Sustainability of Wetlands in the Eyes of the New Generation of Environmental Engineering Students

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Abstract

This research paper investigates the general understanding and skills of young third-year environmental engineering students concerning the criteria for monitoring wetlands. Students were asked to describe approaches, data, and final solutions to identify and/or eliminate wetland odor. Over half of the students (55%) did not consider the “identification” strategy by which to determine the source of unexpected odors. The rest gave answers focused on “restoration” (24%) and “prevention” (15%) strategies, while 6% of the answers were unrelated. In fact, without knowing the causes and without thinking about the necessity/importance of visiting/surveying the site, students came up with a priori solutions. In their mind, the immediate cause of the odor could be a disturbed or unbalanced distribution/composition of ions, salts, or microbes in the water. Indeed, most data types (71%) were those related to “water”. As the final solution, 50% of responses considered “physical” followed by “legal and planning” solutions (32%). Each factor, including “Chemical” and “Biological”, constituted 9% of the answers. This research highlights engineering students’ communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities by contemplating class activities that simulate real-world situations. The research presumes that these engineering student cohorts represent typical student communities worldwide. Such findings contribute to policymaking in the engineering education system on a larger scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-195
Number of pages14
JournalConservation
Volume1
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • wetland
  • sustainability
  • undergraduate students

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