Nontraditional University Research Partners That Facilitate Service Learning And Graduate Research For Sustainable Development

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Goal 7 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals addresses the need for safe water, sanitation, and hygiene by aiming to halve the proportion of people without access to safe water and adequate sanitation from 1990 benchmarks by 2015. One key for successfully integrating university research with global development is to develop strategic partnerships with non-traditional academic partners that have a strong community presence. Here we use case studies to demonstrate how these partnerships are integrated with undergraduate and graduate education and research to develop sustainable solutions for global problems.

An NSF research project situated in Bolivia allows undergraduate and doctoral graduate students to work with a non-government organization and rural community water committees to research issues of water supply, water scarcity, sanitation, and watershed management. An interdisciplinary graduate course allows students to investigate concepts of sustainability and research methods using a case study focus that focuses on mercury in Guyana and research approaches across disciplines, implement population surveying methods, and apply simple systems modeling. These cases provide opportunities for meeting globalization and sustainability outcomes as elaborated in the proposed Environmental Engineering BOK.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition on June 14, 2009 in Austin, Texas, 11 p.