Center for Watershed Protection and UMUC Receive Maryland Distance Learning Association Award

Ellicott City, MD, April 09, 2008 --( At their annual conference last month, the Maryland Distance Learning Association awarded the creators of Environmental Management 360, "Introduction to Urban Watersheds" with Distance Learning Course of the Year. This recognition reflects the successful collaboration effort between the Center and Dr. Kathleen Warner and Andrew Rein of University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

In 2006, looking to expand the reach of increased watershed knowledge beyond training workshops and one-on-one technical assistance, the Center partnered with UMUC to develop an online university course on urban watershed management. UMUC possesses the largest distance learning program worldwide, and had faculty who were interested in incorporating watershed curriculum into their environmental management classes. Karen Cappiella, Hye Yeong Kwon, and Anne Kitchell, with assistance from other Center staff, developed the course content in partnership with UMUC.

The vision for distance learning was to enhance the watershed learning experience by providing a forum that has wider geographic coverage, convenient access, and flexibility to bring together a wider network of both trainers and trainees.

While the Center worked to provide the content and Center Research Director Karen Cappiella taught the first course, it has since been led by UMUC faculty members numerous times and has continued to be offered by UMUC. This transfer of watershed curriculum from the Center to University professors greatly increases the breadth of people who are exposed to information about watersheds.

“Introduction to Urban Watersheds” covers: 1) the basics of watersheds, including hydrology, geomorphology, water quality, and biology; 2) the land development process and its impact on each of these systems; and 3) an introduction to watershed management methods. The class contains numerous interactive elements, including delineation of a subwatershed, and intensive discussions among students on a variety of topics requiring critical thinking about their own watersheds.

About the Center for Watershed Protection:
Founded in 1992, the Center for Watershed Protection is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to protecting and restoring watersheds through effective land and water management. The Center has developed a multi-disciplinary strategy to provide technical assistance to local governments and non-profits who work to protect the nation’s water resources. The Center has helped communities around the country discover the importance of approaching environmental work at the watershed level. The Center is protecting and restoring watersheds by developing training programs for watershed professionals, fostering local partnerships with community groups, conducting practical research, facilitating consensus-based environmentally-friendly development principles, and providing direct watershed management services to local communities. Website:

Center for Watershed Protection
Lauren Lasher, Communications Manager