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BP Supports Environmental Partners
Gordon Plishker, associate vice president for research and sponsored programs at Sam Houston State, participated recently in the check presentation. David E. Payne, SHSU vice-president of academic affairs, and other Sam Houston State officials represented SHSU at a formal signing ceremony recognizing the collaborative effort in July.
"At BP, we look for innovative ways to better communities where we work and live," said Tim Scruggs, manager for BP's South Houston operations. "The environmental technology program developed by College of the Mainland and Sam Houston State allows us to share our resources to benefit students throughout Galveston County and beyond."
Ralph Holm, president of College of the Mainland's board of trustees, thanked BP and said that the collaboration will greatly enhance the study of environmental science through chemistry, biology, and zoology.
"Through this sponsored science-based study will come a broader appreciation and implementation of BP's 'Green Vision' for our communities," said Holm. "We appreciate their continued support of our efforts."
The Environmental Technology Development Commercialization Center will be built on land leased by Sam Houston State University's Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies from College of the Mainland. The initial phase of the development will include an enclosed facility on the southeast corner of the College of the Mainland campus.
The center's goal is to become an international clearinghouse for environmental technologies to address environmental health issues, with focus areas including industrial waste treatment, phyto-remediation, bioremediation, and other green sciences.
A contained spill impact assessment lab with a concrete-lined soil basin will allow environmental technology students and researchers to study how to best contain pollutant dispersal through the soil.
The lab will also allow the college and the university to assist the Galveston County Health District with air samplings to devise ways to contain airborne pollutants-a subject that concerns many people living in the greater Texas City area.
In addition to the environmental technology research, there will be an academic benefit as well. In conjunction with College of the Mainland's existing Process Technology Program, the college will offer a one-year certification program and a two year associate degree. A 2 + 2 bachelor's degree program in Environmental Science will also be offered at Sam Houston State.
"This type of partnership between a community college and a state university has been encouraged by the state legislature and others," said James F. Gaertner, Sam Houston State University president. "It could well lead to articulation agreements in other fields, such as criminal justice, business and public service careers."
Also participating in the July ceremony were R. Dean Lewis, dean of the College of Business Administration; Brian Chapman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Wes Johnson, associate dean of the College of Criminal Justice, and Plishker.
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