Context Sensitive Resource Recovery Systems

Reclaim at USF is working to determine if effective, geographically- and culturally-appropriate engineered systems can be established to utilize wastewater as a resource for the recovery of energy, water, and nutrients. This research is part of a program funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation designed to initiate a cultural shift in university programs, developing international competence and building capacity through global partnerships.

  • partners compilation uvi dominant with Belize

    Integrated water and energy systems are fundamental to social, economic, and environmental well-being and prosperity. The increasing difficulty of managing water and energy resources is manifested in several grand challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering and various global action plans that seek to ensure environmental sustainability and develop global partnerships. Unfortunately, the failure to integrate water and energy concerns with appropriate cultural models of local knowledge, institutions, and resources limits on-the-ground effectiveness and positive environmental impact.

    The goal of this National Science Foundation, Partners for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant is to initiate a cultural shift in our individual and university research and education programs toward developing international research competence and building capacity through global partnerships. Our proposed framework for sustainable water-energy systems integrates adapting engineering systems to environmental and cultural changes associated with growth in human populations, urbanization, and resource consumption. We also focus on the interstices of geographical context, cultural analysis, and scale. Our overarching research question is: can effective, geographically-appropriate, and culturally relevant engineered systems be established that utilize wastewater as a resource for recovery of energy, water, and nutrients?

    Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community.

    International partnerships are essential to addressing critical science and engineering problems. In the global context, U.S. researchers and educators must be able to operate effectively in teams with partners from different nations and cultural backgrounds. PIRE promotes excellence in science and engineering through international collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce.


    This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1243510. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. “Reclaim” is an initiative led by the University of South Florida Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Anthropology, and Marine Science, to share news about joint research related to the reclamation of nutrient, energy, and water resources from waste.

    • 1. Energy and nutrient recovery from anaerobic based wastewater/recovery systems

      Anaerobic bioreactor

      Anaerobic membrane bioreactor

      Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) have several advantages over traditional aerobic membrane bioreactors. In general MBRs need a relatively small physical footprint and eliminate the need for clarifiers in wastewater treatment. When operated anaerobically they can also produce biogas. An additional way to reduce energy needs in an AnMBR is with a gas lift system. Here we plan to determine the optimal operating conditions of a gas lift AnMBR (GL-AnMBR) and develop a with an energy surplus.

      Small scale anaerobic digestion systems also hold great potential for decentralized wastewater treatment. However, anaerobic digesters often fail due to poor design, high capital costs, maintenance issues, etc. A goal for this PIRE is to develop guidelines for economically and sustainable design and use of small-scale anaerobic digesters that treat and recover resources from human and agricultural wastes.

      Wastewater contains valuable nutrients for agricultural applications. In many areas outside the U.S. wastewater is used as a water sources and fertilizer to monopolize on these resources. Unfortunately there is a high risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases associated with this practice, specifically the presence of Ascaris lumbricoides eggs. For this PIRE, anaerobic digestion will be explored as a method to inactivate Ascaris eggs ideally allowing for reuse of the digestate and reduced risks of infection.

    • 2. Resource recovery from algal-based wastewater systems

      Algae grown on wastewater can aid the treatment process by adding oxygen to the water and facilitating removal of some organics and nutrients. The algal biomass can then be harvested and converted into fuels like biodiesel and methane or products like animal feed and polymers. The classic pathway is producing biodiesel through lipid extraction. Another pathway is biogas production through anaerobic co-digestion of algae and municipal wastewater sludge. Research will be done to determine the algal growth kinetics and the potential production of bioenergy products from these pathways.

      Lagoon type treatment systems which benefit from the algal growth can be reused as a source of water and fertilizer. However, lagoon water may contain pathogenic organisms.  Here we will determine methods for removing pathogens such as Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocyts, rotavirus (RV), and human adenovirus (HAdV).


      Macrophytes harvested from a wastewater stabilization pond in Bolivia are reused for animal feed and soil amendment


    • 3. Social and cultural contexts of technology innovation

      For this research task, four research questions will be addressed. The first two questions concern cultural acceptability and perceptions of water and wastewater across distinct populations. Culture heavily influences how people evaluate the benefits and risks of new technologies. The second two questions concern institutional strategies and responses. Many different management strategies exist but they must be locally aligned and culturally appropriate for success. Surveys will be developed to measure perceptions about reusing nutrients from wastewater. In later years these instruments will be applied to additional partner sites. Comparisons between sites will help develop a better understanding of how to appropriately pair wastewater treatment technologies with communities for long term acceptance.  Ultimately the data collected from different field sites will be used to inform on the perceived benefits and risks to using products generated by AD and wastewater lagoons.


    • 4. Impact of integrated resource recovery of wastewater on coastal water quality

      Photo from Frank Muller-Karger

      Photo from Frank Muller-Karger

      Many coastal waters have become seriously impaired over the last 20 years partially due to insufficient or improper treatment of wastewater and stormwater run-off. One motivation for developing and implementing the technologies in our research  is to protect coastal waters from additional degradation. Before it is clear that these technologies will improve coastal water quality baseline data is needed. Research will help establish that baseline using remote sensing techniques for Tampa, Fl and the associated field sites. This PIRE research will combine data collected on coastal areas with data collected on the resource recovery systems. Collectively this information will be used as a tool to  explore future scenarios of population growth and how choices for wastewater management technologies impact coastal water quality.

    • 5. Integration across life cycle of systems

      Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the process of considering a product or process over the all life stages such that adverse affects are decreased, not simply shifted to a different life stage. Wastewater treatments systems have been studied with this type of systems thinking. However, LCA has typically been applied to centralized systems that do limited resource recovery. LCA has not been completed on treatment systems which recover multiple resources, nor has previous research considered the complexities of wastewater treatment on a variety of scales. This PIRE will complete LCAs on anaerobic and algal-based recovery systems at multiple scales under varied geographical and cultural contexts. The information gained will help identify the scale and geographical context at which these resource recovery technologies have the lowest environmental impact.

