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A Multi Disciplinary Fifth Year Certification Program In Water Resources For Biological And Agricultural Engineering Students With A Capstone Interdisciplinary Project Course

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.22.1 - 4.22.11

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Paper Authors

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Matt C. Smith

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David K. Gattie

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

“Session 1608"

A Multi-disciplinary Fifth-Year Certification Program in Water Resources for Biological and Agricultural Engineering Students With a Capstone Interdisciplinary Project Course

Matt C. Smith, David K. Gattie Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering University of Georgia


The Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Georgia is moving toward a fifth-year certification program in water resources designed to broaden engineering students’ basic science backgrounds and foster the interdisciplinary perspective necessary to prepare them for a career or graduate studies in water resources. Presently, the environmental and natural resource management areas of emphasis within the Engineering Department offer five courses specifically related to water resources. For students to complete the engineering degree requirements in four years, they have limited latitude to pursue water resource courses outside the department. It is a position held by many natural resource and environmental faculty, whose careers integrate the necessary disciplines needed to identify and evaluate water resource issues and implement solutions, that students, and hence society, would benefit from the offering of a program that provides the education and practical experience necessary to broaden the engineering student’s view of how water resource issues should be approached while concurrently rewarding them with certification in their extended endeavor. Courses for this program will be offered through, and in conjunction with, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, Forest Resources, Crop and Soil Science, Ecology, Geography and Geology. The focal point of the program is the combination of non-engineering water resource educational exposure with an interdisciplinary capstone project requiring engineering students to team with students from other disciplines to work on a comprehensive water resources project, thus providing them the real opportunity to develop essential interdisciplinary problem-solving skills. Beyond the educational benefits, such certification would also provide tangible credibility for students when applying for jobs.


The combination of technical and interpersonal skills required to identify, evaluate and implement appropriate solutions for issues that are inherently multi-disciplinary is rare in a time when specialization is often emphasized. Often, this even more prevalent in academia where a microbiologist might make a career of studying a particular bacteria or a chemist the uptake

Smith, M. C., & Gattie, D. K. (1999, June), A Multi Disciplinary Fifth Year Certification Program In Water Resources For Biological And Agricultural Engineering Students With A Capstone Interdisciplinary Project Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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