Skip to main content

You can chart your path as a river professional!  
Get started by earning a River Studies and Leadership Certificate. 

The CMU Certificate Coordinator is CMU Outdoor Program Director MacKenzie Holbrook


We are excited to offer the River Studies and Leadership Certificate (RSLC), awarded upon completion of river-focused coursework and a river-related professional project.  Participating educational institutions include Colorado Mesa University, Prescott College, Sierra Nevada College, University of Utah, and Western Washington University. The River Management Society (RMS) is another key partner. 

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

As an RSLC student, you'll collaborate with your faculty advisory to design and complete a personalized academic program that provides a strong basis for addressing real world challenges facing our nation's rivers.  RSLC requirements include an emphasis area* and hands-on river-related experience via an internship, professional employment or independent study. 


Core Courses

One approved course in each of the following: Geographic Information Systems, River Science, River Policy and Swiftwater Rescue.

*Emphasis Area 

Two approved courses in one of these areas: River Science; River-based Policy and Management; or River-Based Recreation, Education and 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 

Aspect of student's work presented at a River Management Society (RMS) Symposium or sponsored conference, or an article written for the RMS Journal about RSLC-related experiences.  

Supporting materials



River Management Society 

We offer this certificate in partnership with the River Management Society (RMS), a national organization whose mission is to support professionals who study, protect and manage North America's rivers.  Each RSLC student receives a one-year membership to RMS, which includes a subscription to the RMS Journal and access to national and regional chapter events such as chapter floats, workshops, and the RMS Listserve. Students also have a number of exciting opportunities for professional networking and collaboration.  

Click here for full details on the certificate.