Graduate Certificate in Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration

Our Program

We are excited to introduce a new Graduate Certificate in Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration. The purpose of the certificate is twofold—to provide complimentary training for graduate students wishing to gain depth in techniques and principles for restoration of riverine habitats and environments, and to provide background and training in these techniques and principles for professional practitioners and managers working in the field of ecosystem restoration and management.

Contact Information
Director: Patrick Belmont
Program Administrator: Curtis Gray
Location: BNR 358B
Phone: (435) 797-2459

Admission Requirements

We are currently offering a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration. This certificate is intended for graduate students, matriculated at USU, and taking courses for credit.

Course Requirements

Program participants are required to take a total of 12 units, or 18 continuing education credits:

  • Two required core courses (each one is 2 credits or 3 continuing education units)
  • Three to five elective courses (each one is 1-2 credits or 1.5 continuing education units)

All courses are offered in the short-course or workshop format, either in-person or as online courses. Most in-person workshops have a field component. Some are entirely field-oriented, others are a hybrid of field, online and in-person classroom instructor contact. See course descriptions for details.

We attempt to schedule courses so one required course and one elective course are scheduled back-to-back in the same week. This allows working professionals to minimize the number of trips needed to complete the certificate program.

Students are not required to enroll in the AER Certificate Program to take Restoration Consortium short-courses. These courses can be taken for University graduate-level academic credit or continuing education units on an individual basis, and students will receive a letter grade or pass/fail.  Course attendance and test scores will determine participants’ grades. 


Tuition is paid by academic credit for enrolled (matriculated) students, and by CEU + program costs for professional, non-USU students.

  • Tuition costs for out-of-state students is $473 per credit. ($431 tuition + $42 differential tuition per credit.)
  • Tuition costs for in-state students is based on USU's tuition and fees table + $42 differential tuition per credit.
  • For professional, non-enrolled students the cost is $30 paid to the university per continuing education credit, and $350-400 per day of in-person instruction depending on logistics. 


Required Courses

  • WATS 6300 / CEWA 6300, Restoration Principles
  • WATS 5670/ CEWA 5670, Watershed & Stream Restoration Practicum

General Elective Courses

Methods Elective Courses

Online Electives

Upcoming Courses

Here is a preview of new courses being developed by members of the Restoration Consortium. We anticipate that these will be part of the curriculum in the upcomming semester.

  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Geomorphology of Riverscapes for restoration practitioners
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Field Methods for riparian assessment and restoration design
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Fish Habitats 
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Geomorphic Unit detection (geomorphic unit toolkit—GUT)
  • PCC 6900 / CEPS 5700 Invasive plant ecology and management
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT) 
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Riparian Condition Assessment tool (RCAT)
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Enhancing Mesic Habitat Resilience in Sagebrush Ecosystems: Beaver Dam analogs as a low cost restoration tool
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Woody Debris restoration of streams and rivers
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Fish Bioenergetics—Net rate energy intake (NREI)
  • WATS 6900 / CEWA 5700 Priorities in riparian restoration