WKU offers flood management course

Aaron Frasier

Students will have the opportunity to study away with the engineering department during the 2011 winter term as a part of the “Total Immersion Floodplain Management” course.

The course is provided through WKU’s Study Away program, which Director Jerry Barnaby describes as domestic off-campus study.

Unlike studying abroad, Study Away does not require a passport since courses take place within the United States.

“Students will have a very packed thirteen days,” said Warren Campbell, the course instructor and associate professor of engineering.

Campbell said students will start by going to Phoenix to tour the Flood Control District of Maricopa County.

The students will also travel to Hoover Dam and Boulder City, Nev. Campbell said that Hoover Dam is important to flood management because the building of the dam brought the inspiration for many others that have since been built.

Cave City junior Emily Kinslow said that she is going to enjoy getting to do hands-on work and seeing what she studies in the classroom.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

Of the places she will go for the course, Kinslow said she is most excited about seeing Hoover Dam.

“This is what I want to do,” she said. “I want to be able to see the measures people will take to prevent flooding.”

Students will also travel to the “basement of America,” Death Valley, as well as Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the United States, Campbell said. Other destinations include the Salt Sea, San Diego County, and the 13th-largest county in the United States, Clark County.

Campbell said the course will need at least eight students in order to take place.

WKU has the only floodplain management minor in the United States, Campbell said.

“Thirty-six students have passed our floodplain management program and 13 states have decreased in flood problems, so we are doing our job,” Campbell said.

It will depend on the response this winter as to whether the class is offered again, he said.