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Department of Range and Watershed Management

In 2002, upon recognition of critical situation of soil erosion, landslide, flooding, drought, land degradation, and other environmental problems in the watersheds and ecosystems of the Northwest of Iran, the Department of Range and Watershed Management (DRWM) was established as the first undergraduate discipline in the Faculty of Natural Resources at Urmia University, Iran. Over the past few years, the department has been planning, implementing, and monitoring water/soil conservation and watershed management programs based on the principle of the Integrated Watershed Management (IWM).

The department is now staffed with multi-disciplinary personnel, and the main disciplinary academic members are specialized in hydrology, water resources management, GIS and remote sensing, watershed simulation and modeling, soil erosion and sediment models, desert combating, rangelands analysis, and ecology and reclamation. At present, there are seven academic members and two staff in the department.

In 2009, the master’s program in “Natural Resources Engineering-Watershed Management” was launched to take steps toward enhancement of the educational programs in order to train experts with higher professional skills. In addition, in 2013, owing to the importance of maintenance, reclamation, and appropriate utilization of natural resources in West Azerbaijan Province, the master’s program in “Natural Resources Engineering- Rangeland Management” was established so that skilled people could be graduated in the field of Rangeland Ecosystems. It is noteworthy that most of the previous and present research endeavors in the department have been centered on three issues, namely range, watershed, and desertification. The total number of undergraduates and postgraduates in the field of Natural Resources Engineering consisted of 392 and 75 students, respectively in March, 2016. Recently, the PhD program in “Watershed Management Engineering” was officially launched in Feb., 2016 by Iran’s Ministry of Science, Researches, and Technology (MSRT). (See Table).

1- Department of Range and Watershed Management including courses:

 1-1- Range and Watershed Management (BSc)

 1-2- Rangeland Management (MSc)

 1-3- Watershed Management - Water and Soil conservation (MSc)

 1-4- Watershed Management - Flood and River (MSc)

1-5- Management and Control of Deserts (MSc)

1-6 Watershed Science and Engineering - Water and Soil conservation (PhD)

1-7 Watershed Science and Engineering - Watershed Management (PhD)

Table : Education programs in undergraduate and graduate levels in DRWM department 


Discipline (Program)

Major / Specialization




Graduated by  March, 2016




Natural Resources Engineering

Range and Watershed Management





Watershed Management





Range Management





Watershed Management





Rangeland and Watershed