Duluth campus
 
Duluth Campus

Water Resources Science Minor

Swenson College of Science & Engineering
University of Minnesota Duluth
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Water Resources Science, 173 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul MN 55108 (612-624-7456; fax: 612-625-1263)
Email: wrs@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 9
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
This cross-campus interdisciplinary program provides comprehensive training in water resources science, with integration across scientific disciplines. A structured interdisciplinary graduate curriculum is offered. The program includes a set of core courses plus electives in the following areas of emphasis at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels: aquatic biology, environmental chemistry, hydrologic science, limnology, water management technology, water policy, water quality, and watershed science and management. Approximately 80 courses offered within 15 other graduate programs are available to students majoring in water resources science. The goal of the program is to produce scientists with strong technical skills in disciplines relevant to water resources and a broad understanding of 1) the hydrologic cycle and associated ecosystems, 2) the interconnectedness of the sciences involved in managing aquatic resources, and 3) the interplay between the biophysical sciences and social sciences in developing and implementing public policies related to water. Students in the program develop the breadth of scientific knowledge appropriate to understand the complicated aquatic ecosystems and watersheds on which they will work, as well as social dimensions of the topic, including the public policy and legal frameworks in which water resources are protected and managed. The program involves faculty from the following departments on the Twin Cities campus: Applied Economics; Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering; Civil Engineering; Earth Sciences; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Entomology; Environmental and Occupational Health; Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Forest Resources; Geography; Horticultural Science; Microbiology, Plant Biology; Soil, Water, and Climate; and the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. It also involves faculty from the following departments on the Duluth campus: Biology; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Civil Engineering; Geography; Geological Sciences; Physics; and Political Science; as well as the Large Lakes Observatory and the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
Required Course (3 cr)
WRS 5101 - Water Policy (3.0 cr)
Minor for Masters or Ph.D.
Minor for Masters
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 5240 - Physical Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology (3.0 cr)
or Minor for Ph.D.
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology (3.0 cr)
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· BIOL 5777 - Plankton Biology (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5801 - Microbial Ecology (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5802 - Microbial Ecology Laboratory (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5805 - Fisheries Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4839 - Coral Reef Field Studies (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5862 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5863 - Ecosystems Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5868 - Ecotoxicology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5869 - Great Lakes Ecology and Management (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5870 - Wetland Ecology (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 5210 - Glacial and Quaternary Geology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 5215 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 5220 - Advances in Paleoclimatology (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 5240 - Physical Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 5260 - Fluvial Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
· LIM 5004 - Field Limnology (2.0 cr)
· LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology (3.0 cr)
· LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology (3.0 cr)
· WRS 5050 - Special Topics in Water Resources Science (1.0-3.0 cr)
 
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WRS 5101 - Water Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02011 - CE 5201/WRS 5101
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Socio-cultural, legal, and economic factors that affect water resources management. Historical trends in water policy, resulting water laws in the United States. Federal state and local institutional structures for water management. prereq: Grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for CE 5201
BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Studies of stream communities and ecosystems as influenced by biological interactions and physical factors. Emphasis on North Shore streams. (2 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ecology of lakes and reservoirs. (3 hrs lect) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
GEOL 5240 - Physical Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Introduction to concepts of fluid movement in Earth's crust and the interaction of rocks and water. Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, theory of flow through porous media, crustal-scale flow systems, role of fluids in the plate tectonic cycle. prereq: 2110, Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014, Math 1296 or Math 1290 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4240
GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
A quantitative introduction to hydrogeology and aquifer mechanics with emphasis on environmental applications, including, unsaturated flow, interaction between surface water and groundwater, wellhead protection, well hydraulics, inverse methods, and solute transport. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296 or Math 1290 and (Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014) or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4250
