This course will examine how water affects our planet, and in particular the complex issues associated with how water affects human populations in the countries that we will visit. We will first consider the basic science of water, including what makes it unique, how it behaves on Earth and other planets, and how it affects our geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. We will then discuss special topics related to our travels, including how to provide potable water to the world’s population, how climate change might affect the hydrologic cycle, and the complex interplay between water and politics.
Field ClassCountry: Morocco
Day: 1 - Sunday, 19 April
Students will meet with a representative from the USAID who is working on a fog farming project to provide rural areas of Morocco with a more stable water supply to rural residents. The representative will then join us for lunch where we can continue these discussions. Then, we will learn about water use in rural Morocco, and discover how fog farming attempts are working, and discuss some of the successes and challenges. Given that this is the last meeting of the semester, we will follow this meeting with a hike along a local coastline where students will have an opportunity to reflect individually, and with their professor and classmates, about the major themes of the course this semester. Each student will make a brief presentation on their views of the future of water use worldwide, and the most important personal lessons they have learned this semester. Academic Objectives: Apply classroom material to a real world setting. Discuss the challenges of developing water systems for growing populations. Investigate a coastal system and consider the major themes covered in the course this semester, including population change, climate change, and the potential for new technologies for meeting increased demand on water.