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University of Montana Western Offers New Pathway to River-Based Careers

September 14, 2022

The River Management Society (RMS) is excited to announce a partnership with the University Montana Western benefiting students who are passionate about river science, recreation, and conservation. UMW now offers the River Studies and Leadership Certificate (RSLC) to students, bringing them one step closer to landing their dream river careers.

Environmental Science students conduct a baseline assessment of streamflow conditions in the Upper Clark Fork River. Photo courtesy of UMW Environmental Sciences Department. 

“The certificate helps prepare undergraduate students for a variety of river-based careers through interdisciplinary coursework, hands-on professional experience, and opportunities to meet and learn from current river professionals,” noted Angie Fuhrmann, RMS River Training Center Coordinator. “Students will get to explore and study river systems in ways that integrate the life and earth sciences, policy and conservation, socio-cultural and economic factors, education, and recreation.”

The RSLC is a natural complement to the Environmental Sciences program at UMW, where students learn how water moves and is distributed, gain field experience surveying and sampling rivers, engage in local water policy and management issues, and practice communicating water science with public audiences. Students participating in the RSLC program will receive a free one-year membership to RMS, which includes a subscription to the RMS Journal and access to national and regional events including river trips and virtual and in-person workshops. Students will share their river-related work at the RMS Symposium or by publishing an article in the RMS Journal.

Environmental Sustainability students team up with volunteers to plant willows in the Big Hole Watershed. Photo courtesy of UMW Environmental Sciences Department. 

“I am excited for our students and myself to be connected with a network of other students, academics, and practitioners invested in river science, management, and recreation,” said Dr. Arica Crootof, the university’s RSLC advisor. “This partnership really helps to expand educational opportunities for our students and offers a supportive community to build new skills and relationships around water.”

Students interested in participating in the RSLC program at UMW should contact Dr. Crootof at [email protected] or visit her in Block Hall 123 on the Montana Western campus.

Visit to learn more about the program.