I have been working to understand how the design of water systems can improve cities in incremental, localized and specific ways, through constructions such as rain barrels, rills and reed beds, that connect people to their locales and nature, work with natural systems that need time to respond and adapt, and protect water sources without undermining human development. In an effort to understand and impact the shifting urban realities of water contamination, reduced access to water and the hidden aspects of water infrastructure, I have been teaching a course called “Water Measure” for four years. This seminar presents water as a survival tool, defining object and mythic element essential to cities and people, and focuses on ways to incorporate water into the flexible, mutable urban condition to support human systems and ecological diversity. In addition, my recent writing and conference papers have examined water infrastructure and urban infrastructure as potentially overlapping and symbiotic systems that can occupy the marginalized spaces of the city.
Teaching and Outreach:
The Water and the World Praxis project is a community outreach opportunity for the Museum of Natural History, the Environmental Design Department and faculty from the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado. The Museum desires to develop a set of installations to promote environmental education, awareness of the Museum’s resources and understanding of Colorado’s water resources. In addition to this mission, Colorado is celebrating Water 2012 this year, and will extend activities into 2013 as many important dates for water law hit milestones. The 6 + 3 credit courses will be team-taught with Geography and Biology, where the 3 credit seminar is being taught by faculty from departments across the University, from Engineering to Law to Biology to Art. Construction of the installations is being supported by the Center for ReSource Conservation.