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

Goal Area