Mehmet Altingoz

What is your research interest?
Environmental peacebuilding with a focus on transboundary water management.

How do you contribute to water studies?
I studied transboundary water management during my master’s degree at Oregon State University. My advisor was Dr. Aaron Wolf, the co-director of this certificate program. My master’s thesis was titled “Investigating Management of Transboundary Basins between Sovereign Countries and Non-Sovereign Entities”. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree, which is also in the field of transboundary water management. In particular, I am studying cooperation over transboundary waters at local, public-private, and international scales among conflicting parties.

How acquiring this certificate has helped you?
I obtained this certificate during my master’s education, as it helped me better understand cooperative behavior in the management of troubled transboundary waters. This certificate also continues to benefit me in the same way while I am conducting my doctoral research.

Mehmet can be contacted at

Response provided: August 2018

Larry Anderson

I am an analyst specializing in international security issues. I completed Oregon State's graduate certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation to refresh my education with a focus on 21st century issues. I completed my M.S. in Strategic Intelligence at the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, D.C. back in the 90's.

My current research focuses on developing scientific and environmental indicators relevant to predictive analysis of fresh water-related conflicts in Asia and Africa. For the past three years (2013-2016), a career development sabbatical has allowed me to study and work alongside scientists and natural resource specialists at the Phinizy Center for Water Science and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

I would recommend this certificate program to anyone involved in water conflict-related work who serves as a negotiator or intermediary. For those dealing with complex water challenges involving communities, villages, countries, and regions, the pool of optimism can often run low. This program will help replenish your hope and optimism by showing you there are practical long-term processes to improve communication and transform conflict into cooperation. Teachers such as Lynette de Silva were incredibly helpful throughout my studies, offering valuable insights that allowed me to quickly reframe many of the issues and see them through fresh eyes.
The photo shows me performing remote sensor maintenance on the Savannah River along the Georgia-South Carolina border.
Response provided: April 2016

L. Nicole Arellano

I came to OSU as a Peace Corps Masters International student in the Water Resources Graduate Program. Todd Jarvis, the PCMI coordinator for the water program, suggested I enroll in the Water Conflict Management and Transformation certificate program as well, and I am glad that I did. The things I learned prepared me well for my time as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) extensionist in Panama, where I worked with the Ministry of Health and water committees to improve access to WASH resources in rural communities. The training I received through the certificate program helped me to effectively collaborate with others and to navigate conflicts that arose along the way.

With the support of host country nationals and fellow Peace Corps volunteers, I was also able to coordinate monthly sampling of rainfall, surface and groundwater sources across Panama for my MS research, which focuses on using stable isotopes to investigate patterns in hydrologic recharge and water security in the Central America region. I will start doctoral studies this fall in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston where I hope to continue engaging in this kind of research and developing the skills I’ve gained here.

I am grateful for these skills and for how much Lynette de Silva, Aaron Wolf, Todd Jarvis, and other instructors have invested in the WCMT program and its students.

Response provided: April 2019

Harmony Burright

I am a graduate student enrolled in the Water Resources Policy and Management program at Oregon State University. More specifically, I am studying institutional arrangements that facilitate an integrated water resources management approach across working landscapes. I am also a recreational sailor and love spending time on the Columbia River when the wind kicks up.

I am an intern at the Willamette Partnership, which is a non-profit organization based out of Hillsboro, Oregon that is working to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of conservation by employing market-based mechanisms. I am managing a project that will merge ecosystem markets, eco-labels and regulatory assurances to maximize benefits to landowners and minimize overall transaction costs.

Response provided: December 2011

Andrea Carson

Your area of water-related interest/research (and MS/PhD focus and title, if you are (or did) pursue one): Public Participation and Environmental Conflict Transformation; Sustainable Development, Water Access Issues, East Asia Title of Thesis: Investments in people and technology: Public participation in the remediation of Dian Lake in Yunnan, China. 

