Description: COVID 19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. A pandemic refers to a disease epidemic that spread over several countries or continents. An epidemic disease refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in a given population in a specific area.
In addition to the primary impact on human health, the sudden increase in COVID 19 cases in California has the potential to negatively impact the quality of life. This occurs when existing non-medical infrastructure (e.g., water and energy utilities and transportation) lacks resiliency to withstand the projected intensity of the pandemic. The situation is worse for communities that are already marginalized (e.g., low-income and ethnic minority groups).
Acknowledging the critical role infrastructure systems have in intensifying or alleviating the vulnerability of communities to pandemics, this course will provide students with the opportunity to evaluate the capacity of water, energy and or transportation infrastructure to pandemics and propose potential innovations to tackle the pandemic with the goal of reducing the risk of negative impacts from COVID 19.
Expected Course Outcomes: By the end of the quarter students will be able to demonstrate the ability to evaluate the capacity of US infrastructure (e.g., transportation and water) to handle the impacts of COVID 19 pandemic. For the purpose of this course, categories of capacity are:
- Social capacity - for a given service: what is the gap between the levels of service provided and what is needed? What are the institutional (e.g., standards and policies) framework and human resources needed to provide the services?
- Economic capacity - how much does it cost to provide services, what are the financial services available (loans, subsidies, bonds etc.)
- Environmental capacity - availability of natural resources to provide services, impact on the environment (i.e., level of carrying capacity and stress to the environment).
- Students identify appropriate social, economic and environmental (SEE) variables that impact infrastructure capacity pre, during and post-pandemic
- Students demonstrate an understanding of how individual SEE variables inform infrastructure capacity pre, during and post-pandemic
- Student develop an infrastructure capacity analysis which reflects evaluation of all SEE variables
Grading: Class participation and attendance (15%), Peer Evaluation (5%), Sector Paper (25%), Group Presentations (30%), Final Report (25%).
Picture credit: https://www.bendoregon.gov/services/covid-19-information