NMC and FLOW launch cutting-edge water and sustainability course

TRAVERSE CITY — FLOW, the Great Lakes’ only water and public trust policy and education center, and the Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) Great Lakes Water Studies Institute announced a new innovative water policy program for college students and professionals who seek associate, college and post-graduate degrees or certification in water law and policy.

The new policy program builds on an already highly respected, rigorous science-focused freshwater degree. The first course, WSI 230 – Water Policy and Sustainability, will be offered in the fall semester, 2014. The course integrates water, energy, food, climate change, and hydrological science with comprehensive policy principles.

“This course is a fundamental addition to the Freshwater Studies program at NMC,” says Constanza Hazelwood, Education and Outreach Coordinator of the NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute.

“Our quality of life is tightly connected to the quality of water available to us for food, recreation, transportation, and daily consumption. The course creates a new forum where students will learn and discuss how humans may prevent and mitigate impacts on our freshwater resources and generate critical solutions to the challenges we face as water users and water stewards,” she says.

The water policy program is co-designed and co-taught by nationally recognized environmental and water law and policy expert Jim Olson, the founder of the FLOW water policy center and partner in the Traverse City law firm of Olson, Bzdok and Howard. “The first course developed by the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at NMC and FLOW has been two years in the making”, says Olson. “This is an exciting direction for the college and its Great Lakes Water Studies Institute. This new course offers a comprehensive and overarching framework to address the challenges we face here in the Great Lakes Basin and around the world.”

"We hope this water policy program will serve as a model for undergraduate and higher-level and continuing professional education. It will empower our students with information and tools to address systemic, complex threats to freshwater resources," says Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Director Hans VanSumeren.

Release date: June 9, 2014

For more information:

Jim Olson, President, FLOW
olson@envlaw.com, (231) 995-1568

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director, FLOW
liz@flowforwater.org, (231) 995-1568

Hans VanSumeren, Director, NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
hvansumeren@nmc.edu, (231) 995-1793

Constanza Hazelwood, Education and Outreach Coordinator, NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
chazelwood@nmc.edu, (231) 995-1722