Watershed Research & Education Program

Our mission:

  • To promote and support water resources research, education, and outreach in north-central Arizona watersheds.
  • To provide a centralized, coordinated, and supported location for storage and exchange of north-central Arizona watershed information.



Water Reuse Conference, June 20, 2014, Yavapai College, Prescott, Arizona campus.

What we do

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    Paffett 145x130


    WREP supports watershed research in several ways, including research grants to students, internships, and participation in collaborative research at NAU and beyond.

  • Teacher Training 145x130
    Teacher Training 145x130


    Education and outreach activities include support for courses at NAU which focus on watershed issues, as well as participation in educational activities in K-12 classrooms.

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    Swaffar Map 145x130

    Watershed information

    An important part of WREP's mission is to make our research results, available to the academic and stakeholder community in northern and central Arizona.

  • Internships

    Internships for students are available either through WREP or one of our partner organizations.

  • Conferences & workshops

    WREP hosts conferences and workshops on watershed and water science and policy.

  • Publications & reports

    Publications and reports resulting from WREP research activities.

Payments for watershed services

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Flagstaff workshop on payments for watershed services

Funded in part by WREP in 2011-2012, a project conducted by graduate student Wes Swaffar and Dr. Erik Nielsen (School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability) produced results with high impact in northern Arizona. Their research evaluated the willingness of residents in Camp Verde and in the City of Flagstaff to pay for increased stability of water supplies. One component of their project was to conduct a workshop in Flagstaff on payment for watershed services strategies for the arid west. These activities led to the successful public vote in Flagstaff in November 2012 on a $10 million watershed protection bond. The research team included Dr. Julie Mueller in the W.A. Franke College of Business and Dr. Abe Springer and Ms. Sharon Masek-Lopez in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability.  Dr. Mueller published these findings journal Water Resources Research. Read the article here.

Read more in the media about this project and its impacts:
  • NAU Research Targets Municipal Watershed Protection, Arizona Daily Sun, November 16, 2011. View.
  • Cities' Water Supplies at Risk, Arizona Daily Sun, November 17, 2011. View.
  • Inside NAU article, October 28, 2011. View.