Agriculture Reference
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movement that is beginning to have a positive impact in redefining human
relationships with the environment and with each other. Hawken writes in
Blessed Unrest that “if you look at the science that describes what is happen-
ing on earth today and aren't pessimistic, you don't have the correct data. If you
meet the people in this unnamed movement and aren't optimistic, you haven't got
a heart.” 2
This movement is composed of a diverse mix, a melting pot of farmer, writer,
architect, teacher, engineer, and countless others. Among this diverse collection of
emerging environmental stewards is a group with an intense passion for leading
this ecological revolution, today's generation of youth entering college. Each
year, we meet young people who make us optimistic. This generation is entering
college today with a much greater awareness of the issues, hungry for knowledge,
and eager to apply newly acquired knowledge in a way that makes a positive
difference in both their communities and globally. Service learning opportunities
provide students today with the ability to increase awareness of the social and
equity issues of sustainability and to apply technical knowledge in a manner that
provides students tangible feedback and results.
Sidebar: Engineers Without Borders-USA
Engineers Without Borders—USA (EWB-USA) is a nonprofit humanitarian
organization born in 2000 in San Pablo, Belize, with the visit of a civil en-
gineering professor, Bernard Amadei of the University of Colorado. Amadei
visited this small village of 250 to explore the possibility of designing and
implementing a solution for delivery of water to the village. Amadei returned
to the village in May 2001 with eight students from the university, and for
about $ 14,000 completed the project, not only providing water to the vil-
lage but also improving the quality of life for the villagers and strengthening
their community. * The EWB-USA “vision is of a world where all peo-
ple have access to the knowledge and resources with which to meet their
basic needs and promote sustainable development in such areas as water sup-
ply and sanitation, food production and processing, housing and construc-
tion, energy, transportation, and communication, income generation and em-
ployment creation.” The by-product of investment in communities in need
of this knowledge is the experience gained by emerging design profession-
als prepared to play a central leadership role in creating a more sustainable
* Engineers Without Borders-USA,, accessed August 22,
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