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 2022
  • 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.
Water Resources Science (WRS) students take a deep dive into the science behind planning, management, and designs necessary for our public policies related to water. Students will gain a holistic understanding of the hydrologic cycle and associated ecosystems as well as the interplay between biophysical sciences and social sciences. The WRS graduate minor is structured in a similar interdisciplinary manner to complement many other graduate degree programs. The program involves faculty from the following departments on the Duluth campus: American Indian Studies; Biology; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Civil Engineering; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Geography and Philosophy; Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; Physics and Astronomy; and Political Science; as well as the Large Lakes Observatory, Natural Resources Research Institute, and Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Special Application Requirements:
Students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and the Water Resources Science director of graduate studies regarding feasibility and requirements.
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 toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Minor coursework offered on both the A-F and S/N grading basis must be taken A-F, with a minimum grade of C- earned for each course.
Required Course (3 credits)
Take the following course:
WRS 5101 - Water Policy (3.0 cr)
Electives (6 to 9 credits)
Masterís students select 6 credits, and doctoral students select 9 credits from the following in consultation with the Water Resources Science director of graduate studies:
BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology (3.0 cr)
BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology (3.0 cr)
CE 4228 - Watershed Engineering (3.0 cr)
CE 5241 - Water Chemistry (3.0 cr)
CHEM 5150 - Organic and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry (3.0 cr)
CHEM 5212 - Advanced Environmental Chemistry (3.0 cr)
EES 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology (3.0 cr)
EES 5201 - Watershed Hydrology (3.0 cr)
EES 5250 - Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management (3.0 cr)
LIM 5010 - Integrated Approaches to the Study of Inland Waters (3.0 cr)
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology (3.0 cr)
LIM 5102 - Chemical Limnology (3.0 cr)
LIM 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Masters
Doctoral
 
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WRS 5101 - Water Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 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
This course offers a hands-on introduction to the ecology of lake ecosystems with a focus on lakes of the temperate and boreal regions, particularly Minnesota. We explore how factors including temperature, light, water chemistry, water motion, nutrients, and organisms interact in aquatic environments to determine the distribution, abundance, and behavior of aquatic biota. Laboratory exercises reinforce and expand on lecture materials and include the identification of fish, zooplankton, benthos, and phytoplankton as well as field excursions to area lakes. prereq: WRS or IBS Grad student
CE 4228 - Watershed Engineering
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Basic principles in hydrologic modeling and concepts of watershed delineation, land use change impact, case studies, and modeling tools are discussed and applied to natural and urban watersheds. The course will utilize hydraulic and hydrologic models and GIS tools for engineering design. pre-req: CE 3225 or instructor consent
CE 5241 - Water Chemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Water is critical component of environmental systems, and the chemistry that occurs in water is a rich subject. This class focuses on water chemistry in both natural and engineered systems. Topics include a review of thermodynamics and equilibrium, acids and bases, titrations, the carbonate system, solubility of minerals, metal ion complexation, oxidation/reduction chemistry, and descriptions of adsorption. Principles are applied to chemistry in water treatment, nutrient cycling, organic matter, and organic pollutants. Both chemical equilibrium and chemical kinetics are explored. Students will be introduced to software that can be used to solve water chemistry problems. The class is targeted at seniors and graduate students. pre-req: CE 3025 or CHEM 1155, or graduate student or instructor consent
CHEM 5150 - Organic and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Production and chemical composition of natural organic matter (OM), diagenesis and catagenesis of OM; stable isotopic fractionation processes of C, H, O, N, and S in natural systems, fractionation theory, isotopic indicators of climate, oceanographic/limnologic processes, trophic structure, microbial processes. prereq: BIOL 1012 and (CHEM 1152 or 1155 and 1156 or 1162 or 1175 and 1176) and (CHEM 2222 or 2212 or 2242) OR instructor consent
CHEM 5212 - Advanced Environmental Chemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Quantitative, advanced study of chemical processes in the natural environment. This course will cover the chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, focusing on the sources, fluxes, cycling, reactions, and transformation of natural and anthropogenic chemicals. pre-req: graduate student, credit will not be granted if already received for CHEM 4212.
EES 5103 - Geological Paleolimnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 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 1296 or 1596, PHYS 1002 or 2015 or 2018, CHEM 1155 or 1175 or grad student; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOL or LIM 5103
EES 5201 - Watershed Hydrology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: ESCI 5201/GEOL 5201
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is an upper-division hydrology course covering the hydrologic cycle in the context of wildland watersheds. The course will cover the major components of the hydrologic cycle, including precipitation, snow hydrology, canopy interception, evapotranspiration, infiltration, soil water storage, runoff, streamflow and groundwater flow. The impacts of watershed management on water quantity and quality will be discussed using regional, national, and global examples, with an emphasis on solving real-world problems using hydrologic datasets. This course includes a 2-hour lab that meets once per week. pre-req: MATH 1290 or 1296 or grad student; no credit granted if already received for EES or ESCI or GEOL 4201 or ESCI or GEOL 5201
EES 5250 - Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
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 1290 or 1296 amd PHYS 1002 or 2013 or 2017; or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for EES or GEOL 4250 or GEOL 5250
GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to the surface water processes and water resources management, including precipitation, runoff generation, channel processes, spatial and temporal variations in water distribution, aspects of water quantity and quality, and watershed management problems. Prereq: Geog 1414 or Geol 1110 or Graduate students or Instructor consent.
LIM 5010 - Integrated Approaches to the Study of Inland Waters
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
An interdisciplinary introduction to the science of Limnology taught at the beginning graduate student level. The science of inland waters, Limnology, is built on Geology, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics and increasingly includes Social Sciences. In this course, students will experience an in-depth, integrated approach to Limnology. Lake systems are emphasized but wetland and running water systems are discussed. The course includes significant out of class time reviewing on-line modules and other materials. In-class time is devoted mainly to group work, problem solving, and student-led discussions and presentations. An optional companion laboratory and practice course (LIM 5011) is associated with this course where additional foundational and fundamental limnological techniques are taught. pre-req: graduate student or instructor consent
LIM 5101 - Physical Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 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: 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