CEREO seeks faculty, plans events

Faculty who are pursuing an environmental research or teaching agenda are being recruited to join CEREO, the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (ONLINE @ www.cereo.wsu.edu).

Although 135 have joined since CEREO was approved by the Faculty Senate in April 2006, there are another 50 environmentally focused faculty who are not participating, said George Mount, CEREO’s executive director and professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“This is a genuine grass-roots faculty program,” Mount said. “We’re a group of really committed faculty from all across the WSU system. The membership of our founding committee has remained virtually unchanged through the more than 50 meetings we have had so far. We’re very enthusiastic.”

Activities have been organized into four parts: seminars, research, education and outreach. Committees for each meet regularly to plan for the academic year. Mount cited four examples of upcoming activities:

• Statewide K-12 education activities, which includes WSU’s high school student competition called Power Your Mind and the state program called Washington Sustainable Design for Students. In addition, said Lynda Paznokas, co-chair of the education committee and the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science Education, CEREO will host a brown-bag seminar noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in CUE 518 called, “E3 Washington: Creating Sustainable and Thriving Environments for our Schools, our Communities and our Economy.”

• A seminar, “The Vital and Changing Role of Environmental Soil Science,” led by Columbia University researcher and author Daniel Hillel will be at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, In CUE 203. Co-sponsored with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, this is the first of a regular series of CEREO seminars, said Keith Blatner, chair of the seminar committee and professor and chair of natural resource sciences.

• A workshop to develop interdisciplinary faculty teams seeking funding for National Science Foundation projects. Planned for Nov. 13-14, the workshop will include faculty interaction and discussion, by telecommunication, with NSF officials, said Brian Lamb, chair of the research committee and professor of civil and environmental engineering. Registration will be available through the CEREO website ONLINE @ www.cereo.wsu.edu.

• A “pathway,” both online and as a brochure, for prospective and current undergraduate and graduate students that lists all environmental majors, minors, courses and student clubs. It would guide environmentally focused students through their on-campus options, said Rick Gill, co-chair of the education committee and associate professor of earth and environmental sciences.

“These projects are just the beginning,” Mount said. “We are excited that WSU now has a strong focal point for environmental work.”

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