Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.13
Liaison Traci Knabenshue
Submission Date March 3, 2021

STARS v2.2

West Virginia University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Stephanie Toothman
Conservation Specialist
Auxiliary and Business Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

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

Costa Rica: Biodiversity and Conservation
This program is an opportunity to conduct research alongside Smithsonian Institution scientists in one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world. The trip includes naturalist-led hikes in the tropical rainforest, bat monitoring, bird surveys, data collection on climate change, hikes in volcanic lava fields, and a visit to a dry forest. Participants will explore the ecosystem diversity of the country while actively participating in research that impacts conservation efforts in the region. This annual program was established in 2018 and is conducted each spring for one week. (wvuabroad.wvu.edu)

WVU Global Health Brigades-
Students in this program provide free healthcare, medical access, and education for the under-served populations and indigenous communities of Nicaragua, Ghana, Honduras, Greece, and Panama. Over the course of the brigades, during a one week period, students have worked with medical and dental professionals to provide medical and dental care to patients. Students were tasked with public health initiatives, assisting local masons and artisans in the construction of septic tanks, washing stations, biodigesters, and the mixing and laying of concrete flooring. In addition, the students worked on water projects to help improve access to water in these small communities. (medicaldentalbrigades.orgs.wvu.edu)

San Gemini Preservation Studies Education Abroad Program-
This conservation and preservation program is four weeks in duration. During the program students learn the history of a building, look closely at it to sketch it and understand how it works and any anomalies and changes over time. Students then do hands-on restoration work that stabilizes the structures through removing things like birds’ nests that weaken the stone structures over time; cleaning the surface to remove natural and man-made pollutants that degrade the surface with environmentally appropriate solutions to ensure its longevity; remove old cement and add new mortar, and other sound interventions. The buildings the students have worked on over the years are all in current use. Preservation projects like these eliminate waste and the need for new resources that would be generated if the buildings were demolished and new structures were built to replace the original buildings. (artanddesign.wvu.edu/field-study/gps/san-gemini-preservation-studies)

Art and Environment: Coastal Maine
A four-week, indoor/outdoor field course for artists. The focus of the course will be to study and discuss the notion of place as it pertains to the unique microenvironment of Coastal Maine. This is done by engaging water, natural resources and recreational adventure as means to explore the larger environmental and cultural issues that form and shape the area. This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. This course is offered with the generous support of the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation. (artanddesign.wvu.edu/field-study/gps/art-and-environment-coastal-maine)

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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