Strengthening our capacity for successful watershed management.

"This is a great educational experience. You learn a lot about the nuts and bolts of water quality management as well as ideas for how this work fits into the broader efforts to improve our environment. In addition to this, the networking is fantastic -- both with the instructors and your fellow students." -

Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy  

2023 will include three in-person workshops plus online networking.
enroll today

Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy Application Form

Please contact Sara Peel ( if you have questions about enrolling in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 4, 2022.

In-depth Training to Strengthen Watershed Leadership
Developing and coordinating a local watershed organization can be a daunting task, especially if you are the person responsible for leading the process. If you would like to build your capacity for successful watershed management, we encourage you to enroll in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. The Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy is designed for anyone with watershed management responsibilities or interests, such as:

It will improve your skills for creating a scientifically sound plan for watershed management that actively involves, engages, and is supported by your community.

Overview of the 2023 Academy

The 18th Annual Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy will include three in-person workshops (two overnight), live virtual group sessions, and distance learning modules to be completed on your own. All distance learning modules and discussion forums will be hosted online with details and guidance emailed to participants in advance of the module, discussion forum or virtual workshop. The Academy runs from January to May. The following in-person workshops are required:

How You Will Benefit

If you are interested in water quality and watersheds and want to take advantage of earning your Certificate in Watershed Management virtually, the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy may be for you. The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to: 

IWLA Networking Site
The Academy uses the eXtension Online Campus. More information will be provided for accepted applicants.

How Much Time Does the Academy Involve?

Participants complete a minimum of nine lesson modules, a learning project, and participation in three face-to-face class meetings. Students can expect to spend 3-4 hours on each lesson module, and 8-10 hours on their learning project. Face-to-face sessions are held at a leadership center and state park consisting of overnight and single day sessions.

Application and Fee Information

The registration fee is $1300, reduced to $800 for non-profit employees or board members, county employees, SWCD board members, students or self-funded attendees. Limited scholarships of $400 are available for applicants that do not work for a funded project or an agency. Registration Fees cover all workshop materials as well as food and lodging for the in-person workshops. Single rooms are available at an additional charge. See information at the end of the application. The registration is payable by December 4, 2022. Accepted applicants will receive information on how to submit payment to Purdue University.

For more information, Jane Frankenberger, IWLA Director (Purdue University Professor and Extension Specialist, (765) 494-1194; or Sara Peel, IWLA Coordinator (; (765)337-9100).

Working Together for Program Excellence
Indiana Watershed Leadership is a program of Purdue University. The program draws on expertise and resources at Purdue and collaborates with Indiana's major conservation agencies. Support was previously provided by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management through section 319 of the Clean Water Act. A diverse Steering Committee and project team representing a dozen different agencies and organizations is involved in developing and teaching the academy.

A Rich History of Learning Together

Academy Class of 2006 (our first year) sampling fish species in Ghost Creek (Tributary of Tippecanoe River) with Greg Bright of Commonwealth Biomonitoring.

When determining acceptance to the Academy, Indiana applicants will be given priority. If space is available, out-of-state/country applicants will then be considered.