June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Because of the efficient treatment processes of wetlands, engineered treatment wetlands are increasingly being used to treat stormwater and wastewater, and especially combined sewer overflows. Constructed treatment wetlands are low-cost, require minimal maintenance, can be implemented in a decentralized fashion, and contribute to ecosystem preservation. All of these reasons have brought treatment wetlands to the forefront for consideration by communities working to reduce combined sewer overflows and improve water quality, especially in small cities and towns with limited resources.
Many of these same reasons motivated us to bring constructed, treatment wetlands into the undergraduate civil and environmental engineering curriculum. Serving as a model for water quality and quantity management, students engaged in hands-on experiences using a small-scale wetlands setup in the <greenhouse name> at <university name>. In independent research projects, undergraduate research students measured water quality parameters including TSS, BOD and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and optimized removal of various contaminants. In the classroom in Environmental Engineering Laboratory, students measured water quality parameters of various water bodies in the same watershed and researched the impacts of excess nutrients on water quality and economies. Students toured the constructed treatment wetlands and were able to learn directly from a peer who had previously participated in research using the wetlands.
Pre- and post-surveys were conducted to determine the classroom students’ learning about the function of wetlands in improving water quality and stakeholders’ quality of life. Focus groups were conducted for the undergraduate researchers to assess improvements in their abilities to perform the scientific method and their confidence in doing so. Results confirmed that the constructed wetlands served as a model for students to understand the function of low impact design in the environmental engineering field.
The author qualifies for the Early Career Award and would like this paper considered for the award.
Marincel Payne, M. K. (2019, June), Lab-Scale Treatment Wetlands: A Model for Undergraduate Learning Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33040
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