WERC conducts basic and applied research related to water and environmental resources. Research disciplines at WERC include: environmental, civil, and arctic engineering; environmental science; oceanography; limnology; hydrology; microbiology; geochemistry; and hydraulics.
WERC research aims to help improve the quality of life for arctic inhabitants while supporting careful and sustainable development of Alaska's bountiful natural resources, protecting fragile ecosystems, and seeking to better understand the role of the arctic and subarctic in the global system.
WERC trains graduate students at master's and PhD levels through student participation in various research projects.
WERC disseminates pertinent research information to the public.