      Embodied Energy characterization of two wastewater treatment systems using SimaPro. Photo from Pablo Cornejo-Warner

      Embodied Energy characterization of two wastewater treatment systems using SimaPro. Photo from Pablo Cornejo-Warner

    • 6. Integration across engineering, social, and environmental systems

      causal loop diagram

      Basic causal loop diagram (courtesy of Qiong Zhang)


      Systems dynamics is a technique to analyze the behavior of complex systems. In this research system dynamics will be used to elucidate the dynamic relationships between the engineering, social, and environmental components of anaerobic and algal-based wastewater recovery systems. Information gathered from research tasks 1-4 will be integrated into a causal loop diagram to help illustrate the relationships between factors. This conceptual model will provide an understanding of the complex relationships and hopefully help with policy decisions.

    • Task 1: Energy and nutrient recovery from anaerobic based wastewater/recovery systems

      Task 1: Energy and nutrient recovery from anaerobic based wastewater/recovery systems

      Aponte-Morales, V.E., Payne, K.A., Cunningham, J.A., Ergas, S.J. (2018). Bioregeneration of
      Chabazite During Nitrification of Centrate from Anaerobically Digested Livestock Waste:
      Experimental and Modeling Studies. Environmental Science & Technology. 52 4090. DOI:

      Aponte-Morales, V.E., Tong, S., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Nitrogen Removal from Anaerobically Digested
      Swine Waste Centrate Using a Laboratory-Scale Chabazite-Sequencing Batch
      Reactor. Environmental Engineering Science. 33 (5), 324. DOI:

      Ariumbaatar, J., Ozcan, O., Bair, R., Esposito, G., Ball, R., Lens, P.N.L., Yeh,
      D.H. (2018). Bioaugmentation of the anaerobic digestion of food waste by dungs of herbivore,
      carnivore, and omnivore zoo animals. Environmental Technology. 39 (4), 516. DOI:

      Bair, R.A., Ozcan, O.O., Calabria, J.L. Dick, G.H., Yeh, D.H. (2015). Feasibility of anaerobic
      membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) for onsite sanitation and resource recovery (nutrients, energy and
      water) in urban slums. Water Science & Technology. 72 (9), 1543. DOI:

      Calabria, J.L., Lens, P.N.L., and Yeh, D.H. (2019). Zeolite ion-exchange to facilitate AnMBR
      wastewater nitrogen recovery and reuse for lettuce fertigation in vertical hydroponic systems. Environmental Engineering Science. 36 (6), 6126. DOI:

      Dixon, P., Bittencourt, P., Lee, E., Wang, M., Jimenez, E., Zhang, Q., & Ergas, S. J. (2017). Effects
      of Biosolids Addition and Alkalinity Sources on High-Solids Anaerobic co-Digestion (HS-AcD) of
      Food Waste and Green Waste.. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation. 2017 (1), 1219.

      Dolejs, P., Ozcan, O., Bair, R. Ariunbaatar, J., Bartacek, J., Lens, P.N.L., Yeh, D.H. (2017). Effect of
      psychrophilic temperature shocks on a gas-lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor(Gl-AnMBR) treating
      synthetic domestic wastewater. Journal of Water Process Engineering. 16 108. DOI:

      Gao, Da-Wen, et al. Membrane fouling in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor: Differences in relative abundance of bacterial species in the membrane foulant layer and in suspension. Journal of Membrane Science 364(1):331-338, 2010.

      Kinyua, M.N., Cunningham, J., Ergas, S.J. (2014). Effect of solids retention time on the
      bioavailability of organic carbon in anaerobically digested swine waste. Bioresource
      Technology. 162 14. DOI:

      Kinyua, M.N., Zhang, J., Camacho-Cespedes, F., Tejada-Martinez, A., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Use of
      physical and biological process models to understand the performance of tubular anaerobic
      digesters. Biochemical Engineering Journal. 107 (16), 35. DOI:

      Lee, E. Bittencourt, P., Casimir, L., Jimenez, E. Wang, M., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J. (2019). Biogas
      production from high solids anaerobic co-digestion of food waste, yard waste and waste activated
      sludge. Waste Management. 95 (15), 432. DOI:

      Lee, E., Cumberbatch, J., Wang, M., Zhang, Q. (2017). Kinetic parameter estimation model for
      anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge and microalgae. Bioresource Technology. 228 9. DOI:

      Manser, N.D., Cunningham, J.A., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.R. (2016). Modeling Inactivation of Highly
      Persistent Pathogens in Household-Scale Semi-Continuous Anaerobic Digesters. Environmental
      Engineering Science. 33 (11), 851. DOI: 10.1089/ees.2016.0131

      Manser,N.D., Mihelcic, J.R., Ergas, S.J. (2015). Semi-continuous mesophilic anaerobic digester
      performance under variations in solids retention time and feeding frequency. Bioresource
      Technology. 190 359. DOI:

      Manser, N.D., Wald, Il, Ergas, S.J., Izurieta, R., Mihelcic, J.R. (2015). Assessing the Fate of Ascaris
      suum Ova during Mesophilic Anaerobic Digestion. Environmental Science &
      Technology. 49 (5), 3128. DOI:

      Prieto, Ana Lucia, Futselaar, Harry, Lens, Piet N.L., Bair, Robert, Yeh, Daniel H. Development and start up of a gas-lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (gl-anmbr) for conversion of sewage to energy, water and nutrients. Journal of Membrane Science, (in press, accepted manuscript), 2013. 

      Wang, M., Lee, E., Dilbeck, M.P., Liebelt, M., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J. (2017). Thermal pretreatment of
      microalgae for biomethane production: experimental studies,kinetics and energy analysis. Journal of
      Chemical Technology & Biotechnology. 92 399. DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5018

      Wang, M., Lee, E., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Anaerobic Co-digestion of Swine Manure and
      Microalgae Chlorella sp.: Experimental Studies and Energy Analysis. Bioenergy
      Research. 9 (4), 1204. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-016-9769-4

      Wang, M., Payne, K.A., Tong, S., Ergas, S.J. (2018). Hybrid algal photosynthesis and ion exchange
      (HAPIX) process for high ammonium strength wastewater treatment. Water Research. 142 (1), 65. DOI:

      Wang, M., Ynag, H., Ergas, S.J., van der Steen, P. (2015). A novel shortcut nitrogen removal
      process using an algal-bacterial consortium in a photo-sequencing batch reactor (PSBR). Water
      Research. 87 (15), 38. DOI:

    • Task 2: Energy, nutrient, and water recovery from wastewater treatment/recovery systems


      Task 2: Energy, nutrient, and water recovery from wastewater treatment/recovery systems.

