Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.92
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 12, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Maryland, College Park
ER-12: Sustainability Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sally DeLeon
Acting Manager
Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer a program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive experience(s) offered by the institution:

Through the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s student group Engineers Without Borders (EWB), the University’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the campus and the region to global projects in developing nations. Founded in 2004 and led by faculty advisor Dr. David Lovell, the UMD chapter of this national organization sends groups of students overseas to help communities meet common engineering problems with sustainable solutions. Students and faculty work with local groups over several years to assess needs and options, and to implement multi-phase projects.

Maryland's chapter of EWB has an ongoing relationship with a community in Burkina Faso. Several EWB teams have traveled to Burkina Faso to supply electricity and fresh water to a medical clinic in the small town of Dissin. Solar powered lighting and a solar-powered water pumping station, sanitation and distribution system were designed and installed at the clinic by EWB students. Teaching community members how to use and maintain the new technologies is also an important component of EWB's relationship with Dissin.

In the spring of 2009, 24 students from the University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders turned their attention from environmental issues in developing countries to sustainable solutions in the campus’s own backyard. Turning classroom knowledge into civic action, the students created and implemented a bioretention system to help the nearby community of Edmonston, MD, cope with storm water flooding along the Anacostia River. Normally, rainwater runoff from parking lots, roofs, and other impervious surfaces runs into the Anacostia, carrying pollutants into the river and redistributing them over the ground when flooding occurs. To reroute and filter this polluted water, the students designed a bioretention system to channel runoff into basins filled with soil and water-tolerant plants. These natural elements slowly soak up the water, filter out pollutants, and direct remaining water more gradually into the Anacostia, alleviating both contamination and flooding.

During the five months of planning, the student team worked with community partners, including the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, the Anacostia Watershed Society, the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The bioretention system is now under the oversight of the town of Edmonston.
In addition to EWB, the University provides alternative spring break and study abroad trips (http://www.international.umd.edu/studyabroad/).

The website URL where information about the immersive experience is available:

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