Undergraduate Education Program

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obsipo

James L. Hanson
San Luis Obispo, CA
$250,000
June 2013

The Global Waste Research Institute at Cal Poly is proposing to broadly incorporate management issues and environmental impact of emerging waste and byproduct streams in the undergraduate STEM curriculum. In particular, waste management aspects of nanotechnology are proposed to be integrated into the curriculum. Advancements have been made in the manufacture and use of nanomaterials with commercial applications and available products numbering in the thousands. However, the short and long term environmental impacts of these new materials and effectiveness of common waste management technologies for nanomaterials are largely unknown. Teaching and learning tools related to nanowaste management, including course content, classroom and laboratory exercises, databases, and modules will be developed. The integrated curriculum will be delivered to several hundred students each year through a wide variety of courses offered in nine disciplines (technical and nontechnical). The deliverables developed in the project will provide scalable models for adoption in other higher education settings and for other emerging waste streams. Students (and thus the next generation of workforce and graduate students) will be equipped with awareness and accompanying interdisciplinary technical skill required for providing solutions to emerging global environmental problems.

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