The Water, Culture and Society course will be offered at all three AMU campuses in the upcoming spring semester, that course will be cross listed between the environmental sciences and humanities. It will be a 3-hr. class that will cover the basics of the water cycle, geology, and the history of water usage in Dayton, Honolulu and San Antonio. The goal is to inform students about the key role water can play in establishing societies, influencing development, the natural world and our future. There will be no prerequisites required for this class.
There will also be an optional water, culture and society experiential learning lab. The lab consists of comparing our local watershed with the watersheds of all Marianist universities. Classes from each sister university will meet virtually throughout the semester, and at the end of the semester the lab course fee will allow students the opportunity to visit our sister school in Hawaii for 2 weeks. There students will be able to compare their findings related to their watersheds, the history of their cities and their cultures. The universities will also be comparing notes about campus sustainability.
St. Mary’s University will have lots to talk about since we have already implanted several sustainable projects on campus throughout the years. Some of the many things we have done to make our campus greener include designing lab experiments that utilize the least amount of hazardous material as possible, use of water based paint for campus internal and external applications, our campus cafeteria discontinued to-go Styrofoam containers and switched to reusable green containers, water bottle refill stations have been added across campus. Additional recycling bins in dorms and buildings have increased the recycle capacity threefold and reduce the costs of disposal. The majority of the light bulbs on campus are green tip compact fluorescent bulbs. There’s a lot more that can be done perhaps even discussing the creation of a Campus Green Fund that would support will allow a campus like St Mary’s to be able to implement more sustainable projects that will help students and the University to enjoy the luxuries of being sustainable. For more information about this course, contact your academic adviser at your campus.
Story by Tanya Helbig, Environmental Studies Major, St. Mary’s University