Instead of starting classes at ISA, every year the Master 2 students of our Environmental Science program start their school year with an unforgettable pedagogical experience in the Czech Republic.
A longstanding tradition of our Sustainable Management of Pollution specialization, this two-week study tour lets students jump right into the practical experience that is the core of the second year of our Master of Science and Engineering programs. Through courses, practicals, and industrial heritage site visits they are getting lots of hands-on experience in local pollution management issues.
This year students started the trip in České Budějovice, studying Ecological Restoration with our partner University of South Bohemia. They had an introduction lecture on ecological restoration followed by a field trip around South Bohemia, where they visited Sand-gravel Pits. Dr Klára Řehounková and Karel Prach addressed the beneficial aspects of spontaneous restoration of sand pits that happen to be suitable secondary habitats for endangered plant and animal species.
Next, they visited our partners at University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague to study Applied Microbial Ecology of Bioremediation. As part of this intensive week, students visited DIAMO, a former uranium chemical mining area, as well as a former Soviet military airbase that left the site heavily contaminated with jet fuel. To see how practices have evolved, they also visited a former waste water treatment plant from the beginning of the 20th century. This experience allows the students to compare with what they’ve learned during site visits in France and other regions of Europe: Belgium, Netherlands, etc, and their summer internships around the world.
Indeed, the international dimension of our programs is illustrated not just by the class’s destination, but also by their backgrounds. This year’s batch of 15 students comes from Ukraine, Ghana, Lebanon, France, India, Afghanistan, the United States, and Argentina. The hands-on experience during courses, coupled with the distinct knowledge each one brings to the class, gives our students a truly global perspective of sustainable management of pollution.
In addition to site visits, students worked in the lab to consolidate their technical knowledge.