Students and Programs News, Fall 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010 9:50:00 AM



 
NEW COURSE ENV100 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES DRAWS HIGH ENROLLMENT
ENV100
Photo:  Visiting Fullbright Specialist Dr. Jeff Licht from the University of Massachusetts Boston speaks about green roofs to students in ENV100.  He was one of several guest lecturers in the Centre for Environment's well-attended new introductory course on environmental studies. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Licht)

By Stephen Scharper and David Powell
The Centre for Environment (CFE) is very pleased with the response to its new first year course ENV 100H Introduction to Environmental Studies, first offered in the fall of 2010. Enrolment reached the maximum of 390 students, with more than 35 on the waiting list. Course instructor Professor Stephen Scharper (of Anthropology U of T Mississauga and CFE) is pleased by the level of interest and enthusiasm in the material shown by the students.  
     With guest presentations by U of T alumnus Dr. Bob Willard on green business, visiting Fullbright Specialist Dr. Jeff Licht from University of Massachusetts Boston on green roofs, Professor Hilary Cunningham of Anthropology on notions of wilderness, as well as Kevin Frank of Second City Comedy Group (appearing as George Stroumboulopoulos interviewing Stephen Scharper, appearing as James Lovelock, the Gaia theorist), the course has been graced by lively perspectives from a variety of disciplines. Dr. Scharper is also very fortunate to be working with an excellent team of graduate teaching assistants, headed by Ph.D. candidate James Nugent of Geography, as well as Ph.D. candidates Simon Appolloni of Religion and CFE and Mark Hathaway of OISE/UT and CFE, and M.A. student David Photiadis of Geography.

Stephen Scharper is Professor, Dept. of Anthropology UTM and Centre for Environment. For more information, please email him at
stephen.scharper@utoronto.ca.
David Powell is Undergraduate Student Advisor at the Centre for Environment.


****
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT EXPANDS ONLINE DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAM WITH NEW ONLINE WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATE AND NEW COURSE ON GHG REPORTING AND ACCOUNTING
The Centre for Environment's online distance education certificate program has grown steadily every year since its inception in 2003-04.  To its existing certificates in Environmental Management, Renewable Energy, Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management, the Centre added a program in Carbon Finance last year and is planning to add a new Certificate in Water Resources Management in September of 2011.  Through its internet-based courses, the programs have accommodated environmental practitioners and professionals, as well as individuals new to the field of environment who wish to pursue professional and educational development while continuing their careers. With the use of discussion forums, conferencing, and live chats, students from all over the world are able to interact with each other, the instructors and guest experts.  
     Renewable water resources at both the global and local levels will undergo marked changes in our lifetime. Population growth in urban centres, climate change and an increasingly dependent energy infrastructure on water creates a dynamic and challenging context for ensuring adequate financing and responsible development for use of water. The Certificate Program in Water Resource Management aims to increase participants' water IQ, as well as provide a coherent basis for learning about current and emerging water issues at the global, regional and local scale.  Traditionally, environmental concerns such as energy, impacts on human health and carbon foot prints were treated separately. Increasingly, resource managers are identifying the connections between these elements for a more holistic environmental management paradigm.  In this Certificate, linkages will also be established between the management of these concerns, social goals (such as human health) and information management.
     The new certificate program will be comprised of three compulsory courses including a new core course, WRM400 Water Resource Management, which will focus on institutional and economic aspects of water in the context of climate change and expected water scarcity and will present a critical overview of the value placed on water - both explicit and implicit - in today's societies. Also included in the program will be courses currently offered: CEM401 Urban Water Issues and CEM405 Global Environmental Change and Human Health), and one of CRE400 Principles of Renewable Energy or GEM400 Introduction to GIS for Environmental Management. 

