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Next time you fill a glass from your faucet, consider this: There's a 97 percent chance that you're drinking groundwater. Groundwater comes from cracks in the bedrock or tiny spaces between particles of soil. So when it becomes contaminated, it's extremely difficult—and sometimes impossible—to clean it up. Polluted groundwater can spread undetected in any direction from the pollution point. And the consequences can be disastrous. But with the help of computational science, geologists and environmental scientists can predict where and how quickly an underground contaminant will spread. This makes efficient cleanup possible. In a course called "Computational Environmental Science," you'll use calculus and geology to build a computational model of a real-life tragedy: a chemical contamination that caused multiple cases of childhood leukemia in a U.S. city. Like the scientists who actually cracked the case, you'll figure out which company was responsible for contaminating the water supply. This is only one example of how computational science can be used to advance the study of environmental science.
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