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Development Of A Three Course Sequence In Water Resources For Environmental And Civil Engineering

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Curricula

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.473.1 - 14.473.6



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Paper Authors

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Simeon Komisar Florida Gulf Coast University

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Diane Bondehagen Florida Gulf Coast University

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Tanya Kunberger Florida Gulf Coast University

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Robert O'Neill Florida Gulf Coast University

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

Development of a Three Course Sequence in Water Resources for Environmental and Civil Engineering

Environmental and Civil Engineering, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL 33965


In designing the curricula for the new Environmental and Civil Engineering programs at Florida Gulf Coast University, priority was given to sustainable water resources, fitting with the vision and mission of our University and School of Engineering. We were forced to rethink the delivery of this body of knowledge in light of universal constraints on teaching resources, available credits within our template, and the need to deliver design experiences throughout. Typically, this body of knowledge is addressed in a two required-course sequence, with two additional courses delivered as technical electives, if at all, at the undergraduate level, or is delayed until the MS degree.

Using both CE and ENVE faculty, singly and in teams, we teach fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrology, and water resources in an interactive lab-lecture format, providing ever increasing exposure to design with uncertainty, cost, and environmental constraints. Students utilize laboratory test and measurement equipment as well as field exercises and are trained in the use of modern software to evaluate and design water resource systems and infrastructure. The final course in the sequence is taught as a design studio, with students functioning on interdisciplinary teams, with real world design projects. We have followed a cohort of students through this sequence and have documented learning outcomes using direct measures of competence including exams, lab reports, design projects, presentations, and outside evaluations, and indirect measures including surveys of student perception of learning.


Students graduating with degrees in both Environmental and Civil Engineering at FGCU are expected to be competent in Water Resources Engineering. This focus for both programs reflects the current physical, ecological and economic climate of Southwest Florida which has experienced dramatic growth over the last decade along with prolonged drought conditions and increased frequency and intensity of precipitation events. This nexus of increased population and water demand, shrinking water supply, and increasingly inadequate water routing and retention infrastructure has made it imperative to graduate engineers and future community leaders well educated in this domain.

Teaching water resources engineering to a level of competence appropriate to these challenges then becomes a difficult task in light of universal constraints on teaching resources, available credits within our template (128 semester based credits at FGCU), and the need to deliver design experiences throughout. A two required course sequence of (1) Fluid Mechanics and (2)

Komisar, S., & Bondehagen, D., & Kunberger, T., & O'Neill, R. (2009, June), Development Of A Three Course Sequence In Water Resources For Environmental And Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5074

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