he application of scientific findings to watershed-based strategies for protecting drinking water supply quality is of utmost concern to me. I aim for my work to improve the livelihoods of communities by managing watershed land use for long-term persistence and productivity of quality drinking water. From my own experiences, I have seen that the impact of laboratory-based scientific studies can be limited when not expanded to include field- and community-based resource management settings. Through my doctoral research, I will bridge the conceptual and linguistic gap between ecosystem and economic sciences to design an innovative strategy for assessing the effects of watershed management on drinking water supply. The necessity for such strategies is driven by the growing human populations’ demand for physical space as well as maximum production of food, fiber, and fuel from land and water resources. Land use intensification is often concurrent with an increase in impermeable surfaces, non-point source pollution, soil erosion and loss of wildlife habitat. Consequently, contamination of surface waters can lead to degradation of water quality, affecting both ecosystem resiliency and human health. While general relationships between land use and water quality are understood, most watershed communities lack strategies for determining thresholds between land cover conversion and water quality degradation. An improved understanding of these relationships between land cover type and the accumulation of anthropogenic pollution to riparian systems is integral to the long-term protection of drinking water supplies.