Instead of sitting down to desks on the last day of the final exam period, students in ENV-332 Urbanization & Environment loaded into the college’s vans for a short drive to the Meadowood Senior Living Center. Once there, the class’ two project teams presented the results of their case study research examining the biophilic dimensions at two local stormwater management projects. Student research looked at efforts by the Meadowood community and Upper Gwynedd township to use community open space to address stormwater problems through practices that also incorporate features that benefit wildlife and human-nature interactions. Students used the ESRI Story Maps web-based mapping program to collate their findings and present them in a way that will be accessible to the general public.
This year’s iteration of ENV-332 continues a commitment by the Environmental Studies department to work with community partners to highlight innovative solutions to environmental problems. Past iterations of the course have partnered with non-profits in Philadelphia, where students studied vacant lot reclamation and food production. Funds for this course that focuses on civic engagement and applied environmental problem-solving were provided by the Department of Environmental Studies and the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies.