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Mixed Method Approach to Evaluate Sustainability Thinking Among the Next Generation of Civil and Environmental Engineers

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

A Focus on Sustainability

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Fethiye Ozis P.E. Northern Arizona University

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Dr. Fethiye “Faith” Ozis is a lecturer in the civil and environmental engineering department at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Ozis holds a B.S. in environmental engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed Professional Engineer, Environmental, in Arizona.

Dr. Ozis enjoys every dimension of being an engineering educator. She conducts research in engineering education, related to classroom and innovative pedagogical strategies. Her own intersectionality led to her passion in promoting and researching pathways into STEM especially for underrepresented minority groups.

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Nihal Sarikaya Northern Arizona University Orcid 16x16

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Nihal A. Sarikaya is a student in the Department of Business and Administration at Northern Arizona University. She is working toward a Master of Administration degree, with Professional Writing emphasis. Her goal is to become a medical/scientific writer. Sarikaya received her BS in biological sciences from the University of Southern California. Also, she has worked in academic research for five years and biopharmaceutical industry for six years, and managed an otolaryngology practice for five years.

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Roy St. Laurent Northern Arizona University

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Roy St. Laurent is a professor of statistics at Northern Arizona University where he has taught for 25 years. He has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Michigan Technological University and a PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota. His research has included publications developing new statistical methodology, as well as co-authored publications with researchers applying statistics to medical, public health, and engineering research questions. Some of his statistical interests include nonlinear regression, regression diagnostics, and method comparison studies / measures of agreement.

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Daniel'le April DeVoss Northern Arizona University

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Daniel'le graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering degree from Northern Arizona University and is currently an E.I.T. at a civil engineering firm. She is interested in the applications of biological and chemical processes to reduce the environmental impact of industrial practices. She is active with The Society of Women Engineers, and has a deep interest in broadening participation in STEM, especially for underrepresented minorities.

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Millions of young people, as part of a global movement, raised their voices and called for an urgent action on September 21, 2019. A major concern in educating the next generation of civil and environmental engineers is to not only have them understand and appreciate sustainability as a core aspect of being an engineer, but also take action, at a personal and professional level. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate civil and environmental engineering students’ development of sustainability thinking. For this study, knowledge, attitude, perceived responsibility, and activism are defined as indicators of sustainability thinking. Using questionnaires as an instrument, a mixed method convergent-parallel design was employed to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data, concurrently. Over 80% of the students reported that they changed their lifestyle preferences to live more sustainably, because of their learning in the course. Half of the students, who turned their intentions into action, adapted a behavior to conserve water. Although students reported improved awareness, some students identified financial reasons that obstructed their transition to a greener lifestyle. Environmental engineering students expressed greater intent to practice green living, when compared to civil engineering students.

Ozis, F., & Sarikaya, N., & St. Laurent, R., & DeVoss, D. A. (2020, June), Mixed Method Approach to Evaluate Sustainability Thinking Among the Next Generation of Civil and Environmental Engineers Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34979

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