Global water concerns: An experiential learning project

Abstract

The Center for Russian and East European Studies (REES) and the Study Abroad Office (SAO) will use the Pitt Seed award to fund the development of a two-part study away US curriculum on water culture and water policy, framed by two questions: 1) How does water contribute to the culture, economics, health, and spiritual life in indigenous US communities?, and 2) How do NGO and think-tank leaders engage with stakeholders to promote universal access to sustainable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene?

A stay at a US Native American reservation and meetings with Washington DC think-tank representatives will bring students into a larger conversation about water scarcity. That larger context is supported by substantial funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (Humanities Connections). This three-year NEH grant, Water in Central Asia: Tributaries of Change, is an innovative course cluster, focusing on the vast aqua-region of greater Central Asia, conducted in collaboration with Nazarbayev University (Astanan, Kazakhstan), where Pitt has a robust medical partnership.

A key goal of the Pitt Seed/NEH project is the integration of scientific and humanities perspectives on a problem of concern to both domains, offering a holistic model for 21st century education through the interdisciplinary and comparative investigation of a real-world issue. The NEH and Pitt Seed programs will enable Pitt students from a wide variety of majors to develop critical thinking skills, analyzing global-local connections and comparing regional specificities to open up pathways for careers in fields such as international security, policy, business, engineering, healthcare, law, and education.

Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Condee

    Slavic Languages and Literatures

Select Collaborators
  • Brice Lynn

    Study Abroad Office

  • Zsuzsanna Magdo

    Center for Russian and East European Studies