EV 314 Adirondack Integrated Research Project: Aquatic Connectivity & Restoration in the Adirondacks
Knowledge Areas: CGI, STS Communication Points: 2
Engineering Design Credits (1-2)
The Fall 2021 ADK Semester will tackle aquatic habitat fragmentation in the Adirondack State Park. The student cohort will examine constructed barriers in ADK waterways such as dams, culvert, train corridors, and highways. They will investigate engineering and policy solutions for restoring aquatic habitat in the region, determining how to come up with successful solutions that balance economic costs, environmental policy protections, and ecological and community priorities.
This problem-based learning course will task students to analyze and suggest solutions to a complex problem relevant to the economic, social and environmental welfare of the Adirondack Park. The course is intended to reinforce what they have learned in other Adirondack courses.
One important way that governments, businesses, academic researchers, and NGOs investigate and attempt to solve complex technological, environmental and social problems is by forming task-force groups. The groups are comprised of individuals with diverse skills and interests, who are tasked to analyze the many facets of a problem and then provide a consensus document on their findings. The document, often referred to as a white paper, is designed to objectively inform the reader about the problem, and then make some considered recommendations about policy or directions of further study.
There are five objectives for this course: Students will (1) Develop skills at evaluating diverse sources of information (written texts, oral interviews) to produce a considered opinion about a complex problem. (2) Hone skills at collaboratively working in a group toward a common goal. (3) Learn how to write an objective but thought-provoking white paper which will be useful to decision makers and concerned citizens. (4) Acquire an understanding of the challenges that are faced when trying to develop landscape-level plans for sustainable development in the Park, and how the lessons learned here might be profitable applied in other regions of North America.