In the U.S., we are fortunate to be able to take water, its availability and its cleanliness, for granted. But even though water covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, it’s extremely scarce in many parts of the world. Indeed, control over access to water is a source of geopolitical tension, is often a humanitarian issue, and opens up questions of sustainability and ecology.
Students, faculty, staff, and the community at Fairfield University will engage with each other to learn more about these issues in the University-wide “Water” theme running from 2014-2016.
“The University Theme of Water offers such a relevant topic that affects all of us daily,” said Lori Jones, assistant director of programming and audience development at the Quick Center, and co-facilitators, along with Professors Jo Yarrington and Pat Poli, of the directive. “Whether through cleanliness, environmental issues, water as a commodity, or using water as inspiration in art, it has a deep and meaningful impact on all of our lives and easily segues into coursework as well as programming through the arts and lectures on our campus.”
As part of the water initiative, faculty have been developing courses that address the theme, and lectures and films throughout the next two years will focus on different aspects of water. There are six courses in various disciplines that have been redesigned this semester to focus on water; next semester, there will more, including an interdisciplinary seminar.
“The seminar is going to be structured in a new way,” said Professor Yarrington, who is leading the curricular component of the initiative. “It will be a research-focused class, with students presenting their research and engaging in cross-disciplinary discussions. The idea is to provide an opportunity for creativity and expanding their thinking outside of the silos of their own disciplines.” As part of the seminar, students will also have to attend three water-related events during the semester.
Some of the water themed events coming up within the next few weeks:
Beyond H20: The Science of Water
September 15-December 20
Exhibit in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library featuring faculty research from the School of Engineering, the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Just Water: Theology, Ethics, And The Global Water Crisis
Wednesday, September 17 at 8 p.m.
Christiana Peppard, assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University
Charles F. Dolan School of Business Dining Room
Thursday, September 18 at 7 p.m.
Documentary directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky. Post-film discussion with Professors Jo Yarrington and Cheryl Yun.
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room
The Pirate Plays
September 24-26 at 8 p.m.
Steve Bonnet, gentleman pirate, and Anne Bonny, pirate queen, relive their colorful lives in Adjunct Professor Steve Otfinoski’s award-winning The Pirate Plays. Based on historical fact, the production is directed by Kelly DiMauro and features Fairfield actors Alexander Kulcsar and Sally Arlette-Garcia. A faculty panel will follow each performance.
Wien Experimental Theatre Quick Center for the Arts. Tickets: $20
For a full listing of all water-focused events throughout the year, see www.fairfield.edu/water