Environmental Programs Steering Committee

February 9, 1999

2014 Duncan 9:15-11am


  • Kathy Ensor
  • Arthur Few
  • Paul Harcombe
  • Priscilla Huston (staff)
  • Walter Isle (chair)
  • Bill Leeman
  • Donald Ostdiek
  • Mark Wiesner

Not Present:

  • Gordon Wittenberg
  • Joyce Almaguer


1. Next Meeting dates

Our next meeting will be February 18, 1999 at 9:15am in 2014 Duncan Hall. Kathy Ensor was the only one present who could to plan to attend. We will continue to review plans for presentation and discussion with the Deans of Natural Sciences and Engineering. If time allows we will begin discussion regarding the Humanities and Social Sciences. We will wait until after our next meeting to consider dates for discussions with other deans.

2. Paul Harcombe reported that Rice creates an estimated 1000 tons of garbage a year. Of this 114 tons is food waste. 15 tons or 14% is ostensibly recycled.

This lead to a discussion of materials that may not be considered recyclable. An idea was discussed for a center that recycles used computers and computer parts.

3. Discussion continued regarding replacements on the Steering Committee for next year. It was suggested that we start involving these folks soon. We will need replacements for Bill Leeman, Arthur Few and Mark Wiesner. A possible additional person in Humanities was also discussed. Names discussed included: Dale Sawyer, Andre Droxler, Robin Sickles, Matthew Fraser, Gerald McKenny.

4. The role of the Steering Committee in maintain campus communication regarding environment was brought forward and we discussed again the possibility of monthly campus discussions similar to CITI and the possibility of having subcommittees in the divisions that are represented on the Steering Committee.

5. March 26, 1999 Norman Myers will be at Rice. This is an opportunity to prepare students for interaction with a big name. Malcom Gillis is involved. We will suggest readings for the Environmental Reading Group so that we can be prepared with questions for good discussion.

6. Planning for Deans of Science and Engineering

After extended discussion, we drafted the following program outline and speakers for the February 23rd meeting with Deans Sidney Burrus and Kathleen Matthews:

I. Why the Deans should want to be involved (Mark Wiesner)

II. Brief History of environmental initiatives and the strategic plan (Mark Wiesner)

III. Institutional Initiatives (Mark Wiesner)

IV. Specific Possibilities (Bill Leeman)

V. Tie in with Social Sciences (Don Ostdiek)

VI. Tie in with Humanities (Walter Isle)

VII. Summary (Arthur Few)

VIII. Opportunity for Rice to take lead (Walter Isle)

XI. Discussion with Deans


What do we want from the Deans?

  • New Steering Committee positions
  • Hires for interested in environmental research and teaching
  • Space and other support funding
  • How can we help them find funds?
  • Help encouraging cross-divisional curriculum; incentives to teach beyond the department
  • Help creating a cross-divisional community (?split appointments)
  • Faculty relief time
  • Help sustaining courses

What can Deans expect from us?

  • Think of us not as divisional but extended resources
  • Help with funding
  • Interest and help in hiring
  • On lookout for interdisciplinary opportunities
  • Communication
  • Work on Curriculum Initiatives