With water-related challenges on the rise around the world, decision-makers and scientists need to understand changing systems, evaluate the consequences of their actions and make informed decisions. The College of the Environment leads regionally, nationally and globally in freshwater science and management, often taking an interdisciplinary approach.

The University of Washington College of the Environment collaborates with the College of Engineering on the Freshwater Initiative, which creates a diverse and vibrant research community through a deliberate commitment to collaboration, technological innovation and creativity in understanding complex environmental and human systems. UW Freshwater researchers are committed to developing programs that make freshwater research relevant to scientists, decision-makers and the public alike.

The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) awarded to UW developed an innovative, culturally aware STEM trained workforce in freshwater science called Future Rivers. This program prepares trainees to become fluent in 21st-century data science approaches to understand interactions among and within the food, water and energy sectors in order to expand the options for environmental sustainability when addressing freshwater issues.

Freshwater research at the College of the Environment comes from units across the College, including: