ALS 398H – CALS Honors Seminar – Spring Semesters
Group Topic - Global drinking water and sanitation: Current trends and future needs
Across the world, 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people do not use approved sanitation facilities. In this seminar, we will examine global trends and geographical disparities in drinking water and sanitation coverage, discuss the consequences of unimproved water and sanitation, and assess the roadblocks to achieving total access. Through this work, we will evaluate the modes by which drinking water and sanitation demands are being met and identify future needs in research, training, education, and monitoring. Students will review scientific and policy literature, learn from invited speakers, and take a field trip to an NC State water and wastewater training facility. Student participation will culminate with the development of a proposal of recommendations for how the visited facility should be enhanced to include more applications appropriate for developing countries.
SSC 495H – Soils, Environmental Quality and Global Challenges – Fall Semesters
As the world population grows to 9 billion people by 2050, we will be pressed to increase food security, respond to the consequences of a changing climate, and improve human health – while protecting the environment and maintaining natural resources. Soils play a critical role in many of these challenges, particularly in regulating environmental quality. The primary goal of this course is to teach students how soils mediate environmental impacts through a host of chemical, physical, and biological processes. We will examine a series of global challenges, assess their main related environmental issues, and analyze the roles of soils in each issue. Examples of the possible Global Challenges covered in the course include food security, drinking water and sanitation access, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Key themes throughout the course will include the range of spatial scales over which processes occur, data sources used to understand soil processes and global challenges, the interconnections between (and among) various environmental issues and societal needs, the role of soil science in policy analyses, and the differences in challenges facing developed and low income countries.