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01569 - LIM 5101/5001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Physical description of lake dynamics including: lake morphometry, water budget, light distribution, circulation, fronts, waves and mixing. Descriptive, mathematical, numerical and data-analysis techniques are used to investigate the various topics. prereq: Math 1297, Phys 2012 or 2015 and 2016, or grad student
LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Organic and inorganic chemistry of natural waters, major and minor ions, pH-Eh relationships, carbon and nutrient cycles, pore water chemistry, sediment chemistry, microbial geochemistry. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296, Phys 1002 or 1202, Chem 1152 or 1162, or grad student; Credit will not be granted if already received for 5001
LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01419 - Lim 5103/5002/GEOL 5103
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Geological aspects of freshwater systems: origins, tectonic and climatic settings of lakes, geophysical mapping, physical sedimentary processes, sedimentary geochemistry, and geochronology. Particular focus on paleolimnology, the analysis of lake sediment to reconstruct past climate and environment prereq: MATH 1290 or 1296 or 1596, PHYS 1002 or 2015 or 2018, CHEM 1155 or 1175 or grad student
BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Studies of stream communities and ecosystems as influenced by biological interactions and physical factors. Emphasis on North Shore streams. (2 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ecology of lakes and reservoirs. (3 hrs lect) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
A quantitative introduction to hydrogeology and aquifer mechanics with emphasis on environmental applications, including, unsaturated flow, interaction between surface water and groundwater, wellhead protection, well hydraulics, inverse methods, and solute transport. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296 or Math 1290 and (Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014) or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4250
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01569 - LIM 5101/5001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Physical description of lake dynamics including: lake morphometry, water budget, light distribution, circulation, fronts, waves and mixing. Descriptive, mathematical, numerical and data-analysis techniques are used to investigate the various topics. prereq: Math 1297, Phys 2012 or 2015 and 2016, or grad student
LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Organic and inorganic chemistry of natural waters, major and minor ions, pH-Eh relationships, carbon and nutrient cycles, pore water chemistry, sediment chemistry, microbial geochemistry. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296, Phys 1002 or 1202, Chem 1152 or 1162, or grad student; Credit will not be granted if already received for 5001
LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01419 - Lim 5103/5002/GEOL 5103
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Geological aspects of freshwater systems: origins, tectonic and climatic settings of lakes, geophysical mapping, physical sedimentary processes, sedimentary geochemistry, and geochronology. Particular focus on paleolimnology, the analysis of lake sediment to reconstruct past climate and environment prereq: MATH 1290 or 1296 or 1596, PHYS 1002 or 2015 or 2018, CHEM 1155 or 1175 or grad student
BIOL 5777 - Plankton Biology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explores topics in the biology of plant and animal plankton with emphasis on lake communities. Topics include biogeography, life-history, anatomy, physiology, and ecology of plankton. Basic limnology covered as relevant. Meets twice weekly for lecture and literature discussion. prereq: 2801, 2802 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5801 - Microbial Ecology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Microorganisms in natural environments: diversity, distribution, energetics, and growth of heterotrophic and autotrophic microbes in oxic and anoxic habitats. Roles of microbial populations and communities in biogeochemical cycling, ecosystem functioning, landscapes, and industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications. prereq: (2101, (2801 or 4501)), or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5802 - Microbial Ecology Laboratory
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Lab and field-oriented exercises that teach concepts about microbial populations and their communities, energetics, food webs, biogeochemistry, and biodiversity while providing an introduction to research methods. Students master advanced microscopic, culturing, spectroscopic, molecular, radioisotopic, and computational techniques. (3 hours lab) prereq: 5801 (may take concurrently) or WRS or IBS grad student
BIOL 5805 - Fisheries Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Lectures, readings and computer exercises relating to current issues in fisheries ecology. Computer exercises will emphasize techniques used by scientists working in the field and prepare the student for the use of quantitative research tools for independent research. Includes 2 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour lab weekly. prereq: 2801, 2802, college-level course in statistics or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Studies of stream communities and ecosystems as influenced by biological interactions and physical factors. Emphasis on North Shore streams. (2 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4839 - Coral Reef Field Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01396 - Biol 5839/Geol 5839
