Denver: Metropolitan State College scores $1 million for new urban water center


Here’s the release from Metropolitan State College via The Denver Post:

An anonymous donor has given Metropolitan State College $1 million to establish an interdisciplinary water studies program.

Metro State officials on Tuesday said they’ll embark on creating the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship — or OWOW — and that new courses next year will explore water issues.

OWOW’s mission will be to develop “urban water stewards” with an understanding of how to conserve critical resources. Students who study hydrology, politics, history, water law and conflict resolution then are to be guided toward internships and other volunteer opportunities to help meet statewide water needs.

The donor previously funded creation of a raindrop-shaped bronze sculpture on campus – meant to depict water cycles from mountains to oceans.

The new program will “bring recognition to Metro State. Part of Metro State’s mission is to help the community solve community related issues. Clearly, water is a huge issue in the West,” said Sandra Haynes, Metro State’s dean of professional studies. “We’ll be helping to create change in the way the Denver community views and uses water.”

More coverage from the Denver Business Journal (Bruce Goldberg):

The center, which is scheduled to offer a minor in water studies in fall 2012, will address Colorado’s growing demand for water and foster public education about it. The center also will implement water-stewardship activities both on campus and off, and connect students to internships, service learning and volunteer opportunities. The center also will help facilitate public education seminars and water-conservation initiatives.

Course topics will include hydrology, water law, history, economics, politics, conflict resolution and negotiation.

More coverage from Melanie Asmar writing for Westword. From the article:

“When we researched the potential for this program, we found that there wasn’t much being done at the undergraduate level to incorporate a variety of disciplines in water education,” says Sandra Haynes, dean of Metro State’s School of Professional Studies in a statement. “Through the interdisciplinary model, our graduates have the potential to make lasting impacts on water issues in our communities across the state.”

More education coverage here.

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