River Management Society "River Studies and Leadership Certificate Program"

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VCU Department of Biology and Associate Professor James Vonesh are proud to offer the following program for interested undergraduate and graduate students:

The River Management Society (RMS), the only national organization that supports the role of river professionals, is proud to partner with these universities and colleges to offer the River Studies and Leadership Certificate, awarded upon completion of river-focused course work and a river-related professional project: Colorado Mesa University, Prescott College, Minnesota State University Mankato, Sierra Nevada College, University of Utah Virginia Commonwealth University and Western Washington University.

The River Studies and Leadership Certificate (RSLC) offers a foundation of knowledge, skills and experience in river-based science, policy, conservation, education, and recreation for undergraduate students who aspire to be a river professional.

RSLC students take courses that support an emphasis area* and obtain hands-on river-related experience via an internship, professional employment or independent study. They collaborate with RSLC faculty advisers to design and complete a personalized academic program that provides a strong basis for addressing real world challenges facing our nation’s rivers.


Core Courses – One approved course in Geographic Information Systems, River Science, River Policy, and Swiftwater Rescue.

*Emphasis Area – At least two approved courses in one of these areas: River Science; River-based Policy & Management; or River-Based Recreation, Education & Tourism.

Professional Experience – Credit-earning internship, paid internship, paid professional experience, independent study or course-related professional experience equivalent to two (2) credit hours.

Oral/Written Presentation – Aspects of student’s work presented at an RMS Symposium or sponsored conference, or an article written for the RMS Journal about RSLC-related experiences.

River Managements Society Benefits – Each RSLC student receives a one-year membership to the River Management Society, which includes a subscription to the RMS Journal and access to national and regional chapter events such as chapter floats, workshops, and the RMS Listserv. Students also have a number of exciting opportunities for professional networking and collaboration.

Click here for a list of courses at VCU that meet the requirements.

Visit www.river-management.org/river-studies-leadership, or contact your institution’s RSLC Adviser: James Vonesh, Ph.D. - jrvonesh@vcu.edu, (804) 828-6643, Trani Center for Life Sciences Room 003.