On the shores of the Great Lakes, a U.S. college takes fresh water to the classroom. The Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Mich., announced the creation of the nation’s first Freshwater Studies degree.
The Associate in Science and Arts Degree for Freshwater Studies in the United States will prepare students for careers related to the management of U.S. fresh water resources.
“No other community college in the country has this unique set of institutional and human resources, and certainly not this privileged location for a learning laboratory,” said Hans VanSumeren, director of the Water Studies Institute.
Starting this fall, students can choose from three concentrations: science and technology, global fresh water policy and sustainability or economy and society. The degree builds on existing courses, including watershed science and oceanography, but also adds new classes such as Introduction to Water and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), as well as field experience and internships.
“We want to support our students so they can compete favorably in a global economic environment,” said Dr. Constanza Hazelwood, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Water Studies Institute. “In a region where water is abundant, we can readily forget that it is a scarce resource in so many areas of the globe.”
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Source: Northwestern Michigan College
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