WATgreen Committee Meeting Minutes for February 8, 1996

Present: James Kay, Royden Fraser, Jim Robinson, George Priddle, Paul Eagles, Hamish Duthie, Donna Schell, Winston Cherry, Bob Elliott, Patti Cook, Keith Warriner.

1. Minutes of the meeting held December 6, 1995 approved. Note: they are available on the WATgreen WWW page.

2. No business arose from the minutes.

3. Update on Environmental Education for Faculty - Keith Warriner

Keith has gathered quite a bit of information, and was now wondering what the size and contents of the package should be to go out to all faculty? It was determined that not all faculty would receive the package, but perhaps we could add some materials for 'educational support' to the pamphlet and send that out to all faculty. And the package of materials (when assembled) would be available to those who requested it. The information could also be available on the WATgreen WWW site. Also perhaps Chris Redmond and UWInfo would be interested in it, and even a story for the Gazette would be helpful. It will contain information for all disciplines to help in the understanding of where each can fit in.

Keith will contact the TRACE office for some assistance on the package content. The package, the updated pamphlet, an updated presentation package for presentations to Faculty councils, and all the publicity ideas will be ready by the Spring (?!).

4. Update of conversations with TRACE - Paul Eagles

Paul indicated that TRACE is ready to go with two workshops; one on WATgreen and the other on teaching group project courses. We just need to decide on dates. They are April, Sept., and Dec.. Paul suggested that a Staff-Faculty workshop indicating the research and cooperation occurring in the WATgreen framework would be a good idea. It was further suggested that students be included as presenters and attendees. Perhaps a panel type of workshop? Paul will check with Gary Griffin of TRACE about his thoughts.

It was decided that Sept. would be the date for the WATgreen workshop, with Jim Robinson and Patti Cook presenting, and Paul organizing. It was felt that other faculties and students should present as well, so that this does not appear as an ERS course. Some graduates include: Christine Smith in Peel Region, Brad Wright, Laidlaw Environmental.

The other workshop, 'Teaching Group Project Courses' , we will request a December date, which James would like to be able to attend.

5. Presentations to Faculty councils and elsewhere

No presentations have been made as councils are busy with budgets and re-structuring. It was felt that perhaps the Spring (or Fall) would be a good time for presentations, and would mesh well with having firm dates for the workshops, package information, programs information, etc.

Patti has sent the presentation overheads and a number of pamphlets to M. Chandrashekar in Singapore, for him to present the WATgreen initiative!

6. ERS285 Winter 96, Jim Robinson

There are 35 students divided into 7 groups. The topics for their projects are:

Royden brought up the suggestion that he approach the Eng. Faculty about adding ERS285 as an elective on their SCTV listing. He found that there was some reluctance on the part of the Eng. Faculty stemming from needs arising from additional instructors being required and who would pay for them. Would ERS look to Eng.? It was suggested that an enrollment ceiling could be stipulated. It was also suggested that perhaps 2 sections could be created; one for ERS only students, and one for 'others'.

James or Sally will provide a letter for Royden outlining how any extra costs in the future will be avoided by implementing an enrollment ceiling.

The influx of Eng. students would not occur until W97.

Keith reviewed the fact that we all have agreed to not only be an advisory committee, but a resource committee for students.

Jim will email the committee when there is an update on the projects and when the date of the student presentations will be.

7. Student Reports on the WATgreen WWW Homepage (sub-committee)

James outlined how the Homepage in relation to projects has been structured. The Campus Audit, a short synopsis of each area of accomplishment, and the abstracts of some individual projects, and the Student Project Showcase are available outside the University.

The WATgreen Student Projects section has four major headings:

1. The Campus Audit
This was a student project to complete the extensive campus audit from the book "Campus Ecology"

2. Student Project Summaries
A short synopsis is provided, along with the titles and year of student projects, for each of the subject areas listed below. Where available, an summary of individual projects is provided. For a growing number of projects, the full project is available for viewing to members of the University of Waterloo community.

3. Student Project Library
All of the student projects, for which there are WWW versions, are available for viewing to members of the University of Waterloo community.

4. Student Project Showcase
Some of the best WATgreen student projects are available for viewing by all.

The access has been changed by masking the IP numbers on campus. The showcase section will allow complete projects that have been nominated by instructors, and then vetted by the committee. This will ensure quality control to the 'outside world'.

Encouraging other faculties to submit their student projects can be done via the faculty council presentations, and the TRACE workshop, the pamphlet, etc.

