Indo US Workshop on Innovation E Technologies for Distance by thefrenchman

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 4

									Indo-US Workshop on Innovation E-Technologies for Distance Education and Extension/Outreach
for Efficient Water Management, March 5-9, 2007, Patancheru/Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Proceeding paper – Water Programs - Current Educational Situation in US.

Water Programs - Current Educational Situation in US
Samira Daroub
Associate Professor, Soil and Water Science Department, Everglades Research and Education Center,
University of Florida, Belle Glade, Fl 33430.

Introduction

Water management programs at US institutions are varied and often multidisciplinary. At the
University of Florida (UF), water management programs are offered on campus through various
departments and schools including Soil and Water Science, Agricultural and Biological
Engineering, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Civil and Coastal Engineering, Agronomy, and
School of Natural Resources and the Environment. However, there are few water management
programs that are offered through Distance Education. This paper will highlight some of the
water management programs at UF as an example of what can be found at other US Universities,
and will also highlight some of the programs offered through Distance Education.

Undergraduate Programs in Water Management

Undergraduate programs in water management at UF are offered mainly through the Soil and
Water Science, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Civil and Coastal Engineering, and
Environmental Engineering Departments. The Soil and Water Science Department offers:
       Soil and Water Science Degree: Soil, Water, and Land use option
       Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources Degree: Land and
       Water Management option
       Environmental Science Degree: Soil and Water Science option (Fig 1).
The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department (http://agen.ufl.edu/) offers an
undergraduate program in Land and Water Resources Engineering that deals with all aspects of
water and rural environmental management, including irrigation, water conservation, drainage,
water control and structures, soil erosion, waste and wastewater recycling, water quality,
ecosystems preservation and environmental quality.




Fig 1. Snapshot of the Undergraduate degree programs offered by the Soil and Water Science
Department (http://soils.ifas.ufl.edu/) at the University of Florida.


                                                  1
Indo-US Workshop on Innovation E-Technologies for Distance Education and Extension/Outreach
for Efficient Water Management, March 5-9, 2007, Patancheru/Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Proceeding paper – Water Programs - Current Educational Situation in US.

Graduate Programs in Water Management:

Several graduate programs are offered at UF through a number of departments. Some examples
are:

   1. Aquatic and Terrestrial Weed Management (Agronomy Department)
   2. Hydraulics/Hydrology/Water Resources (Civil and Coastal Engineering Department)
   3. Conservation and Management of Natural Aquatic Environments (Fisheries and Aquatic
      Sciences Department)
   4. Interdisciplinary Ecology (School of Natural Resources and the Environment)
   5. Soil Science, Environmental Science, Hydrology and Ecology (Soil and Water Science
      Department) (Fig 2).




Fig. 2. Snapshot of the Graduate program website at the Soil and Water science Department.

An interdisciplinary program at UF is the Hydrologic Sciences Academic Cluster
http://www.hydrology.ufl.edu/. This Interdisciplinary program is designed to broaden the skills
of science and engineering students who are interested in all aspects of water; i.e., occurrence,
distribution, circulation, and use. Participating Departments are from the College of Agriculture,
College of Engineering, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The water institute at UF (http://waterinstitute.ufl.edu/mission.html) was formed in May 2006
with a mission to foster interdisciplinary research, education, and public outreach programs. The
website for the institute is an excellent resource for students and faculty interested in water
programs. The website has listings of all departmental programs, interdisciplinary, distance
education and professional trainings in water science offered at the UF.




                                                 2
Indo-US Workshop on Innovation E-Technologies for Distance Education and Extension/Outreach
for Efficient Water Management, March 5-9, 2007, Patancheru/Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Proceeding paper – Water Programs - Current Educational Situation in US.

Water Programs - Distance Education

It was estimated that nearly 3.2 million students were taking one online class during Fall 2005, a
substantial increase over the 2.3 million reported the previous year (Sloan Foundation
consortium, 2006). There is a very uneven distribution of online course and program offerings by
type of institution. Public institutions and the largest institutions of all types have consistently
been at the forefront of online offerings. Those that are the least likely to offer online courses,
and typically have the most negative opinions about online education in general, have been the
small, private, four-year institutions. More than 96 percent of the very largest institutions (more
than 15 000 enrollments) have some online offerings. about two-thirds of the very largest
institutions have fully online programs (mostly Doctoral/Research institutions). Barriers often
cited for the widespread adoption of online education are related to faculty not accepting the
value of online learning, and the time and effort needed to teach an online course. The need for
more discipline on the part of online students is seen as a critical barrier (Sloan Foundation
consortium, 2006)

There are excellent resources on the Internet for programs and classes that are offered online.
The following websites have links to various offered programs and search engines to faciliate
finding distance education classes and programs in different disciplines.

       The American Distance Education Consortium: http://www.adec.edu/admin/adec-
       background.html: is a non-profit distance education consortium composed of
       approximately 65 state universities and land-grant colleges. The consortium was
       conceived and developed to promote the creation and provision of high quality,
       economical distance education programs and services to diverse audiences, by the land
       grant community of colleges and universities, through the most appropriate information
       technologies available.

       The Southern Region Distance Education Consortium includes eight universities that
       offer distance education Master Programs in Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Science.

       The Sloan Consortium Foundation: http://www.sloan-c.org/index.asp.The purpose of the
       Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is to help learning organizations continually improve
       quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs, according to their own distinctive
       missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable
       for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines

There are limited programs in water management offered at UF and US institutions though
distance education:

   1. UF/ Soil and Water Science: Master in Environmental Science
   2. UF/Environmental Engineering: specialization in Water, Wastewater, and Storm water
      Engineering or in Water Resources Planning and Management
   3. Water Management correspondence course
   4. Texas A& M University: Masters Programs in Fisheries Sciences, and Natural resource
      development.


                                                 3
Indo-US Workshop on Innovation E-Technologies for Distance Education and Extension/Outreach
for Efficient Water Management, March 5-9, 2007, Patancheru/Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Proceeding paper – Water Programs - Current Educational Situation in US.


Examples of Environmental related programs offered through Distance Education are:

       Rio Salado Community College (AZ): Water/Wastewater Technology (Associate)
       Rochester Institute of Technology (NY): Environmental Management Science
       (Certificate)
       Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA): Natural Resources (Certificate)

There are definitely more programs related to agriculture in general offered through distance
education mode. Some examples are:

       Colorado State University (CO): Masters in Agricultural Sciences
       Iowa State University (IA): Master of Agriculture; Master of Science in Agronomy
       Kansas State University (KS): Agribusiness Masters Degree
       Pennsylvania State University World Campus (PA): Turfgrass Management (Certificate)

Although a variety of water management programs are offered at UF and other US institutions,
only few water management programs are offered through Distance Education. A concerted
effort is needed to address the needs of water management education in the US and aboard (in
particular India) and the critical needs for capacity building to address Water management
Distance Education Programs.

References

Sloan Foundation, 2006. Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006.
http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/survey06.asp

Contact Information: Dr. Samira Daroub, Everglades Research and Education Center, University
of Florida, Belle Glade, Fl 33430, USA. Phone 561-993-1593; Fax: 561-993-1582; email:
sdaroub@ufl.edu




                                                4

								
To top