Make a difference for students today!
The Institute for Watershed Studies (IWS) supports a wide variety of interdisciplinary projects that provide exciting opportunities for students to engage in relevant watershed research and make important contributions to the community. One example of this is the Northwest Lakes Monitoring Project, a community service project that provides water quality data and other information for over 60 lakes in our region. This project was instrumental in Western Washington University being awarded the National President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction Award in 2013 and 2015. Your donation to the Institute for Watershed Studies will help ensure the continued success of this and other student projects that benefit our local community.
The Institute for Watershed Studies supports student research by providing hands-on learning opportunities, as well as exposure to cutting-edge scientific techniques and analytical equipment. Many graduates from our institute have gone on to use these skills in professional careers and graduate school.
MEET THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS WHO BENEFIT FROM YOUR GENEROSITY
Lillie Tomlinson (she/her) is an undergraduate in her junior year studying Environmental Science with a marine emphasis. Originally from Oregon, Lillie moved to Washington to attend WWU, where she planned to study marine biology. However, she quickly fell in love with freshwater when she became involved with the Institute for Watershed Studies during the summer after her sophomore year. During that summer, Lillie and a fellow student traveled around Northwest Washington to over 60 diverse lakes, taking samples of algae and water to test for dissolved oxygen levels, pH, alkalinity, chlorophyll, and more.
Lillie says that this experience was truly unlike any other because it allowed her to gain valuable skills in both lab and field work, as well as independence and confidence. Because of the support she has received from the Institute for Watershed Studies, Lillie feels well equipped to pursue graduate school and future opportunities in scientific research.
Emma Owens is a third-year undergraduate Honors student studying Environmental Science and pursuing a minor in Energy Policy. She is currently exploring the intersection between humans, energy, environment, and agriculture. Emma wants to know how we can become better at understanding and caring for the world around us. She hopes to find a balance between agriculture, science and humanitarian issues in her career and try to make a positive impact on the world.
The Northwest Lake Monitoring Program taught Emma a great deal about field jobs and how unpredictable yet enjoyable they can be. She also learned how fun it is to work outdoors and gained a lot of applicable real-life experience through troubleshooting and adapting to unexpected situations. Emma gained a new understanding of freshwater algae and identifying species, creating a new fascination with microscopic processes. Emma says that the Northwest Lake Monitoring Program has allowed her to access connections through the Institute for Watershed Studies and have a flexible school year job as well.