Hamish mentioned Wayne Hawthorne, who is studying the north campus, bird habitat along Laurel Creek, another research project on the quality of run-off, and carp studies and how they are disturbing the aquatic life. (Carps are considered toxic waste). (Dave Barton, Steve Little)

Also, Larry Martin has some students working on the Laurel Creek. Can we get these projects linked to the WATgreen homepage, and or input the project via disk?

Motion by Hamish, Seconded by Paul to adopt the structure of the WATgreen home page. All in favour. Carried.

Note: A WATgreen Conference? between classes and exams or in the summer to allow students to present their projects. If they were not comfortable they could submit posters, or papers. A 1/2 day event. We will need to talk to instructors to stimulate student interest to present.

This brought to the forefront again, that we need to get a hold of the names of Professors, instructors, who have had or have students working on projects on campus.

8. Procedures for Webpage maintenance

  1. Adobe Webmill - a new software package will dramatically simplify activities of maintenance within web pages, such as 'link' updates and changes.
  2. James has generated the structure, but it will take 3-4 days to get the work completed.
  3. Need information conduit - a central person to make info available on the web pages. Someone who can do the updates themselves or supervise a student.
  4. This is a minimum 1 day/month maintenance job, more likely 2-4 times.
This is an official website on the official university administrative machine, could the secretariat ask DCS to upkeep it? This is unclear, as most update their own webpages.

Keith will can Chris Redmond UWInfo and/or Bruce MacNeil of the Library, to get some idea of the type of services that are or may be available. It was felt that this IS a library activity.

Patti suggested that she is committed to becoming familiar with HTML language, and has a small budget for part-time help, but will check with Bob about whether that small Waste Management budget for part-time help, could be used for WATgreen?

9. Presentation on Waste Management Postponed

10. Other business

Patti suggested that the TELI conference discussed at the last meeting was perhaps not what we were looking for in terms of environmental education and curriculum development. But that there was another conference called the Greening the Campus conference April 4-6 in Muncie, Indiana, which appeared to be very suited to our purposes. She will be asking for support from Bob to attend. Jim Robinson also suggested he may be interested. The committee agreed to proceed.

Patti received a letter from Kevin Stewart, Director of the Safety Office suggesting that they have a representative present at any future meetings where hazardous waste is being discussed. Scott Nicoll was suggested to speak on the Hazardous Materials Handling Facility - Hamish will ask.

Is there a budget for WATgreen? It is a small amount of $3500 to cover incidentals. It is mainly meant for students. Special projects or requests have been supported by Bob directly. Bob's retiring brings more questions about the link to senior administration.
It was suggested that Bob be asked to attend the next meeting to go over some possible strategies for funding and senior administration support for the future of WATgreen.

It was also suggested that the students (Jeremy Steffler) and a WPIRG representative be invited to the next meeting to broaden the scope again.

George asked if anyone knew about leakage from waste sources? He suggested that the Mayor of Waterloo had approached him about not having much success communicating a desire to work with the university to investigate a perceived problem. Who has the City been talking to? Keith mirrored the concern as he too had been approached by the Mayor. (Bob had left the meeting so could not fill us in) It was suggested that perhaps this was a matter for the Mayor and President of the University? The group felt they would like to know the reasoning, and also attempt to help improve the communication problem.

It was suggested that Bob or Dennis Huber be asked to come to the March meeting so that they could fill the committee in. George volunteered to communicate to the Mayor on the University's behalf. George will get input from the City for the next meeting.

In brief for next meeting:

1. Keith will contact the TRACE office for some assistance on the package content.

2. The package, the updated pamphlet, an updated presentation package for presentations to Faculty councils, and all the publicity ideas will be ready by the Spring (?!).

3. TRACE workshops - we will attempt to get other faculty and student input for the Sept. workshop.

4. Faculty council presentation will be in the Spring and Fall.

5. Jim will email the committee when there is an update on the projects and when the date of the student presentations will be.

6. Royden will obtain a letter from Sally/James re: enrollment limit and report back.

7. A continuous effort to get the names of Professors, instructors, who have had or have students working on projects on campus - for the web site, for the TRACE workshop.

8. Keith will call Chris Redmond UWInfo and/or Bruce MacNeil of the Library, to get some idea of the type of services we could get to maintain the Web page.

9. Hamish will invite Scott Nicoll to speak at the next meeting.
Patti will ask Bob to come to the next meeting to address the City issue, and the budget and senior administrative support issue.
Patti will ask the Feds-Student WATgreen Network, and WPIRG representatives to the next meeting.
George will obtain more details from the City.



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