Engineering Sustainable Design and Innovation in Island Nations: Guam

Island nations provide a unique learning opportunity to evaluate the complex task of engineering for sustainability. On small islands the connections between social, economic, and environmental impacts are more easily traced and the scale of the processes more readily tracked. 
 
They often also present a unique and constrained set of material resources that have shaped indigenous cultural practices often spawning rare adaptations/designs. 
 
By studying abroad you will explore the context of engineering challenges/opportunities/tradeoffs for sustainability in Guam by considering social (culture, history, governance), environmental (natural resources, built infrastructure, environmental impacts of industry), and economic (socioeconomics/economic development) perspective. 
 
COVID-19 and this program
 
On May 1, 2021, Guam will no longer require quarantine upon arrival.  If quarantine is not required, we will be able to run the program with the following requirements:
  • Passengers arriving on Guam will be required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival. 
  • Participants in the program will be required to do a 14-day symptom monitoring via Sara Alert and will be required to download and follow the Guam COVID Alert App. 
 
The Insurance that is provided with the program will not cover COVID-19 testing prior to arrival or post program.  It will cover you if you must be tested while in Guam. If you test positive for COVID-19 during the program, you will be required to quarantine in the private hotel provided and paid for by Guam’s Public Health. Of course, Guam’s public health department could change this policy. If this policy does change, you are required to pay for the cost of quarantine. Pitt is not able to cover expenses if an individual is required to quarantine during the program.  
 

 

What You'll Accomplish: 
As an active and engaged participant on this program, you can expect to:
 
  • Gain an understanding of the chanellges that Pacific islands face and meeting the UN Sustainable Development goals  
  • Develop insight on Guam’s economic, cultural, and social structure
  • Learn how to use sustainable design (i.e. biomimicry) to balance natural resource management with economic development
  • Collaborate with local entities and learn to research and develop contemporary engineering sustainability solutions
  • Learn how to cook a local Chamoru dish (and eat it!)
 
 
Guam is a U.S. territory in the center of the Asian Pacific. Sitting on the other side of the international dateline, Guam is the largest island in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. Guam has an area of 210 Square miles and a population is approximately 180,000. 
The island has been inhabited by the Chamoru people since 2500 B.C.  The island was colonized by Spain in 1565 and governed as a colony for 300 years before it was ceded to the U.S. after the Spanish-American War 1898. 
 
With over a million tourists visiting the island every year, it boasts a robust multicultural heritage with residents from around the world. 
 
To learn more- visit this website. 
 
Where You'll Live: 
The group will stay at the Pacific Island Club. 
 
The current housing plan is that students will be in double rooms. If you want a single room, you will need to pay additional costs. 
As in the U.S., you will be required to wear a mask in all public places and social distance. You can find COVID-19 safety protocol at the hotel here.
What You'll Study: 
 
Through academic and cultural tours, talks by local experts, and interviews, you will be exposed to the complexity of sustainable engineering problems faced by Pacific Islands. 
Working with local organizations to better understand the challenges and barriers to sustainability you will build upon their initial ideas and apply engineering designs to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as geo-political, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors. 
 
Students will gain the ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning and research strategies. 
 
 
This course can count for the Sustainability Certificate.  
 
The program will include interactive sessions learning about the history and culture of Guam (examples include visits to cultural sites such as focusing on traditional medicine, agriculture, and sustainability). We will also visit ecological sites such as Marine Preserves. Company visits include government agencies, Guam University as well as Guam Waterwork Authority (who focuses on solar and hydro). 
 

Island nations provide a unique learning opportunity to evaluate the complex task of engineering for sustainability. On small islands the connections between social, economic, and environmental impacts are more easily traced and the scale of the processes more readily tracked. 

 

They often also present a unique and constrained set of material resources that have shaped indigenous cultural practices often spawning rare adaptations/designs. 

 

By studying abroad you will explore the context of engineering challenges/opportunities/tradeoffs for sustainability in Guam by considering social (culture, history, governance), environmental (natural resources, built infrastructure, environmental impacts of industry), and economic (socioeconomics/economic development) perspective. 

 

Experiential Learning Description: 

Students will be a part of multiple “workshops” where they will put into practice sustainable practices in Island living. 

 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

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 my two kiddos, yoga and fitness, international films, 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  

 

Schedule an appointment

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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 Labs where 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.

 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-state Out-of-state
Program Fee & Tuition $5,300 $5,500
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,600 $5,800

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare estimate $2,100
Visa costs if applicable- If you are not a U.S. Citizen there might be costs associated with applying for a visa
$500
 
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.
 
As a part of the fee, the following are included in the program:
Tuition for three Pitt academic credits
All accommodations
Daily breakfast, and 3 additional group meals
Local transportation in country
All site visits with all entrance fees included
On-site orientation
Mandatory health and accident insurance 
 
 
When You'll Go: 

Program Start Date: July 28, 2021
Program End Date: August 15, 2021

Application deadline: Rolling Admissions through Sunday, April 25.  Decisions will be sent out the next week- and we will ask you to attend a program agreement meeting May 3 or 4 and you will decide if you want to commit to the program by Wednesday, May 12, 2021. 

What Else You Need to Know: 

 
Admissions Requirements:
 

  • Must have a 2.75 GPA or higher
  • Good academic and behavioral standing
  • Must have finished your second year engineering or higher level at the time of application