The practicum track offers WSSS students an opportunity to work in small, interdisciplinary groups through the completion of their practicum course. Many of the groups have the opportunity to travel to domestic and international sites and work directly with clients in the water field. Students often apply their learning from the practicum course in their individual WSSS internship requirement, which may align with the other graduate degree requirements of their school. The goal of the practicum track is for students to gain professional experience that equips them for creating solutions to real-world water issues.
Past Practicum Topics
Clean Water for Palestinians
Managing water resources in the West Bank is a complex issue due to the ongoing political conflict between Israel and Palestine. Together with two nonprofits, the Lajee Center and 1for3.org, students surveyed residents, tested water samples, and developed strategies to provide clean water to all. Past groups have worked with refugee camps in Bethlehem as well as the Ansar Community center in Al-Walaja Village.
Nutrient Overload on Cape Cod
The unique ecosystems in the area of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, typically receive more nitrogen than what the land and ocean waters can naturally assimilate. This excess nitrogen leads to degraded water habitats, resulting in the loss of eel-grass beds and shellfish growing areas. Past students have worked to evaluate water sanitation issues in the region and have developed techniques for improved watershed management.
Caribbean Water Management
The Bahamas has a range of water management issues affecting the country. On the islands of Abaco and Andros, students studied issues of coastal pollution and food security and worked with location organizations to develop solutions. Abaco Island students worked with a local environmental advocacy group, Friends of the Environment, to develop a year-round, volunteer-driven water testing program. The Andros Island students worked with the South Andros High School on an aquaponics system that uses nitrogenous wastes from live fish to fertilize plants growing in the water.