Graduate Credit Option

  • PA572: Fundamentals of Columbia Basin Governance
  • Earn 3 Graduate Credits (CRN: 12918)
  • Tuition: $1,332 and Additional University Fees
    One-time $25 fee for professionals registering via Non-Degree Entry form
  • Course fee includes all books and materials, and personalized support.

Course Withdrawal Policy

If you are a student, please register through PSU Registration system.

Non-Credit Option

Course Dates

  1. October 30th, 2020
  2. November 20th
  3. December 18th
  4. January 15th, 2021
  5. February 5th
  6. February 26th
  7. March 19th
  8. April 16th
  9. May 7th
  10. May 28th
  11. June 18th

Why is this course important to you?

In most organizations, early career training emphasizes the technical skills and abilities central to organization mission. However, at some point, the natural resources professional is introduced to a level of challenges beyond the ability of the organization to solve alone.

This challenge is particularly acute in the Columbia River Basin. Since the early 1900s, communities of interest dependent on timber, mining, agriculture, fishing, irrigation, river navigation, and later hydropower struggled with how to best manage regional resources. In more recent years, the values of Native American tribal rights and traditions and the environmental movement have joined the values of commercial development. The result is a complex swirl of competing interests, objectives, and perspectives of what needs be done and how to do it.

This course equips future regional leaders with practical tools and insights to help navigate the challenges of multi-jurisdictional network governance.

Course Features

This course is designed for mid-to-senior level civil servants from federal, state, local and tribal government agencies; natural resource nonprofit organization members; and students interested in natural resource governance. It presents Columbia Basin Governance in a case study context. It examines the institutional interests, values, cultures, and identities that underlay the conflicts that regional leaders are called up on to solve.

In keeping with PSU guidance regarding COVID-19, the initial sessions will be conducted remotely. We will return to in-class format when it is safe to do so.

Course features include:

  • An in-depth study of the interests and values of institutions actively involved in Columbia Basin resource issues
  • An introduction to theories of organizational culture, social identity, social conflict, and decision-making and how they apply to real-world governance
  • A rigorous mix of reading, writing, discussion, practical exercise, and seminars with regional subject area experts
  • A small class size (12–15 students) to foster open discussion and share experiences.
  • Student observation of and reflection on current governance bodies in action
  • Eleven class sessions, four hours per session.


  1. Introduction to Columbia Basin Governance
  2. Introduction to Organization Culture, Social Identity, and Decision-making
  3. Your Organization’s History and Culture: Why you see yourself the way you do
  4. The Critique: How others see you


  1. Columbia Basin Indian Tribes
  2. Commercial Interests: Irrigation, 
  3. Navigation, and Hydropower
  4. The Sport and Commercial 
  5. Salmon Fishery
  6. The Environmental Perspective


  1. Models of Columbia Basin Governance
  2. Getting to Yes: Introduction to Conflict Theory and Dispute Resolution
  3. Practical Exercise in Governance

Dr. Rick Mogren

(503) 936-9482

Josh Metzler

Program Coordinator
(503) 725-5190


Eric T. (Rick) Mogren, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor, 
Public Administration Senior Fellow, 
Center for Public Service

Dr. Mogren completed a 27-year career as an Army engineer officer in June 2001. His final assignment was to serve as the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for the Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division headquartered in Portland, Oregon. He provided oversight of the Corps hydropower and salmon recovery programs in the Pacific Northwest and managed relationships between the Corps, regional Indian tribal governments, and other federal agencies.

He later served as program coordinator for the Columbia River Federal Caucus, facilitating the actions of ten federal agencies with overlapping jurisdictions over Columbia Basin fish and water resources. 

One of the lessons he took away from these experiences was that solutions to the complex natural resource policy issues in the Northwest rarely fall within the jurisdiction of any one agency or level of government. Rather, they require a coordinated network of government, non-profit, and private entities working together to craft mutually acceptable plans and actions.

In teaching, he integrates experience with academic theory to provide students with practical tools and concepts.