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CEE 70Q: Water, Public Health, and Engineering

Preference to sophomores. Linkages between water, wastewater and public health, with an emphasis on engineering interventions. Topics include the history of water and wastewater infrastructure development in the U.S. and Europe; evolution of epidemiological approaches for water-related health challenges; biological and chemical contaminants in water and wastewater and their management; and current trends and challenges in access to water and sanitation around the world. How to identify ways in which freshwater contributes to human health; exposure routes for water- and sanitation-illness; how to classify these illnesses by pathogen type and their geographic distribution; how to identify the health and economic consequences of water- and sanitation-related illnesses; costs and benefits of curative and preventative interventions; and how to interpret data related to epidemiological concepts. No previous experience in engineering is required. Will be offered Spring 2021-22.

ENVRES 320: Design of environmental research

Required core course restricted to first year E-IPER Ph.D. students. Research design options for causal inference in environmentally related research. Major philosophies of knowledge and how they relate to research objectives and design choices. Identification of critical elements within a broad range of research designs. Evaluation of the types of research questions for which different designs are suited, emphasizing fit between objectives, design, methods, and argument. Development of individual research design proposals, including description and justification understandable to a non-specialist. Enrollment limited to E-IPER students; requires permission of instructor. Will be offered Winter 2021-22.

CEE 277I / ESS 264: Poverty, infrastructure and climate change

Lack of access to physical infrastructure such as roads, water supply and electricity is a key element of how 'poverty' is often defined. At the same time, the causal pathways that link infrastructure and economic development are not well understood, and are likely being re-shaped by a changing climate. Students in this course will contribute to a new initiative on poverty, infrastructure and climate change by (1) reviewing and synthesizing literature from relevant scholarly communities, (2) co-creating a conceptual causal model of the ways in which infrastructure (particularly roads and water assets) contributes to poverty alleviation, and (3) contributing to the design of applied research effort on these topics in sub-Saharan Africa. Students who opt for the 3-unit enrollment will have an additional supervised project that could take the form of a review paper, research proposal, or analysis of secondary data. There are no formal pre-requisites for the class; students from all schools and departments are welcome. Enrollment requires permission of the instructors. Interested students are invited to submit an application here.

CEE 277A: An introduction to fuzzy set QCA 

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). It is designed for students with an interest in employing fsQCA for their research. We review the development of this analytical approach and identify the types of research question for which fsQCA is more and less appropriate. Through lectures and exercises that use fsQCA software, students master key concepts underlying the methodology, including set theory, Boolean algebra, fuzzy versus crisp set analysis, principles of coding causal conditions and outcomes, and interpreting consistency and coverage metrics. There are no pre-requisites for the course; however, enrollment is capped, and permission of the instructor is required to enroll. The next offering will be during the 2021-22 school year.

CEE 265D: Water & sanitation in developing countries

Economic, social, political, and technical aspects of sustainable water supply and sanitation service provision in developing countries. Case studies from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Service pricing, alternative institutional structures including privatization, and the role of consumer demand and community participation in the planning process. Environmental and public health considerations, and strategies for serving low-income households. Limited enrollment because of substantial discussion component. Permission of instructor required; interested students should complete an application form that will be linked here for the 2021-2022 academic year.

CEE 375A: Water, climate & health (with Prof. Alexandria Boehm)

This class is focused on current research at the water, climate, and human health nexus. We review the most recent climate-change projections from the IPCC and discuss their implications for water access and human health, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. Each student leads at leasat one class discussion and writes a research proposal for a novel investigation in the water/climate/health area. Limited enrollment. Consent of instructors required.

CEE 275C : Water, Sanitation and Health

This course focuses on critical analysis of water, sanitation and health issues in developing and developed countries, with particular emphasis on enteric pathogenic pollutants. Topics covered include identifying key pathogens, their modes of transmission and the diseases they cause, their fate and transport in the environment, and the means by which they are measured; statistical methods for processing and interpreting waterborne pollutant concentrations, and interpreting data from epidemiology studies; microbial source tracking; epidemiology and quantitative microbial risk assessment; reduction of pathogens in water and sludge; and non-experimental water, sanitation, and hygiene research. Several laboratory sessions will allow students to measure indicator bacteria and viruses using culture-based techniques and expose students to molecular methods for measuring health-relevant targets in water.