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Integration of Environmental Humanities Modules into the Environmental Engineering Classroom

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Emphasizing Communication and the Humanities in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

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Paper Authors


Sarah K. Bauer Rowan University

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Dr. Sarah Bauer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. Dr. Bauer holds a doctoral degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Dr. Bauer is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships as a young professional. Her primary research interests are: water and wastewater treatment, renewable energy technologies, and pollution prevention. She has worked on a variety of educational projects to enhance environmental engineering education while at Rowan University. Dr. Bauer is an active member of ASEE and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and currently serves as the Faculty Advisor for Rowan’s Student Chapter of SWE.

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In today’s rapidly changing world, engineers and scientists are challenged with solving the multitudes of environmental and social problems our society is currently facing. The rapid growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and pedagogy is critical for developing technical solutions to these environmental issues. However, STEM fields are not necessarily oriented towards understanding the cultural, ideological, political and historical contexts in which environmental problems occur. In this study, both individual and team-based environmental humanities modules (EHMs) were developed for and integrated into an upper-level undergraduate environmental engineering course to bring together concepts of engineering, science and humanities in the classroom. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of the environmental humanities on fostering an increased understanding of the broader context of environmental engineering work. The overall impact of the EHMs was evaluated through student responses to surveys administered at the beginning and end of each course. Survey results indicate that the EHMs enabled students to increase their understanding of environmental engineering and its effect on society’s environmental challenges.

Bauer, S. K. (2020, June), Integration of Environmental Humanities Modules into the Environmental Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34853

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