How can I best involve myself in the Social/Political cause against Water Privatization?
March 6, 2008 7:05 AM   Subscribe

How can I best involve myself in the Social/Political cause against Water Privatization?

I am 20 years old, a junior at the University of California San Diego. I am an International Studies Sociology major, but over the last couple of months I've been thinking about important issues that I want to work in and the world's water crisis has been at the top of my list. I was thinking originally about finishing my sociology degree while taking math/science/bio courses so that I could be eligible for a Hydrology graduate program. As I was looking into Hydrology programs, to see if this would cut it, it seems that they generally prefer pure science majors, such as Geology/Bio/Chem/Engineering. I am not particularly math/science oriented, I am much more of a humanities sort of person, so I am very confused about what I ought to do.

Another question I'm facing is if getting a Hydrology Degree is the best way I can address this problem. I want to be apart of the solution, but I want to be able to be apply my particular strengths to the cause, which I feel are not mathematical or scientific.

If I were to finish my sociology degree are their career possibilities involved in this?

Please help.
As I am supposed to pick my classes at the University of Chile soon...tomorrow. But I will have a month to alter my schedule.

University of California Davis has an undergraduate hydrology program, and I was thinking of possibly transferring. But that obviously is a step ahead.

Thank you all for the helpful comments. I would especially love to hear from actual hydrologists.
posted by albernathy0 to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am not a hydrologist, but I have worked with them.

Basically, it's a question of whether you want to work on the technical or social/policy aspects of water privitization -- if the technical side interests you, go into hydrology, some sort of engineering, etc. If it's the social/policy side, go into policy analysis, planning, etc -- some sort of social science-based professional degree that looks at how to plan, assess, and manage programs.

Either way, some sciency classes will do you no harm.
posted by Forktine at 7:24 AM on March 6, 2008

What Forktine said, if you do go the policy route - and that seems to me to be the route that will fit your desire to go into pursuing a cause - you could perhaps look for a graduate programme in the area of regulation or regulatory economics, these would typically be offered by business schools or schools concerned with public policy. If you're prepared for a longer haul then consider a PhD. This guy sounds like the hot academic in the water regulation area in California, though he has a more climate change perspective than you.
posted by biffa at 7:43 AM on March 6, 2008

I am a engineer in a Graduate Hydrology program. My undergrad was biomedical engineering, but I had no trouble getting into grad hydrology programs.

At my school, there is a Soil and Water Science department, which deals with many of the same topics that we deal with, except less mathily. I also know quite a few grad students in the Anthropology department that work on water policy issues, as well as hydrological modeling projects. Several of my friends have IGERT PhD fellowships, which allow you to define which department(s) you want to work in, and what kind of project (science, policy, engineering, both..) you want to work on. I also know some environmental law grads who deal with quite a bit of water policy.

To suit your particular strengths, maybe consider a major/minor in something along the lines of anthropology/environmental science, but basically something more sciencey (not necessarily mathy) combined with a subject more on the human/regulatory side of it as well. Of course, it depends on the subjects offered at your university.
posted by hybridvigor at 7:59 AM on March 6, 2008

If you were at UC Berkeley, you'd want to consider the Energy & Resources Group, maybe the Society & Environment program (or also maybe Geography -- both departments have good classes on the intersection of natural resource issues, economics, and social justice), a couple classes from the School of Public Policy, and then you could intern at the Pacific Institute. Hmm, Ag & Resources Economics is a good call, too.
posted by salvia at 8:31 AM on March 6, 2008

« Older mobile phone/email in ethiopia?   |   Help me choose a sport Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.