LATEST UPDATES ON FALL 2021 PLANNING, VACCINES, COVID-19 TESTING AND MORE LATEST UPDATES ON FALL 2021 PLANNING, VACCINES, COVID-19 TESTING AND MORE
MSU Denver

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The western United States is a region with a long history of water challenges. In the American West, over 40 million people depend on the Colorado River. At the same time, the effects of climate change are adding to the challenges.

MSU Denver developed the noncredit Water Studies courses for people interested in safeguarding this precious resource. Students will learn history, law, management, and water trends in Colorado and the American West.

Many industries can benefit from knowing more about water issues and solutions. These industries include small farms, wastewater, manufacturing, construction, risk management, utilities, hospitality, green and sustainable industries, law, and engineering.

The courses have recently been recently improved, offering the same high quality, but shortened to meet your busy schedules.  The course structure has been redesigned for each class to be one month long to improve the learning experience and accommodate the schedules of busy professional students.

Courses

Water Law Course

This course surveys the early water use and development, water rights, management of water, and interstate and federal laws and agreements.

Upon completion of this course, you will gain a basic understanding of:

  • Colorado’s role as a headwaters state
  • How population, climate, geology, and hydrology impact the supply of water resources in Colorado
  • Early water use and development in Colorado and how the prior appropriation doctrine (Colorado Doctrine) differs from riparian doctrine
  • Water terminology and concepts, such as diversion, beneficial use, rule of scarcity, surface and ground water classifications, are more.
  • Colorado water law and policy about history, concepts, and application
  • How water is used in Colorado and the fundamentals of providing water to different users
  • Interstate compacts and transbasin diversions

Colorado Water & the American West Course

In this class, students will study the rich history of water in Colorado and the American West, how native communities used it, and the American approach to water management.

Upon completion of this course, you will gain a basic understanding of:

  • Water in the west; from first peoples to Spanish Colonization
  • How John Wesley Powell influenced mapping western waterways
  • The function of prior appropriation
  • Reclamation and the Colorado River Compact
  • Denver and Los Angeles waters
  • Conflicts and opportunities in western water management in relation to Native Americans

U.S. Water Concerns Course

In this class, water is examined as a natural and societal resource, water infrastructure challenges, industry-related water pollution, and future changes due to climate change.

Upon completion of this course, you will gain a basic understanding of:

  • How population, climate, geology, and hydrology impact the supply of water resources
  • How water resources and usage in the US compares with that in other countries
  • Water issues that can arise in “wet” and “dry” areas
  • Virtual water
  • Agricultural use of water and how it impacts the shape of the land and economics
  • Types and sources of water pollutants
  • Condition of water infrastructure in the US and public health concerns
  • Water and wastewater treatment processes
  • How hydrology models are used to predict flooding and methods of stormwater control
  • Water conflicts between US and neighboring countries
  • Water conservation initiatives and their relationship with water quality

Class benefits

Students can take one class, or combine all three to receive the Water Studies Certificate.

  • Flexible schedule – the self-paced and online nature lets students control their schedule
  • One-on-one networking and advisement – Receive a personal advising session with an expert in the Colorado water industry
  • Real-world applications – enhance your resume with in-demand skills

Schedule

Registration for fall 2021 is now open.

  • The U.S. Water Concerns class runs September 1st – September 30th, 2021. The last day to register for the class is September 5th.
  • The Water Law class runs October 1st – October 31st, 2021. The last day to register for the class is October 5th.
  • The Colorado Water and the American West class runs November 1st – November 30, 2021. The last day to register for the class is November 5th.

Students can take one class, or combine all three to receive the Water Studies Certificate.

The courses have recently been recently improved, offering the same high quality, but shortened to meet your busy schedules.  The course structure has been redesigned for each class to be one month long to improve the learning experience and accommodate the schedules of busy professional students.

Cost

Each course is $425, with a $35 transaction fee per payment. No textbooks are required.