      Amini, A., Aponte-Morales, V., Wang, M., Dilbeck, M., Lahav, O., Zhang, Q., Cunningham, J.A.,
      Ergas, S.J. (2017). Cost-effective treatment of swine wastes through recovery of energy and
      nutrients. Waste Management. 69 508. DOI:

      Arashiro, L.T., Rada-Ariza, A.M., Wang, M., van der Steen, P., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Modelling
      shortcut nitrogen removal from wastewater using an algal–bacterial consortium. Water Science &
      Technology. 75 (4), 782. DOI:

      Fuchs, V.J., Gierke, J.S., Mihelcic, J.R., “Laboratory investigation of ammonium and nitrate removal in vertical flow regimes in planted and unplanted wetland columns,” Journal of Environmental Engineering, 138:1227-1230, 2012.

      Krayzelova, L., Lynn, T.J., Banihani, Q., Bartacek, J., Jenicek, P., Ergas, S.J. (2014). A Tire-Sulfur
      Hybrid Adsorption Denitrification (T-SHAD) process for decentralized wastewater treatment. Water Research. 61 (15), 191. DOI:

      Kumar, Amit, et al. A hollow fiber membrane photo‐bioreactor for CO2 sequestration from combustion gas coupled with wastewater treatment: a process engineering approach. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 85(3): 387-394, 2010.

      Kumar, Amit, et al. Enhanced CO 2 fixation and biofuel production via microalgae: recent developments and future directions. Trends in biotechnology 28(7): 371-380, 2010.

      Lee, E., Jalalizadeh, M., Zhang, Q., (2015). Growth kinetic models for microalgae cultivation: A
      review. Algal Research. 12 497. DOI:

      Manser, N.D., Wang, M., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.R., Mulder, A., van de Vossenberg, J., van Lier,
      J.B., van der Steen, P. (2016). Biological Nitrogen Removal in a Photosequencing Batch Reactor
      with an Algal-Nitrifying Bacterial Consortium and Anammox Granules. Environmental Science &
      Technology Letters. 3 (4), 175. DOI:

      Mehl, J., D.A. Gibson, R. Izurieta, J. Kaiser, D. Hurtado, J. R. Mihelcic, “Pathogen Destruction and Solids Decomposition in Composting Latrines:  Study of Fundamental Mechanisms and User Operation in Rural Panama,”  Journal of Water and Health, 9(1):187-99, 2010.

      Mihelcic, J.R., Fry, L.M., Shaw, R. Global potential of phosphorus recovery from human urine and feces. Chemosphere 84(6):832-839, 2011.

      Orner, K.D., Cunningham, J.A., Mihelcic, J.R. (2019). Assessment of nutrient fluxes and recovery for
      a small-scale agricultural waste management system. Water Research. . Status: under review

      Ouedraogo, F.R., Zhang, J., Cornejo, P.K., Zhang, Q., Mihelcic, J.R., Tejada-Martinez,
      A.E. (2016). Impact of sludge layer geometry on the hydraulic performance of a waste stabilization
      pond. Water Research. 99 (1), 253. DOI:

      Rosario, Karyna, et al. Pepper mild mottle virus as an indicator of fecal pollution. Applied and environmental microbiology 75(22): 7261-7267, 2009.

      Symonds, Erin M., Dale W. Griffin, and Mya Breitbart. Eukaryotic viruses in wastewater samples from the United States. Applied and environmental microbiology 75(5): 1402-1409, 2009.

      Symonds, E.M., Verbyla, M.E., Lukasik, J.O., Kafle, R.C., Breitbart, M., Mihelcic, J.R. (2014). A case
      study of enteric virus removal and insights into the associated risk of water reuse for two wastewater
      treatment pond systems in Bolivia. Water Research. 65 (15), 257. DOI:

      Udom, Innocent, et al. Harvesting microalgae grown on wastewater. Bioresource technology 139:101-106, 2013.

      Verbyla, M.E., Cairns, M.R., Gonzalez, P.A., Whiteford, L.M., Mihelcic, J.R. (2015). Emerging
      challenges for pathogen control and resource recovery in natural wastewater treatment
      systems. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. 2 (6), 701. DOI:

      Verbyla, M.E., Iriarte, M.M., Guzman, A.M., Coronado, O., Almanza, M., Mihelcic,
      J.R. (2016). Pathogens and fecal indicators in waste stabilization pond systems with direct reuse for
      irrigation: Fate and transport in water, soil and crops. Science of The Total Environment. 551-
      552 (1), 429. DOI:

      Verbyla, M.E., Mihelcic, J.R. (2015). A review of virus removal in wastewater treatment pond
      systems. Water Research. 71 (15), 107. DOI:

      Verbyla, M.E., Oakley, S.M., Lizima, L.A., Zhang, J., Iriarte, M., Tejada-Martinez, A.E., Mihelcic,
      J.R. (2013). Taenia eggs in a stabilization pond system with poor hydraulics: concern for human
      cysticercosis?. Water Science & Technology. 68 (12), 2698. DOI:

      Verbyla, M. E., Oakley, S. M., & Mihelcic, J. R. Wastewater infrastructure for small cities in an urbanizing world: Integrating the protection of human health and the environment with resource recovery and food security. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(8):3598-3605, 2013.

      Verbyla, M.E., Symonds, E.M., Kafle, R.C., Cairns, M.R., Iriarte, M., Guzman, A.M., Coronado, O.,
      Breitbart, M., Ledo, C., Mihelcic, J.R. (2016). Managing Microbial Risks from Indirect Wastewater
      Reuse for Irrigation in Urbanizing Watersheds. Environmental Science & DOI:

      Wang, M., Keeley, R., Zalivina, N., Halfide, T., Scott, K., Zhang, Q., van der Steen, P., Ergas,
      S.J. (2018). Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: A review of nitrogen
      transformations, reactor configurations and molecular tools. Journal of Environmental
      Management. 217 (1), 845. DOI:

    • Task 3: Social and cultural contexts of technology innovation


      Task 3: Social and cultural contexts of technology innovation.

      Alexandridis, Kostas, and Yiheyis Maru. “Collapse and reorganization patterns of social knowledge representation in evolving semantic networks.” Information Sciences (2012).

