Hydrophilanthropy, WASH, and Experiential Learning in Developing ...

From 2001 through 2005, the field course for University of New ... (2), Colorado State University, and the University ..... The following is a list of important items-.
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Universities Council on Water Resources

Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education Issue 145, Pages 36-44, August 2010

Hydrophilanthropy, WASH, and Experiential Learning in Developing Countries Michael E. Campana Department of Geosciences,Oregon State University Corvallis, OR

Abstract: Two different and unrelated programs are described, one undergraduate and one graduate, that: 1) introduced students to water research and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) issues in developing countries; 2) injected developing countries’ WASH issues into a university graduate water resources program; and 3) introduced hydrophilanthropy, defined as the altruistic concern for the water, sanitation, and related needs of humankind, as manifested by donations of labor, money, or resources. From 2002 through 2004, a National Science Foundation summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program hosted by University of Notre Dame with University of Nevada-Reno and University of New Mexico took undergraduates to developing countries (Haiti, Benin, Chile, Honduras) to conduct water research. From 2001 through 2005, the field course for University of New Mexico’s water resources degree was conducted in Honduras. Students helped construct village water systems. Suggestions and caveats for those interested in similar trips are provided. Keywords: sanitation, hygiene, international

Hydrophilanthropy and WASH

T

he university activities described in this paper fall under the broad areas of hydrophilanhropy and WASH. Although there is no formal definition, the term hydrophilanthropy is defined here as: altruistic concern for the water, sanitation, and related needs of humankind, as manifested by donations of labor, money, or resources. The acronym WASH stands for (drinking) water, sanitation and hygiene, and has particular relevance to resource and health challenges in the developing world.

Research Experience for Undergraduates in Developing Countries From 2002 through 2004, through a National Science Foundation-funded program Research Experience for Undergraduates, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Nevada-Reno and the University of New Mexico , took undergraduates

UCOWR

to the developing countries of Haiti, Benin, Chile, and Honduras to conduct water research. The overarching objective of this project (http://www. nd.edu/~reuwater/) was to engage and educate USA students in the issues and problems facing the world’s developing nations in water resources development and potable water supply and the daily tedium of many people as they struggle to obtain clean drinking water. Participants were recruited from a national pool for the 8-week long program; the three faculty involved were impressed with the quality of the students who applied. Participants were selected on the basis of: academic performance; commitment to international research; possession of appropriate language skills, and previous international experience (Tyler et al. 2004). Preference was accorded to students who would stand to gain incrementally the most from international experience. Thus, students who had basic language skills and limited international experience were often the most successful, as a small amount of in-country experience often represented a significant experiential broadening for them (Tyler et al. 2004). Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education

Hydrophilanthropy, WaSH, and Experiential Learning Students received training in basic field hydrologic techniques and international water and cultural issues at a 3-4 week session at University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame students then departed for their country (Haiti or Benin) and the other students departed for University of Nevada-Reno (Chile) or University of New Mexico (Honduras; see Figure 1) for additional work and travel to the particular country each selected. Generally, groups of three students traveled to each country, where work usually