@MSUDenver: Water Studies Online Certificate, classes start in January 2018

MSU Denver’s Water Studies Online Certificate is one of the only certificates in the country with a special focus on water in Colorado and the American West. The certificate will allow you to expand your knowledge about water stewardship under the direction of highly qualified instructors, in a self-paced format, with an applied real-world project.

What you get with the Water Studies Online Certificate:

  • Flexible schedule – Control your own schedule with a self-paced format that’s 100% online.
  • Expert faculty – Our instructors are experts in their field, with deep experience in water.
  • One-on-one networking and advisement – Receive a personal advising session with an expert in the Colorado water industry.
  • Career opportunities – Find job demand in a growth industry. Wherever you live, someone’s job is to be in charge of water.
  • Register now! Courses start January 2018. For more information, visit us at https://msudenver.edu/water-studies-online/ or contact us at lifelonglearning@msudenver.edu or 303.721.1313.

    The @OWOW_MSUDenver fall newsletter is hot off the presses

    Photo credit Metropolitan State University of Denver.

    Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

    Thank you to all that joined us for the Study Abroad Fair, Sustainability Fair, Fall Fest and the Student Water Field Conference in Keystone. We appreciate your interest in the OWOW Center and truly enjoy talking to others that have a passion about water.

    Starting SPRING 2018, One World One Water Center will now offer an Water Studies Online Certificate!

    What you get with the Water Studies Online Certificate:
    * Flexible schedule – Control your own schedule with a self-paced format that’s 100% online
    * One-on-one networking and advisement – Receive a personal advising session with an expert in the Colorado water industry
    * Real-world applications – Develop a capstone project to directly apply what you’ve learned to real-world situations
    For a list of courses and to register: click here.

    @MSUDenver: Water Studies Online Certificate

    From Metropolitan State University at Denver (Terry Bower):

    In response to the reality of declining water resources, Metropolitan State University of Denver Innovative and Lifelong Learning has partnered with the One World One Water Center to offer a new Water Studies Online Certificate, an opportunity to learn about the history, law, and management of water in Colorado and the western United States.

    From lifelong learners who want to know more about water preservation to those working in green and sustainable professions, this unique certificate provides introductory level training and skills relevant to a wide range of fields in the nonprofit, corporate, and public sectors, including water industries, conservation, agriculture, construction, engineering, and law.

    What you get with the Water Studies Online Certificate:

  • Flexible schedule – Control your own schedule with a self-paced format that’s 100% online
  • One-on-one networking and advisement – Receive a personal advising session with an expert in the Colorado water industry
  • Real-world applications – Develop a capstone project to directly apply what you’ve learned to real-world situations
  • Career opportunities – Find job demand in a growth industry. Wherever you live, someone’s job is to be in charge of water.

    Registration opens October 3. Courses start January 2018. For more information, please contact Innovative and Lifelong Learning at lifelonglearning@msudenver.edu or 303.721.1313.

  • Go Roadrunners! (John Orr, class of 1978)

    @OWOW_MSUDenver and @botanic partner to meet #Colorado’s supply challenges

    Here’s the release from Metropolitan State University at Denver (Dan Vaccaro):

    Denver’s urban university and botanic garden team up to make an even bigger impact on water issues in Colorado.

    The next time you’re sitting in traffic on Interstate 25 (this afternoon, probably), consider this: Colorado’s population is expected to grow by 1.5 million by 2030. And that doesn’t just mean more traffic. It means more pressure on the state’s scarcest natural resource – water.

    Between the population boom and rising global temperatures, the imagination doesn’t need to wander far to see what the future of Colorado might look like. Hint: If you thought lawn-watering restrictions were bad, how about living in a world like the one imagined in the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road”?

    Thankfully, there are people and organizations teaming up to tackle water issues in the state. This past spring, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the One World One Water Center at Metropolitan State University of Denver signed a partnership that will have long-term implications for the future of water education and stewardship in the Centennial State.

    “Both organizations were already pursuing similar objectives,” says Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd, director of marketing and social responsibility for the Denver Botanic Gardens. “By joining forces, we can do so much more and have a bigger reach for our work.”

    The plan includes stronger collaboration between MSU Denver professors and Botanic Gardens scientists, shared research projects and the pursuit of joint funding. Wherever possible, the aim is to involve students. The end goal, Riley-Chetwynd says, is to make an even bigger impact on watershed restoration and health.

    As part of the agreement, Riley-Chetwynd also becomes co-director of the OWOW Center in addition to her work at the Botanic Gardens, helping to further unite the organizations. She already serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Journalism and Technical Communication Department at MSU Denver.

