Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Water

ENVS 350A: STEP Water

 

STEP: Water engages students with learning opportunities presented by a multidisciplinary group of faculty and on-the-ground experts. Students study historical and current water resource issues at multiple scales. They design and implement projects on campus or in the community to help solve water-related challenges.

Spring 2015 STEP: Water Syllabus

Some lecture topics:

  • water sanitation,
  • water economics,
  • issues in the Great Lakes,
  • water policy,
  • public health and water-borne infectious diseases,
  • spiritual implications of water,
  • historical significance of water,
  • water and agriculture,
  • water and ecosystems,
  • sustainable water use, and
  • social justice and water access.

Readings:

Readings include scientific studies, government reports and book excerpts highlighting historical and contemporary challenges in water resource management.

Examples of labs, field trips and film discussions:

  • mapping water resources using GIS,
  • Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District,
  • Evanston Water Treatment Plant,
  • stream quality assessment with Friends of the Chicago River,
  • Damnation (history of dam building and present day dam removal),
  • Blue Gold (water privatization), and
  • Groundswell Rising (hydraulic fracturing, water impacts, and citizen activism).

Here are some examples of student projects. Students:

  • Developed an Aquaponics system for sustainable fish farming.
  • Piloted a living machine for waste nutrient removal.
  • Studied emerging contaminants in drinking water and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Studied irrigation and rainwater collection.
  • Studied water conservation on campus.
  • Studied stormwater management and sustainable landscaping.

For more information, contact STEP Coordinator Tania Schusler.