Steering Committee Minutes

To read the monthly minutes, click on the month and date below to expand.

October 6, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting Agenda
ICC 651-Provost’s Office Suite
Monday, October 6th

Attendance Present: Provost Robert Groves, Matt Hamilton, Janet Mann, Susan Frost, Audrey Stewart, Maggie Little, Robin Dillon-Merrill, Sarah Stoll, Laura Anderko (phone), Mary Beth Martin, Victoria A Arroyo (phone)
Absent: Joanna Lewis, Tim Warren, John McNeill, Arik Levinson, David Konisky, Edward Soule, Peter Byrne, Francis Slakey, Ali Whitmer
I. Welcome and Introductions
II. Context and Vision of GEI, the Office of the Provost, Provost Bob Groves
Through this initiative, Provost Groves hopes that we can categorize interdisciplinary research and create research and educational programs The initial phase of the initiative is driven by a generous donor who chooses to remain anonymous McCourt School will build a larger environmental policy group through new faculty hires.
GEI faculty Search – 3 Senior Faculty Positions; First search process This GEI gift allows us to search for the talented new professors. Candidates will have impeccable scientific credentials as well as policy interests. The appointment will be tailored to whomever we appoint and it is expected that individuals will have joint appointments. We are currently working to identify candidates with the help of the executive search firm Witt-Kieffer. Concerns: The best candidates will already have great positions so they will not be actively searching for a new position; we will need to entice them to come to Georgetown and GEI. GEI Goals Increase our research/scholarship productivity. Build educational programs that span and cross disciplines and are able to train the next generation of leaders in environment fields. Shape programs in a way that is unique to Georgetown. Vicki Arroyo commented that Law and Policy Program professors from the law school would be enthusiastic to interact with the new policy faculty hired through GEI.
IV. Unfinished business None.
V. New business Chair's comments - overview of GEI efforts for AY 2014-2015
Matt Hamilton: Hope each member will dedicate their efforts to one or more specific issues and also find ways to facilitate efforts of fellow members. Please bring your ideas!
Priorities for committee are to maintain current programs, focus on stimulating partnerships, authoring new masters program curriculum proposal. Develop concrete proposals and bring out of the committee.
Partnerships: Finishing up work with the Blue Earth Consulting group. Report will be available and discussed hopefully by next meeting. Taking stock and evaluating our accomplishments. Where are we effective and where can we make adjustments?
GEI steering committee charge -Matt Hamilton: The charge will help make explicit the goals of the committee. Goals of the committee: to generate ideas to strengthen scholarship and research geared towards the environment. What are challenges of doing this and how can we overcome them? Questions/Concerns
Please remind everyone to acknowledge Georgetown Environmental Initiative in proposals, pilots, publications, and grants How do you decide what GEI gets credit for? Recently finished a proposal with Johns Hopkins. If GEI want to be acknowledged, we need to build mechanisms to support this. The purpose of GEI is breakdown silos and encourage professors to introduce their project to the initiative. Update on GEI faculty pilot grant support Pilot grant program to help faculty. Work to help faculty build networks and collaborations. Work towards positioning faculty to submit competitive funding proposals.
VI. Update on GEI student support
We have a set of student engagement programs that was recently launched and needs to be maintained .
Total of five student support efforts; undergrad admission scholarships, undergrad summer research fellowships, professional grad student summer fellowships, graduate grants-in-aid, and graduate research salons. The first cohort of student receiving the first three types of scholarships/fellowships are documented in the milestones report. Students include undergraduate and graduate students. Admission scholarship awards given to undergraduate students who express environment work in their admission packet. The graduate salon allows us to build a cohort among graduate students across the disciplines.
Susan Frost suggested that we should share 2012-2013 milestones report with new members Questions/Concerns There need to be incentives and mechanisms to bring projects and proposals under the initiative.
GEI Grants Specialist hire Janet Mann & Matt Hamilton Problem: Faculty members needed help with finding external funding opportunities and with proposal development, especially large collaborative grants, training grants etc. Solution: Provost‘s office will hire a Grant Proposal Development Specialist partly using GEI funds that is dedicated to GEI. The position advertisement can be found at . This person will aggressively search for proposal opportunities, engage and reach out to faculty, and do paperwork/groundwork that is required for the grant proposal. Would need to work with the pre-award and post-award services such as writing reports for your grant. Specialist would also help with critiquing proposals and help with issues of compliance. The Grants Specialist will be part of the new Research Services Center and report to Senior Director of Research Administration and to the Vice Provost for Research.
VII. Global Environmental Leadership Master’s proposal Bill Hahn
The goal is to develop a master’s program that exploits resources in DC and Georgetown to prepare environmental leaders with both social and natural science training in a practical, "real world" approach. · Recognizing that Georgetown is not strong in various science programs such as geology or engineering, we will need to recruit appropriate faculty and to craft approaches that fill in curricular, research, and intellectual gaps · We are rich with partnership opportunities in the DC area including agencies and NGOs - these partnerships can help with expertise for both faculty and internship opportunities · Curricular Specifics o This degree will be developed and hosted by the graduate school, but will be managed by a department or center for practical purposes o The program is one calendar year—August-July including summer - a part time, two year option will also be explored
o A one week "residency" program will begin the year in August with a focus on the Chesapeake and its environmental issues (2 credits)
o The fall semester will focus on fundamentals and core courses in both natural and social sciences (12 credits)
o The spring semester will focus on electives and development of internship activities (12 credits)
o The summer term will include completion of the internship and a synthesis course with all projects reporting out (4 credits) o Some courses may be modular such as GIS which is an important aspect of the program. Many courses will be team taught and likely interdisciplinary
o Potential sources of students include national/international recruitment (full time), individuals currently employed in the DC area (perhaps part time), and combined BA/MS for GU undergrads
o The biggest advantage that Georgetown has is the location and this is both a source of curricular enhancement but also direct connection to employment prospects for students
Items on Agenda that were not discussed Environment Fellow program
Meeting adjourns- 5:34pm

