course design, interdisciplinary, faculty learning community


In response to a request from a campus student organization, faculty from three fields came together to develop and teach an integrated interdisciplinary course on water issues and social activism. This course, Water as Life, Death, and Power, brought together topics from the fields of anthropology, biology and chemistry to explore water rights, access to clean water, and water treatment methods. Students enrolled in the course developed projects related to a variety of local and global water issues to present real-world solutions at a university-wide student research showcase. This article describes how we organized the learning community, composed of students, faculty, and staff, and outlines the training process of developing a sense of community, content integration, and interdisciplinary teaching techniques.

Cathy Willermet is a Professor of Anthropology at Central Michigan University.

Eron Drake is the Assistant Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University.

Anja Mueller is a Professor of Chemistry at Central Michigan University.

Stephen J. Juris is a Professor of Biology at Central Michigan University.

Pratik Chhetri is a graduate student and a member of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) at Central Michigan University.

Samik Upadhaya is a graduate student and a member of UAEM at Central Michigan University.