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					                                     ESSE 21
                  PROGRESS REPORT for YEAR 1
                Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR)

A new bilingual (English-Spanish) graduate course for our Environmental
Protection Management Program called “Introduction to Pollution Protection of
the Earth System” is currently being designed and implemented.

The focus of this collaborative interdisciplinary course is on the fundamental
understanding and application of the Earth System components and the Global
Change Science, conveying an understanding of the Earth as an integrated
system of processes that involves, the Ocean, the Land, the Ground Water, the
Atmosphere, the Air, the Ecology and the interrelation between them. Each
component comprises a study of the environmentally acceptable physical and
chemical properties, the sources of contamination mainly from human activities,
the pollution control and the protection of each component.

The course has been designed by four faculty members, from four different
academic departments, each with expertise in their particular field. Furthermore,
each of the four faculty members has taught and will be teaching the part of the
course covering each their respective field of expertise. Lecture notes are being
developed in both English and in Spanish. A pilot course has already been
offered and the feedback that was given is now being taken into consideration
for the final version of the lecture notes. A first draft of the English version of the
lecture notes is done and work on the Spanish version is in progress.

Originally the course was placed under the Graduate Program of Environmental
Management; however, in order to allow for more students to be able to take the
course that decision was changed and the course is now placed under the
Graduate Program of Engineering Management. Furthermore, the course has
been added to the curriculum of the Graduate School of Management. The
course will be taught again this coming winter trimester (2004-2005); the plan is
to offer the course once a year. The GPA for the students that took the first
course was 3.27.

Developers found two problems that are currently being considered. First of all
the students were not sufficiently prepared to handle the level of information
they were expected to, especially in basic sciences like chemistry, biology,
geology and physics. Requirement of pre-requisites to the course in the future is
seriously being considered. Secondly, the professors found they were each “too”
enthusiastic about their own material, meaning they gave the students too much
material; the reason for this being that each professor by fear of having too little
material kept adding a little bit here and a little bit there, which all adds up when
there are 4 different professors each covering his own area of just one course.
To deal with this problem the professors are working on finding a better balance
in the level while still maintaining the course objectives.

Each component of the course was evaluated separately by the students and the
evaluation ranged between 4.08 and 4.96 on a 5.0 scale. Overall students were
very satisfied with the course and suggested more courses taught with several
professors covering each their particular field of expertise.

Principal Participant: Edbertho Leal-Quiros, Ph.D.
                       Course Developer & Professor, Coordinate structure
                       and outline of course, Coordinate needs and format of
                       course, Ensure compliance with objectives
                       Dept. of Scientific Research & Development

Co-Principal Participant: Maximo Cerame-Vivas, Ph.D.
                          Course Developer & Professor, Support Principal
                          Participant in his tasks
                          Professor of Environmental Management Program

Faculty Member:           Alusio Cesar Pimenta Oliveira, Ph.D.
                          Course Developer & Professor
                          Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Faculty Member:           Hugo Pelaez, Ph.D.
                          Course Developer & Professor
                          Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Admin. Assist & Clerical: Lotte Aalling
                          Provide support to Principal Participant with reports,
                          students, coordinate meetings; proofreading, editing,
                          etc. of the English version of the lecture notes
                          Dept. of Scientific Research & Development

Clerical:                 Ilka Rodriguez
                          Proofreading, editing, etc. of the Spanish version of the
                          lecture notes
                          Dept. of Scientific Research & Development
Maria Gabriela Cuyar        -   Chemical Engineering
Fátima Hiraldo Rodríguez    -   Chemical Engineering
Alicia M. Navedo Nuñez      -   Graduate Student of Environmental Management
Elizabeth Rodríguez         -   Graduate student of the MEM program
Damaris Vale                -   Mechanical Engineering Student.

The students have been Teaching Assistants (TA’s) and they have assisted and
supported the Course Developers, with several tasks.

A course is being offered as part of our ESSE 21 participation: “Introduction to
Pollution Control of the Earth Systems” of which we have enclosed the syllabus.

