Water in the West Program - A Deep Dive into Complex Water Resources Issues

What is the Water in the West Program?

A new high-impact learning experience is being offered in the spring of 2023.  This program will be a deep dive into learning about water issues first-hand through experts and experience.  The program will satisfy curriculum requirements for honors students, natural and environmental science majors, and geology majors.  The program will be offered as two hybrid courses (GEO380 and GEO399) that will take place in the first 6-week summer term.  Two weeks of online coursework before and after a 4-week trip to the southwestern United States (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico).  The trip cost is still being determined will be posted as soon as an approximate cost is known.  The program cost will not include tuition.

Let us know you are interested!

We will answer your questions and let you know when we have more details about the program.

We held an information session on November 9th 5-6 pm in Niemeyer Multi-Purpose Room. 

You can view the slides from this presentation here

There will be a Zoom Virtual Information Session On Tuesday December 13 4:00-5:30 pm.  You can join the zoom by clicking here.

We will be answering questions and providing a preliminary list of things to bring or acquire for the trip.  It can be download HERE.

Use the application button to apply! ––►

Application Deadline December 15th


Zion National Park

Google Earth Map of Route

What credit can I get for participating in the water in the west program?

List of possible course credits that could be granted. Maximum of 6 credits per student.



Student Pool/Requirement Met

HNR 350 - Problem Based Learning (3 credits)


Honors Students

HNR 351 - Problem Based Learning (quantitative) (3 credits)


Honors Students

HNR 300 - Campus/community engagement experiences (3 credits)


Honors Students

HNR 401/499 Senior Project (3 credits)


Honors Students

GEO 399 - Independent Research


Upper level credit applicable to ENS and Honors

GEO 380 - Special topics in Geological Sciences


Geology elective; possibly ENS

Geology students can also petition the geology department that the credits count for other geology courses such as GEO 220 - Earth Surface Materials and Systems or GEO 320 - Geomorphology

ENS majors can get credit for up two of the following categories: Triple Bottom Line Overview – Physical and Life Sciences.  The Focus Area of Water Resources within the Social and Cultural; Physical and Life Science; or Political and Economic Perspectives.   ENS minors can also get credit for Physical and Life Science Perspectives.

¹Frederik Meijer Honors College (FMHC)
²College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)

Dr. Peter Riemersma

Dr. Peter Riemersma

Who will be leading the program?

Both instructors have PhDs in a water-related field with Wampler’s Ph.D. in fluvial geomorphology (surface water) and Riemersma’s Ph.D. in hydrogeology (groundwater). Wampler has successfully led study abroad trips to Haiti and Ghana since 2015 and both Wampler and Riemersma have led together multi-day field trips for geology students in the Pacific Northwest on several occasions and have traveled extensively in the southwestern United States.

Dr. Peter Wampler

Dr. Peter Wampler
Outdrop of rock in Utah with vehicle
Crystal Spring near Navaho Lake in Utah
Kayaking in Glenn Canyon on the Colorado River

Page last modified December 13, 2022