The mission of the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies (WICES) is to unite the efforts and expertise of faculty, staff and students across disciplines, enhancing the strong liberal arts experience offered at UW-Eau Claire by fostering interdisciplinary education, scholarship and community outreach. Its core goal is for UW-Eau Claire students to develop an increased environmental awareness, vital ecological literacy, a commitment to conservation and sustainability, and a respectful, appreciative, and ethically intentional relationship between human society and the natural world in the Lower Chippewa River Watershed and beyond.
What's in the Name?
The Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies: what's in the name? A watershed is a large geographic unit, incorporating not only groundwater and surface water but also all its human, terrestrial, and atmospheric inputs. "Watershed" also denotes a decisive point in history, the origin of a transition between two unique states of being: a "watershed moment." The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is located in the Lower Chippewa River basin, at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. So for us it is a term referencing both location and context. And because we are UW-Eau Claire (or "clear water") the adoption of an inclusive hydrological metaphor as the Institute name seems highly appropriate.