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 - 

Hybrid Virtual and In-Person in 2022

The application for the 2022 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy will be available in early Fall. Please contact Sara Peel (speel@purdue.edu) if you have questions about enrolling in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy.

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.

How the Hybrid (Virtual and In-person) Academy in 2022 Will Work

The 17th Annual Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy will occur in a hybrid format in 2022. This format will allow you to take advantage of Indiana’s watershed experts from the comfort of your home or office for the first six sessions. The virtual format will occur biweekly from January to March. The academy will then transition to an in-person format for a two-day session at McCormick’s Creek State Park March 30-31 with graduation occurring in person on May 25, 2022. The 2022 Hybrid Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy covers the same great content as our previous academies but in a new, convenient format!

If you are interested in water quality and watersheds and want to take advantage of earning your Certificate in Watershed Management virtually, consider applying for the 2022 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. 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 $1250, reduced to $750 for non-profit employees or board members, county employees, SWCD board members, students or self-funded attendees. Limited scholarships of $375 are available for applicants that do not work for a funded project or an agency. See information at the end of this application. The registration is payable by December 2022. Accepted applicants will receive information on how to submit payment to Purdue University. Registration Fees cover all workshop materials.

For more information, Jane Frankenberger, IWLA Director (Purdue University Professor and Extension Specialist, (765) 494-1194; frankenb@purdue.edu) or Sara Peel, IWLA Coordinator (speel@purdue.edu; (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

2016 Annual Overview

2015 Annual Overview

Academy First Year Annual Report

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.