Engineering Sustainable Design and Innovation in Island Nations: Guam

Applications are OPEN!
 
Program Dates:  July 29- Aug 13  (student will fly out on July 28 and arrive for first day in country on July 29)
 
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
 
It is very possible that Guam will require individals to be vaccinated to enter.  This was the case in Summer 2021.  More updates about this requirement will be posted once we know the requirements in Spring 2022. 

Information Session! 


Virtual - Wed Nov 10: 4-5:30pm via zoom   sign up here

In person - Wed, Nov 10 - 4-5:30pm in 102 Benedum 
 
 
 
 
What You'll Accomplish: 
As an active and engaged participant on this program, you can expect to:
 
  • Gain an understanding of the challenges 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.  as well as the University of Guam student housing.
 
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. 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.

Alicia JF Olalde, M.A.

Konnichiwa! After working for the JET program in Japan for just over two years, I decided to pursue a career in international education. I returned to the US via a few months of travel -slowing making my way west with many stops in stunning locations and with amazing people. Whenever possible, I continue to love exploring new countries and cultures! I have been fortunate to work both as an administrator and as a classroom educator in higher education; my areas of interest are international, adult and comparative education.  I enjoy assisting engineering students seize international opportunities! Reach out to me at a.olalde@pitt.edu!

Schedule an appointment

SSOE students: schedule an appointment with me using Pathways via this link!

non-SSOE students-- send me an email and we'll set up a time to meet!

 

 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-state Out-of-state
Program Fee  $5,200 $5,400
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,500 $5,700

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.
 

For global scholarship opportunities, check out:

  • the Pitt GEO scholarship page for links to national, provider and private scholarship samples
  • PittFund$Me  for Pitt sponsored funding including Pitt wide global scholarships, Nationality Rooms, VIH, etc.
  • PittFund$Me  for the SSOE Global Experience Scholarships!
 
 
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 29 (student will fly out on July 28 and arrive in country July 29)
Program End Date: August 13

Application deadline:1/23/2022 

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