 If you are working in a natural resources-related field (locally or internationally), tell us about it or let us know what you did for your internship: I'm currently working at the US Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources' Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise in Alexandria, Virginia. For my internship, I help Corps' Districts create Public Involvement Plans, build collaborative capacity through trainings and skill-building webinars, and organize and facilitate meetings and workshops to help the Corps and stakeholders find mutually beneficial solutions.  
Let us know if acquiring the certificate has/will help you in some unique way: My certificate helped me build the facilitation skills and knowledge-base I needed to immediately tackle the tasks required of me in my fellowship. 
If interested, you can share your e-mail address/Tweeter account/blog url: You can reach me at or visit my LinkedIn.
Response provided: January 2016

Brendan A. Galipeau

Research Interests:
Socio-Economic and cultural impacts of hydropower development in China and Southeast Asia, field research with Tibetan communities on the upper Mekong River in China

Current Projects:
I’ve currently been working on three natural resources related projects at OSU and with the World Bank.  One was a multi-disciplinary project at OSU and Hobart and Smith Colleges funded by NSF looking at studying the impacts of hydropower in China from three perspectives, socioeconomics, geopolitics, and biophysical.  We have developed a model that we hope will be used by various stakeholders throughout the world in river basin planning and management.

I have also been involved with the Universities Consortium on Columbia Basin Governance through OSU.  As a graduate student researcher, I was specifically involved with researching the future of the basin and the Columbia River Treaty in order to develop a set of future scenarios/alternatives for the basin that could be used as discussion points during a series of annual symposia featuring various stakeholders and other interested parties.

Third, I have been working with the World Bank’s Africa Water Resources Group on a project titled “Cooperation in International Waters,” in which I have been writing case studies on two river treaties on the Ganges between India and Bangladesh, and India and Nepal.  The goal of this project is to focus on turning points in the management of river basins such as treaties and to highlight how such cases might be applied to future decision making in Africa.

How the Certificate has been useful:
Acquiring the certificate has been especially helpful with respect having the opportunity to take a set of interdisciplinary course work outside of my main field of Anthropology; that can be directly applied to my own research.  It has also provided me with the opportunity to take part as a researcher in the Columbia River project and gain practical research and collaboration experience. Brendan A. Galipeau is a graduate of OSU's Department of Anthropology. 

Response Provided: December 2011

Anna Morgan-Hayes

Participated in the Water Conflict Management and Transformations Graduate Certificate Program at Oregon State University. I chose this program because of my work with the Powder Basin Watershed Council in Northeastern Oregon, and because it complimented nicely with the Masters of Natural Resources degree. My focus was on improving water quality and streamflow in the development of my Graduate Capstone entitled, Laws, regulations, and management plans for improving streamflow and stream temperature: A case study in the North Fork Burnt River Watershed. Acquiring my certificate has allowed me to connect to a broader audience and understand water issues on a deeper level in the watershed in which I work. The program helped me to frame solving water conflicts as opportunities for mutual learning instead of obstacles as well as provided me with a myriad of tools to use in my professional life.

Response provided: September 2018

Atley Keller

Degree/water related interest
Masters of Natural Resources. Interested in water conflict management, particularly under California's complicated water governance system

Natural resource-related field
I work for a nonprofit, the Local Government Commission, in Sacramento, California. LGC assists local governments and community leaders to better serve the needs of their communities. My work is directly with water related projects including conservation, water, and land use integration, and groundwater management.

How the certificate has been useful
Pursuing the certificate allowed me to hone in on water conflict and apply what I was learning directly to my work. It has given me an edge in the water sector and will continue to serve me well. The certificate also connected me with other students in similar fields. It has truly been a wonderful experience!

Response Provided: September 2018

Alexandra Liverman 

Your area of water-related interest/research: Policy on water quality and quantity in Oregon 

If you are working in a natural resources-related field (locally or internationally), tell us about it: I currently work for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. For the past 8 years, I have worked in the Water Quality Division, evaluating proposals for in-stream dredging and fill placement into streams and wetlands. Recently I accepted a position as DEQ's Portland Harbor Stormwater Coordinator, in the Land Quality Division, as a liaison between Cleanup and Water Quality in controlling sources of contamination to the Willamette River Superfund Site to prevent recontamination of the river following the implementation of EPA's in-water cleanup remedies. 

If acquiring the certificate will help you in some unique way, tell us about it: No matter what venue I work on water issues in, there is inevitably conflict. Acquiring the skills to better understand diverse perspectives toward finding creative resolutions that serve multiple stakeholders will be invaluable for my career path -- and more importantly, Oregon's water. 

