Case studies for environmental and water resources systems analysis education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Case study use provides for active and discovery-based learning experiences in which students may actively acquire information about an appropriate topic, collaborate with other individuals in problem definition, develop an investigation strategy, choose among alternative problem solving approaches, and negotiate or attempt to convince others of their conclusions. Case study use also potentially engages industry and government in the university educational experience, and may encourage more undergraduate students to pursue graduate degrees. With these educational goals in mind, a set of environmental and water resources systems engineering case studies are being developed for classroom use. For each case study, students are given background information pertinent to a current water or environmental management issue, including geographic, hydrogeological, and other natural resource information; as well as any social, economic, and political information that may be relevant. A series of exercises is provided related to each case study, consisting of additional research, team participation, and computer exercises. Through the computer exercises, students will gain familiarity with technologies commonly used in the profession, including simulation and optimization models, visualization tools, and geographic information systems. This paper provides an overview of some of the case studies developed through these efforts, along with a preliminary assessment of their impact based on student and faculty evaluations. Following case study use, evaluation, and revision, the cases will be made freely available for use in water resource and environmental engineering courses at universities worldwide. © 2006 ASCE.

Publication Title

Examining the Confluence of Environmental and Water Concerns - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2006