Next week, I will be assisting with a new girls engineering camp. In the past I've developed and conducted
a bioengineering camp here at the University of Illinois in conjunction with GAMES (Girls Adventures in Math and Engineering
As I am no longer affiliated with Bioengineering but wanted to stay involved, I've been taken
on as a consultant for the new camp, Environmental Engineering.
The camp will look at the following aspects
of the environment that engineers help to evaluate and solve problems to increase human comfort while also maintaining a healthy
environment for every living thing.
When a biologist/scientist speaks of the environment, we are concerned with ecosystems (forests, grasslands, marine environments,
etc.,), the elements needed to maintain life (air, water, space), populations within those ecosystems (of flora, fauna and
humans), and the issues within those populations such as balance of appropriate flora and fauna where imbalances present
themselves in the form of extinction and invasive species. Humans in particular influence changes in biodiversity, create
solutions to feed the world through agriculture, and produce waste and pollution and influence climate change.
and engineers work together to find more about these issues and to learn best how to evaluate them and then create solutions,
of which we now know need to be increasingly sustainable. We need to consider how our negative influences can be reversed
and step forward when we design or redesign our living spaces and communities to have minimal negative influence on the world.
Do you want to learn more about Environmental Science, in particular,
Sustainability? The University of Illinois is offering a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) called Sustainability: a Global Introduction, starting August 27, running for 8 weeks, that will cover these topics:
Week 1: Introduction & Population pessimism
vs. optimism:Demographics, neo-malthusians and the disappearance of the third world
Week 2: Ecosystems, Extinction & Tragedy of the Commons A
theory that threatens to doom us all?
Climate Change The climate of the near future: hot, hotter, or hottest?
Week 4: Energy What happens when we reach “Peak Oil” Renewable
energy: is there enough to make the switch?
5: Agriculture and Water Can we continue to increase food production - or have we reached the limit of what the
land can support?
Week 6: Environmental Economics
and Policy Can economists lead the way to sustainability?
Week 7: Measuring sustainabilityHow do we know we're making a difference?
Week 8: Ethics and Culture the long view
You can learn more about their free textbook, Sustainability: A Comprehensive