The graduate minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation is designed to accommodate the needs of professionals and graduate students. It offers an integrative approach that explicitly integrates human and policy dimensions of water resources within the framework of scientific and technological solutions. This minor is a flexible, coherent program that offers critical and underemphasized skills essential to preventing and resolving water conflicts. It helps facilitate dialogue on critical water issues across diverse values and perspectives, and it serves OSU students, citizens and officials in Oregon, the United States and internationally.
The curriculum centers around case-based, interactive course and field work to provide an in-depth look at water conflict, conflict transformation, and prevention issues and strategies across four distinct and overlapping themes: water governance, water and ecosystems, water and society, and water and economics. Each theme incorporates several topics critical to understanding water conflicts. A highlight of the minor is the capstone course coupled with an intersession practicum working with watershed councils, landowners, and agencies in Northeast Oregon; and a guided and critiqued project in which two teams take on, for example, the roles of Jordan and Israel to negotiate a treaty for water resource allocation in a simulated water negotiation. These techniques will hone student skills, understanding and thought development. Students will also take part in fieldwork in a watershed or basin at risk of, or in, water conflict.
Through this minor, students will learn about and practice conflict transformation skills, explore what new institutional networks and relationships are needed, and how these can be achieved through role-playing, in-class exercises, and guest lectures. Students will also be introduced to leadership skills for guiding this type of change.