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AU Water Project

AU Water Project


Starting in Fall 2013, more than 25 SOC faculty members agreed to incorporate water issues in course assignments over the next two academic years. They embraced the potential for a school-wide focus on a critical area of public importance. The goal of the water project is to engage students in communicating water problems and solutions and to demonstrate the value of sharing work across our academic divisions.

Students are mapping the treatment of the issue in their professional fields and producing new reporting, strategic communication campaigns, media productions and communication research. Topics include safe drinking water, water scarcity, pollution and toxic contamination, conservation and resources management, hygiene and sanitation, at the intersections of food and agriculture and energy and water, all with scientific, economic, political, legal, and ethical dimensions.

Full News Story: Water Project Catalyzes Communication Students

Student Work & Partnership Highlights

SOC Cheasapeake Bay

Photo: Walt Hubis

The Long Road to Recovery: View Timeline

The Chesapeake Bay is a major source of economic and ecological value for the more than 17 million people living in the area. Graduate journalism student Mary Bowerman investigates the conflict between farmers and environmentalists on the regulation of phosphorous in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Bowerman's timeline and audio interviews outline the long road to restoring the Chesapeake Bay from the notice of decline in the 1960's to the present struggle to implement stricter agricultural practices.

Raise the River

In the spirit of collaboration, Raise the River teamed up with SOC's animation and motion graphics students to create PSAs highlighting the story of the Colorado River's Delta, water use issues, and promoting a new water ethic.

The Redford Center
donated all the elements of its "Watershed" documentary for use by the students in their productions.

Watch all the student PSA's here.


Travis Bozeman Water Essay

Photo: Travis Bozeman

Wastewater: Beauty Within Human Innovation

Photography student Travis Bozeman highlights the innovation and beauty behind DC’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant through photos. Providing collection and treatment services to more than two million customers, it is the largest plant in the world. Through the facility, DC Water continues to be a champion of protecting and restoring area waterways.

View his photos here.

TapIt: 10 Reasons to Drink Tap Water

Students in Professor Larry Engel's Film and Video Production course partnered with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) to produce short films with the TapIt DC initiative.

The TapIt network partners with the local community to encourage going bottle-less to reduce waste and stay healthy.

Watch all the TapIt DC film here.


Gillian Ray filming

Photo: Bill Gentile

“Saving the Bay”

Film and Media Arts student Gillian Ray interviews Jamie, a 15-year-old girl from Edgewater, MD, for her short documentary. Committed to preserving the Bay, Jamie has been oyster gardening for the past seven years.

Learn more about Jamie's effort to save the Bay here.

SOC DeCourcey Anacostia

No longer the "Forgotten River"

The 8.5 mile Anacostia River starts in Prince George's County Maryland and runs through Washington, D.C. Toxic contaminants and bacteria pollute the river, and in 1994 an advisory against fish consumption went into effect. SOC graduate journalism student Danelle DeCourcey talks to leading environmental advocates about the road to a better Anacostia River.

Read the full article | Hear more from local experts below.