For the January Experience, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is offering students two opportunities to “dig in.”

In collaboration with the Escola Politécnica of the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin America Studies’ (DRCLAS) Brazil Studies Program, 11 Harvard and 11 Brazilian students will participate in a field study course in Brazil. Scot Martin, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry at SEAS, will lead the course on “Energy, Water and the Environment” from Jan. 6 to 21. Highlights include a visit to a water treatment facility in São Paulo; an exploration of Itaipú, the world’s largest hydroelectric plant; and stops at oil refineries and ethanol and biofuel manufacturers.

Engineers Without Borders, a student group dedicated to sustainable engineering, will use the extended winter break to continue its work in the Dominican Republic. With the guidance of Jim Rice, Mallinckrodt Professor of Engineering Sciences and Geophysics at SEAS, the team is devising a solution to clean up a contaminated water supply outside of the village of Constanza.

For a full list of January Experience activities at SEAS, ranging from short courses on MATLAB to seminars on communicating science to hands-on training for computer-aided design, visit the SEAS Web site.

— Michael Rutter