Environmental Programs Steering Committee

April 8, 1999

2014 Duncan 9:15-11am


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

Not Present:

  • Kathy Ensor
  • Gordon Wittenberg
  • Mark Wiesner



1. Next Meeting date

The next meeting is April 22th 9:15-11am 2014 Duncan Hall. There will not be a meeting on April 15th. Don Ostdiek will invite Rick Stoll to join us either April 22 or 29. Ryan McMullan, the Environmental Intern, will be asked to join us for the alternate meeting.

2. General Announcements

Walter Isle provided a handout from Scott Slovic.

A copy of today's Houston Chronicle article "Rice, Baylor, UT-Houston join to student social causes of sickness" announcing the Rice,Baylor, UT-Houston joint research project on Public Health was distributed.

Paul Harcombe reminded the committee about the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology seminar this coming Monday, April 12th. Thomas A. Spies, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, OR will speak on "Mixing Science and Policy in Coastal Oregon: A case study of a bio-regional assessment" at 4:00 PM.

3. Biosphere 2:

Walter Isle will be at Biosphere 2 next week. He will be making presentations and discussing approaches to integrating literature and history into the Biosphere 2 programs.

The deadline for student applications for the Fall 1999 Earth semester is April 15th. A new Universe Semester is also scheduled. Applications are due by May 1. At this time we have four applications for Earth Semester.

  • Anna Miller
  • Lea Ann Chen
  • Nancy Kwon
  • Joe Miller

Paul Harcombe will review and sign applications while Walter Isle is away. Priscilla Huston will follow up with Walter Isle, Shannon Cates (Study Abroad), Paul Harcombe and the students as discussed.

4. Environmental Programs Report

Committee members are asked to prepare draft statements about their division for an Environmental Programs report. Walter Isle is working on an overall statement and is considering a recommendation for a center. Priscilla Huston suggested including some focus on the cross divisional institutes.

5. Letter to President's Office

At the March 25th meeting, Paul Harcombe proposed that we recommend that the President's Office spend $500 a year to maintain our membership in {I did not get a clear indication of what this is} ... Paul sent a letter and received a reply from Carl MacDowell confirming that the President's office will support this.

6. Norman Myers Proposal

Herb Ward sent email to several committee members suggesting that there is a possibility that Norman Myers might consider spending a month at Rice. Several questions were raised about the logistics for arranging for this. The committee considered the Environmental Conference as a possible venue and is also thinking about a high profile environmental series that would include several invited speakers. {How was this resolved?}

7. Social Science report and discussion

Don Ostdiek distributed and spoke from an outline for the Division of Social Science Initiatives. He spoke about ways in which the division has been responsive to the Environmental Strategic Plan including specifically new hires and the new major in Environmental Policy now.

He also discussed the initiative in Environmental Health and Risk Assessment, how well it fits with many of the topics (such as broad Houston initiatives and Air and Water quality) which we have discussed. We decided to invite Rick Stoll to discuss this and other topics with us and will consider eventually inviting Ed Djeregian to meet with us.

8. Priscilla Huston will distribute handouts to committee members who were not present and will meet with Walter Isle to discuss Biosphere 2, etc.