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Institute of Watershed Research and Management

The Institute of Watershed Research and Management (IWRM) at Western Carolina University is an interdisciplinary association of faculty and staff from across the university who are devoted to the promotion of sustainable watershed management through research, education, and outreach.

A fundamental objective of IWRM is to provide novel, innovative, and objective research required to effectively balance economic prosperity with environmental interests during a time of unprecedented environmental change by bring together multidisciplinary teams to tackle pressing management issues.

IWRM also provides technical information, expertise, and training to federal, state, and local governments, concerned citizens, nonprofit organizations and other concerned stakeholders.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Institute is to foster interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research and education that supports local, state, and federal agencies, policymakers, non-governmental organizations, corporations, and the public in the development and implementation of sustainable watershed protection practices. Inherent in this mission is the realization that watershed protection and preservation must be consistent with policies ensuring economic and social prosperity and sustainability.

Goals and Objectives

  • Identify issues of local, state, and national interest to watershed management and bring together multidisciplinary teams to address these issues using the most innovative and state-of-the-art methods available;
  • Develop funding to support new and ongoing science related to watershed rehabilitation, management, and policy;
  • Provide a format for educating students and the public about watershed issues, and promote collaborative educational experiences;
  • Establish avenues for undergraduate and graduate student education through obtain hands-on “real-life” experiences related to the analysis, rehabilitation, and management of watersheds in the region, the State, and the Nation;
  • Establish both natural (field) and analytical laboratories that allow for the long-term collection and analysis of physical, geochemical, and biotic data;
  • Create and disseminate new tools for effective watershed management and policy development;
  • Work with local, state, and federal agencies as well as private entities to promote the rapid transfer of sound management solutions and policies into everyday practice;
  • Create new communication tools to facilitate literacy of important watershed issues.
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