What do I receive after I pass the course?

You will receive a certification of completion after you successfully complete all three courses.

You may also request to receive a digital badge for each class that will be embedded with the competencies learned. This badge can be added to your resume, LinkedIn page, portfolio, or even share it with your current or future employer.

Instructors

Dr. Elizabeth R. McVicker, Colorado Water Law

Elizabeth’s expertise in water law has her in great demand to serve on the board of three water-related Colorado entities: The Center of Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Headwaters of the South Platte Water Enterprise, and the Coalition of the Upper South Platte. She serves as a guest speaker, panelist, and media expert for water-related events, and was instrumental in developing the One World One Water Center and the Water Studies Curriculum.

Elizabeth is a high-energy professor and brings enthusiasm and knowledge to her classes. She has a JD from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature from New York University. She teaches business ethics and sustainability courses for MSU Denver.

Her experience as a business owner and attorney allows her to bring a great deal of knowledge to the classroom. She is a recipient of the College of Business, Dean’s Overall Faculty Excellence Award.

Photo of instructor Elizabeth McVicker

Dr. Matthew S. Makley, Colorado Water and the American West

Matt is a professor of History at MSU Denver, where he has taught for almost 15 years. Previously he taught at Arizona State University where he earned a Ph.D. in Native American History, and the History of the American West. The University of Nevada Press published Makley’s co-authored book, Cave Rock: Climbers, Courts, and a Washoe Indian Sacred Place, in 2010. His more recent book, The Small Shall be Strong: A History of Lake Tahoe’s Washoe Indians, was published in 2018, by the University of Massachusetts Press.

Matt was born in Lake Tahoe, and has spent his life in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. This has allowed him to explore the land, its people, its past, and its present. Each journey down a river canyon, up a mountain top, or upon a city street helps inspire and inform his professional practice.

Water in the west has become an area of particular interest for Makley. He recently helped produce a short documentary film about an Iris farm and its relationship with water in Boulder, CO called Long’s Gardens: An Urban Oasis.

Photo of instructor Matt Makley

Dr. Randi Brazeau, US. Water Concerns

Dr. Randi Brazeau, P.E., received her B.S. and M.E. degrees in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida. After working as an engineering analyst with Kimley-Horn and Associates for two years, she completed a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering – Environmental Water Resources from Virginal Tech under Dr. Marc Edwards. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at MSU Denver where she has been since 2012.

Randi teaches a variety of environmental science courses and teaches integrated science for pre-service elementary education students. In addition to advising Environmental Science students, she also serves as a primary advisor for Environmental Engineering. Her main research interests include decontamination of premise plumbing and public health after contamination events, surface water quality in response to mining and hazardous waste spills, urban surface water quality, and learner centered pedagogies in undergraduate STEM disciplines.

Photo of instructor Randi Brazeau

One World One Water

The One World One Water Center (OWOW) is a collaboration between Metropolitan State University of Denver and Denver Botanic Gardens. The OWOW Center strives to prepare an educated, empowered, solution-oriented Colorado citizenry to protect and preserve our precious water resources.

Photo of Tom Ceche

Tom Cech was born and raised on a farm near Clarkson, Nebraska, graduated from Kearney State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math Education, and later received a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He was Executive Director of the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District in Greeley, taught water undergraduate and graduate level water resources courses at the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University, and is now the Director of the One World One Water (OWOW) Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship at MSU Denver.

"A good steward learns about our most precious natural resource - water, and reaches out to put that knowledge into action. Colorado's future will be shaped by our students, and their stewardship will determine the fate of our rivers, lakes and groundwater."

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Questions?

Please contact Andrea Pazos at 303-615-1234 or [email protected]

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Phone: 303-615-1234

Office Location:
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3rd Floor – #330
Auraria Campus

Mailing Address:
MSU Denver
Innovative and Lifelong Learning
P.O. Box 173362
Campus Box 6
Denver, CO 80217-3362