IIE Networker - Spring 2009 - (Page 41)

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES The Desert as Meeting Place: Where Students from the Middle East and Around the World Come Together By Susan P. Stern and Michael M. Cohen ISSUES OF NATURAL resources distribution, control and utilization are subjects being addressed all over the world, and nowhere are these issues more relevant for study and exploration than in the Middle East. Resources such as water, issues of land use and energy have been sources of regional conflict for years, but recently the study of the environment has become increasingly connected to every aspect of our scientific, social, economic and political discussions. As a result, efforts to confront the results of past mismanagement of natural resources can now serve not only to combat environmental degradation, but also as an opportunity for renewed cooperation between peoples and countries with histories of conflict. Air pollution, water scarcity and usage, waste disposal, agricultural challenges and desertification in particular are some of the most pressing global environmental issues. Deserts and other dry lands constitute more than 40 percent of the global land area. Environmental changes such as global warming and further desertification of dry lands threaten more than a billion people in more than 100 countries. Governments and civilian organizations have mobilized to face these challenges, and students all over the globe want to learn tools to manage and reverse negative environmental consequences. In response to these global crises, academic institutions in Israel have developed international programs to meet the environmental challenges facing the region and the world. The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies are two related institutions working together on programs designed to address these challenges. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Ben-Gurion University of the Negev serves as a center of research in the areas of alternative energy, water resource management, global desertification challenges, and other topics. International undergraduate students can study the topics of Sustainable Developemnt and Environmental Justice is a unique Study Abroad semester at the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program through most universities in North America and Europe. The program includes Hebrew language course and three focused courses dealing with the history of the development of the Negev Desert, Water and resource management and a workshop based course that will give the students an independent study experience working on tists, 60 technical and administrative staff members, and over 100 Israeli and foreign research students studying within the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies. The prime areas of research are environmental physics, solar energy, water and wastewater resources, desert ecology, and desert architecture. Arava Institute for Environmental Studies The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, founded in 1996, is accredited with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Located on Kibbutz Ketura on the IsraeliJordanian border about 30 miles north of Academic institutions in Israel have developed international programs to meet the environmental challenges facing the region and the world. projects in a desert community. They will also have a methods and research course to enable them to work on individual projects of their own initiatives. Master’s and postgraduate degrees are offered at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at the Sede Boqer campus of Ben-Gurion University, as well as the Albert Katz Internatil School for Desert Studies, whose goal is to carry out research on the desert environment required for promoting sustainable uses of the Negev Desert and dry lands in other parts of the world. The Institutes for Desert Research were established in Sede-Boker in 1974, following a 1972 recommendation of the council for higher education and a 1973 decision of the Israeli government. In 1980, The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation made a generous contribution to BGU, and the institutes were named The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR). BIDR is currently home to 65 scienEilat, Israel and Aqaba, Jordan is the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region’s environmental challenges. On the undergraduate level students have the opportunity to study at the Arava Institute during the summer for four weeks and during the year for the fall and or spring semesters. On the graduate level the Arava Institute and Ben-Gurion University offer a two-year master’s program in Desert Studies or Renewable Energy with the first year at the Arava Institute and the second year at the Albert Katz International School of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research. The summer program is geared towards North American students, while the student body of the other undergraduate and master’s programs is one-third Israeli Jewish, one-third Arab from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan, and one41

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2009

IIE Networker - Spring 2009
 Message from Allan E. Goodman
 IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series: Edward Guiliano, President of New York Institute of Technology
 Best Practices in International Education: 2009 Andrew Heiskell Awards
 HRH Princess Ghida Talal of Jordan Receives IIE Humanitarian Award
 Qatar's Outstanding Schools Initiative: A New Model for International Linkages in Education
 The Community College of Qatar: New Initiative to Meet Emergent National Educational and Labor Market Goals
 Toward a UAE Liberal Studies Stream
 New York University Abu Dhabi and the Research University as Global Network
 Expanding Education Abroad in the Arab World
 The Middle East as a Study Abroad Destination
 Student Flows from the Middle East: Iranian and Saudi Arabian Students in the United States
 The Desert as Meeting Place: Where Students from the Middle East and Around the World Come Together
 A Race to the Top: Helping Jordan Win the Right Race
 The Browser: Index of Advertisers
 IIE Program Profile: IIE's Work in the MENA Region

IIE Networker - Spring 2009