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Field study on San Salvador, Bahamas focusing on the biological and geological studies of the coral reef complex and associated habitats of the Caribbean. We will examine the ecology and taxonomy of associated biota as well as the physical, chemical and sedimentary processes in coral reef environments. prereq: BIOL 1011 and 1012 or GEOL 1110 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ecology of lakes and reservoirs. (3 hrs lect) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5863 - Ecosystems Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Survey of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, emphasizing current literature on ecosystem processes. (3 hrs lect) prereq: 2801, or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5868 - Ecotoxicology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Examines the effects of toxicants on constituents of the biosphere at levels of biological organization from cells to ecosystems. Toxicant identification, toxicity testing, exposure routes, bioaccumulation, toxicant effects, regulations, and current issues. prereq: 2101, 2801, college-level statistics course or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5869 - Great Lakes Ecology and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
The world's great lakes account for over 60% of surface freshwater, occur from the Arctic Circle to the tropics and sustain a disproportionate share of the world's population and economic activity. Utilization has too often led to degradation and loss of biodiversity and beneficial uses. In response, a variety of management agencies attempt to protect and restore the lakes. The world's largest lakes will be surveyed to appreciate unique aspects of their ecology and the current problems that challenge management agencies. Successes and deficiencies of current management approaches will be reviewed as well as their capacity to address new global challenges such as climate change and biotic globalization. prereq: 5861 or WRS or IBS grad student
BIOL 5870 - Wetland Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Hydrology, nutrient cycling, and productivity of wetland ecosystems and the adaptations and interactions of resident biota; assessment, management, conservation, restoration, and creation of wetlands. Two daylong weekend field trips required. prereq: 2801, 2802 or WRS or IBS Grad student
GEOL 5210 - Glacial and Quaternary Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Physics of glacier flow, processes of erosion and deposition, survey of glacial landforms, history and chronology of glaciation. Survey of geological and biological responses to changing environment resulting from climatic fluctuations during last three million years of Earth history. Field studies on the glacial deposits of Minnesota. (2 hrs lect, 2 hrs field lab) prereq: 3210 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4210
GEOL 5220 - Advances in Paleoclimatology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Analysis of past global change from climate proxy records in glacial ice, tree rings, ocean and lake sediments, ocean corals. Impact of ocean and atmospheric circulation on global climate; climate cycles; El Nino; human impact on global climate. Offered alternate years. prereq: instructor consent
GEOL 5240 - Physical Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Introduction to concepts of fluid movement in Earth's crust and the interaction of rocks and water. Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, theory of flow through porous media, crustal-scale flow systems, role of fluids in the plate tectonic cycle. prereq: 2110, Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014, Math 1296 or Math 1290 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4240
GEOL 5250 - Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
A quantitative introduction to hydrogeology and aquifer mechanics with emphasis on environmental applications, including, unsaturated flow, interaction between surface water and groundwater, wellhead protection, well hydraulics, inverse methods, and solute transport. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296 or Math 1290 and (Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014) or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 4250
GEOL 5260 - Fluvial Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Focuses on the physical processes operating in stream channels and watersheds including watershed-scale hydrology and topography in GIS; reach-scale fluid mechanics and sediment transport; and channel patterns, forms, and classification systems. Other topics included will be river history, human alterations to rivers, and river restoration efforts. prereq: 3210 or 3420, Math 1296, (Phys 2011 or 2013 and 2014) or Grad student status or instructor consent
LIM 5004 - Field Limnology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Field measurements on local lakes, streams; research cruise aboard R/V Blue Heron on Lake Superior; laboratory exercises in biological, chemical, geological and physical limnology. prereq: Graduate student or instructor consent
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01569 - LIM 5101/5001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Physical description of lake dynamics including: lake morphometry, water budget, light distribution, circulation, fronts, waves and mixing. Descriptive, mathematical, numerical and data-analysis techniques are used to investigate the various topics. prereq: Math 1297, Phys 2012 or 2015 and 2016, or grad student
LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Organic and inorganic chemistry of natural waters, major and minor ions, pH-Eh relationships, carbon and nutrient cycles, pore water chemistry, sediment chemistry, microbial geochemistry. Offered alternate years. prereq: Math 1296, Phys 1002 or 1202, Chem 1152 or 1162, or grad student; Credit will not be granted if already received for 5001
LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01419 - Lim 5103/5002/GEOL 5103
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Geological aspects of freshwater systems: origins, tectonic and climatic settings of lakes, geophysical mapping, physical sedimentary processes, sedimentary geochemistry, and geochronology. Particular focus on paleolimnology, the analysis of lake sediment to reconstruct past climate and environment prereq: MATH 1290 or 1296 or 1596, PHYS 1002 or 2015 or 2018, CHEM 1155 or 1175 or grad student
WRS 5050 - Special Topics in Water Resources Science
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Special topics in Water Resources Science