Training and Events

Watershed Game demonstration session

If you missed our September Watershed Game demonstration session, check out the demonstration session video recording.

Watershed Game Train-the-Trainer Workshop

October 25, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. CST and October 26, 2021 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CST

Learn to facilitate the Watershed Game (WSG), along with other educators and water resource outreach professionals. This training is a virtual live event held online.

The Watershed Game table board showing a cartoon drawing of a coastal community.

What: This two-day train-the-trainer workshop is for educators and water resource outreach professionals to learn how to facilitate Minnesota Sea Grant's nationally recognized Watershed Game (WSG). The WSG is a series of active, hands-on simulations for local leaders, educators, and students that demonstrate how they can address nonpoint source pollution and the effects of that pollution on community water resources.

Excess sediment and phosphorus are addressed in the original game versions. The new Coast Model incorporates excess nitrogen as an additional pollutant as well as community resilience to flooding. Review the Watershed Game Information Guide for additional information.

Who should participate: Extension educators, water resource and outreach professionals, teachers and informal educators, and others in the Great Lakes, Central and Gulf Coast regions who provide outreach to communities on watershed management, water quality and resilience. Others from outside those regions may be permitted if space allows.

Registration: Advance registration is required. You will be asked to select which training you would like to participate in. We expect we will reach capacity, so we ask for your commitment to attend if you register.

Review of materials (i.e., a presentation, video, and resource documents) is required prior to the workshop. These materials will be sent to you via email about a week in advance. Allow yourself approximately two hours to review all of the provided materials.

Workshop agenda and registration options:

New for this training opportunity is the ability to register and select one of the following three options:

1) Local Leader training only

Requires you to participate in three separate sessions.

Monday, October 25, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST) AND Tuesday, October 26, 2021 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (CST) AND Tuesday, October 26, 2021 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST).

2) Classroom Version training only

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST)

3) Join for both!

Requires you to participate in all of the sessions Monday and Tuesday.

Monday, October 25, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST) AND Tuesday, October 26, 2021 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (CST) AND Tuesday, October 26, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST).

Training objectives:

  • Participants will leave prepared and confident -- ready to organize, facilitate, and use the Watershed Game with a variety of audiences, including local leaders, residents, teachers, and youth. 
  • Participants will increase their knowledge and understanding of core water literacy concepts; impacts of land use decisions on local, regional, and national water resources; and approaches to reducing or preventing impacts. 
  • Participants will increase their skills at developing and communicating learning objectives for target audiences and using the Watershed Game to teach to those objectives.

K12 Teachers: You are most likely interested in training for the Classroom Version. Our training agenda allows for you to register and attend day two, October 26 only. A limited number of teacher substitute scholarships up to $100 are available. You may indicate your need during the registration process and someone will follow-up with you.

More: Nonpoint source pollution (NSP), unlike pollution from industrial or sewage treatment plants, comes from diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As runoff moves, it picks up and moves natural and human-made pollutants, often finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, streams, coastal waters and ground water.

Why this training is free: This train-the-trainer training is made possible through Minnesota Sea Grant in collaboration with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Alabama Water Institute, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, and the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center. Financial support is provided by the NOAA Regional Collaboration Network and the National Sea Grant Program.  

History: Minnesota Sea Grant has been advancing the use of the Watershed Game across the country for more than 10 years by offering what have been very effective in-person facilitator training workshops. Experience has proven that training requires up to eight hours. Therefore, to accommodate the virtual format, the workshop will be spread across two half days and will use a flipped classroom approach, with participants completing some pre-work prior to the training.

John Bilotta, Water Resource Management and Policy Extension Educator, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Duluth,, (612) 624-7708.

Maggie Karschnia, Minnesota Sea Grant & Water Resources Center Stormwater Extension Educator, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Duluth,, (612) 624-9181.