ACADEMY 2000: INTERNET-BASED TRAINING IN WATERSHED PROTECTION
Abstract:Academy 2000, the U.S. EPA Watershed Academy's distance learning website, uses the Internet as a far-reaching and free learning device for people working at a watershed level anywhere in the world. Despite its promise as a new training tool, the Internet is still a new medium in which trainers have little experience and learning curves are presently steep. This paper shares experiences gained in developing one of the earliest web-based environmental training sites. Academy 2000 was started in 1996, and now contains over 20 web-based instructional modules on watershed management at http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/wacademy/acad2000.html. The subjects covered in Academy 2000 provide a basic but broad introduction to watershed management, and are grouped under the following six themes: overview modules, watershed ecology, change in watersheds, watershed analysis and planning, management practices, and social/institutional context for working in watersheds. A Watershed Management Certificate Program is available for completing 15 required modules and passing their self-tests. Whereas live courses reach small numbers of people who can afford travel and tuition, Academy 2000 has significantly increased the U.S. EPA's ability to provide broader training and outreach in watershed protection and management with a limited training budget. The thousands of Academy 2000 site visitors have included local, state and federal government staff involved in watershed management, professors teaching watershed courses (undergraduate and graduate), environmental consultants, students, home-schooling parents, cooperative extension specialists, and citizens from around the world.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2000
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