Response Provided: February 2012 

Patrick MacQuarrie

Patrick MacQuarrie is IUCN's Water Policy and Sustainability Advisor. He joined the IUCN Global Water Programme in August, just one week before the start of one of the year's most important water events: Stockholm World Water Week. Read more about Patrick's work.  

Gouri Mahadwar

I am currently an M.S. Student in Water Resources Engineering with a focus on contaminants of emerging concern and microbial ecology. The WCM&T Certificate is complimenting my studies by providing experience with the dynamics of water resources conflicts. For example, I had the opportunity to build a Story Map for the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership, as well as participate in multi-stakeholder meetings. My time here has built the multi-faceted skills I hope to apply to interdisciplinary water resources concerns after graduation.

Response provided: August 2019


Dena Marshall

What does completing your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
For me, the Graduate Certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation is an important credential to help distinguish me from my mediator colleagues in a competitive field, and it gives me invaluable substantive training in hydrology, water resources management, economics, and political history.  I believe this training will help define my professional niche and provide opportunities for professional growth and development. 

Did you have an instructor or adviser who was influential in helping you succeed in the Program?
Aaron Wolf and Todd Jarvis have been unbelievably supportive throughout this program.  I always found them both to be supportive, open, accessible, pragmatic, and brilliant resources of information.

What will your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management in Transformation allow you to do that you were unable to do before? 
This Certificate will allow me to further define my professional practice and explore new opportunities.

If this applies, what activity did you do to meet the Program’s internship requirement? And how has that impacted your career path, and/or life?
I completed an internship with The Freshwater Trust flow restoration program in the Walla Walla River basin.  Through that experience, I learned first-hand how basin stakeholders such as irrigators, tribes, and environmentalists have achieved productive working relationships. After my experiences in that internship, I returned to the basin to research collaborative use agreements, and then later had the opportunity to present at professional conferences and publish in scholarly journals. 

Have you just completed, or are you currently pursuing an advanced degree (Master’s or PhD)? If so, please tell us about the advanced degree and your thesis work. And tell us what the added benefits are to simultaneously pursuing the Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation.
I am not pursuing a Masters Degree or PhD at this time (though I think about it!).  I believe that this graduate certificate, combined with my law degree and dispute resolution training and experience, will be enough training to accomplish my professional goals.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences in this program?
This is an excellent program.  I would like to see a water law course included in the curriculum.  I would also be particularly interested in pursuing an LLM in water conflict management if one exists.  Please let me know!

Dena can be reached at:
Dena Marshall, JD, Cert. in Water Conflict Management & Transformation
Principal, Marshall Mediation
Portland, OR

Response Provided: May 2011

Melissa McCracken

Your area of water-related interest/research (and MS/ Ph.D. focus and title, if you are (or did) pursue one):
I completed the certificate concurrently with my PhD in Geography.  My water interests are broadly related to internationally shared rivers and the cooperative process that occurs to govern and manage those resources. My dissertation is specifically working to determine how best to define and measure effective transboundary water cooperation.

Share with us what you did for your internship:
For my internship, I volunteered as an intern with the Global Water Partnership based in Stockholm, Sweden for four months. I worked on their thematic area for transboundary water cooperation.  While there, I was given the opportunity to write the first Technical Background Paper for GWP produced by youth and a non-member of the Technical Committee.  The paper is an analysis of the Sustainable Development Goal 6.5.2’s methodology for measuring operational cooperation. Watch this video of me at World Water Week at the launch of its publication.

Let us know if acquiring the certificate has/will help you in some unique way:
This certificate gave me the opportunity to complete my internship with the Global Water Partnership.  It allowed me to enter into the field of international water governance, make connections, produce research, and expand my horizons.  This has vastly helped me in my progress toward completing my research and ultimately my degree.  For more on my research and publications see my Research Gate and Academia profiles.


Measuring transboundary water cooperation: options for Sustainable Development Goal Target 6.5

Response Provided: September 2018

Jana Mort

What does completing your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
This program was more than a top-notch educational experience; it also fulfilled my lifelong dream of attending graduate school.  Not only have I accomplished something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do, finishing the program changed my direction in life. Before I even finished the program, I was offered a position in the field of hydrology and water rights.

