June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.913.1 - 14.913.11
Non-traditional University Research Partners that Facilitate Service Learning and Research for Sustainable Development from the Undergraduate to Graduate Level
Abstract Goal 7 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals addresses the need for safe water, sanitation, and hygiene by aiming to halve the proportion of people without access to safe water and adequate sanitation from 1990 benchmarks by 2015. One key for successfully integrating university research with global development is to develop strategic partnerships with non-traditional academic partners that have a strong community presence. Here we use case studies to demonstrate how these partnerships are integrated with undergraduate and graduate education and research to develop sustainable solutions for global problems.
An NSF research project situated in Bolivia allows undergraduate and doctoral graduate students to work with a non-government organization and rural community water committees to research issues of water supply, water scarcity, sanitation, and watershed management. An interdisciplinary graduate course allows students to investigate concepts of sustainability and research methods using a case study focus that focuses on mercury in Guyana and research approaches across disciplines, implement population surveying methods, and apply simple systems modeling. These cases provide opportunities for meeting globalization and sustainability outcomes as elaborated in the proposed Environmental Engineering BOK.
Introduction International Science and Engineering (S&E) partnerships for research and education are essential for maintaining U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century (National Science Board, 2008) and existing engineering program outcomes like globalization, contemporary issues, and sustainability lay the foundation upon which these needed international partnerships can be built. Unfortunately, a recent survey of engineering undergraduates found that less than 2% viewed globalization and contemporary issues as one of the five most important engineering outcomes and only 30-36% felt “well” or “very well” prepared to incorporate global context or contemporary issues into engineering practice respectively (Atman, 2007). Outcome 11 of the draft BOK for Environmental Engineers addresses globalization and contemporary issues citing “awareness of the impact of inadequate sanitation on public heath in many parts of the developing world and the impact of human activity on climate change” as examples of issues that are both global (integration of processes or delivery systems that transcend national, cultural and language differences) and contemporary (problems and topics of emerging importance or recent discovery). Outcome 8 recognizes the critical role of environmental engineers in the emerging sustainable engineering sub discipline and requires the “integration of sustainability into the analysis and design of engineered systems”
The global challenges that graduates must be prepared to solve are illustrated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and these provide
Trotz, M., & Stuart, A., & Yeh, D., & Muga, H., & Phillips, L., & Mihelcic, J. (2009, June), Nontraditional University Research Partners That Facilitate Service Learning And Graduate Research For Sustainable Development Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5327
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