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Rivers, Watersheds, Communities (RWC) NSF Research Traineeship: Equitable, Multi-Scale Decision-Making Towards Human and Ecosystem Health

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an IBP member program

Academic Level:
Graduate Students (Masters)
Graduate Students (PhD)

We invite applications for the National Science Foundation's Research Traineeship (NRT) Program on "Rivers, Watersheds & Communities: Training an Innovative, Cross-Sector Workforce for Equitable, Multi-Scale Decision-Making Towards Human and Ecosystem Health" (RWC NRT). This program trains MSc and PhD students in science (incl. social sciences) and engineering to do research to tackle water challenges in the Columbia River Basin hand-in-hand with the communities impacted. By valuing Traditional Ecological Knowledge and western science, students will learn how to find solutions to these pressing water-related challenges via community-engaged research.

Rivers support communities and landscapes in important ways - from providing food and clean water, to acting as pathways for transporting goods and travel corridors for organisms, to serving in cultural and spiritual roles for people. Despite their importance, many river systems are highly contaminated due to decades of industrial activity, pesticide runoff, water treatment discharges, and urban runoff. Compared to visible changes in water quantity, water quality is an 'invisible water crisis'. As this crisis escalates, water quality problems in watersheds and communities will require a workforce capable of integrating scientific information, public policy, and the knowledge and concerns of affected populations.

The RWC NRT program is looking to attract students with diverse experiences, interests and cultural backgrounds in the areas of biology, ecology, environmental science, earth science, environmental engineering, environmental sociology, political science, and water resources. In addition to the M.S. or Ph.D., students may earn a Community Engagement in River and Watershed Systems Certificate. A mix of NSF, WSU and agency funds are available to fully support research and trainee stipends; and there is the possibility of add-on funding to achieve the RWC Certificate after completion of RWC core courses. NSF-funded NRT students must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., its territories, or its possessions.

As part of the student degree program, students will be part of a core RWC NRT program that will include an immersion field course, the interdisciplinary water science and management course, an RWC environmental health seminar, a leadership development course, an integrated solutions experience course, and a student-specific community engagement experience. Students will continually contribute to the Columbia River Basin Living Atlas, a visual- and data-based representation of social-ecological systems, to share and synthesize information to communities and the public.

Please visit our website for more information on how to apply.
Recently updated.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts or sponsors)
Washington State University (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Environmental Sciences
Natural Resources
STEM Fields

Human-Environment Interactions
Water Management
Water Quality
Water Quantity
Watershed Sciences

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 5/20/2024
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