Did you have an instructor or adviser who was influential in helping you succeed in the Program?
As Associate Director of the program, Lynette de Silva was always available to answer any of my questions, help to solve problems and to point me in the right direction. I really liked the Water Governance and Conflict Management Course with Dr. Todd Jarvis. Dr. Todd Jarvis brought an extraordinary element to water management that was new and exciting.  Dr. Todd Jarvis fused his ideas with Professor Aaron Wolf’s concepts and created a class that was exceptional in its ability to mediate water conflict in a whole new light.

What will your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management in Transformation allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
Having the Certificate enabled me to jump to a higher GS level and a higher pay grade. It also took me in a whole new direction from being a Rangeland Management Specialist to a Hydrologist and Water Rights Specialist. It created job security in that there were no other people qualified to take on a water related position.

If this applies, what activity did you do to meet the Program’s internship requirement? And how has that impacted your career path, and/or life?
Internship Position Description - I worked work with Daryl Bingham Natural Resources Specialist for fisheries, riparian, and water quality on the Borax Lake Chub Critical Habitat Fenceline Realignment Environmental Assessment.  This Environmental Assessment is for the purpose of protecting the fragile nature of the Borax Lake Chub (Gila boraxobius) habitat.  Borax Lake Chub is listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as a threatened and endangered species. I also worked and consulted with Paul Scheerer from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on current research projects that are being conducted to protect and possibly delist the Borax Lake chub. In addition to this, I found and trapped a new population of Alvord chub and took samples for genetic testing to Professor Doug Markle at the OSU fisheries lab. The testing will take place to determine the genetic differences between Alvord chub and the threatened and endangered Borax Lake chub.  Ultimately, we would like to determine whether or not Borax Lake Chub can survive outside of their only known habitat which is Borax Lake. I also researched the proposal by private landowners to harvest the geothermal energy generated within the Tule Spring Allotment near and around Borax Lake.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences in this program? 
This program offered a good mix of classes that ranged from Resource Economics where I learned how water and natural resources figure into economic policy, and how water’s history in Environmental Politics and Policy has been played out to create the system we now have today. It was a well rounded program having highly qualified instructors and a large amount of flexibility.  Because of my internship experience I now have a large network of water, riparian, and fisheries related professionals that I can contact when needed in my new position as District Hydrologist/ Water Rights Specialist.

Response Provided: July 2010

Stephanie Ogden

Stephanie Ogden is the International Trachoma Initiative’s coordinator for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).  She also works with the Children Without Worms program at the Task Force for Global Health, and the Emory University Center for Global Safe Water. 
Read more. 

Mariya Pak

Area of water-related interest/research: international water management, water sharing, international water agreements.

Select some excerpts from your internship journal that will explain what you did for your internship and where you worked:

I am working for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and developing a database on international water related agreements. I am writing short legal history profiles for small transboundary tributaries (33 small tributaries) in the Fergnana  Valley, Central Asia.

The photo: The photo shows me presenting at an International workshop titled Capacity Building in Sustainable Water Resources Management in Central Asia organized by Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration and EU-Tempus funded project SWAN.

Mariya can be reached by e-mail at

Response Provided: June 2012

Robyn Paulekas

What does completing your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
I consider its documentation of the work I've done at Oregon State University.  It communicates to others that I've taken classes and completed projects, research, and internships related to water conflict management and transformation.  I also feel that the knowledge from the classes will contribute strongly to my professional career, providing me with a theoretic background and some practical skills for addressing some of the toughest problems facing society.  I also think it communicates that I spent time interacting with the outstanding, world renown faculty experts in water conflict.  

I was recently offered, and accepted, a mediator position with the Meridian Institute, an organization that seeks to solve the world’s toughest problems (many environmental and water related) through good process design.  I will be starting as a mediator this fall. I believe that the Minor is at least part of what made me an attractive and qualified candidate for this position.

Did you have an instructor or adviser who was influential in helping you succeed in the Program?
I always found Lynette de Silva to be helpful in answering questions about courses
and degree requirements.  My advisor, Hannah Gosnell was instrumental in connecting me with an amazing internship opportunity.  I interned with Sustainable Northwest and the Upper Klamath Water Users Association, creating a series of GIS maps and simple analysis to help them understand water rights and to start a decision support system as they navigate a negotiated water settlement.  She was also very helpful in connecting me with research ideas that involved water and conflict.

