Religious Studies

Dr. James Englehardt, Dr. Kenneth Broad, Dr. Kamal Premaratne, Dr. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Dr. Miroslav Kubat, Dr. Sebastian Eilert, and Dr. Kiara Timpano
EFRI-SEED: Design for Autonomous Net-Zero Water Buildings:
The focus of this project is the development of principles for the design of net-zero water buildings, off the water grid. These principles represent a paradigm shift from centralized reduction of oxygen demand, to energy-minimal conveyance and permanent destruction of pharmaceuticals, responsive to technological evolution. Three broad objectives include: 1) Development of a low-energy process to allow net-zero water operation of buildings, while destroying pharmaceuticals in wastewater. Difficulty in laboratory-simulation of closed-loop reuse will be overcome by implementation at a dorm unit, with student involvement. Energy- and residuals-intensive reverse osmosis (RO) treatment will be avoided through well-derived drinking water, advanced oxidation, and iron-mediated aeration/ultra-low-energy membrane filtration. 2) Development of an understanding of barriers to public acceptance, through behavioral simulations, interviews, and focus groups will first identify individual and group barriers to adoption and then test approaches for improving sociocultural acceptability. Design components including cisterns, residuals storage, annual maintenance, and natural water releases will be considered within the theoretical framework of New Urbanist architecture. 3) Development of algorithms for detection of risk in real time from continuous water quality data, using methods of evidence fusion and machine learning, to ensure system safety.

Dr. Louis Herns Marcelin
Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development (INURED):
The Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development (INURED or the Institute) is a research and higher education establishment based in Haiti. INURED’s mission is to contribute to the development of high-level research and scientific training in Haiti with the aim of improving the educational, socioeconomic and political conditions of Haiti’s people.  INURED conducts three types of activities: Higher Education Research and Training; Production, Centralization and Diffusion of Knowledge; and Community Intervention.  Notable projects include: participatory research in Cité Soleil to gather baseline data on experiences and quality of life of its residents, which involved creating a Community Advisory Council of grassroots leaders and the Community Forum for Cité Soleil to channel the voice of community members; the Youth-to-Youth Connection initiative that connects UM students with young people in Cité Soleil for information-technology training, international exchange, and educational development; addressing the dramatic loss of human capital following the earthquake; Societal Dynamics and Fragility in Haiti, which produced a report to lay a foundation for intervention projects; and Diaspora Engagement in Crisis Settings: Haiti Case Study, which examines how overseas citizens influence their homeland’s capacity for recovery.  INURED’s Website

Dr. Sharon Smith and Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele
Oceans and Human Health Center Grant:
The focus of the Recreational Microbes group is to evaluate the relationships between human health and the physical/microbial characteristics of coastal waters.  Our focus has been to evaluate strategies by which beaches may be classified as safe for recreational purposes.  Much of our work has focused on evaluating the role of beach sand in retaining contaminants and releasing them into the adjacent water.  This work is part of a multi-million dollar Center funded through the NIEHS and NSF.  We work extensively with Miami-Dade Department of Health.  They participate in our studies and we in turn provide them with training opportunities for their employees.  We also conduct education and outreach activities as part of the Center including development of outreach and educational materials with funding from CDC and the Florida Dept of Health, for healthcare providers, patients, tourists, the media, and community organizations in the exposures and health effects of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs); sponsorship and scientific support for the toll-free Aquatic Toxins Hotline (888-232-8635) of the South Florida Poison Control Information Center, Miami.
Oceans and Human Health Center’s Website