November 18, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting
Baker Scholar Conference Room, Regents Science Hall
Tuesday, November 18th
Attendance Present: Matt Hamilton, Arik Levinson, Audrey Stewart, Janet Mann, Maggie Little, Francis Slakey, Sarah Stoll, Mary Beth Martin , David Konisky, Robin Dillon-Merrill
Absent: Susan Frost, Laura Anderko, Vikki Arroyo, Joanna Lewis, Tim Warren, John McNeill, Ed Soule, Peter Byrne, Ali Whitmer
I. Welcome and call to order
II. Discussion and approval of Oct. 6th meeting minutes
III. Chair’s comments
a. The chair provided a brief overview of the Nov. 12th GEI Advisory Committee meeting. He thanked the faculty who attended the working lunch and presented briefly on their scholarship. Exposing the Advisory Committee to faculty research is important for connecting the big ideas discussed in these meetings to specific individuals, programs, and projects at GU.
b. The minutes and meeting summary of the Nov. 12th Advisory Committee are in development. Once final, they will be shared with the steering committee.
IV. Update on GEI Grants Specialist Hire
a. A brief update on the search for a GEI Grants Specialist was provided.
b. The search is ongoing, with many viable candidates. The position has been advertised in many different venues, including
c. Discussion around the best way to effectively narrow a potential robust list of funding opportunities from this office concluded that individual faculty should reach out to the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
V. Faculty Search and Hire Update
a. A brief update on the current faculty search and hire for GEI was provided.
New Business
VI. Blue Earth partnership report
a. Copies of the report were provided to all steering committee members.
b. The idea behind the report was partnership in general terms as an important element to grow resources for GEI and Georgetown over time. The report emphasizes taking advantage of the DC location and the array of non-profits, governmental, and private agencies in the DC area.
c. The committee discussed the categories used to describe areas of environment at Georgetown and agreed that they were broad and not mutually exclusive.
VII. Environmental studies minor and environment curriculum discussion
a. Various academic and non-academic ideas were discussed as mechanisms for creating a community of students engaged in environment coursework and extracurriculars.
VIII. Environment Fellows proposal
a. Two possible GEI Fellows program proposals were shared with the committee, one for internal faculty and one to bring in an external person.
b. A discussion took place on the various goals of a fellows program.
c. Members discussed the possible parameters of the fellows program, as well as financial and institutional structures for supporting a fellow.
IX. Enhancing the GEI website
a. Questions on what areas can be improved on the website will be discussed at the next committee meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 3:43 pm.

December 16, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting Notes
Philodemic Room, President’s Suite, Healey Hall
Tuesday, Dec. 16th, 2014


Attendance Present: Matt Hamilton, David Konisky, Vicki Arroyo, Arik Levinson, Susan Frost, Maggie Little, Mary Beth Martin, Tim Warren, Janet Mann, Sarah Stoll , John McNeill, Joanna Lewis, Audrey Stewart, Ed Soule (phone), Rachel Yancey
Absent: Laura Anderko, Peter Byrne, Ali Whitmer, Robin Dillon-Merrill
I. Welcome and Introductions
II. Chair’s comments
a. The chair welcomed new members.
III. Unfinished business
a. None
New business
Approval of Nov. 18 Meeting Notes for web posting
a. The committee discussed the meeting minutes and a process for offering amendments.
Status report and overview of GEI gift agreement, milestones, and program obligations
a. The chair provided a status report on the GEI program to date, including the most recent budget and an update on student engagement activities.
b. Committee members discussed the program obligations and ideas for increasing the scope of engagement in the coming academic year. Strategic visioning brainstorming exercise:
1. Environment Fellows program a. Committee participated in a brainstorming exercise, led by the chair, to generate ideas for a GEI Fellows program framework. Member discussed the various models the GEI could implement. A sub-group of committee member volunteers was formed to coalesce the ideas into a written proposal to be shared with the larger committee at the next meeting.
Enhancing the GEI website
a. Committee members were asked to send links of other program websites to the program coordinator as examples.
Meeting adjourned at 3:35pm

