BASICS Project Releases New Teaching Module on Water Quality

published Oct 26, 2021 2:55pm

Oct. 26, 2021 - The BASICS (Business and Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability) team is developing teaching materials for undergraduate students combining STEM and business disciplines, with a focus on the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy. The first of two transdisciplinary curriculum modules created by groups of faculty is now available online. The 1-2 week module, The Wicked Problem of Water Quality in the Mississippi River Watershed, challenges students to describe, diagram, and explain the interaction of complex human and natural systems as they relate to water quality.

The Wicked Problem of Water Quality in the Mississippi River Watershed

Module Summary:

Water connects all elements of Earth's ecosystems, and human activities – biological, economic, and even recreational – change the chemical and biological nature of water. As such, maintaining the quality of water for humans and other organisms is a wicked problem, that is, a complex societal challenge that is impossible to fully solve. Water supports life and is essential for our economy, but everything we do is likely to impact the quality of our water supply in some way. How do we provide for the water-related needs of a growing population, while ensuring an adequate supply of clean water for our neighbors and for future generations? In this module, students will explore the way the complex water-related challenges intertwine natural systems with human activities that provide for our physical health and economic well-being.