University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Water Justice

Water Justice (SOC3009 | crosslisted as EVST3009) is a University Honors seminar with a study tour to Mexico!

Meeting Time is TR 11:00 - 12:20, BOK: DC, SE

Read an article about this class released by the University of Cincinnati in December 2013.


Water is the source of all life on earth and in this respect it is an important ‘commons’. However, climate change, privatization, and poor management are placing the world’s water resources under stress. For the world’s poor the right to access affordable clean water is becoming increasingly difficult. Similarly the health of water ecosystems is being compromised. This course will study the economic, cultural, social, environmental, and political importance of water. Students will be encouraged to critically assess different modes of water governance all the while studying the daily struggles encountered by people, communities, and animals the world over to access scarce water resources.

 International Component:

Students will be traveling to the Maya Riviera to visit a variety of waterways and water related sites (cenotes, UNESCO water reserve, Maya ruins, underground rivers) to learn about the complex ways in which society, culture, environmental preservation, and economy interact. They will study different examples of environmental restoration and social projects aimed at conserving and/or increasing the public’s awareness and appreciation of scarce water resources in the region. Students will use information gathered from these site visits to critically evaluate theories studied in class, as well as applying theoretical concepts they have been introduced to in the classroom to their fieldwork. This integration of environmental theory with the study of real life situations in the region will enhance the student's ability to critically evaluate how social, environmental, economic, cultural, and political forces shape the supply and quality of the world’s water resources.

Tentative Intinerary

December 11 – Depart for Mexico
December 12 – Rio Secreto*
December 13 – Chichen Itza & Cenote tour
December 14 – Sian Ka’an
December 15 – Rio Lagartos & Ek Balam tour
December 16 – Tour of Genesis Ecolodge
December 17 – Valladolid City tour & Kawa Cave
December 18 – Free day
December 19 – Return to Cincinnati

*Students who are very uncomfortable in enclosed spaces may opt out of participating in some activities on this site visit with approval from Prof. Parr.

Course Information

Course details:

     •  This course is crosslisted as both SOC3009 and EVST3009, you are able to choose the course number with which to enroll.

     •  Meeting day and time are TR 11:0-0 -12:20.

     •  Course Attributes: H, I

     •  BoK: DC, SE

     •  Credit hours: 3

     •  Honors Seminar

Course Expectations

Students are expected to meet the instructor's academic and behavioral expectations during the class time leading up to the travel component. Students who do not meet academic and/or behavioral expectations will not be permitted to travel. Students in this situation will not receive a refund.


Total expected cost to be paid to UC is $1400. The actual cost per person for UC is $2300, but this will be offset by a $900 grant from University Honorsl, making the actual total expected cost around $1400. All participants will receive the grant from UHP.

Costs include airfare, accommodations, some meals, some ground transportation, and guides.

Costs do not include passport, tips, some meals and snacks, vaccinations, personal supplies, souvenirs, or ISIC (international student identity card, $25). It is recommended that students bring at least $100 USD with them.

Students are required to purchase an ISIC (International Student Identification Card) from UC International for $25. This is not included in the total expected cost.


The application for this class is closed.

Please note: you must be able to swim in order to participate in this course and study tour.

UC undergraduates who are not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to apply, provided the student has a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll. Priority is given to University Honors students, but we are often able to offer spaces to other students as well. A waiting list will be maintained.

Travel Documents

In order to travel outside the United States, you will need to have passport that is valid for at least six months after your return; for this course, that means June 19, 2014.  To find the forms you need to apply for or renew your passport, go to the Passport page on the US State Department's website.  New passports regualrly cost $135 while renewals cost $110.

UC requires that all students have an International Student Identification Card (ISIC).  UC International has information regarding how to obtain an ISIC.  ISICs are $25.


Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's page for Mexico.  Talk to your doctor about which vaccines to get, if any.


Please contact seminar professor Dr. Adrian Parr or André Durham of the University Honors Program.