WREP has its genesis in 2000 in the form of a generous gift to NAU from the Salt River Project (SRP).
The program, initially known as the Verde Watershed Research and Education Program (VWREP), focused on the 5,500 square mile Verde River watershed, which encompasses a unique and spectacular area in central Arizona, and covers parts of Yavapai, Coconino, and Gila Counties. The Verde River watershed contains the highest mountains in Arizona, the Mogollon Rim, deeply incised canyons, and broad valleys.
In 2004 the VWREP dropped "Verde" from its name and expanded its focus ton include all north-central Arizona watersheds. However the program continues to maintain a strong involvement in the Verde River Watershed, as well as the Little Colorado River and other watersheds.
The Watershed Research and Education Program (WREP) at NAU seeks to fund student research in all fields related to environmental biology and water resource management in the watersheds, riparian areas, streams and rivers of Northern Arizona.
WREP's goals are (1) to add watershed-components to extant educational progams in central and northern Azirzona and (2) to sponsor new events to train educators in areas related to watershed and riparian biology, hydrology and resource management.