This course proposes an interdisciplinary perspective, envisions unique synergies between environmental justice concepts and STEAM projects on mining, and aims to solidify a foundation based on justice, equity, equality, and empathy for STEM students and faculty. Our (S)TEAM made of professors in three academic departments underscores interdisciplinary and diversity connections through an interdisciplinary team-taught course, units on environmental justice related to mining, teaching of literary texts, and STEAM projects. We also involved faculty, alumni, and our campus and city community through STEAM exhibits.

Author/Artist Bio

Paula Farca earned her PhD in English Literature from Oklahoma State University. Her research and teaching interests focus on: contemporary literature (mainly indigenous and women’s literature) and environmental humanities. In addition to three textbooks on writing, Paula has published Identity in Place: Contemporary Indigenous Fiction by Women Writers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (2011) and edited Energy in Literature: Essays on Energy and Its Social and Environmental Implications in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literary Texts (2015). Her latest edited book, Make Waves: Water in Contemporary Literature and Film was published in 2019 with University of Nevada Press. Dr. Jürgen Brune is a Professor and Associate Department Head in Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). He received his undergraduate Diplom-Ingenieur degree in mining engineering from Clausthal University of Technology in Germany, a MSc in mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a doctorate in mining engineering (Dr.-Ing.) from Clausthal University of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado and in Europe (EUR-ING). Dr. Brune’s research focuses on fire and explosion safety in mines and tunnels, mine dust, and tracking and communications technologies in underground mines. He also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Mine Ventilation, Coal Mine Design, Mine Plant Design, and Mine Safety and Health Management. Dr. Brune started his career in the mining industry in 1983 with RWE-Rheinbraun where he was mine engineer at the Hambach Mine and Planning Manager for the Fortuna-Bergheim and Ville Mines. Following a career with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), he returned to the Colorado School of Mines in 2012 as a professor in Mining Engineering. Dr. Brune retired from the Colorado School of Mines in 2022 and continues working as a consulting engineer and adjunct professor. For more information, see https://people.mines.edu/jbrune Dr. Alina Handorean is a Teaching Professor in the Engineering, Design and Society and Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments at Colorado School of Mines, with many years of experience teaching a wide range of design and environmental engineering as well as biology and chemistry classes at various levels. Dr. Handorean earned her B.S. and M.S in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Bucharest, Romania and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis before completing a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer biology at the University of Colorado’s Health Sciences campus. Prior to joining Mines, Dr. Handorean was a Research Faculty/Lecturer in the Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Department at University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests are Environmental Engineering (Drinking Water, Bioaerosols), Chemistry, Cancer Biology, and Engineering Education/Pedagogy, and she’s passionate about teaching user-centered design, communication skills, and teamwork in her Cornerstone and Capstone design, Air Pollution and STEAM project classes.

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