This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award prepares Ph.D. students at the University of Idaho with the tools to address the effects of climate change and human population dynamics upon physical, ecological, and social systems. The program provides trainees with an interdisciplinary water resources education that promotes socially responsible practice in research and the development of innovative approaches to problem solving.
The goal of this IGERT program is to train future scientists who will develop adaptation strategies for the short-term and long-term impacts of climate change and population dynamics on water supply and demand. Trainees will integrate changes in infrastructure, legal and institutional structure, and ecological responses into their adaption strategies. While studying the Columbia River Basin in the U.S. and Canada, and the Biobío River Basin in Chile, trainees will research landscape level water quantity and quality, regulated and unregulated river systems, and social networks of institutions and organizations that will use the science in decision making. The program will provide trainees with courses, workshops, and informal activities to foster collaboration.
Trainees will learn about how the various professions supporting sustainable water resource management are interconnected within the larger social, cultural, and legal context. Trainees will also collaborate with the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance to bridge the discussions between science and policy. Additionally, through this IGERT, the University of Idaho will partner with the University of Concepción, Catholic University of Chile, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Saskatchewan. Students will be recruited from underrepresented groups, especially Native Americans, who are directly affected by water resources problems in the basins.