As already mentioned 15 students (5 males and 10 females, all of them
Hispanics) took the pilot course this mast winter trimester. All of the students are
enrolled in the Graduate Program conducting towards a Master Degree in
Environmental Management.

In general the students have been exposed to advanced modern information on
Earth Systems and other scientific findings from NASA’s scientific reports. 3 of
the students that took this course have decided to pursue Ph.D. degrees in Earth
Sciences related areas, specifically because of the impact this pilot course has
had on them.

The faculty of PUPR has been involved in the “Diversity Group” one of the 4
ESSE 21 groups. Through this involvement several alliances have been
established including one with Jackson State University, North Carolina A&M
University and USRA (Universities Space Research Association) with whom we
have just submitted a partnership proposal to NASA in which we are proposing to
develop a series of summer workshops addressing Earth Sciences topics.

“Plasma Processing of Municipal Solid Waste”, Dr. Edbertho Leal-Quiros, X Latin
American Workshop on Plasma Physics XLAWPP, 7th Meeting on Plasma Physics
EBFP, Hotel Fazenda Fonte, Colina Verde, Sao Pedro, Brazil, November 30 th –
December 5th, 2003

One of the Course Developers Prof. Maximo Cerame Vivas, Ph.D. wrote a book
“Ecology of Puerto Rico” prior to the development of the course “Introduction to
Pollution Control of the Earth Systems”; this book has been used as one of the
learning resources in the course. Furthermore, the book contained illustrations of
some of Dr. Vivas’ paintings, paintings that have all been exhibited in the library
of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (please see the enclosed copy of the
flyer for the exhibition).


                                             MEM 6940 (3 credits)
                                             Prerequisites: None

 I.           Title: Introduction to Pollution Control of the Earth Systems
II.           Description:
               This course introduces the student to the concept of the earth as an integrated system, where
      human activity, based on the use of natural resources for material development, generates impacts on the
      environment, interfering with ecology, and creating scenarios that present challenges related to human
      health and a balanced environment.
                The student will acquire knowledge on issues related to i) the oceans, comprising geological,
      physical, chemical, and biological oceanography; ii) fresh water, discussing properties and characteristics
      on both pristine and contaminated water bodies, as well as available water purification technologies; iii)
      land contamination, learning the properties of soils, the mechanisms of contamination, the fate and
      transport of contaminants in the soil media, and remediation techniques; iv) the atmosphere, including
      meteorological concepts, significant pollutants, global warming, acid rain, and an introduction to air
      pollution control; and v) ecology, focused on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, discussing recent regulatory
      constraints, marine ecology, the shore, the reef, mangroves and wetland, bio-luminescent embayment,
      terrestrial ecology, pollution species extinction, environmental disasters, the human population, resource
      management and societal and economic considerations. The course will be capped with a discussion on the
      Integrated Earth System, pinpointing the main interactions of the human species with the environment, the
      problems arising, and the issue of carrying capacity.
III. Goals and Objectives:
               The general goal (or objective) is to provide an overview of the earth system, describing its main
      components, pinpointing the consequences of human activities on this sensitive system, and providing
      available solutions to existing impacts, as well as future trends and the issues of sustainable growth.
IV. Topics:

      Lecture      Professor and                   Contact                              Contents
      Number           Date                         Hours
                                                                The Ocean
                                                                             Introduction: The history of
                     Dr. Peláez                                               oceanography and some facts
          1                              L        4 Hours
                   Nov. 11, 2003.                                             about the oceans.
                                                                             Geological Oceanography.
                                                                             Chemical Oceanography.