      Alexandridis, K. (2018). Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes toward Environmental
      Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems. Social Sciences. 7 (7), 109. DOI:

      Alexandridis, K., Takemura, S., Webb, A., Lausche, B., Culter, J., Sato, T. (2018). Semantic
      knowledge network inference across a range of stakeholders and communities of
      practice. Environmental Modelling & Software. DOI:

      Ergas, S.J., Kinyua, M.N., van der Steen, P., Butler, C.S., Lens, P.N.L., Chandran, K., Mihelcic,
      J.R. (2016). Innovative Global Solutions for Bioenergy Production. Environmental Engineering
      Science. 33 (11), 841. DOI:

      Fry, L.M., J.R. Mihelcic, D.W. Watkins, “Water and Non-Water-Related Challenges of Achieving Global Sanitation Coverage,” Environmental Science & Technology, 42(4): 4298-4304, 2008.

      Gonzalez, P.A., Zarger, R.K., Vitous, C.A., Prouty, C. (2019). Find It @ USF Understanding
      Children’s Perspectives On Water Resources in Interdisciplinary Research. Practicing
      Anthropology. 41 (1), 32.

      Laureano-Rosario, A., Duncan, A.P., Mendez-Lazaro, P.A., Garcia-Rejon, J.E., Gomez-Carro, S.,
      Farfan-Ale, J., Savic, D.A., Muller-Karge, F.E. (2018). Application of Artificial Neural Networks for
      Dengue Fever Outbreak Predictions in the Northwest Coast of Yucatan, Mexico and San Juan,
      Puerto Rico. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 3 (12), 5. DOI:

      Laureano-Rosario, A., Duncan, A.P., Symonds, E.M., Savic, D.A., Muller-Karger,
      F.E. (2018). Predicting culturable enterococci exceedances at Escambron Beach, San Juan, Puerto
      Rico using satellite remote sensing and artificial neural networks. Journal of Water &
      Health. 17 (1), 137. DOI:

      Laureano-Rosario, A.E., Garcia-Rejon, J.E., Gomez-Carro, S., Farfan-Ale, J.A., Muller-karger,
      F.E. (2017). Modelling dengue fever risk in the State of Yucatan, Mexico using regional-scale
      satellite-derived sea surface temperature. Acta Tropica. 172 50. DOI:

      Laureano-Rosario, A.E., Symonds, E.M., Rueda-Roa, D., Otis, D., Muller-Karger,
      F.E. (2017). Environmental Factors Correlated with Culturable Enterococci Concentrations in
      Tropical Recreational Waters: A Case Study in Escambron Beach, San Juan, Puerto
      Rico. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 14 (12), 1602. DOI:

      Lewis, D.B., Zarger, R.K., Landry, S.M., Akiwumi, F.A., Rains, M.C., Crisman, T.L., Bell, S.S., Trettin, C.C. Urban development, power relations, and water redistribution as drivers of wetland change in the Tampa Bay Region socioecosystem, presented at Intl. Assn. for Landscape Ecology, Portland, OR, April 3-7, 2011.

      Mihelcic, J.R. J.B. Zimmerman, A. Ramaswami, “Integrating Developed and Developing World Knowledge into Global Discussions and Strategies for Sustainability.  Part 1: Science and Technology,” Environmental Science & Technology, 41(10):3415-3421, 2007.

      Naughton, C.C., Akers, P., Yoder, D., Baer, R., Mihelcic, J.R. (2018). Can Sanitation Technology
      Play a Role in User Perceptions of Resource Recovery? An Evaluation of Composting Latrine Use in
      Developing World Communities in Panama. Environmental Science & Technology. 52 (20), 11803. DOI:

      Naughton, C.C., Deubel, T.F., Mihelcic, J.R. (2017). Household food security, economic
      empowerment, and the social capital of women’s shea butter production in Mali. Food
      Security. 9 (4), 773. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-017-0706-y

      Naughton, C.C., Sissoko, H.R., Mihelcic, J.R. (2015). Assessing factors that lead to use of
      appropriate technology handwashing stations in Mali, West Africa. Journal of Water, Sanitation &
      Hygiene for Development. 5 (2), 279. DOI:

      Naughton, C.C., Zhang, Q., Mihelcic, J.R. (2017). Modelling energy and environmental impacts of
      traditional and improved shea butter production in West Africa for food security. Science of the Total Environment. 576 284. DOI:

      Prouty, C., Koenig, E.S., Wells, E.C., Zarger, R.K. (2017). Rapid assessment framework for
      modeling stakeholder involvement in infrastructure development. Sustainable Cities and
      Society. 29 130. DOI:

      Prouty, C., Mohebbi, S., Zhang, Q. (2018). Socio-technical strategies and behavior change to
      increase the adoption and sustainability of wastewater resource recovery systems. Water
      Research. 137 (15), 107. DOI:

      Ramaswami, R., J.B. Zimmerman, J.R. Mihelcic, “Integrating Developed and Developing World Knowledge into Global Discussions and Strategies for Sustainability.  Part 2: Economics and Governance,” Environmental Science & Technology, 41(10):3422-3430, 2007. sustainability_strategies_p2.pdf

      Santana, M.V., Zhang, Q., Nachabe, M.H., Xie, Xiongfei, Mihelcic, J.R. (2017). Could smart growth
      lower the operational energy of water supply? A scenario analysis in Tampa, Florida,
      USA. Landscape and Urban Planning. 164 99. DOI:

      Stepp, John Richard, et al. “Remarkable properties of human ecosystems.”Conservation Ecology 7.3 (2003): 11.

      Wells, E.C., Davis-Salazar, K.L. “Environmental worldview and ritual economy among the Honduran Lenca,” Research in Economic Anthropology, 27:189-217, 2008.

      Wells, E. C., Davis-Salazar, K.L, Kuehn, D.D. Soilscape legacies: historical and emerging consequences of socioecological interactions in Honduras. In Living on the Land: The Complex Relationship between Population and Agriculture in the Americas (eds: Wingard, J., Hayes, S), University Press of Colorado, Boulder, (in press), 2012.

      Wells, E. C. Water and worldview in Honduras: stakeholder strategies for resource management in periurban communities, Conservation and Society, (in review), 2012.

