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Practicum

The WSSS Practicum is a chance for WSSS students to work in a small group on the integrated assessment of a water resources case study. The goal of the practicum is to expose students to the techniques and thought processes of integrated assessment in order to train them as researchers and professionals. In 2011, the WSSS Practicum was on the Alewife Brook and surrounding communities in Massachusetts. Prior years have explored water issues and coastal pollution on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas. The practicum is headed by Rusty Russell of the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department and input from other participating WSSS faculty.

WSSS 2011 Practicum in Alewife Brook, Massachusetts
2011 WSSS Practicum Group

2011 WSSS Practicum

2011 Student's list

Maggie Holmes, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Julia Ledewitz, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Sara Blankenship, The Fletcher School
Samantha Weaver, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

WSSS Student Julia Ledewitz wrote about the 2011 Practicum for the WSSS Newsletter: "The 2011 WSSS Practicum team has just completed a set of projects designed to address water quality and related health concerns in the Alewife Brook and surrounding communities. The Alewife is part of Tufts University’s home watershed, the Mystic River. The inter-disciplinary practicum team has undertaken this research in collaboration with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), a regional advocacy organization."

"The focus of their efforts includes the water quality challenges posed by the continuing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that afflict the Alewife, and efforts by adjacent communities - Somerville, Arlington, Cambridge and Belmont - to implement a complex set of stormwater remediation measures that are mandated by the federal Clean Water Act. Eight combined sewer overflow outfalls remain along Alewife Brook, and during moderate to heavy rainfalls these CSOs release raw sewage into the brook and then into the Mystic."

MyRWA has asked the four-student WSSS practicum team to analyze the impact of the water body classification variance under which the CSO reduction projects have been completed and to examine how future reduction projects would be affected if current water quality standards were downgraded."

2011 WSSS Practicum Participants

Maggie Holmes


Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Agriculture, Food and Environment Program

Julia Ledewitz


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Sara Blankenship


The Fletcher School
Department of International Relations

Samantha Weaver


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Past Practicums

2012 Practicum

2011 Practicum

2010 Practicum

2009 Practicum

2008 Practicum




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The Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program is a graduate research and education program that provides Tufts students with interdisciplinary perspectives and tools to manage water-related problems around the world.

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