Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Course Objectives

The course objectives will be met by an interdisciplinary group of Penn State students carrying out the following under the supervision of Penn State and Jiangnan University faculty: on-line assignments throughout the spring 2011 semester (pre-trip); a two and one-half week practicum in Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Beijing, China, from May 14 – 31, 2011; and submission of research reports and assignments following return to the US, and post-trip reflection throughout the summer 2011.

Course Practicum

The course practicum includes a seventeen day international, and as such a biogeographical, cultural, economic, and historical adventure throughout the above listed areas in China. The key research component of this course will occur in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province wherein Penn State student participants and faculty will perform hands-on research alongside Chinese research scientists, technical experts, governmental leaders, and more importantly, Chinese students, at established field sites along Lake Taihu, tributaries of the Yangtze River, and in the laboratories of Jiangnan University, School of Environmental and Civil Engineering.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River, China

Students will be guided through a program of research activities that focus on the water pollution and eutrophication realities of Lake Taihu – China’s third largest fresh water lake that serves as a major source of water for Wuxi City, the second most industrialized region in China. In Wuxi, heavy and rapid urbanization and industrialization (11.6 % of China’s GDP) have contributed to the eutrophication of Lake Taihu, a process characterized by the accumulation of nutrients and the proliferation of algal life. Students will also evaluate the past, present, and future water purification technologies that have, or have the potential to be utilized on and along Lake Taihu to assist in its remediation.

Note that students will register for this spring 2011 course but grades will be deferred until all summer field-trip and post-trip components are fulfilled. Additionally, there are no tuition costs associated with this course for full-time Penn State undergraduate students.