      Wells, E.C., Webb, W.A., Prouty, C.M., Zarger, R.K., Trotz, M.A., Whiteford, L.M., Mihelcic,
      J.R. (2019). Wastewater technopolitics on thesouthern coast of Belize. Economic
      Anthropology. 6 277. DOI:10.1002/sea2.12145

      Wells, E.C., Zarger, R.K., Whiteford, L.M., Mihelcic, J.R., Koenig, E.S., Cairns, M.R. (2016). The
      impacts of tourism development on perceptions and practices of sustainable wastewater
      management on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize. Journal of Cleaner Production. 111 (Part B), 430. DOI:

      Whiteford, L.M. “Water insecurity and infectious disease,” International Review of  Comparative Public Policy, 11:63-82, 1999.

      Whiteford, Linda M. “Water: Towards a culture of responsibility.” Global Public Health 7.4: 432-433, 2012.

      Wright Wendel, H.E., J.A. Downs, J.R. Mihelcic, “Assessing Equitable Access to Urban Green Space: The Role of Engineered Water Infrastructure,” Environmental Science & Technology, 45 (16):728–6734, 2011.

      Wright Wendel, H.E., R.A. Zarger, J.R. Mihelcic, “Accessibility and Usability: Green Space Preferences, Perceptions, and Barriers in a Rapidly Urbanizing City in Latin America,” Landscape and Urban Planning, 107(3):272-282, 2012.

      Zarger, R.K., Akiwumi, F., Lewis, D., Larsen, G., Adjei, C., Landry, S. The power of perceptions: hydroecological change and water redistribution in Tampa Bay, paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings, Baltimore, MD, March 27-31, 2012.

    • Task 4: Impact of integrated resource recovery of wastewater on coastal water quality


      Task 4: Impact of integrated resource recovery of wastewater on coastal water quality.

      Brandt, Marilyn E., et al. Disturbance Driven Colony Fragmentation as a Driver of a Coral Disease Outbreak. PloS one 8(2): e57164, 2013.

      Brandt, Marilyn E., et al. “Dynamics of an Acute Coral Disease Outbreak Associated with the Macroalgae Dictyota spp. in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA.” Bulletin of Marine Science 88(4): 1035-1050, 2012.

      Brandt, Marilyn E., and John W. McManus. Disease incidence is related to bleaching extent in reef-building corals. Ecology 90(10): 2859-2867, 2009.

      Enrique Montes, et al. Sources of δ15N variability in sinking particulate nitrogen in the Cariaco Basin,Venezuela. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (in press, accepted manuscript), 2013.

      He, Q., Cheng, Z., Zhang, Burnett, V., Ergas, S.J. (2018). A sulfur-based cyclic denitrification filter
      for marine recirculating aquaculture systems. Proceedings of Water Environment Federation. 321.

      Hu, Chuanmin, et al. Remote detection of Trichodesmium blooms in optically complex coastal waters: Examples with MODIS full-spectral data. Remote Sensing of Environment 114(9): 2048-2058, 2010.

      McCarthy, M.J., Colna, K.E., El-Mezayen, M., Laureano-Rosario, A.E., Mendez-Lazaro, P., Otis,
      D.B., Toro-Farmer, G., Vega-Rodriguez, M., Muller-Karger, F.E. (2017). Satellite Remote Sensing for Coastal Management: A Review of Successful Applications. Environmental Management. 60 (2), 323. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0880-x

      Palumbi, Stephen R., et al. The role of genes in understanding the evolutionary ecology of reef building corals. Evolutionary Ecology 26(2): 317-335, 2012.

      Taylor, Gordon T., et al. Ecosystem responses in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(47): 19315-19320, 2012.

      Williams L., Smith T.B., Burge C.A., Brandt M.E. (2019). Susceptibility to white plague disease is species-specific in three common Caribbean corals. Coral Reefs. . Status: under review

    • Task 5: Integration across life cycle of systems


      Task 5: Integration across life cycle of systems.

      Boxman, S., Qiong, Z., Bailey, D., & Trotz, M.A. (2017). Life Cycle Assessment of a commercial-
      scale freshwater aquaponic system. Environmental Engineering Science. 34 (5), 299. DOI: 10.1089/ees.2015.0510

      Fuchs, V.J., J.R. Mihelcic, J.S. Gierke, “Life Cycle Assessment Of Vertical And Horizontal Flow Constructed Wetlands For Wastewater Treatment Considering Nitrogen And Carbon Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Water Research,  45(5):2073-81, 2011.

      Mo, W. & Zhang, Q. “Can municipal wastewater treatment systems be carbon neutral?” Journal of Environmental Management, 112:360-7, 2012.

      Mo, W., Q. Zhang, J.R. Mihelcic, D. Hokanson, “Embodied Energy Comparison of Surface Water and Groundwater Supply Options,” Water Research, 45(17): 5577-5586, 2011.

      Verbyla, M.E., Oakley, S.M., Mihelcic, J.R. (2013). Wastewater Infrastructure for Small Cities in an Urbanizing World: Integrating Protection of Human Health and the Environment with Resource Recovery and Food Security. Environmental Science & Technology. 47 (8), 3598. DOI:

    • Task 6: Integration across engineering, social, and environmental systems


      Task 6: Integration across engineering, social, and environmental systems.

      Cornejo, P.K., Zhang, Q., Mihelcic, J.R. (2013). Quantifying benefits of resource recovery from sanitation provision in a developing world setting. Journal of Environmental
      Management. 131 (15), 7. DOI:

      Fuchs, V.J. and J.R. Mihelcic, “Analyzing appropriateness in sanitation projects in the Alto Beni Region of Bolivia,” Waterlines, 30(2): 122-134, 2011. 00000002/art00005

      Guest, J.S., S.J. Skerlos, J.L. Barnard, M.B. Beck, G.T. Daigger, H. Hilger, S.J. Jackson, K. Karvazy, L. Kelly, L. Macpherson, J.R. Mihelcic, A. Pramanik, L. Raskin, M. C. M. van Loosdrecht, D.l Yeh, N.G. Love, “A New Planning and Design Paradigm to Achieve Sustainable Resource Recovery from Wastewater,” Environmental Science & Technology, 43, 6126–6130, 2009.

      Kinyua, M.N., Rowse, L.E., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Review of small-scale tubular anaerobic digesters
      treating livestock waste in the developing world. Renewable and Sustainable Energy
      Reviews. 58 896. DOI:

      Koenig, E., Wells, E. C., & Garcia, S. (2016). Reclaiming Development: Community-Based Heritage
      Conservation and University-Engaged Research. Research Reports in Belizean History and
      Anthropology: Papers of the 2015 Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium.

