Study At Sea, On Land


Ever dream about sailing away for a year and a day with "school at sea" and teachers named Sven and Olaf? Learning on a sea-faring vessel could be a dream, but not for those who prefer dry land instead.

A chance to study at sea, but on land, is the basis of a new study-abroad program offered by Tel Aviv University. The new 6-credit summer school course suited for an undergrad (with at least one credit in the area of the environment) will focus on Israel's unique variety of water resources and how to make them sustainable.

Israel has a lot of water — most of which is not potable. In one small area, you can find four very unique bodies of water: there is the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, the Med Sea and the Sea of Galilee.With the sea to the west, coral reefs to the south, waterfalls in the north and a freshwater system throughout, Israel's environment is deeply affected by issues of water use and conservation, says the course press release. It continues:

Water in the Middle East is no longer just an environmental concern but also a fraught political issue, as allocation of water resources and wastewater treatment develop into additional sources of conflict between Israel and its neighboring countries.

The Porter School's summer course in environmental will take place from June 15 to July 6th, 2008 and will offer 6 academic credits to participating students. Three weeks of classes and field trips to the Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and the Red Sea in Eilat will give participants a thorough introduction to the state of Israel's environment with an emphasis on its freshwater and marine water systems.

The course will be interdisciplinary in nature, taking students through the various elements (including, amongst others, ecological, ethical, political, and legal) that form the backdrop to environmental tensions in the region.

Among the classes being offered are:

*The Climate Crisis and the Middle East: a view from the social sciences

*Plants, Water and Salt

*Wastewater Engineering: Characteristics, treatment, reuse and concerns

*Water Law Around the World and in Israel

*The Northern Red Sea Reefs: An ecosystem at the edge of global coral distribution

*Point Source Pollution: Effects on the Mediterranean stream ecosystem

:: Porter School

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