What will your Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management in Transformation allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
That is a difficult question because I will also receive a Master’s degree in Geography. I would say that it supplemented other skills I gained and provided me with some wonderful experiences but didn't directly provide me with skills I wouldn't have otherwise received from my time at OSU.

If this applies, what activity did you do to meet the Program’s internship requirement? And how has that impacted your career path, and/or life?
As previously mentioned I completed an internship funded through the Rural Studies program. I worked with Sustainable Northwest and several community groups in the Klamath Basin mapping water rights.  This is a critical technical information to help the community develop mechanisms for managing the water conflict in the basin.

My experience in the Klamath Basin certainly is central to how I think about water conflict and many other issues.  This will influence my approach to my future work as a mediator.  I also think that it was part of what attracted my future employer to my application.

Have you just completed, or are you currently pursuing an advanced degree (Master’s or PhD)? If so, please tell us about the advanced degree and your thesis work. And tell us what the added benefits are to simultaneously pursuing the Certificate/Minor in Water Conflict Management and Transformation.
Yes, an M.S. In Geography.  My thesis is entitled Fostering resilience in the
Upper Klamath Basin: The National Riparian Service Team's Creeks and Communities as an emerging role for government in adaptive co-management. It relates strongly to the certificate in that the NRST is a government agency with an emphasis on conflict resolution and place-based problem-solving.  

The added benefits from the minor came from high-quality classes relating to my thesis topic.  To be honest, I probably would have taken many of them if I had not pursued the minor.  I would say that some of the breadth requirements that weren't related to my project detracted time for my thesis, which was frustrating at times.  Most classes were high level and even if they didn't directly contribute to my thesis they helped create a more informed worldview. 

Response Provided: August 2010 

Jacob Petersen-Perlman

Areas of water-related interest/research: International water conflict
and cooperation, cooperation within river basins, dams
Response Provided: December 2011




Sara Prueitt Lovtang

Your area of water-related interest/research (and MS/PhD focus and title, if you are (or did) pursue one):  MS in Forest Science, a graduate certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation
If you are working in a natural resources-related field (locally or internationally), tell us about it:  Currently work for the USDA Forest Service, for the Region 6 Ecology Program
Let us know if acquiring the certificate has/will help you in some unique way:  I have not worked on conflicts surrounding water use, however, I do use the conflict intervention skills in meetings, as well as in my volunteer work.
Response Provided: September 2015

Eric Sproles

Eric is a PhD student focused on “Watershed-Scale Modeling of Present-Day and Future Snow Water Equivalent: McKenzie River Basin, Oregon.” Watch Eric’s video where he discusses water resource issues in relation to climate change. 

Michelle Tracchia

My name is Michelle Tracchia and I am a 25 year old (b. 1986) native of Northeastern Massachusetts, USA. I completed Oregon State University’s (OSU) online Graduate Certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation (WCMT) in June 2010. I am grateful for this online program because it allowed me to pursue my higher education while witnessing the international community and sharing my acquired knowledge from the virtual classroom.

My interest in conflict transformation largely started in February 2008 when I was introduced to the idea that globalization may have negative social side effects. After meeting an Indonesian diplomatic guest at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) where I had been studying Sociology, I traveled to Jakarta, in June 2008. I stayed for the summer at an Islamic Special Orphanage and Boarding School owned by the female politician amongst child victims of the Indian Ocean 2007 tsunami; this granted me my first taste of global inequality.

While in Indonesia, I befriended two Senegalese female students who were studying at a university affiliated with the orphanage. I returned to the USA to complete my final undergrad year but traveled to Senegal for the January 2009 intersession. In West Africa, I resided with my African friends who had also returned to their home country. During my one month visit there, I also participated in an online undergrad course from UMB course titled, “Global Water and Climate Change.” To support my studies, I casually surveyed the native Senegalese citizens regarding the national water system. Additionally, I visited the now privately operated Senegalese water company learning via translator that despite the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s influenced decision to privatize, the company remained grossly inefficient.  My experience provided me a great paradigm shift; I became aware of the global water accessibility gap and I also learned I could research abroad while participating in online classes.

Returning to the USA, I searched for an online graduate program associated with Water Conflict and with great fortune found the wonderful match that was Oregon State University’s WCMT program!  I applied and was thankfully accepted allowing me in June 2009, to return permanently to Jakarta, Indonesia where I could still actively be educated and contribute in an American online program. 

