Undergraduate Certificate Program Lake and Reservoir Management

PSU environmental management students working in a river

Lake and Reservoir Management Certificate Overview

As the scientific management of lakes and reservoirs becomes increasingly vital in Oregon and across the country, PSU's certificate in Lake and Reservoir Management provides you with an understanding of the physical, ecological and economic aspects of lake management that is needed to contribute to solutions.

Our certificate will help you become more aware of the multiple dimensions of lake management, and prepare you to serve as a more effective liaison between the general public and the highly technical requirements and processes of agencies charged with protecting these resources.

With PSU's certificate, you'll also meet the academic requirements to be certified as a lake manager by the North American Lake Management Society.

Degree Details

  • C
    Certificate Program
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Lake and Reservoir Management Certificate: Why PSU?

Portland State is home to the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs, which was established by the state legislature to address lake management and invasive species issues in Oregon.

You'll have opportunities to learn from and work with faculty who have expertise in managing watersheds, lakes, and reservoirs for ecological and water resources. Many of them are also active in the North American Lakes Management Society and the local chapters of the Oregon Lakes Association and Washington State Lake Protection Association.

Through courses on aquatic ecology, watershed processes, management, and policy areas, you'll gain the knowledge and skills you need to take active roles and contribute to the effective management of lakes and reservoirs.

What can I do with a certificate in Lake and Reservoir Management?

PSU's certificate in Lake and Reservoir Management prepares you to land a job in the field working with government and natural resource agencies and watersheds. Students can pair the certificate with their majors in environmental science and management and geography, or use it as preparation for obtaining professional certification with the North American Lake Management Society.

You'll gain valuable knowledge and skills that are transferable to other careers, including problem-solving, analytical and quantitative skills, leadership, teamwork, and written and verbal communication skills.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires 33 to 34 credits total and 22 of these credits must be in ESM. Students must take required courses for a differentiated grade and earn a C-or better for it to count toward the certificate. The student must complete courses in each of of the following areas:

  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Watershed Science
  • Business and Management
  • Policy Legal and Government Aspectis

Featured Courses

  • ESM 475 Limnology and Aquatic Ecology
  • ESM 426 Ecology of Streams and Rivers
  • ESM 474 Fish Ecology and Conservation
  • ESM 425 Watershed Hydrology
  • ESM 479/CE 479 Fate and Transport of Toxics in the Environment
  • ESM 483 Marine Conservation and Management
  • GEOG 494 GIS for Water Resources
  • ESM 429 Environmental Impact Assessment
  • ESM 435 Natural Resource Policy and Management


    Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).