Quality Enhancement Plan
Appendix F: Civic Inquiry Program -
Candidates for Year One Courses Include:
- Civil/Environmental Engineering 412: Hydrology and Watersheds
Analysis. Professor Philip Bedient engages students in his
revolutionary research on flood control and water quality issues
in Houston and the Gulf Coast region. Student groups evaluate
community risks for flooding using data they obtain on sites in
the Houston Metropolitan Area.
- Visual Arts 327: Documentary Production. Brian Huberman,
whose film credits include documentaries aired on PBS and a
widely respected cinematic oral history of Holocaust survivors,
teaches students the expressive possibilities of documentary film
production using digital systems.
- Spanish 440: Bilingualism: Cognitive, Linguistic and Social
Factors. Rafael Salaberry and his advanced students analyze
bilingualism from cognitive, linguistic and socio-cultural
viewpoints, while working directly with dual language schools and
the Hispanic community in Houston.
- Political Science 441: Common Property Resources. Common
property resources (CPRs), such as aquifers, fisheries and the
Internet, pose a fundamental governance dilemma involving
economic and political institutions because they are public goods
that can be privately consumed and depleted. Professor Rick
Wilson's students identify CPR issues in Houston, study community
organizations' efforts to resolve them, and present their
findings to community partners.
- Sociology 309: Race and Ethnic Relations. Michael Emerson's
students study historical and contemporary theories of race and
ethnic relations in the U.S., while conducting field-work in
Houston neighborhoods, focused on group patterns of assimilation
- Architecture 426/429: Designing the Low-Cost House. Under the
auspices of the Rice Building Workshop, students collaborate with
community organizations to design, permit, and construct a small
house in mid-town Houston for Project Row House, a noted
grassroots project promoting neighborhood revitalization and
- Bioengineering 451: Design I (Maria Oden). In this
project-based course, senior Bioengineering students, working in
teams, design devices in biotechnology or biomedicine in
collaboration with partner researchers and physicians in the
Texas Medical Center.
- Biosciences 310: Independent Study for Undergraduates. In
concert with the Consortium in Conservation Biology Zoo Project,
students in Professor Lisa Meffert's course conduct research on
endangered species at the Houston Zoo.
- Sociology 308: Houston: The Sociology of a City (Stephen
Klineberg). Students in this course assist in the design,
administration, and analysis of the Houston Area Survey, which
for two decades has set the standard for urban sociology case
study research on a major metropolitan area in order to explore
contemporary social change.