      McConville, J.R., and J.R. Mihelcic, “Adapting Life Cycle Thinking Tools to Evaluate Project Sustainability in International Water and Sanitation Development Work,” Environmental Engineering Science, 24(7):937-948, 2007.

      Mihelcic, J.R., Naughton, C.C., Verbyla, M.E., Zhang, Q., Schweitzer, R.W., Oakley, S.M., Wells,
      C.E., Whiteford, L.M. (2017). The Grandest Challenge of All: The Role of Environmental Engineering to Achieve Sustainability in the World’s Developing Regions. Environmental Engineering Science. 34 (1), 16. DOI:

      Muga, H.E. and J.R. Mihelcic, “Sustainability of Wastewater Treatment Technologies,” Journal of Environmental Management, 88: 437-447, 2008.

      Orner, K.D., Mihelcic, J.R. (2018). A review of sanitation technologies to achieve multiple
      sustainable development goals that promote resource recovery. Environmental Science: Water
      Research & Technology. 4 16. DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00195A

      Trimmer, J.T., Nakyanjo, N., Ssekubugu, R., Sklar, M., Mihelcic, J.R., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Assessing
      the promotion of urine-diverting dry toilets through school-based demonstration facilities in Kalisizo,
      Uganda. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. 6 (2), 276. DOI:

      Trimmer, J.T., Nakyanjo, N., Ssekubugu, R., Sklar, M., Mihelcic, J.R., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Estimation
      of Ascaris lumbricoides egg inactivation by free ammonia treatment of ash-amended UDDT vault
      products using stored urine in Uganda. Journal of Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene for
      Development. 6 (2), 259. DOI:

      Zhang, Q., Prouty, C., Zimmerman, J.B., Mihelcic, J.R. (2016). More than Target 6.3: A Systems
      Approach to Rethinking Sustainable Development Goals in a Resource-Scarce
      World. Engineering. 2 (4), 481. DOI:

    • Other Related Papers


      Other Related Papers

      Cornejo, P.K., Zhang, Q., Mihelcic, J.R. (2016). How Does Scale of Implementation Impact the
      Environmental Sustainability of Wastewater Treatment Integrated with Resource
      Recovery?. Environmental Science & Technology. 50 (13), 6680. DOI:

      Fry, L.M., Watkins, D.W. Reents, N., Rowe, M.D., Mihelcic, J.R. “Climate Change and Development Impacts on the Sustainability of Spring-fed Water Supply Systems in the Alto Beni Region of Bolivia,”  Journal Hydrology,  468–469: 120–129, 2012.

      Isaacs, W., Prouty, C., Trotz, M.A. (2017). Gender Analysis of Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure for the Energy-Water-Nutrient Nexus in Barbados.  Report submitted to Community Climate Change Center. 

      Kinyua, M.N., Wald, Il, Camacho-Cespedes, F., Izurieta, R., Haas, C.N., Ergas, S.J. (2016). Does
      the use of tubular digesters to treat livestock waste lower the risk of infection from Cryptosporidium
      parvum and Giardia lamblia?. Journal of Water & Health. 14 (5), 738. DOI:

      Mihelcic, J.R., Trotz, M.A. (2019). Environmental Education that Enhances the Global Competency of Early-Career Engineers and Scientists.  ERM, The Magazine for Environmental Managers, AWMA. 

      Prouty, C., Isaacs, W., Trotz, M.A. (2017). Stakeholder Analysis of Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure for the Energy-Water-Nutrient Nexus in Barbados.  A report to the Barbados Water Authority and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. 

      Wells, E.C., Zarger, R.K., Whiteford, L.M., Mihelcic, J.R., Koenig, E.S., Vitous, A., Prouty, C., Gonzalez, P. (2017). 2017 Perceptions and Practices of Sustainable Wastewater Management on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize: Report on the 2016 Field Season.  Report submitted to the National Institute of Culture and History, Institute for Social and Cultural Research, Government of Belize.

      Wells, E.C., Zarger, R.K., Whiteford, L.M., Mihelcic, J.R., Koenig, E.S., Vitous, A., Prouty, C., Gonzalez, P. (2018). 2018 Perceptions and Practices of Sustainable Wastewater Management on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize: Report on the 2017 Field Season.  Report submitted to the National Institute of Culture and History, Institute for Social and Cultural Research, Government of Belize.

      Zimmerman, J.B., J.R. Mihelcic, J.A. Smith, “Global Stressors on Water Quality and Quantity: Sustainability, Technology Selection, and Governance in a Dynamic World,” Environmental Science & Technology, 42(4):4247-4254, 2008.

      Books for Reference

      A companion to medical anthropology

      Whiteford, Linda M. and Padros, Cecilia Vindrola “Chapter 10. The Medical Anthropology of Water.” in A Companion to Medical Anthropology. Merrill Singer, Pamela I. Erickson (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.




      The anthropology of learning in childhoodZarger, R. K. (2010). Learning the environment. in The Anthropology of Learning in Childhood (eds: Lancy, D., Bock, J., Gaskins, S.), pp 341-369. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD.




      ethnobiology-textbookZarger, R. K. (2011). Learning ethnobiology: creating knowledge, skills and practice about the living world, in Ethnobiology (ed: Anderson, E. Hunn, E., Pearsall, D., Turner, N., Wiley and Sons Publishers, New York, NY.




      globalization water and health book imageWhiteford, L. M., Whiteford, S. (eds.) 2005. Globalization, Water and Health: Resources in Times of Scarcity. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, NM.




      Trotz et al.  “Chapter 2. Water: Foundation for a Sustainable Future” in The Chemical Element. Chemistry’s Contribution to Our Global Future, J. García-Martínez, E. Serrano (Eds.), Wiley-VCH, 2011.




      Zhang, Q., et al. “Chapter 8: A Review of Life Cycle Assessment Studies on Renewable Energy from Forest Resources,” in Renewable Energy from Forest Resources in the U.S., (Editors: B.D. Solomon and V. Luzadis), Routledge, 2008.





    • Theses and Dissertations

      Theses and Dissertations

      Amini, A. (2014). Sustainable energy and nutrient recovery from swine waste. University of South Florida.

      Amini, A. (2017). The Sustainability of Ion Exchange Water Treatment Technology. University of South Florida. 

      Aponte-Morales, V.E.(2015). Ammonium Removal from High Strength Wastewater Using a Hybrid Ion Exchange Biological Process. University of South Florida.

