Watershed Studies Institute (WSI)

Watershed Studies Programs

Master in Watershed Science

Because of the significant increase in knowledge regarding aquatic ecosystems dynamics, the formulation of management strategies, and the importance of this field of study to future management of our nation's surface water resources, the WSI created the M.S. in Watershed Science degree program. Utilizing each of the three WSI research centers (CSL, HBS, and MARC) the M.S. in Watershed Science is organized as an interdisciplinary program that provides students with a unique approach to watershed science. The program is designed around teaching and research resources of the WSI and will utilize the region's extensive aquatic ecosystems.

The Watershed Studies Institute program in Watershed Science is an interdisciplinary master's program within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology designed to prepare students for careers or for further graduate studies in the broader aspects of watershed management and science. The thesis course of study allows students to concentrate on one of four tracks: Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Hydrological Spatial Analysis, or Watershed Conservation. The non-thesis course of study is designed to fit individual educational goals and may be focused on any aspect of watershed science. All students must complete a core curriculum and advanced courses in their areas of interest. During the first semester, students must work at the Chemical Services Laboratory, the Mid-America Remote sensing Center, or the Hancock Biological Station.

Download the program brochure.

Requirements for Unconditional Admission

  • Applicants must meet all Murray State University requirements as stated in the Murray State University Graduate Bulletin.
  • A faculty member must agree to mentor the student.

Additional requirements for unconditional admission are as follows:

  • Baccalaureate degree in Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics, or closely related field.
  • At least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  • Composite GRE score of at least 297.

Course Requirements

Contact

Watershed Studies Institute
c/o Hancock Biological Station
561 Emma Drive
Murray, KY 42071
270.809.2272

Master in Watershed Science - Non-thesis track

Core Classes

Course Name Hours
BIO/GSC 642 Watershed Ecology 3
BIO 696 Understanding Scientific Communication 2
CHE 613 Environmental Chemistry 3
GSC 665 Physical/Chemical Limnology 3
WSC 690 Seminar 1
BIO 669 Biological Limnology 3
CHE 665 Biogeochemistry 3
GSC 662 Hydrogeology 3
Graduate courses in related fields (15 hrs, as determined by the advisory committee; at least eleven hours must be at the 600 level). 15
Total Course Requirements 36

Other Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of MAT 665: Applied Statistics I.
  • Written comprehensive examination in broad aspects of watershed science (usually taken in 3rd semester of residence).
  • Literature review on some aspect of watershed science, developed in collaboration with the faculty advisor. Successful written and oral presentation of the review counts as WSC 690.

Master in Watershed Science - Thesis track

Core Classes:

Course Hours
BIO/GSC 642 Watershed Ecology 3
BIO 696 Understanding Scientific Communication 2
CHE 613 Environmental Chemistry 3
GSC 665 Physical/Chemical Limnology 3
WSC 690 Seminar 1
WSC 698-699 Thesis 6
Total Core Courses 18
Graduate courses in related fields
Determined by the advisory committee; at least eight hours must be at the 600 level
18
Students will select remaining courses based on their specialization in the following four tracks: Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Hydrological Spatial Analysis, or Watershed Conservation.

Aquatic Ecology Track

Course Hours

Courses should include two of the following:

  • BIO 646 Stream Ecology
  • BIO 648 Wetland Ecology
  • BIO 686 Limnology
  • BIO 688 Reservoir Ecology
  • BIO 669 Biological Limnology
  • BIO 670 Limnological Analysis Laboratory
  • CHE 665 Biogeochemistry
  • GSC 662 Hydrogeology

 

 

and one of the following:

  • BIO 661 Freshwater Invertebrates
  • BIO 663 Aquatic Entomology
  • BIO 670 Ichthyology
  • BIO 672 Herpetology

and one of the following:

  • BIO 630 Animal Ecology
  • BIO 631 Plant Ecology
  • BIO 632 Quantitative Ecology
  • BIO 682 Waterfowl Management
  • BIO 683 Fisheries Management
 
Total Track 18

Environmental Chemistry Track

Course Hours
Courses should include the following:
  • CHE 617 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHE 627 Chemical Separations
  • CHE 628 Mass Spectrometry
  • CHE 665 Biogeochemistry
 
Total Track 18

Hydrological Spatial Analysis Track

Course Hours
Courses should include at least one of the following:
  • BIO 669 Biological Limnology
  • BIO 670 Limnological Analysis Laboratory
  • GSC 662 Hydrogeology
 
and at least three of the following:
  • CET 685 Remediation Technology
  • GSC 612 Remote Sensing
  • GSC 621 Geographic Information Systems
  • GSC 640 Advanced Remote Sensing
  • GSC 641 Digital Image Processing Research
  • GSC 680 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
 
Total Track 18

Watershed Conservation Track

Course Hours
Courses should include two of the following:
  • BIO 646 Stream Ecology
  • BIO 648 Wetland Ecology
  • BIO 669 Biological Limnology
  • BIO 670 Limnological Analysis Laboratory
  • BIO 686 Limnology
  • BIO 688 Reservoir Ecology
  • CHE 665 Biogeochemistry
  • GSC 662 Hydrogeology
and three of the following:
  • AGR 674 Agricultural Irrigation and Water Systems
  • BIO 678 Agricultural Irrigation and Water Systems
  • BIO 682 Waterfowl Management
  • BIO 683 Fisheries Management
  • CET 655 Environmental Regulatory Affairs
  • CET 681 Pollution Assessment and Control
  • CET 685 Remediation Technology
Total Track 18

Other Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of MAT 665: Applied Statistics I.
  • Written and oral comprehensive examination, as specified by the advisory committee in broad aspects of watershed science and area of concentration (usually taken in 3rd semester of residence).
  • Defense of thesis.

WSI Research Symposium

12th Annual WSI Research Symposium (April 14, 2021)

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