New course to be offered on GHG Reporting and Accounting in Spring of 2011
As part of the Centre's distance Carbon Finance Certificate Program, a new course (ECF403) on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and accounting will be offered in the Spring of 2011, to be taught by Tom Johnson, Director of Tangerine Tango Environmental Attributes Services at Climate Change Infrastructure Corporation. The course will cover important principles and concepts of GHG reporting and accounting at both the corporate and project levels. Students will learn to navigate the technical requirements of the major regulated and voluntary GHG cap and trade and offset schemes, while learning how GHG reporting and accounting considerations affect the environment. By the end of the course, students should be capable of overseeing the development and verification of a corporate GHG inventory report or a GHG emissions reduction report.
     Mr. Johnson has 10 years of experience in the environmental and greenhouse gas sectors, and has directed GHG advisory and assurance projects in the financial, real estate, IT, energy, transportation, mining, manufacturing, and cleantech sectors. Tangerine Tango provides a combination of GHG and financial market advisory services to enable companies to monetize their environmental attributes. Its primary goal is to assist clients in the identification and optimization of carbon and other environmental assets embedded in existing or potential assets and projects, thus maximizing the monetary benefits to the client, as well as supporting growth in the cleantech marketplace.

For more information and course descriptions, please visit http://learn.environment.utoronto.ca/distance-education.aspx or contact Donna Workman, Manager, Programs and Partnership Development, Centre for Environment at d.workman@utoronto.ca


****
Ph.D. CANDIDATE GABRIEL EIDELMAN WINS VAN GINKEL GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP IN MUNICIPAL FINANCE AND GOVERNANCE
Gabriel Eidelman
, Ph.D. candidate in Political Science and the Centre for Environment, is a recent recipient of the Blanche and Sandy Van Ginkel Fellowship, awarded to a U of T graduate students engaged in studies related to municipal finance or governance. This fellowship has been funded by Diamante Development Corporation in support of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG), an Institute housed in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. His research paper towards his 2007 M.A. in the Dept. of Political Science and the Centre for Environment was titled "An Unsustainable Mandate: The Value and Impact of the UN Commission of Sustainable Development".  He is now studying the politics of waterfront redevelopment in Toronto for his doctoral studies. 
For more information on the fellowship, please visit: http://www.utoronto.ca/mcis/imfg/fellowships.htm


****
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT CLARE LUKE WINS COPENHAGEN LEGACY ESSAY SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLISHES ESSAY IN ALTERNATIVES
Clara Luke
, a 3rd year student majoring in English and the Centre for Environment's Environmental Policy and Practice program, is the recipient of a $2500 Copenhagen Legacy Essay Scholarship.  An initiative by the U of T Student Union, the contest asked students to imagine themselves in the year 2110, and to write an essay that explores the environmental legacy of the 21st century, to look at how future generations will remember our time.   Clara's essay, submitted in the spring of 2010, was selected by a panel of Canada's environmental leaders, edited and published in August 2010 in Alternatives journal's Canadian Directory of Environmental Education (Volume 36, No.5). 
The full text of the essay is available to U of T faculty, staff and students at http://main.library.utoronto.ca/eir/resources.cfm
For more information: http://www.copenhagenlegacy.com/; http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/


****
NEW PUBLICATIONS BY CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT GRADUATE STUDENTS
Please visit the
new publications page for citations, abstracts and links: 

  • BOOK: MARK HATHAWAY and Leonardo Boff: The Tao Of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation.

  • Human exposure to PFCAs linked to consumption of PAPs found in fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags:
    JESSICA C. D'EON
    and Scott A. Mabury. Exploring indirect sources of human exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylates (PFCAs): evaluating uptake, elimination and biotransformation of Polyfluoroalkyl Phosphate Esters (PAPs) in the rat. Environmental Health Perspectives.

  • Dietary exposure of flame retardant BDE-209 in lake trout:
    NILIMA GANDHI
    , Satyendra P. Bhavsar, Sarah B. Gewurtz, Gregg T. Tomy. Can biotransformation of BDE-209 in lake trout cause bioaccumulation of more toxic, lower-brominated PBDEs (BDE-47, -99) over the long term? Environment International.

  • Integrated agricultural methods in villages in India:
    PETER RALEVIC
    , Shantagouda.G. Patil, and Gary vanLoon. Integrated agriculture production systems for meeting household food, fodder and fuel security. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture.

