Design of a P3 Exchange ProgramEPA Grant Number: SU832503
Title: Design of a P3 Exchange Program
Investigators: Just, Craig , Loyson, Jan
Institution: University of Iowa , Iowa Department of Natural Resources
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 30, 2005 through May 30, 2006
Project Amount: $9,906
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability
Numerous pollution prevention techniques have proven themselves to be efficient, effective, and easy answers to environmental difficulties. However, most P2 programs are focused on high technology industries and processes. There is enormous potential to apply existing P2 knowledge in diverse settings to improve human welfare and the world environment. Our objective is to adapt the existing Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) pollution prevention internship program curriculum to improve the effectiveness of all P2 students in differing cultural and industrial settings, and share and enrich the existing program by developing an intern exchange program with Xicotepec de Juarez, Puebla, Mexico. The existing Iowa program has won numerous awards from government and industry as a model for sustainable design. We hypothesize that it is possible to alter the existing curriculum and casebook to make lessons applicable to conditions in Mexico and elsewhere, and that a curriculum that includes different levels of technology and diverse cultural mores will lead to more creative efforts both in Iowa and abroad. We will quantitatively evaluate our project by the number of institutions promoting, students applying, and civic institutions helping and promoting the intern exchange in Mexico. Pollution prevention interns in Mexico, and students who train and return, will build local capacity, make companies and educational institution stakeholders in further project improvements, and demonstrate the value of sustainable measures.
In addition to adapting the curriculum, we propose to build a sustainable P3 intern exchange program by facilitating contact between our partners in Universidad Xicotepetl and the IDNR, helping with placement selection and internee interviewing, and instilling a sense of ownership in the project. Our project team is well suited to tackle this challenge as we have developed strong partnerships and have native Spanish speakers on our team who have taught environmental science in Xicotepec. Furthermore, we will disseminate the revised curriculum to universities and technical institutions in the United States and Central and South America, to encourage similar exchange programs by publishing our achievements and publicly documenting the project. The revised curriculum will be used by all future IDNR internees and will be presented to University of Iowa College of Engineering seminars and the course CEE107: Sustainable Systems.