Sustainability in the Middle East
From May 24 to June 8, students from Columbia University and Tel Aviv University will travel through the Middle East—arguably one of the most complex regions in the world — to learn about environmental challenges facing the countries of Jordan and Israel. They will be posting on State of the Planet about their experiences. You can also follow them on social media at #CUJordanIsrael2016.
Led by Professor Joshua Fisher from Columbia University and Natalia Gutkowski from Tel Aviv University, the students learn about how the two countries are cooperating on environmental issues and managing shared natural resources. The fieldwork is an integral component of the course NECR K4260 Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East, which is part of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at the School of Professional Studies.
The course is a product of a partnership between Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Professional Studies, and Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies and Center for Innovation in Transportation. It was organized in collaboration with Columbia’s Global Center in Amman, and significant contributions were made to the curriculum by Dr. Shahar Sadeh, who is a visiting scholar and the director of the Faculty Engagement Initiative at New York University.
This year marks the third time the program has been offered. In addition to covering topics of water resource management and regional collaboration that were covered in years past, students also will learn about the impact of refugees on scarce natural resources and the linkages between the environment, conservation and transportation.
Since its inception in 2013, the program has attracted students from diverse backgrounds and interest areas.