                                                                The Ocean
                                                                        Physical Oceanography.
                     Dr. Peláez                                         Biological          Oceanography:
          2                              L        4 Hours                 Necessary conditions for life in the
                   Nov. 18, 2003.
                                                                        Marine resources.
                                   Fresh Water
                                        Description of water characteristics
    Dr. Pimenta                           and main properties.
3                    L   4 Hours
    Nov. 25, 2003.                      Main sources, routes, and problems of
                                          surface        and       groundwater
                                   Fresh Water
                                        Fate and transport of contaminants in
    Dr. Pimenta                           water bodies.
4                    L   4 Hours
    Dec. 2, 2003.                       Methods available for water treatment.
                                        Trends in regulations for water
                                          resource preservation.
    Dr. Pimenta                           Description of soil characteristics and
5                    L   4 Hours           main properties.
    Dec. 9, 2003.                         Main sources and routes, and problems
                                           arising from land contamination.
                                          Mechanisms          of     contaminant
                                           association to soils.
    Dr. Pimenta                           Fate and transport of contaminants in
6                    L   4 Hours
    Dec. 16, 2003.                         the land.
                                          Methods available for land clean-up.
                                          Trends in regulations for land
                                   Atmosphere and Air Quality
      Dr. Leal                         The Atmosphere.
7                    L   4 Hours
    Jan. 13, 2004.                     Introduction to Air Pollution: Indoor
                                          and Outdoor.

                                   Atmosphere and Air Quality
                                       Atmosphere pollution induced by
      Dr. Leal                         EPA emissions trends.
8                    L   4 Hours
    Jan. 20, 2004.                     Pollutant sources, health effects and
                                          source control.

                                        Overview of Puerto Rico’s tropical
     Dr. Cerame                            ecology and climate.
9                    L   4 Hours
    Jan. 27, 2004.                      Recent regulatory constraints, which
                                           are applicable to each ecosystem.
                                        Fundamental concepts of ecology.
                                                                   Terrestrial ecology, pollution species
                 Dr. Cerame                                           extinction, environmental disasters.
       10                             L         4 Hours            The human population.
                 Feb. 3, 2004.
                                                                      Resource management and societal and
                                                                       economic considerations.

                                                              The Integrated Earth System
                                                                   Human activities.
                                                                   Supplementary human activities and
                                                                   Main interactions of the human species
                 Dr. Pimenta
       11                             L         4 Hours               with the environment.
                Feb. 10, 2004.                                     Ecological/contamination     problems
                                                                      arising from human interactions and
                                                                   Future goals and the issue of
                                                                      sustainable growth.

                   Dr. Leal        Final                      Final Exam
       12                          Exam         4 Hours
                Feb. 17, 2004.

 V.    Text Books
            Ocean: Duxbury, A.C., A. Duxbury, & K.A., Sverdrup. An introduction to the World’s
              Oceans. 7th. ed. McGraw-Hill, 2002
            Water: Letterman, R.D., Water Quality and Treatment, American Water Works association,
              Fifth edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, 1999
            Land: Chiou, Cary T., Partition and Adsorption of Organic Contaminants in Soils John
              Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2002
            Atmosphere and Air Quality: “Air Pollution Control Engineering”, Noel de Nevers,
              McGraw-Hill, Second Edition 2000, ISBN 0-07-03937-2
            Ecology: Ecología Puerto Rico. Máximo J. Cerame Vivas. 2001. Publicaciones
              Puertorriqueñas. xviii & 207 pp. (Text)
VI.    Academic Methodology
       Lectures will introduce fundamentals and new concepts. The discussion of specific environmental
       scenarios will be emphasized. Students will be required to read scientific papers and present critiques.
VII.   Evaluation Criteria
           Five Paper Reviews (50%)
           One Final Exam (50%)
VI.    References:
            Thurman, H.V. & E.A., Burton. Introductory Oceanography, 9th edition, Prentice Hall, 2002
            NASA-JPL-PO.DAAC. Physical oceanography from space. 1998. Retrieved 11/11/02
            McBride, Murray; Environmental Chemistry of Soils, Oxford University Press, New York,
            U.S. EPA. Up-to-date news and information on air pollution and radiation.
           Award-winning        site   for    pollution   prevention,   compliance,   and   policies

Revised by Edbertho Leal-Quirós Ph.D.
May 27, 2004.
                     The first class taking the Pilot Course

3 of the 4 Professors, from the left Dr. Edbertho Leal-Quiros, Dr. Alusio Pimenta
                           Oliveira and Dr Hugo Pelaez