January 21, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting Agenda
Hall of Cardinals, President's Suite, Healey Hall
Tuesday, January 21st, 2015

Attendance Present: Joanna Lewis, John McNeill, Norberto Grzywacz, Tim Warren, Robin Dillon-Merrill, Mary Beth Martin, David Konisky, Matt Hamilton, Rachel Yancey, , Janet Mann, Susan Frost

Absent: Vicki Arroyo, Laura Anderko, Audrey Stewart, Ali Whitmer, Ed Soule, Peter Byrne, Francis Slakey, Sarah Stoll, Arik Levinson, Maggie Little

I. Welcome and Introductions

a. Faculty chair welcomed the committee members and provided a brief review of the meeting agenda.

III. Unfinished business

a. None

IV. New business

a. Daniela Fernandez, Georgetown Sustainable Oceans Alliance
- Founder of the Georgetown Sustainable Oceans Alliance, junior in the College, Daniela Fernandez introduced the non-profit’s mission to the steering committee and shared plans for a spring symposium.

b. Approval of Nov. 18 & Dec. 16 Meeting Notes for web posting
- The committee voted to approve the public minutes for web posting.

c. Graduate programs at Georgetown
- The committee welcomed new Graduate School Dean Norberto Grzywacz. Dr. Grzywacz provided an overview of the strategic vision behind expanding graduate programs at Georgetown.

d. Master’s in Global Environmental Leadership update
- MS programs in the Environment are under development. The committee discussed some directions of possible programs.

e. Faculty pilot grant call for proposals timeline
- The 2015 Faculty Pilot Grant Call for Proposals was discussed and amendments to the call were accepted.

f. Student support opportunities timeline
- A timeline of 2015 student funding programs was shared with the committee members.

g. Enhancing the GEI website (
- The committee tabled this agenda item for the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00pm

February 25, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting Agenda
Hall of Cardinals, President's Suite, Healey Hall
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Attendance Present: Audrey Stewart, John McNeill, Rachel Yancey, Robin Dillon-Merrill, Mary Beth Martin, Maggie Little, Joanna Lewis, Tim Warren, Ed Soule, Janet Mann, Edd Barrows, Martha Weiss, Matt Hamilton
Absent: Vicki Arroyo, Laura Anderko, Ali Whitmer, Ed Soule, Peter Byrne, Francis Slakey, Sarah Stoll, Arik Levinson, Susan Frost

I. Welcome and Introductions
- The chair of the committee opened the meeting by welcoming the members.

II. Chair’s comments
a. Anticipating faculty pilot grant review
- The committee chair discussed the protocol for reviewing the faculty pilot grants.

III. Unfinished business
- None.

IV. New business
a. Approval of Jan. 21 Meeting Notes for web posting
- The committee voted to approve the public posting of the Jan. 21 meeting minutes.
b. Update on Center for the Environment and Environmental Studies Minor
- Edd Barrows (Dept. of Biology) and Martha Weiss (Dept. of Biology) discussed the components of the Environmental Studies minor, including student enrollment, course structure and requirements, and capstone projects. The committee offered suggestions on ways to improve the offering of the minor and the potential for a similar major.
c. Environment Fellows proposal development update
- A subset of the committee, including Vicki Arroyo, Joanna Lewis, and Maggie Little, presented a proposal for the Environment Fellows program. Joanna Lewis and Maggie little answered questions from the committee.
d. Enhancing the GEI website (
- The committee was asked to send any suggested edits for the GEI website to the program coordinator.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00pm

March 25, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Georgetown Environment Initiative Steering Committee Meeting Agenda
Hall of Cardinals, President's Suite, Healey Hall
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Attendance Present: Matt Hamilton, Tim Warren, John McNeill, Robin Dillon-Merrill, Laura Anderko, Joanna Lewis, Susan Frost (phone), Rachel Yancey, Mary Beth Martin
Absent: Vicki Arroyo, Ed Soule, Peter Byrne, Janet Mann, David Konisky, Maggie Little, Arik Levinson, Audrey Stewart, Francis Slakey, Sarah Stoll, Ali Whitmer

I. Welcome and Introductions
-Matt Hamilton, chair, welcomed the members in attendance.

II. Chair’s comments
-Matt Hamilton began the meeting by summarizing the guidelines for reviewing the faculty pilot grant applications, reminding members to recuse themselves from conflicts of interest.

III. Unfinished business

IV. New business
a. Review of 2015 Faculty pilot grants
-The committee members in attendance reviewed the faculty pilot grant applications. Each proposal was discussed and ranked, applications receiving awards determined, and award amounts determined.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00pm