Engineering Sustainability in Island Nations: Jamaica

Have you always wanted to understand the complex and unique approach to sustainability on an Island nation? Then this is a study abroad program for you! 
You will have the opportunity to study abroad in Jamaica and understand insights into the sustainability and resiliency of an island nation’s infrastructure through the lens of disaster recovery. You will experience first-hand engineering decisions through the lens of Jamaican’s economic, cultural and social structure. This program will also investigate how the country is balancing national resource management with economic development. There is an opportunity for interactions with a non-governmental organization which can lead to service learning opportunities in the future, visit public and private businesses, government organizations and an area resort.  There is will be a university visit and an opportunity to engage and experience Jamaican history, music, cuisine and other cultural events. 

What You'll Accomplish

As and active and engage participant on this program, you can expect to develop:

  • Insight on Jamaica’s economic, cultural, and social structure
  • Understanding about sustainability and resiliency of Jamaica’s public infrastructure through the lens of disaster recovery
  • Understanding about balancing natural resource management with economic development

Jamaica, is an island nation in the Caribbean sea. With over 2.9 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas.
Like it’s neighbors, Jamaica is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes and the effects of climate change. Jamaica is one of the slowest growing developing countries in the world. The country depends on tourism as a major component to its economy along with finance. Jamaica imports nearly all of its energy needs such as petroleum and electric power generation.

Where You'll Live

Jamaica, is an island nation in the Caribbean sea. With over 2.9 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas.
Like it’s neighbors, Jamaica is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes and the effects of climate change. Jamaica is one of the slowest growing developing countries in the world. The country depends on tourism as a major component to its economy along with finance. Jamaica imports nearly all of its energy needs such as petroleum and electric power generation.
You will be staying in a hotel in Jamaica.  You can expect the following:

  • Double or triple rooms with a shared bathroom
  • Air conditioning
  • Sheets, blankets, towels, and washcloths
  • Breakfast included each day 
  • Wifi

 

What You'll Study
  • Insight on Jamaica’s economic, cultural, and social structure
  • Sustainability and resiliency of Jamaica’s public infrastructure through the lens of disaster recovery
  • Balancing natural resource management with economic development

Studying abroad in island nations provides a great learning opportunity to examine the complexity of sustainability because the scale of processes are more easily traced and the network of connections more readily tracked. In this course, students will explore the challenges/opportunities for sustainability in Jamaica with a broad consideration of industry, socio-economics, environmental impacts, history, contemporary culture and demographics. Through hands-on projects, immersions with local organizations, academic tours in country and, a collaborative research project with the University of West Indies, the students learn to frame contemporary engineering sustainability issues for island nations in societal and global contexts and, demonstrate a mastery of these through written and oral communication.  
Here is how the course can count for requirments in the Swanson School of Engineering: 
Bioengineering: Advanced Engineering/ Science/Technical Elective
Chemical engineering: Please contact Dr. Bayles to confirm how the course counts
Civil/Environmental engineering: ENGR Elective for CE Majors and Environmental Program Elective for ENVE Majors
Electrical and Computer engineering: Technical/Open
Industrial Engineering: Non-IE Technical elective
Mechanical Engineering: ME Technical Elective
Materials Science: Please contact Dr. Nettleship to confirm how the course counts
Engineering Science: Please contact Dr. Smolinski to confirm how the course counts
The course can be counted as credit toward the Sustainability Certificate program. 

Engineering Sustainability in Island Nations: Jamaica (ENGR1925)

Studying abroad in island nations provides a great learning opportunity to examine the complexity of sustainability because the scale of processes are more easily traced and the network of connections more readily tracked. In this course, students will explore the challenges/opportunities for sustainability in Jamaica with a broad consideration of industry, socio-economics, environmental impacts, history, contemporary culture and demographics. Through hands-on projects, immersions with local organizations, academic tours in country and, a collaborative research project with the University of West Indies, the students learn to frame contemporary engineering sustainability issues for island nations in societal and global contexts and, demonstrate a mastery of these through written and oral communication.
 

Experiential Learning Description

The program is being developed to include an opportunity for service learning at an organiztion called Mustard Seed. 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Dr. David Sanchez

David Sanchez, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. He is also the Assistant Director for the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation where he oversees the Sustainability Education programs such as the Undergraduate Certificate, Master’s in Sustainable Engineering and John C. Mascaro Faculty Fellows program.  As an investigator Dr. Sanchez directs the Sustainable Design Labswhere they look to enhance the sustainability of the natural and built environment on a local/regional scale. Current projects include converting Waste-to-Energy via bio-electrochemical systems, designing and deploying real-time sensors to identify uncertainty in water quality trends, and optimizing vertical agriculture/aquaculture systems. Dr. Sanchez is the recipient of several awards including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, IGERT Traineeship, Alfred P. Sloan Scholarship, Pittsburgh Business Time Energy Award, the Pitt Faculty Sustainability Award and, the Best Mentor Award for Pitt’s Excel program. He actively leads international engineering trips on behalf of the Swanson School of Engineering and is excited about our new Jamaica program.

Dr. Diane Hardy Saran

Buna! That’s hello in Romanian.  After returning from being a Peace Corp volunteer in Transylvania- I decided to work in the field of international education helping international students.  Life took me back to Buffalo, NY (where I grew up- land of chicken wings)- and I worked for SUNY Buffalo for many years assisting international students and scholars.  In 2010, I moved to the ‘Burgh- and am now assisting engineering students to study abroad.  For fun I enjoy volunteering with my therapy dog Nora, yoga and fitness, international films, crocheting, and travel (of course). Come talk with me about studying abroad!  dmhardy@pitt.edu |  412-624-9823 | 152 Benedum Hall -https://www.instagram.com/ssoeinternational/   |    www.facebook.com/SSOEIntProg  

 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition (3 credits)  $2580 $2780
Program Fee (see the "What's included" section) $1720 $1720
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $4600 $4800

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Small amount of meals  $100
Visa costs if applicable- If you are not a U.S. Citizen there might be costs associated with applying for a visa TBD

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses)

TBD TBD

 

What's Included

As a part of the fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for three Pitt academic credits
  • All accommodations
  • $500 scholarship will be provided to students on your Pitt Pay account if we have the minimum number of students needed for the program.  Can offset your program costs! 
  • Daily breakfast, and some meals
  • Local transportation in country
  • All site visits with all entrance fees included
  • On-site orientation
  • Mandatory health and accident insurance 

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our budgeting page for more information.
Questions about Funding study abroad?  Check out the study abroad’s funding search page and note that SSoE has funding specifically for Pitt engineering students.
 

When You'll Go

 

Traveling to and from Jamaica
Students will purchase their own flight to Jamaica. Keep in mind that dates change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

While in Jamaica - Itinerary and Independent Travel

Click here to download an example itinerary for the program (Coming soon).   
Tentative plans include collaboration with the University of West Indies, visits to the national water commission, national municiple offices, historical tours of Kingston, travel to other areas of Jamaica, service learning project with a Non-Governmental organization and more! 
Keep in mind that the excursions, their lengths, and dates are all subject to change.  
Traveling in Jamaica can be challenging, students who choose to travel independently after the program should consult with the program manager.  
 
 

What Else You Need to Know

Admissions Requirements:
 

  • This program is for students with a background in math and science 
  • Good academic and behavioral standing, in your second year or higher level at the time of application