    For Tom Cech, co-director of the OWOW Center, the partnership will help better educate future water leaders and stewards. “Our goal has always been to raise awareness of current water challenges and opportunities both in the Colorado community and among our students,” he says. “This partnership amplifies those efforts.”

    While MSU Denver students have interned at the Botanic Gardens, Cech sees increased opportunities in light of the new agreement. He also imagines more events like the recent Shed ’17 water summit, co-hosted by the organizations June 29 at the Gardens.

    The event brought together nearly 200 leaders from across the state and country to discuss water challenges and co-create solutions. Topics at the conference included the importance of watershed health and outdoor recreation, agriculture’s role in Colorado’s water future, and the evolution of conservation. The keynote speaker for the event was Mike Nelson, chief meteorologist at Denver7, who spoke about climate change.

    Another distinctive feature of the agreement is the development of a co-branded logo, which will appear at water-related events, an aspect that Deputy Provost Sandra Haynes describes as “unique.”

    “It is a testament to the breadth and depth of this collaboration between two of Denver’s most recognized institutions,” she says.

    Haynes hopes the partnership will also provide more exposure for innovative university programs such as the water studies and urban agriculture minors.

    This partnership comes at an important time in state history, Riley-Chetwynd says. A statewide water plan released in 2015 creates a roadmap for the future of water in Colorado. One of the main principles is removing silos to ensure that diverse groups are working efficiently and effectively.

    “We need to work together to answer questions about how to deal with our population growth, where our water will come from and how we will keep urban communities viable without endangering our environment,” she says. “No one group can do all of that alone. It’s the only way forward if we’re going to make Colorado’s future sustainable.”

    If all goes according to plan, the only “Fury Road” in Colorado will be I-25, particularly during rush hour.

    Shed ’17 recap

    Brad Udall’s panel at Shed ’17. From left, Brad Udall, Sam Mamet, Martha Rudolph, Maggie Fox.

    What a hoot at Thursday’s Shed ’17 summit at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Great program and an outstanding venue, the Denver Botanic Gardens. Organizers included volunteers from Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Water, Aurora Water, City of Boulder, Center for Resource Conservation, Colorado Division of Water Resources, Colorado Water Conservation Board, the the One World One Water Center at Metropolitan State University at Denver. (Go Roadrunners!)

    Mike Nelson’s keynote focused on Climate Change. He cited the increase in frequency of large-scale storminess and emphasized that humnankind is changing the water cycle. He is working for the future of his grandchildren he said at the end.

    To close out the presentations Brad Udall outlined major events related to climate change since last fall’s election. He ended with a series of maps showing public opinion strongly in favor of policies to combat the effects of climate change.

    A panel discussion followed Brad’s presentation. Sam Mamet explored climate change from the municipal perspective. He talked about the challenges to the folks on the front lines, city and town administrators, boards and councils, and their role in planning for a warmer future. Funding heads the list of concerns for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. Close behind is the uncertainty about policy, rule-making, and priorities for the new administration. Maggie Fox urged climate educators to find common ground with those they seek to influence. She was adamant in her plea for everyone to stay engaged and active politically.


    We heard a great story from the recreation folks. Recreation is a muti-billion dollar industry and is responsible for many jobs across the state. The industry also has many interests aligned with the environment. Recreational In Channel Diversions, for example, can call out juniors to help keep water in the stream. The wave feature at Glenwood Springs is a great recreation draw in the valley.

    Conservation efforts are morphing towards a focus on resiliency and bolstering the natural environment. Kevin Reidy pointed out a large statewide uptick in interest for developing and revising conservation plans. In the Roaring Fork Valley entities worked together to develop a regional plan.

    Farmers are still resistant to Alternative Transfer Methods. One reason is the desire to sell their water rights when they retire. Another is the heightened risk that comes with agriculture year after year — the reality that good years are what get farmers through the other years. There is great uncertainty at the beginning of each growing season.

    John Echohawk spoke just before lunch. He catalogued the struggle to litigate Native American water rights. Most of the time the tribes are successful leveraging the Winters v. United States Supreme Court decision and the date a reservation was established. The cost of litigation is prohibitive.

    Thanks again to the committee that put this together. Sean Cronin did a great job keeping the agenda on track. It was a treat touring the gardens.

    @OWOW_MSUDenver: Center Upcoming Events: Shed ’17, Student Water Field Conference, Water Conflict

    Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Shed ’17” Watershed Summit

    The Watershed Summit is rapidly becoming the region’s top event for water industry leaders. The event’s focus on “Water Is Your Business” seeks to add new voices to the discussion, introduce innovative ideas, and break down silos. Topics include water conservation, watershed health, climate change, water’s economic impacts, and agriculture – including emerging trends and opportunities.