Since then, my life has improved dramatically due to the WCMT Graduate Certificate; its facilitated courses have prompted me to consider beyond my independent experiences. Prior to this program, I was unaware of the effort necessary to transform crises. It was easy for me to see a problem, give my opinion, and largely criticize others for “not getting the job done fast enough,” however now, I have a more realistic understanding of skills, strategies, and examinations needed to move towards a sustainable resolution. Thanks to the WCMT program I believe I am less talk/critical and more action or at least more understanding.

The WCMT program groomed me and assisted me in channeling all of my former experiences into brave new ones! Through the help of my WCMT internship with a local Indonesian NGO, I networked into the Republic of Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment. Utilizing information acquired from my program courses, for almost two years, I have operated as their freelance Native English speaking negotiation consultant. I have had the privilege of learning and sharing with stakeholders of all levels including those in the office, field, and media. None may have been possible without WCMT’s understanding professors, and most especially WCMT’s director, Ms. Lynette de Silva. From my initial application process until my completion of the program, Ms. de Silva timely and sincerely responded to any questions I had.

I am grateful to be more aware of my direct/indirect actions and how I may sustainably improve not only for myself but for the benefit of others.  The WCMT program presented me with countless people already striving to narrow conflict and how resolution may begin. I pray I may continue to act personally and professionally towards increased conflict transformation studies, not only associated with water. Presently, I am enrolled in the University of North Carolina’s Liberal Studies online Master’s program while previously I participated in two courses from California State University Dominguez Hill’s online Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding Master’s program. It is my hope to learn more about the social environment and how that may relate to environmental apathy. Thank you, WCMT for serving me as a great influence. 

On a more personal note, because WCTM allowed me the flexibility to live and learn abroad, I had the opportunity to meet an Indonesian man who is now my husband! So, join the program and just maybe you will fall in love!

 Jennifer Veilleux

Your area of water-related interest/research: MS in Environmental Science focusing on hydrogeology and specifically groundwater in karstic systems in the Lake Ohrid Watershed. And, a PhD in Geography focus on transboundary river water resources development and related human security issues specifically on the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River and the Xayaburi Dam Project in Laos on the Mekong River.
If you are working in a natural resources-related field (locally or internationally), tell us about it: Postdoctoral Associate for the Southeastern Environmental Research Center under the School of Environment, Arts, & Society at Florida International University and Project Manager of the Serengeti-Lake Victoria Sustainable Water Initiative in the Mara River Basin in Tanzania.
Let us know if acquiring the certificate has/will help you in some unique way: The ability to empathize with and better understand the complex human factor of development in the form of competing or cooperative interests and the potential impacts or solutions.
If interested, you can share your e-mail address/Tweeter account/blog url:
Twitter: @WorldWaters  
Blog: The Way of Water
Response Provided: September 2015

Allison Voglesong

Your area of water-related interest/research: Governance of the commons, consensus, and diplomacy, (Laurentian) Great Lakes policy and law

If acquiring the certificate will help you in some unique way, tell us about it: Acquiring the WCMT certificate qualified me to apply for the Michigan Sea Grant Fellowship at the International Joint Commission at their Great Lakes Regional Office. This binational agency prevents and resolves transboundary water conflict between the Great Lakes and Canada, and every single course I took through the WCMT certificate has daily relevance in my work on public outreach regarding water quality policy and progress in the Great Lakes. 

Response Provided: June 2016

Julie Elkins Watson

Julie graduated with a Water Resources Policy & Management at Oregon State University. She produced a documentary film that tells the story of the Columbia River and the diverse people and interests in the basin.

Julie says, “The Columbia River has been successfully managed by the United States and Canada for hydropower and flood control since the 1960s. The Columbia River Treaty is an inspirational example of international cooperation; however, needs and values for the basin have changed since the 1960s. 

Many values for the river, including salmon migration, ecosystem services, aesthetics, recreation, and cultural value were not included in the original treaty. Furthermore, the treaty was negotiated by federal entities, and important actors- from tribes to regional stakeholders - were not actively included in the process.

Today, these topics are being discussed throughout the basin. In 2024, the flood control provisions of the Columbia River Treaty will expire. This creates the perfect opportunity for all the stakeholders on both sides of the border to come together and have a conversation about the future management of the Columbia.”

