Jun 17, 2019
Fresno State students examine projects during the 4th annual interdisciplinary research open house in the Henry Madden Library on April 17, 2017. (Khone Saysamongdy/ The Collegian)

‘Water’ you learning about? Students showcase water sustainability projects

The third-annual Reading About Water Student Showcase kicked off in the Henry Madden Library on Monday.

The showcase is coordinated by the Fresno State Water Cohort, which includes faculty representatives from colleges from across the university, and displays the work of more than 400 students from different departments.

“We try to have a different book each year, and, of course, we see it from different angles within the [participating] class,” said David Drexler, a faculty member for digital services in the library. “The purpose of the student water showcase is to [allow] the students participating to have a chance to showcase some of the work they’re doing.”

For the past three years, participating faculty members integrated the chosen text into their curriculums. Students who complete the book are then tasked with a project that will illuminate information from the text based on their area of study.

More than a dozen classes at Fresno State participated in reading “Blue Mind” by Wallace J. Nichols. The book focuses on the psychological aspects and benefits of being near water.

Some of the departments represented at the showcase include the Craig School of Business, the College of Science and Math, the English department, the educational administration department, the social work department and the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences.

Alexandra Bulatov, a freshman biology major, took part in the showcase through her water sustainability research class.

“I loved the book just because it gave a lot of influence on how water is really important to our sustainability and to how we work and how many things it can contribute for,” Bulatov said.

Bulatov and her classmates were challenged with an informational graph which reflects water sustainability issues, to create an art piece representing that graph.

Bulatov’s group chose a graph on glacier decline. The final drawing showed a polar bear standing on a melting iceberg with a dark, polluted industrial skyline in the background.

“Global warming causes the decline of glaciers which obviously affects polar bears, so that’s what we chose our project to be about just because [global warming] affects lots of species, mainly polar bears,” Bulatov said.

Overall participation in the reading provided a great learning experience on how to conserve and understand water usage, Bulatov said.

“We want students to be informed citizens when it comes to water usage,” Drexler said. “Making sure students understand the issues that surround water, especially here in California which is more complicated than other places.”

As for the exhibit, students are able to see each other’s work and to connect with departments they’re not usually involved with, Drexler said.

The Reading About Water Student Showcase will be on display on the third floor of the Henry Madden Library for three weeks.

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