F&ES 639b/EMD 535 / 2019-2020

Urban Sanitation

Credits: 3

Spring 2020: Tu,Th, 1:00-2:20, Watson A74

This new inter-disciplinary course will examine the challenges posed by the growing volumes of human excreta that are generated daily in cities around the world.  Topics to be covered include:  environmental, engineering, and public-health aspects of sanitation; the history of sanitation; innovation in sanitation; sewage reuse; cultural and social considerations; and case studies of different centralized and decentralized solutions.  The course is organized around two alternative final projects:  1) a spring-break trip to Lima, Peru, where students will observe first-hand some of the components of this complex sanitation system, and will meet with stakeholders ranging from government officials to slum-dwellers to non-profits pursuing innovative sanitation solutions; and 2) a U.S.-based analysis of a comparable sanitation system.  Enrollment in the class will be limited to 12 students each from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the School of Public Health, and the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, while participation in the Peru field trip / project will be limited to five students from each school.  Applications for enrollment and participation in the Peru field trip will be due in December 2019.

*When taken in the student’s second year, F&ES 639b can be used to fulfill the MEM Capstone requirement, in which case this course cannot count toward fulfillment of a Management Elective of the MEM Water Specialization.