Julie says, “It is my hope that this film will spark dialogue and foster a deeper understanding of the benefits that can be shared in the Columbia River Basin.”

Julie can be reached at her Twitter account at:

Response Provided: October 2011

A River Loved: A film about the Columbia River & the people invested in its future

Christina Welch 

Your area of water-related interest/research (and MS/ Ph.D. focus and title, if you are (or did) pursue one):
My thesis, titled Transboundary Aquifers Options for Improving Sustainable Management of U.S./Mexico Transboundary Aquifers, falls under the umbrella of my research interest in water management at the international scale.

If you are working in a natural resources-related field (locally or internationally), tell us about it or share with us what you did for your internship:
Since graduating in 2017, I have transitioned from working with water systems to the biggest water user - agriculture. I am currently working with The Nature Conservancy in Cali, Colombia through a post-graduate fellowship with Princeton in Latin America. I am supporting the implementation of the Healthy Agriculture Systems strategy across Latin America.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to use a combination of my scientific background, mediation skills, and GIS knowledge. 

Let us know if acquiring the certificate has/will help you in some unique way:
I’ve found the certificate taught me not only the mediation process between parties, but how to conduct effective, productive conversations within the workplace among colleagues and supervisors. I believe that active listening and learning how to communicate effectively is a skill that will only advance my career and create more sincere personal interactions for the rest of my life.

Response provided: August 2018

Jamie Whitley 

I recently finished the Water Conflict Management and Transformation certificate at Oregon State University.  Currently, I am continuing my education at OSU and completing the Masters of Natural Resources.  I have absolutely loved and learned greatly in all of my classes and from my professors.  I have not finalized my research topic but I am hope to work with drinking water contamination or aquatic invasive species and their impacts to water systems, specifically the Great Lakes.  At the moment, I am a high school science teacher and love how this program has helped me bring in water related topics to the classroom.  Obtaining this certificate and working towards the Masters has been one of the best career decisions that I have made.  I hope to work in a more water related field once I complete this program.  Email:

Response Provided: September 2018

Tsion Woge

What is your research interest? And, how have you contributed to water studies?
I was part of the Water Cooperation & Diplomacy program. My research focused on Indigenous Approaches to Water Conflict Management. I specifically studied the Anuak indigenous people in Ethiopia and their approach to water conflict management. As conflict over resources is increasing, indigenous institutions have become much more important in resolving conflicts between individuals and groups. Indigenous people have inherent systems of resource management as well as mechanisms to resolve conflicts when it emerges. Since every conflict has its own characteristics, the mechanisms to resolve a conflict vary. However, human societies most often deal with such conflicts using their own – indigenous- system of conflict management. These indigenous conflict management systems are unique and inherent to one’s community. My research answers the question: do indigenous approaches to water conflict management provide some effective mechanisms that help to resolve conflict? If so, how?
After graduation and successful accomplishment of the certificate Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, I worked for Oregon State University Extension Service as an Outreach Program Coordinator. While I was working there I assessed impacts of federal, state, and local regulations affecting agriculture practices and water quality in the Willamette Basin in Oregon. Scope included evaluating water assessments, monitoring data, developing strategies and actions to comply with water quality standard, and writing summary research to summarize results.

How has acquiring this certificate helped you?
The certificate Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation helps me to develop an appreciation for different ways of looking at things not previously considered. The certificate program also increases my awareness of different cultures and backgrounds that affect the way people view the world and communicate ideas. It provides me with a greater ability to participate in future discussions and conflicts and to effectively get involved in new work relationships and groups.
I would like to say thank you to Aaron Wolf (PhD) and Lynette de Silva for being helpful throughout the program.

Response provided: September 2018

Justin Zweifel

Justin Zweifel was looking for a competitive edge in the fisheries and wildlife job market, so he turned to Oregon State University to broaden his knowledge and skill set. After earning a Graduate Certificate in Water Conflict Management online with Oregon State Ecampus, Justin realized the certificate was a great pathway to earning his Master of Natural Resources online with Ecampus.

Response provided: April 2016

Justin Zweifel's pathway to a MNR | Oregon State Ecampus


Justin Zweifel's pathway to a Master's in Natural Resources through the Water Conflict Management and Transformation Certificate | Oregon State Ecampus