The River Leadership Curriculum provides an interdisciplinary study of rivers and watersheds drawing on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, aesthetics, and public policy. Classes are taught by students, faculty, and community partners with a strong emphasis on experiential learning and leadership development. Four subject areas are integrated and applied to river systems to create this curriculum.
River Science deals with river and stream ecosystems, watersheds, and water. It also includes the importance of water quality, hypoxia, and the watershed concept.
Water, Civilization, and the Common Good talks about access to water, water rights and use, ethical uses of scarce water, and the relationship that civilizations have with water in the past, present and future.
River Cities discusses important aspects for understanding river cities including history, reasons for location, transportation, factors influencing development, role of the river in the economy, art, military strategies, and more.
Sustainability discusses sustainability as the capacity to endure, and views the hydrologic cycle as an important example that helps to sustain the Earth through water purification, moderating Earth's climate, and distributing water for use in Earth's processes.