irrigation water supply, and irrigation management; basic designs. Professor: Muluneh Yitayew
AREC 576 (also HWR 576, ECON 576, RNR 576) - Natural Resource Law and Economics (3 units) Spring. Advanced economic and legal analysis of environmental and natural resource policies. Professor: Dennis C. Cory (Course Website: AREC 576)
ARL 565 (also GEOG 565) - Physical Aspects of Arid Lands (3 units) Fall. Interdisciplinary course covering the physical aspects of arid lands, including geology, geomorphology, climate, hydrology, and landscape ecology. Time-space interrelationships of environmental systems are also covered. Professor: Stuart Marsh
CE 523 (also ARL 523, HWR 523) - Hydrology (3 units) Fall. Discussion and analysis of major topics of the hydrologic cycle and their interrelationship, such as rainfall, infiltration, evaporation, and runoff. Statistical and probabilistic methods in water supply and flood hydrology. Professor: Kevin Lansey
CPH 518 (also SWES 518) - Introduction to Human Health Risk Assessment (3 units) Spring. The purpose of this course is to enhance the students’ knowledge and skills related to environmental risk assessment, including hazard assessment, exposure assessment, toxicity assessment, and risk characterization. Professor: Kelly Reynolds
CPH 553 (also PCOL 553) - Toxicology and Chemical Exposures (3 units) Fall. Covers the fundamentals of toxicology and the derivation of regulatory limits and guidelines. Evaluates the impact of specific chemicals and chemical classes on organ systems and the diseases resulting from exposure. Professor: Jeffrey Burgess
GC 597A (also ANTH 597A) - Global Change Workshop (3 units) Fall, Spring. Integrative experience for natural and social science students with focus on local and regional consequences of global change. Professor: Timothy Finan
GEOG 596J - Water Management and Policy (3 units) Fall, Spring. Management and policy challenges driven by surface water and groundwater scarcity will be assessed for the Southwest US, Mexico, and globally. Critical review of institutions coupled with assessment of emerging management systems will lead to consideration of policy alternatives. Professor: Christopher Scott
GEOG 696J - Water Resources Geography: Specific Topics (3 units) Fall. Professors: Connie Woodhouse, Carl Bauer, Christopher Scott
HWR 500 (also PLNN 500) - Ecosystemology for Urban Planning (3 units) Fall. Introduction to conceptual tools used in complex ecosystems, particularly cities and urban areas; integration of human residents with larger natural systems (human ecology); environmental impact assessment (EIA) and statement (EIS). Water resource planning and impact on regional ecosystems; technical, legal, ethical dimensions of water transfer. Professor: M.D. Bradley
HWR 515 (also GEOG 515) - Introduction to Water Resources Policy (3 units) Spring. Water resources policy including the identification of regional problems of water use, the elements of water planning, water rights, and a consideration of institutional structures and processes.
HWR 520 - Water Resources Management, Planning, and Rights: A Policy Approach (3 units) Spring. An introduction to basic concepts and issues of water resources management and administration, emphasizing water law and rights, water resources planning, institutional and organizational arrangements, and policy processes such as adjudication and rule-making. Professor: M.D. Bradley
HWR 543 - Environmental Risk and Economic Analysis in Water Resources (3 units) Fall. Environmental risk analysis, environmental economics, and quantitative benefit-cost-risk planning and regulation applied to water resources. Professor: Don R. Davis
LAW 625 - American Legal History (The Colorado River) (2 units) Spring. The focus of this course is the Colorado River. After examining the geology of the Grand Canyon and the use made of the River and its resources by Native peoples, the class examines the exploration of the Colorado River and its canyons by John Wesley Powell and other early European explorers. The main theme of the course is the important role that the water of the Colorado River has played in the Southwest. Professor: Robert Glennon
LAW 669 - Environmental Law (3 units) Fall. A survey course covering major environmental statutes and common law doctrines. Topics include the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, CERCLA, regulatory takings, standing in environmental cases, the law of nuisance, and the public trust doctrine. Professor: Kirsten Engel
LAW 696I - International Environmental Law (2-3 units) Fall. This course analyzes the expanding framework of and the legal process leading to international regulation of the human environment, including regional and international regulation of air and water pollution and the protection of marine mammals and endangered species; the relationship between environmental and trade issues; protection of the "global commons"; conflicts between protecting the environment and economic development; enforcement of international environmental obligations by the United States and other nations; and regional regulation of environmental matters, including the NAFTA and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.
PLN 559 (also GEOG 559) - Land Use and Growth Controls (3 units) Spring. Current planning and legal issues dealing with regulation of growth, the sequence of growth, and the limiting of growth are analyzed. Issues of equity in controlling land use are also explored. Professor: Barbara Becker
RNR 580 - Natural Resources Policy and Law (3 units) Spring. This course examines the natural resource and environmental policy formulation process, the participants in that process and the policies themselves. The course emphasizes public policy as it applies to federal lands. However, the principles apply to state lands and policies as well. Professor: JE de Steiguer
RNR 585 - Natural Resources Economics and Planning (3 units) Spring. This course examines methods for planning and decision-making in the management of renewable natural resources on public lands. The course topics are: economic welfare and market failure, cost-benefit analysis, market and non-market valuation, linear programming, input-output analysis, multi-criteria decision methods, and timber harvest scheduling. The renewable natural resources considered are water, timber, wildlife, wilderness, fisheries, range and recreation. Professor: JE de Steiguer.
SWES 544 (also WSM 544) - Applied Environmental Law (3 units) Fall. A guided journey through real world environmental law; US legal system, major environmental laws-criminal and civil; common marketplace problems and solutions; high profile cases; essential professional skills.
SWES 571 - Stream Ecology (3 units) Description: This course will examine the structure and function of stream ecosystems with emphasis on the interaction of physical and biotic elements of streams in arid regions. We will examine the role of natural and anthropogenic stressors in shaping aquatic assemblages in streams. Quantification of impairment of stream structure and function requires a thorough understanding of fundamental ecological concepts of natural streams; this will be a major focus. Also, students will learn to use current methods to assess stream condition and signs of impairment. Graduate-level requirements include additional essay questions on exams and graduate student must meet with the instructors to discuss selected research articles. Presentations will be longer than undergraduates. Identical to: WFSC 571. Instructors: William Matter and David Walker
WFSC 555R - Fishery Management (3 units) Description: Methods and concepts pertaining to fishery investigations and management; application of principles for enhancement of fisheries and aquatic habitats. Graduate-level requirements include a report on a current issue in management and a report on a research issue, plus several discussion meetings.
WFSC 541 -- Limnology (4 units) Description: Study of lakes and streams; biological characteristics, as related to physical, chemical, geological, and historical processes operating on fresh waters. Graduate-level requirements include a report that synthesizes literature on a research issue of current concern, an in-class presentation and several discussion meetings. Identical to: ECOL 541. Instructor: Willam Matter
WSM 552 - Dryland ecohydrology and vegetation dynamics (3 units) Overview of ecological and hydrological interrelationships and associated vegetation dynamics for water-limited, dryland ecosystems. Identical to: ECOL 452, HWR 452, RNR 452. Instructor: David Breshears
WSM 562 - Watershed Management (3 units) Spring. Evaluating hydrologic impacts of management activities on watersheds to include silviculture, range, mining, and recreation use. Professor: D. Phillip Guertin
WSM 568 - Wildland Water Quality (3 units) Spring. Introduction to water quality and its influences in natural environments. Interactions with land management and relationships to the larger issues of environmental quality.
Much of the course-work emphasizes local and regional water policy issues in Arizona and the Southwestern US. However, students can also focus on broader national and international affairs.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.