Water for Life: Sustainability & Community Health

Water quality is rapidly emerging as one the most pressing environmental concerns facing humanity in the 21st century, and the cross-cutting importance of clean fresh water supplies is emphasized in global initiatives on conservation, development, health, and economics.

Hand washing workshop in Tabuga

This 2-week summer service learning course on the coast of Ecuador highlights the interconnections between human use of water resources and health. The course, caters to students in the Global Health certificate program or biological science majors who seek international experience in water quality issues. Students will study the influence of land management practices on water quality, participate in community-based water quality monitoring, and learn about the epidemiology of water-borne pathogens that impact human health in rural communities.

The program provides a unique cultural experience that will broaden students’ global awareness, social skills, cultural competence, and scientific research capabilities, while providing tangible service in the form of research mentoring and education in the local community. This service-learning course combines lectures, field research, and working with local communities. The program is offered in conjunction with the Ceiba Foundation, and takes place at their Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve, and nearby villages on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. Excursions to a cloud forest, and visits to local water treatment facilities and health clinics, provide students with ample opportunity to learn about the tropical environment, and get to know the local culture and people. The deadline for the Summer 2020 course is Friday, March 6.  Apply now!  (via UW-Madison site).