Robert Joseph Turner
Provides an understanding of past and present water challenges and some of the possible opportunities for solving them. What is the state of water in the United States and how did we get to this point? Examines the future prospects for wisely using water resources.
It is no secret that water is the most critical substance for the sustenance of life. And yet the prognosis for the quality and supply of both local and global water resources is somewhere between troubling and dire. What gives? This course provides a framework for students to learn about our water future and ways we might define and achieve sustainability in water management.
Student learning goals
Articulate a personal philosophy on sustainability and discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with pursing it.
Explain how current water use and management practices threaten ecological integrity, human health, and security.
Discuss how pursuing different sustainable development ideals can affect our future with regard to water resources, human equity, and other social factors.
Demonstrate facility in working with partners in an equitable research collaboration by producing quality work on time in a professional manner.
Articulate how they have improved in their abilities to: tolerate ambiguity in readings and assignments; anticipate and resolve conflict in group situations; and take advantage of diverse skills and perspectives in group work.
Document how they have improved in their abilities to: compare, synthesize, and assess multiple perspectives; conduct interdisciplinary research; and present, support, and evaluate positions and conclusions (their own and those of others) in their writing.
General method of instruction
We will investigate these topics via thoughtful reading, critical writing, class and on-line discussion, and collaborative group projects.
Interest in the future. Enthusiasm for proactive learning. A computer at home.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will be a combination of group and individual work. Students will be required to do daily reading assignments, participate in discussions, and work with partners on group projects.
Performance on assignments associated with the group project will account for ~21% of the course grade. Other mechanisms for evaluating your learning and their relative weight in determining your grade will include homework assignments (~23%), 2 exams (~20%), 3 essays (~15%), and in-class and group participation (~20%).