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An Integrated Approach To Educating A Diverse Population On Environmental Management Systems

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.184.1 - 7.184.12



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Paper Authors

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Philip Carpenter

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Harvey Smith

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Murali Krishnamurthi

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Session 1526

An Integrated Approach to Educating a Diverse Population on Environmental Management Systems

Murali Krishnamurthi, Harvey Smith, and Philip Carpenter Northern Illinois University


This paper describes the interdisciplinary learning modules being developed with the help of a National Science Foundation CCLI (Curriculum, Course, and Laboratory Improvement) grant to educate students from diverse disciplines about environmental management systems (EMS). The modules are intended to enhance student understanding and appreciation of environmental issues by engaging them in an integrated approach to learning math, science, business, law, social, and engineering concepts. Environmental management systems are “next generation” responses to environmental problems that go beyond regulatory compliance by integrating interdisciplinary science, quality management and systems engineering practices to redress point, non-point and process aspects of pollution. A significant challenge of the project is to design the learning modules so that students can better understand and experience first hand the benefits of environmental management in real-world settings by interacting with students from diverse disciplines and professionals. The project team is assisted by an advisory team consisting of experts from a number of universities and companies. The learning modules are being designed using the Kolb learning cycle and include a variety of active-learning strategies such as class discussions, case studies, guest speakers, web applications, and team projects. Details of the learning modules, pedagogical strategies, and assessment results are presented in this paper.

1. Introduction Environment touches our lives in many ways and we profoundly impact the environment as policy-makers, scientists, engineers, corporate decision-makers, and citizens. To protect the environment in today’s technological society, balance the needs of the population, and minimize impacts of environmental hazards, we need technically informed citizens with knowledge of environmental issues, especially those who are being educated and trained professionally to face this challenge. This is true whether one is pursuing a career in business, law, education, science, engineering, social sciences, or political science.

Knowledge of environmental management systems (EMS) and how it encompasses subfields in the sciences, math, public policy, business, law, and engineering is generally lacking among students. This contributes to their inability to comprehend the value of basic math and science courses in solving real-life environmental problems. An interdisciplinary approach to educating

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Carpenter, P., & Smith, H., & Krishnamurthi, M. (2002, June), An Integrated Approach To Educating A Diverse Population On Environmental Management Systems Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10515

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