    Registration scholarships are available to qualified participants. Please note that the scholarship deadline has been extended to June 16th. Scholarship Application

    Registration and More Shed ’17 Information

    @MSUDenver: Rising curtains, rising tides — “The power of theatre for social change is immense” — Marilyn Hetzel

    In observance of Earth Day, we spotlight an MSU Denver theatre ensemble changing lives, one drop at a time.

    From Metropolitan State University of Denver (Cory Phare):

    In observance of Earth Day, we spotlight an MSU Denver theatre ensemble changing lives, one drop at a time.

    If you promote water conservation in the Denver area, chances are good that you’ve already heard of Water Wise.

    John Stulp, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s top water advisor, has – and that’s how the MSU Denver theatre troupe got to bring its brand of advocacy-based performance to the 2017 Colorado Water Congress’ annual convention this past January.

    The Water Wise ensemble does what’s known as theatre for social change. And, as Marilyn Hetzel, Ph.D., chair of the University’s Department of Theatre noted, it’s a vehicle for delivering important messages that leave a lasting impression.

    “The power of theatre for social change is immense,” she said. “They’re stories that can teach.”

    Water we going to do about it?

    The Water Wise troupe owes its founding in part to when Tom Cech felt the impact of this kind of performance firsthand.

    “My wife, Grace, and I attended [Dr. Hetzel’s] production of ‘Here’s to Ears,’ and it was fabulous!” said Cech, the director of MSU Denver’s One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship program. “There were no props – they just told a great educational story about hearing protection.”

    Cech reached out to Hetzel, and they strategized a way to develop and stage a similar production – only this time in conjunction with Denver Water, Aurora Water and the City of Boulder’s water department. The agencies had originally contacted MSU Denver looking for innovative ways to enhance their water education programs.

    The show needed to convey the importance of conservation and a deeper understanding of natural resources. It would be performed at annual water festivals, and performances would also be integrated within the conservation-rooted school curricula already in place for fourth- through sixth-graders in the region.

    For Miles LaGree, the question of logistics was part of the creative solution when he approached writing the theatrical piece as a member of the original Water Wise theatre group.

    “The challenge was taking a list of facts, and then translating them into theatrical performances without any props or scenery,” said the senior ensemble member, who is wrapping up a bachelor’s degree in applied theatre technology and design. “How were we going to do the show with just us?”

    The answer was simple: a powerful narrative, with an innovative means of conveyance.

    Thus, Water Wise performances were born.

    Rapid growth, rapid connections

    When you do something well, word tends to get around. And just as a soft trickle builds from headwaters into a mighty roar downstream, buzz got louder about what the ensemble was doing.

    That’s what led to the Colorado Water Congress stage, where Water Wise circa 2017 performed for members, including engineers and water providers from around the state. After the troupe’s performance (greeted with thunderous applause), representatives from across Colorado approached the group to discuss future performances.

    According to Cech, another key value of theatre for social change was demonstrated: constructing a career pipeline to keep the message flowing.

    “With the students from the troupe still in the room, we asked [conference attendees], ‘How many of you are hiring right now?’” said Cech. “Hands shot up, and immediately we had connections; students provided resumes to people who were interested in what they had to say and what they could do. That’s how it works.”

    Transformative states that matter

    According to Natalie Brower-Kirton, senior water conservation specialist with Aurora Water, who served on a post-performance panel at the event, the very process of developing the piece proved transformative for students.

    “[Ensemble students] made an empowering and positive message about where our water comes from, why Colorado is unique, and what people can do to conserve it,” she said. “The best thing is not only that they reached a large audience but that they became water advocates themselves.”

    LaGree attested to this. He also pointed out that theatre works particularly well as a vehicle because it’s a live art – and one that most younger students haven’t had much experience with.

    “Not many kids are heading down to the Buell, so it’s great to bring the work to them,” he said. “And to see that fire lit in their eyes from the performances – that’s what it’s all about.”

    And so, lighting that passion for conservation is really the greatest impact of Water Wise theatre for social change. As Cech and Brower-Kirton attest, it’s an indisputably valuable tool for organizational change, and why Hetzel fondly refers to theatre as “equipment for living.”

    It’s why LaGree speaks of his time with Water Wise and the lessons learned from Hetzel as “more valuable than anything money could buy.”

    “It’s seeing that light turn on in the kids’ heads, knowing they’ve learned something,” he said. “Those smiling faces are what let you know firsthand that it’s effective, that what you’re doing matters.”