UNIV 349-01

Global Experience - Dominican Republic

Cookstove Design and Indoor Air Quality Assessment

Spring 2015 - 3 credits

Dominican Republic


This course and study tour works in collaboration with an NGO in Angostura, Dominican Republic, to adapt existing cook stove technology and troubleshoot a community-based hydroelectric power system. During the spring semester, 2015, we will be meeting weekly to learn about the nature and context of the problems and begin working in teams to develop our solutions. Our task is to combine specifications provided by the NGO and feedback from the community to improve the operation of their USAID-designed stoves. We will come up with some alternative designs to improve efficiency of operation, cost effectiveness and sustainability while also remediating indoor air pollution.

During the tour, May 14-May 27, we will build prototypes of the stoves and demonstrate their operation to the community. We will also be doing some indoor pollution monitoring of cook stoves in the village and recommending different forms of abatement. Finally, we will do a SWOT analysis to evaluate the existing hydroelectric system and make recommendations for improvement.


Jon Goss
2101 Price Hall
Jeanna Matthews
389 Science Center
Office Hours: SC 334/336; MWF2-3, WF 4-5
Al Rossner
122 TAC
Office Hours:


Class Times (Tentative): Fridays 11-12:15 (Price Hall Classroom, Price 2001)
Trip Dates: May 14 - May 27 2015

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course and study tour students will demonstrate:

  • Critical understanding of environmental sustainability and social justice
  • Increased capacity for teamwork and problem-solving
  • Recognition of the responsibilities of local, national, and global citizenship
  • Appreciation of social and cultural diversity
  • Ability to adapt to an unfamiliar context
  • Critical reflection on overseas experience
  • EF College Study Tours

    Our Trip Details
    EF College Study Tours Enrollment Booklet


    Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
    World Heath Organization Information on Indoor Air Pollution
    Some existing cookstove designs (Spanish): Norca, Duncan


    The Dominican Republic: A National History, Frank Moya Pons

    Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionary


    Black in Latin America: Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

    Pre-Trip Activities

    During-Trip Activities

    Post-Trip Activities

    Tentative Syllabus

    Date Topic Other Notes
    First class meeting, WHO concerns about indoor air quality, Brief introduction to current cookstove designs, A few notes about preparing for travel (passports, immunizations, registering/paying for trip) CDC Health Information for Travelers to the Dominican Republic
    Travel Clinic (First Thursday of each month Feb 5 and March 5 would be ideal)
    EF College Study Tours Enrollment Booklet
    Thursday 1/15 5:30-7:30 Price Hall, Dinner/Music/Dance/Getting Acquainted :-)
    Friday 1/16 More detailed look at current cookstove designs, brainstorm goals for the course (Al)
    Friday 1/23 A bit of Dominican History and Culture (Jeanna)
    Friday 1/30 Indoor air quality sensors/data collection (Al) DEADLINE FOR REGISTERING FOR TRIP WITH EF College Study Tours
    Friday 2/6 Basic Spanish lessons, Current news and issues in the Dominican Republic, Relations with the US, Immigration (Jeanna) BBC News Dominican Republic Country Profile

    Immigrants from the Dominican Republic in the United States

    2/2015: Thousands of Dominicans Woke Up This Week Without Citizenship in Any Country

    The Economist: Dominican Republic

    A popular president

    Mr. Vice President, All in Not Well in the DR
    Friday 2/13 February Break
    Friday 2/20 Documentary: Black in Latin America (Jeanna)
    Friday 2/27 Cookstove design discussions/draft presentations; Detailed questions to send to hosts (Al)
    Friday 3/6 Discuss current cookstove design proposals (Al)
    Friday 3/13 Script/vocabulary for visiting homes for data collection (Jeanna)
    Discuss ideas for everyone's powerpoints
    Friday 3/20 Spring break
    Friday 3/27 Two air quality monitoring presentations; Discuss plans for getting to JFK
    Friday 4/3 Three air quality monitoring presentations (Samantha and Jocelyn, Ben and Stephen, Christal and Kay); 1 cultural presentation (Aileen) CleanCookStoves:DR CleanCookStoves: Stoves
    Friday 4/10 Cultural presentations (Christal, Zoe, Samantha, Emily, Liz, Jocelyn)
    Friday 4/17 Expectation for final report, take pictures, SWAT Analysis (Al)
    Friday 4/24 Last cultural presentations (Ben, Stephen, Kay), Survival Spanish Quiz, Discuss script for survey Must pass survival Spanish quiz before end of semester
    Thursday 4/30 11:45-2:45 PM, Final exam slot, Any final presentations, Last chance Survival Spanish quiz, Review of the basics, Dominican dinner (?), More Merengue/Bachata lessons (?), Trip logistics review/discussion
    Wednesday 5/13 Travel to NYC, Meet at hotel near airport
    Thursday 5/14 Fly to Santo Domingo
    Friday 5/15 Travel to Angostura
    Wednesday 5/27 Return to the US