Key Concept: Complexity

"To understand life, you have to study it at different scales.  Each part has emergent properties that feed back into the system.  The complexity of this system is incredibly humbling."

Penny Chisholm, MIT Oceanographer

Ecological components

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5 components - The Watershed Health Assessment Framework uses 5 ecological components (Hydrology, Connectivity, Biology, Geomorphology and Water Quality) to provide different perspectives for evaluating system health.   Each component holds a suite of health index values that show multiple views of health status.    

Managing systems - More about understanding the five-component system of evaluating watershed health


Making connections - The dynamic relationship between different parts of a natural system express themselves in many ways.  Examples of changes on the landscape can be connected to the forces at work to help us better understand these relationships.

Watershed stories - Lessons learned from river systems that were not managed as systems.

River continuum concept - Connectivity in river systems extends in all directions, up and down stream, into the floodplain, and below ground.  A multi-faceted understanding of hydrologic connectivity is needed.

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