      Bair, R.A. (2016). Development of a decentralized and off-grid anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) for urban sanitation in developing countries. University of South Florida. 

      Beasley, V. (2015). White pox prevalence and its relation to the human pathogen, Serratia marcescens, in the US Virgin Islands. University of Virgin Islands. 

      Boxman, S. (2013). Evaluation of a pilot land-based marine integrated aquaculture system. University of South Florida. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 181.

      Boxman, S. (2015). Resource Recovery through Halophyte Production in Marine Aquaponics: An Evaluation of the Nutrient Cycling and the Environmental Sustainability of Aquaponics. University of South Florida. 

      Cairns, M.R. (2014). Environment, rights, and waste in Bolivia: Addressing water and sanitation processes for improved infrastructure. University of South Florida. 

      Calabria, J. (2014). Wastewater nutrient recovery using anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) permeate for hydroponic fertigation.  University of South Florida. 

      Cornejo, P.K.(2015). Environmental sustainability of wastewater treatment plants integrated with resource recovery: The impact of context and scale.  University of South Florida. 

      Dixon, P.J. (2018). Impact of Substrate to Inoculum Ratio on Methane Production in High Solids Anaerobic Digestion(HS-AD) of Food Waste, Yard Waste, and Biosolids. University of South Florida. 

      Galvin, C. (2013). Embodied energy and carbon footprint of household latrines in rural peru: The impact of integrating resource recovery. University of South Florida.

      Gibson, D. (2014). Inactivation of Ascaris in double-vault urine-diverting composting latrines in Panama: Methods and environmental health engineering field applications. University of South Florida. 

      Gonzalez, P.A. (2017). Water, Sanitation, and Citizenship: Perceptions ofWater Scarcity, Reuse, and Sustainability inValparaiso de Goias, Brazil. University of South Florida. 

      Haberstroh, C. (2017). Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Applied to Urban Nutrient Management: Data Scarce Case Studies from Belize and Florida. University of South Florida. 

      Hadley, S. N. (2013). Assessment of a modified double agar layer method to detect bacteriophage for assessing the potential of wastewater reuse in rural bolivia. University of South Florida. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 125.

      Isaacs, W. (2017). Opportunities to Mainstream Gender in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects: A Case Study in Barbados.  University of South Florida. 

      Jalalizadeh, M. (2012). Development of an integrated process model for algae growth in a photobioreactor. University of South Florida. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 87.

      Kalivoda, M.D. (2017). Assessment and Modeling of Three Decentralized Resource Recovery Systems in the Cayes of the Belize Barrier Reef.  University of South Florida. 

      Kinyua, M. (2015). Energy production and effluent quality in tubular digesters treating livestock waste in rural Costa Rica.  University of South Florida. 

      Koenig, E.S. (2016). Baiting Sustainability: Collaborative Coastal Management, Heritage Tourism, and Alternative Fisheries in Placencia, Belize. University of South Florida. 

      Laureano-Rosario, A.E. (2018). Evaluating Beach Water Quality and Dengue Fever Risk Factors by Satellite Remote Sensing and Artificial Neural Networks. University of South Florida. 

      Lee, E. (2017). Carbon and Nutrient Balances in Microalgal Bioenergy System. University of South Florida.

      Lehigh, G.R. (2018). Capacity Building, Environmental Justice, and Brownfields Redevelopment:A Case Study of Harvest Hope Park, TampaBay, FL. University of South Florida. 

      Manser, N.D. (2015). The effects of solids retention time and feeding frequency on the fate of Ascaris suum ova and semi-continuous mesophilic anaerobic digester performance. University of South Florida. 

      Mo, W. (2012). Water’s Dependence on Energy: Analysis of Embodied Energy in Water and Wastewater Systems. University of South Florida. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 345.

      Naughton, C.C. (2016). Modeling Food Security, Energy, and Climate and Cultural Impacts of a Process: the Case Study of Shea Butter in Sub-Saharan Africa.  University of South Florida.

      Orner, K.D. (2019). Removal and Recovery of Nutrients from Wastewater in Urban and Rural Contexts. University of South Florida. 

      Payne, K.A. (2018). Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of Hybrid Adsorption and Biological Treatment Systems for Enhanced Nitrogen Removal. University of South Florida. 

      Peterson, M.A. (2016). The Effect of the Antecedent Dry Conditions on Nitrogen Removal for a Modified Bioretention System. University of South Florida. 

      Pratt, S.M. (2015). Landscape Legacies of Sugarcane Monoculture at Betty’s Hope Plantation, Antigua, West Indies. University of South Florida. 

      Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L.C. (2017). Advanced Treatment Technologies for Mitigation of Nitrogen and Off-flavor Compounds in Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. University of South Florida. 

      Santana, M.V.E. (2015). The effect of urbanization on the embodied energy of drinking water in Tampa, Florida. University of South Florida. 

      Symonds, E.M. (2016). Pepper Mild Mottle Virus as a Surrogate for Enteric Viruses: Implications for Assessing Water Quality. University of South Florida.

      Trimmer, J.T. (2015). Ecological sanitation in Uganda: Promotion though demonstration facilities and potential for Ascaris reduction by free ammonia inactivation using stored urine.  University of South Florida. 

      Vannoy, K.J. (2016). Modeling the Extent of Virus Removal in Waste Stabilization Ponds to Support Reuse of Wastewater. University of South Florida. 

      Verbyla, M. E. (2012). Assessing the reuse potential of wastewater for irrigation: The removal of helminth eggs from a UASB reactor and stabilization ponds in bolivia. University of South Florida. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 116.

      Verbyla, M.E. (2015). Pathogen Removal in Natural Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery Systems: Solutions for Small Cities in an Urbanizing World. University of South Florida. 

      Vickery, F.L. (2017). Behind the Lens: the Pride and Politics of Filmmaking in Ghana. University of South Florida. 

      Vitous, A. (2017). Impacts of Tourism Development on Livelihoods in Placencia Village, Belize. University of South Florida. 

      Wilbur, P. (2014). An evaluation of the use of composting latrines and the perceptions of excrement in Ngäbe communities in Panama. University of South Florida. 

      Williams, L. (2018). The Impact of Coral Species Diversity on White Plague Disease Transmission. University of Virgin Islands. 

