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Buffalo Bayou Service Project

student looking into microscopeGoal: $3,000 – provides project supplies, transportation and food 
for participants

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Each year, departments across UHD participate in the annual Buffalo Bayou Service Project. This campus-wide project was created to help Houston-area high school students gain a better understanding of the importance of Buffalo Bayou. High school students are led through a series of activities created by different academic departments and guided by UHD students. The day culminates in a boat ride and tour of the bayou itself provided by Dr. Brad Hoge, associate professor of ecology and science education and is director of the Houston Urban Network for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (HUNSTEM).

Led by Dr. Poonam Gulati Salhotra, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, the Buffalo Bayou Service Project has become a signature event at UHD. Last year' activities included: 

  • The Forgotten Peoples of the Bayou – An interactive learning experience aimed at increasing awareness of the diverse communities that have shaped Houston's history. Students learned firsthand about the experience of the historical Houstonians through a fast-paced interview game. The series of thought-provoking and inclusive characterizations were developed by the student members of UHD's Garna Christian Chapter of the Walter Prescott Webb Society and the Students for Social Justice and Change, in collaboration with the Center for Critical Race Studies and the UHD Honors Program. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Mari Nicholson-Preuss, director of UHD's Honors Program, and Dr. Vida Robertson, director of the Center for Critical Race Studies. 
  • Flood Risk – Students learned about Buffalo Bayou history, flood cost damages, potential damages, new flood mitigation innovation introduction, and visualization of the risk management process. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Pamela Hurley, associate professor of management, marketing and business administration. 
  • Oil Spill Cleanup – The use of soap for cleaning was first recorded in 2800 B.C. and the method for its preparation has not change significantly over the millennia. Students explored how soap cleans using a variety of water samples. The students determined the main difference between the available water samples using the generated data and proposed a reasonable model for the cleaning process. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Eszter Trufan, associate professor of natural sciences. 
  • Technical Communications – Students learned how to be effective technical communicators. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Natalya Matveeva, associate professor of English. 

The Buffalo Bayou Service Project needs funding to improve upon and expand its curriculum; increase enrollment opportunities for UHD students and high-school students; increase the number of subject matter expert guest speakers; and provide project supplies, transportation and food for participants.

Last updated 11/28/2017 12:17 PM