Environmental Programs Steering Committee
October 6, 1998
1044 Duncan Hall 3:45-5:15pm


Joyce Almaguer
Paul Harcombe
Priscilla Huston (staff)
Walter Isle (chair)
Bill Leeman
Donald Ostdiek

Not present:

Kathy Ensor
Arthur Few
Mark Wiesner
Gordon Wittenberg



1. Ryan McMullan’s report for September 22 to October 5 can be found on his website at: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~mcmullan/Intern.html


2. Website:

Priscilla Huston reported on a meeting with Alan Thornhill and Janice Bordeaux. She and Mark Wiesner will have another meeting with them next week. In the meantime, the committee asked Priscilla to put the current version or Enviro-Web up on Riceinfo under Departments and Programs. A decision was make not to make it HOT NEWS yet but to make it available to any one who looked or searched for it. Words recommended for searching included: nature, ecology, environmental, green. A number of suggestions were pointed out. Comments will be taken at any time but any comments for consideration next week should be sent by Monday. Major suggestions included a marquee at the top; a matrix of upcoming seminars, lectures, interdepartmental speakers, etc. and general discussion about upcoming events and calendars. Specific texts for front page and footers were suggested.


3. Earth Semester/Biosphere 2 <http://www.bio2.edu>:

It is our understanding that the application deadline for the spring semester is November 1st. {Since our meeting we have learned that this may be postponed.} Walter Isle will investigate what needs to be included in an application and will prepare a handout. An issue was raised about whether a student could apply and be accepted in advance &endash; eg. there is a student at Rice whose academic program arrangement depends on a firm understanding this spring about Biosphere 2 next Fall.

The EPSC plans to hold a video conference for students interested in attending a semester at Biosphere 2 or just interested in knowing more about it. Priscilla Huston will look into the technical options. Walter Isle will contact Biosphere 2. The committee selected October 26th as a potential date at 5:15-7pm including pizza. A subcommittee consisting of Don Ostdiek, Joyce Almaguer and Paul Harcombe was put in charge of marketing.

Walter Isle will visit Biosphere 2 November 5th.


4. Meeting with Science and Engineering Deans:

Walter Isle will meet with the Science and Engineering Deans Monday at 4pm. In preparation for this meeting the committee discussed the Strategic Plan proposal, Environmental Initiatives, progress since last spring, positions and appointments. It also suggested that the Deans be asked about their issues.


5. Party for Environmental Programs Faculty :

All committee members have indicated their available dates via email. Priscilla Huston did not have the results at the meeting but has since reported that November 12th is the clear winner.

This party will be for faculty only but there may be an opportunity to involve staff and administrators in future endeavors. It is believed they can participate in the Environmental Club.

6. Orion Society:

The Orion Society "Forgotten Language Tour" held October 1-3 was a wonderful success. It was suggested that in the future more notices be posted around campus with more information about the entire event, not just the night at Rice.


7. Searches:

The History department is conducting two searches this year. Neither involve environmental history. There is some possibility that next year a search for a Latino Historian might include borderland history.


8. Review of where we are and where we are heading:

Action Item: Reread the Environmental Strategic Planning Report for the next meeting on October 27th meeting in 201 Mudd Bldg.

In general, the EPSC will be meeting every other Tuesday. However since October 20th occurs during the Fall break, we have rescheduled that meeting for October 27th. The following meeting dates are scheduled for this semester: October 27th, November 3rd, November 17th, December 1st , and December 15th. The committee asked to be informed when members will not be able to make a specific date. Once the time and date are confirmed both announcements and email will be sent to the colleges.