  • Journal Articles

    Feldman, Allan, Kent A. Divoll, and Allyson, Rogan‐Klyve. “Becoming Researchers: The Participation of Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Scientific Research Groups.” Science Education 97.2 (2013): 218-243.

    Feldman, Allan, et al. “Inquiry-Based Science Education as Multiple Outcome Interdisciplinary Research and Learning (MOIRL).” Science Education International 23.4 (2012): 328-337.

    Lee, Hyunju, Allan Feldman, and Ian D. Beatty. “Factors that Affect Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Initial Implementation of Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment Using a Classroom Response System.” Journal of Science Education and Technology 21.5 (2012): 523-539.

    McKayle, Camille and Stolz, Robert, Interdisciplinary Curricular Innovations at the University of the Virgin Islands, Contributed Paper Session in Mathematical Biology, Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Francisco, January, 2010.

    Mihelcic, J.R. & Trotz, M.A. (2010). “Sustainability and the environmental engineer: implications for education, research, and practice,” in Environmental Engineer: Applied Research and Practice, Vol. I, Winter, 2009, in Environmental Engineer, the Magazine of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, 27-34.

    Feldman, Allan, Kent Divoll, and Allyson Rogan‐Klyve. “Research education of new scientists: Implications for science teacher education.” Journal of Research in Science Teaching 46.4 (2009): 442-459.

    Hokanson, D.R., J.R. Mihelcic, L.D. Phillips, “Educating Engineers in the Sustainable Futures Model with a Global Perpective: Education, Research & Diversity Initiatives,” International Journal of Engineering Education, 23(2):254-265, 2007. 00000023/00000002/art00008

    Mihelcic, J.R., L.D. Phillips, D.W. Watkins, “Integrating a Global Perspective into Engineering Education & Research:  Engineering International Sustainable Development,” Environmental Engineering Science, 23(3):426-438, 2006.

    Mihelcic, J.R. “Educating Tomorrow’s Global Engineer through a Unique Partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps,” Woman Engineer, 30-33, Fall, 2004.

    Books for Reference

    Mihelcic, J.R., “The Right Thing to Do: Graduate Education and Research in a Global and Human Context,” in What Is Global Engineering Education For? The Making of International and Global Engineering Educators (Eds: G.L. Downey and K. Beddoes), Morgan & Claypool Publishers, San Francisco, pg 235-250, 2010.



    Mihelcic, J.R. and D.R. Hokanson, “Educational Solutions: For a more Sustainable Future,” in Environmental Solutions, Eds: N.L. Nemerow and F.J. Agardy, Elsevier, pg. 25-58, 2005.





    Mihelcic Env Eng for Development WorkersMihelcic, J.R., E.A. Myre, L.M. Fry, L.D. Phillips, B.D. Barkdoll. Field Guide in Environmental Engineering for Development Workers: Water, Sanitation, Indoor Air, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Press, Reston, VA, 2009.





    Mihelcic Fundamentals of Env Eng copyMihelcic, J.R. Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, 335 pages, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, 1999.






    Mihelcic Fundamentos de Ingenieria copyMihelcic, J.R. Fundamentos de Ingenieria Ambiental, 384 pages, Limusa Wiley, Balderas, Mexico, 2001.






    CoverMihelcic Engenharia Ambiental copyMihelcic, J.R., J.B. Zimmerman, Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design, John Wiley & Sons, 2010. (translated into Portuguese)

  • Our PIRE program provides substantive two way international research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, post docs, and career so they are immersed in research topics of global importance that provide unique advantages of context, scale, and facilities.

    According to the National Academy of Sciences (2004), “the inherent complexity of nature and society, the desire to explore problems and questions that are not confined to a single discipline, and the need to solve societal problems” has driven the rapid integration of interdisciplinary thinking into research.  This type of thinking is critical for solving today’s grand challenges, as outlined by National Academy of Sciences and the UN Millennium Development Goals.  We envision that our international collaborations will catalyze the transfer of best ideas and practices so that participants experience bidirectional information transmission—the developed and developing worlds, and the past and present—informing one another and leading to innovations through mutually-beneficial transfers of knowledge (Zarger & Stepp, 2004; Mihelcic et al., 2007; Ramaswami et al., 2007).

    One goal of ours is for participants to understand their transformation to internationally competent researchers.  Our trainees will develop international competence and capability to seamlessly work across borders, institutions, agencies, and various stakeholder groups (NSF, 2006; Vanasupa et al., 2006; Cutler and Borrego, 2011). To develop this type of thinking, we have developed a program that includes the following:

    USF World

    NSF Office of International Science & Engineering Opportunities for Students and Faculty

    Fulbright Scholar Program

    Jefferson Science Fellowship

    Fellows spend one year at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C. that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions.

    Graduate Certificate in Water, Health, Sustainability

    Research Experience for Undergraduates – Globalization and Community Health: Combining Social Science and Engineering

    The REU Site “Globalization and Community Health: Combining Social Science and Engineering” provides undergraduate students with intensive interdisciplinary methodological and ethics training, mentorship, and practical experience in the conduct of community-based health research that brings together social sciences and civil and environmental engineering. The program is conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a region that is undergoing rapid changes associated with globalization in general, and tourism specifically, and where the PI-team has worked for the past ten years in close association with the Monteverde Institute and a variety of local stakeholders.  Each year the program involves 10 undergraduate students from engineering, medical anthropology, public health, and other health-related fields.

    Peace Corps Master’s International Program in Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Peace Corps Master’s International students gain a global perspective while performing research in an international context of economic, social, and environmental limitations (Mihelcic et al., 2006; Hokanson et al., 2007). The resulting research has been published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., McConville & Mihelcic, 2007; Mehl et al., 2011; Owens et al., 2011; Mihelcic et al., 2011; Held et al., 2012; Manser and Mihelcic, 2013) Note that Peace Corps funds the international training and field experience for 2+ years.  Peace Corps’ unique training to build international competence.  This training occurs during the first 2-3 months of a student’s arrival in country and consists of: (1) half day language immersions; (2) home-stay with a local family (after training, students either continue home-stays or move to private lodging in the local community); (3) techniques of “participatory approaches to community assessment” that include mapping and participatory management of projects; (4) training on how to incorporate gender, cultural context, and ethics into a project; and, (5) technical training.

    Advanced Biological Waste-to-Energy Technologies

    AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

    U.S. Department of State Fellowships

    USAID Science, Technology, Innovation

    University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability