Using International Water Studies to Attract Women to Science and Engineering Studies


Recruiting women for engineering and science programs is a major focus for many U.S. universities and for our nation in general. Studies have shown that there are specific actions that can be taken to improve those recruiting efforts including K-12 outreach, presenting engineering and science as "caring" professions, and providing hands-on opportunities for students. Learning/living communities have been shown to be an effective tool for retaining undergraduate students in general. The concept of a learning community has been combined with the "caring" concept to attract and retain women interested in studying engineering and science by focusing on water supply studies to reduce infant mortality rates in rural Guatemala. Students enrolled in the learning community class field trip have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Guatemala. The water study materials have been incorporated into pre-college outreach because a quantitative yield analysis has shown that hands-on pre-college programs are effective at recruiting women.

Meeting Name

2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress: Restoring Our Natural Habitat (2007: May 15-19, Tampa, FL)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department



Environ. Water Resour. Inst. (EWRI) Am. Soc. Civ. Eng. (ASCE)

Keywords and Phrases

Effective tool; Field trips; Guatemala; Infant mortality rates; International waters; K12 outreach; Learning community; Pre-college outreach; Quantitative yields; Science and engineering; Science programs; Undergraduate students; Water study; Ecosystems; Professional aspects; Students; Water supply; Water resources

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2007