  • PETER RALEVIC, Mark Ryans, and Denis Cormier. Assessing forest biomass for bioenergy: Operational challenges and cost considerations. Forestry Chronicle.


****
STUDENTS RECREATE OBJECTS FROM OUR PAST AT CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY POSTER DAY
 Students in Environmental History coursecandlemaking poster
LEFT: Some students participating in the Canadian Environmental History poster day as part of the HIS318H course Canadian Environmental History course. (From left to right: Ranjot Pannu, Natalie Persaud and Conor Eardley.)
RIGHT: Students in the course made objects from the 16th to 19th centuries then produced posters on their experiences, such as this poster on pioneer candle making.(Photos courtesy of Laurel Macdowell)

By Laurel Macdowell
In the third year History course Canadian Environmental History course (HIS318H) offered at U of T Mississauga (UTM) and taught by Professor Laurel Macdowell in the fall of 2010, 61 students did research, made objects as authentic as possible from the early period between the 16th to 19th centuries and produced posters on what they had learned about the objects, how they was used, and their own process of making them. The point of the project was to teach people living in a consumer society about how people living off the environment in producer societies lived. They made such objects as beer, bannock (flat cake), gingerbread, candles, toys, a washboard, rag rugs, a scarf and a blanket from the pioneer period. They also made bows and arrows, a tomahawk, and pemmican from the hunter-gatherer period. The project was on display on October 27, 2010 at UTM.

Laurel Macdowell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Historical Studies, U of T Mississauga.  For more information, please contact her at laurel.macdowell@utoronto.ca.

****
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT'S MOST RECENT GRADUATE ALUMNI (November 2010)
The Centre for Environment congratulates the following alumni who convocated in November 2010, after completing a collaborative graduate program offered by the Centre. Titles of their research papers or theses are included. 
For previous graduate alumni, please visit http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/Research/GraduateResearch.aspx.
For information on collaborative programs, please visit:
http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/Graduate/Programs.aspx.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES COLLABORATIVE PROGRAM (CFE ES):
Julia Barnes, M.A., Geography/CFE ES; supervisor: Ken MacDonald, Social Sciences, U of T Scarborough.  The Fiction of Globally Important Biodiversity: The Production of Scale through the Global Environment Facility's Biodiversity Policy and Programming.

Nyssa Grace Clubine, M.Sc., Geography/CFE ES; Joe Desloges, Geography.  Seasonal Suspended Sediment Response to Floods in the Ausable River, Ontario, Canada.

Catherine M. Febria, Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/CFE ES; Dudley Williams, Physical and Environmental Sciences, U of T Scarborough.  The Molecular Ecology of Hyporheic Zones: Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter and Bacterial Communities in Contrasting Stream Ecosystems.

Lisa Johannesen, M.Sc, Anthropology/CFE ES; supervisor: Gary Coupland, Anthropology.  Analysis of Coastal Marine Travel and Transport by Ancient Northwest Coast First Nations Through an Archaeological and Environmental Survey and Site Analysis Project in Salmon Inlet, British Columbia, Canada.

Brandon Ott, M.A. Political Science/CFE ES; supervisor: Grace Skogstad, Political Science.  Ontario's Feed-In-Tariff: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Laura Tozer, M.A., Geography/CFE ES; supervisor: Virginia Maclaren, Geography.  Community Energy Plans in Canadian Cities: Success and Barriers in Implementation.

Debbie W. Waung, M.A.Sc., Chemical Engineering/CFE ES; supervisors: Emma Master and Ramin Farnood, Chemical Engineering.  Optimizing Enzymatic Preparations of Mechanical Pulp Through the Characterization of New Laccases and Non-Productive Interactions Between Enzymes and Lignin.


ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH COLLABORATIVE PROGRAM (CFE EH):
Kavita Singh, M.P.H., Public Health/CFE EH. Course work program in Epidemiology.

Bruce Urch, Ph.D. Medical Science/CFE EH; supervisor: Paul Corey, Public Health; and Frances Silverman, Medical Science.  Controlled Human Exposures to Concentrated Ambient Fine Particles and Ozone: Individual and Combined Effects on Cardiorespiratory Outcomes.