For the past two summers, faculty from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of New Mexico have directed a U.S.National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site focusing on issues in international water resources. (See REU Site on Water Resources in Developing Countries, www.nd.edu/~reuwater/). The overarching objective of this project is to engage and educate U.S. students in the issues and problems facing the world's nations in water resource development and potable water supply.
The stated goals of the REU program are to expand student participation in all areas of research, and specifically, to attract a diverse group of students into the fields of science and engineering, including graduate-level studies. In addition, international REU sites often seek to develop students who can be “globally competent;” that is, understand science and engineering in frameworks other than a North American perspective. (More information on international REU sites and site development can be found at www.nsftokyo.org/ and www.nsf.gov/sbe/int/.)