Year in Review



The 1999-2000 school year has been successful for the University of Miami FWEA Student Chapter. Meetings have been biweekly, and well attended. Plans were made for chapter outings and events, and budgeted items were voted upon. During the fall semester, Steve McCutcheon, Ph.D., P.E., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and former editor, Journal of Environmental Engineering, made two presentations to students and faculty. His first presentation, on hydrodynamic, fate and transport processes for water quality modeling, was geared towards graduate students, while the second, on phytoremediation, appealed to both undergraduates and graduates.

In February, Dr. Englehardt (faculty advisor), Tim Desmarais (President), and Jeff Rogers (Treasurer) attended the leadership conference in the Orlando area. Ideas, contacts, and information acquired have been valuable in planning for the future of the chapter. In April, four members (Dan Meeroff, Tim Desmarais, Naila Hosein and Hong Xu) attended the annual WEFTEC conference which was held in Tampa. Tim presented his paper entitled “A Comparison of Several Indicators of Fecal Pollution in an Urban, Tidally-Influenced Subtropical River”, for which he was awarded a plaque. Yaay Tim! The rest of us were able to mingle and learn from the many lectures presented.

In addition, the FWEA library has been expanded with many book, journal, and video contributions from students and faculty, and the FWEA website was updated with current information and photographs.

The big event of the year was a field camping outing to the Dry Tortugas in March. Students snorkeled and explored the fragile subtropical reef ecosystem of South Florida, gaining first hand experience with the corals and their eco-neighbors: seargent majors, parrot fish, jewfish, barracuda, a nurse shark, grey snapper, jack, yellowtail, Portuguese man-of-war, grunts, and many other friends. In addition, a relatively rare Wurdemann Heron was spotted on the nearby cay. Historical and current water treatment systems (cisterns and membranes) at historic Ft. Jefferson were toured. In spite of a middle-of-the-night drenching downpour, the Chapter was the talk of the campground in terms of camping skills, comfort, and cuisine. Bacon and eggs, anyone?

Future entrance in the Environmental Competition is being investigated. These activities all further the goals of the Student Chapter, to supplement in-class learning experiences, and provide contacts and entrance for the environmental engineering student into the field of water quality engineering and management.

Elections for the new E-board are currently underway, and results will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

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