SESAM staff and students upskill on policy brief analysis and formulation

As part of the preparations for the publication of the SESAM Policy Brief Series (SPBS), the UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management, through its Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD), conducted an in-house training on policy analysis and how to write policy briefs via online conferencing on 07 February 2022.

Through the webinar, SESAM intended to provide its faculty, Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS), administrative personnel, project teams, and students an enhanced capacity to write and produce policy briefs that can be applied for the promotion, adoption, and transfer of results, technologies, and innovations generated from its researches.

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, the Dean of the School, underscored the need for the School to engage even more on how it can further contribute in advancing science especially that SESAM is a Center of Excellence in Environmental Science recognized by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education. 

Under the SESAM SAILS (Sustainability and Accelerated Innovation in Learning and Solutions)- the strategic intent that the School has been operationalizing since June 2021, three priority areas or the so-called three Is, namely, Instruction, Impact, and Infrastructure has been identified. The in-house training, Dr. Ancog remarked, is directly related to the Impact and he identified two routes for this. The first being the formulation of advocacy briefs in relation to a particular action that SESAM is championing. The second is the formulation of objective briefs, which, according to the Dean is crucial in giving balanced information for sound decision-making. SESAM is known as an academic institution that is “very much active in research work and thus, it aims to conduct policy and good science that would relate to advocacy work”, he explained.

Dr. Agnes C. Rola, a professor emeritus of the UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development and an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology, delivered the lecture on the overview of policy analysis and policy brief formulation. Dr. Rola, a well-published academic, is a well-known expert in policy analysis including the preparation, formulation, and publication of policy briefs. Even more so, policy analysis has been among the key studies championed by the UPLB CPAf. 

In her lecture, Dr. Rola emphasized that policy briefs should afford policy goals that are actionable, cost-effective, and socially acceptable. She also shared how to make policy briefs more attention-catching for policymakers and other readers such as having a catchy/interesting title, credible authors, unique branding, good visual appeal, among other tips.

Dean Ancog also discussed the guidelines that SESAM will be using as reference for the format of the policy briefs that will be produced for the SPBS. The SPBS will be focusing on environmental issues and solutions relating to land, air, water, and people; and the contributions of the training participants in this particular endeavor of SESAM is being looked forward to.

The CETD is the extension arm of SESAM established to complement the academic, research, and extension programs of the School. SESAM is composed of 16 core faculty members, 11 REPS, 8 administrative staff, and at least 28 project staff to date. (Cherry S. Padilla)

Dr. Josefino C. Comiso: A Filipino NASA scientist awarded with Pamana ng Pilipino Award

Among the chosen recipients of the 2021 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organization Overseas (PAFIOO) is Dr. Josefino C. Comiso, a senior emeritus scientist at the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center for the category Pamana ng Pilipino Award.

The award-giving body, Commission on Filipinos Overseas under the Office of the President, selected 56 awardees from 31 countries through 39 Philippine Foreign Service Posts across Asia, North, and South America, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Comiso is one of the two recipients of the “Pamana ng Pilipino Award” along with Dr. Leorey N. Saligan of the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dr. Comiso, “Joey” as called by his close friends and colleagues, graduated with a BS degree in Physics from the University of the Philippines, with a Master’s Degree in Physics from Florida State University and a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of California in Los Angeles. He had been the chief scientist in many NASA aircraft missions in the Arctic and Antarctic. He also has been the recipient of several NASA awards, and had been the coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 (WG1) 5th Assessment Report (AR5) “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” which was published in 2014.

A Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Balik-Scientist since 2009, Dr. Comiso continues to work as a Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at NASA and is a Professor Emeritus at UP. Currently, he is working in collaboration with the UP Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management professors and scientists for the book: Rediscovering Laguna de Bay: A Vital Natural Resource in Crisis.

As one of the world’s leading experts on polar science, his expertise was recognized in the many newspaper articles and radio and television appearances. He believes that it is important to return to the country and share knowledge with other scientists and inspire the young generation in the field of science to help the country. For many years, whenever he visits the Philippines, his schedule is always full of speaking engagements. He tirelessly shared his expertise in remote sensing to address pressing environmental issues brought about by climate change.

With this award, the President of the Republic of the Philippines recognizes the contributions of Dr. Comiso on the advancement of the country’s research and technologies with his expertise on remote sensing and climate change focusing on forest conservation, agriculture, and environment science and management. (RDAreglado) 

Instructions in processing removal permit and Completion/Removal Grade

How to process the Removal Permit

  1. Download the Removal Form: https://www.uplbgraduateschool.org/img/resources/REMOVAL_OF_INC_4_PERMIT.pdf
  2. Complete the information and submit to the concerned Professor for signature.
  3. Upon having the signature of the concerned Professor, submit the Removal Permit to the GS ODSS for the approval and signature of the GS Secretary.
  4. Submit the completed Removal Permit to the concerned Professor.

How to process the Report of Records for Completion/Removal Grade

  1. Download the Report of Records for Completion/Removal Grade Form: https://www.uplbgraduateschool.org/img/resources/REPORT_OF_REMOVAL_COMPLETION%20GRADE.pdf
  2. Complete the information and submit to the concerned Professor together with the completed Removal Permit.
  3. Make sure that all signatures will be obtained including the Dean’s signature.
  4. Submit the completed Completion/Removal Grade Form to the concerned Professor.
  5. While the Professor will facilitate the submission of the Removal and Completion Forms to the following: a) SESAM Dean’s Office, b)  GS ODSS c) OUR: our.uplb@up.edu.ph, c) SAIS: sais.uplosbanos@up.edu.ph, the concerned student is expected to do the necessary follow-up and ensure that the submission is complete.
  6.  Please make sure that the SESAM Instructions Division (sesam.instructionprograms.uplb@up.edu.ph) is copy furnished when submitting the document to SAIS and OUR. Mention that the document was submitted also to the Graduate School thru the GS ODSS portal.

SESAM alternative work arrangement January 26 to 30, 2022

Please be informed that the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) will be closed on 26 to 30 January 2022 for disinfection and maintenance activities. All SESAM employees will be on work-from-home arrangement during this period. A drop box for incoming documents will be setup at the front door of the SESAM Main Building. Regular onsite transactions will resume on 31 January 2022.

For student inquiries/concerns, follow-ups, forms and document submissions that require the Dean’s signature/approval, please course through to the assigned Instructions Division personnel,

1. Mr. Jeran Jerusalem Bunzo (jjbunzo@up.edu.ph):

– student clearance

– affiliate/adjunct faculty and lecturer appointments

2. Ms. Maria Luisa G. Mendoza (mgmendoza9@up.edu.ph):

– student forms/applications/requests regarding the thesis

– grade sheets

– student records in coordination with the GS

Other inquiries and transactions will be entertained through our official email address at sesam.uplb@up.edu.ph

SESAM’s staff health, well-being and green initiatives get support from the Rotary Club of Bay

As part of its 29th anniversary anniversary celebration, the Rotary Club of Bay donated 10 bicycles to the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) in support to the School’s green and staff and student well-being initiatives. The ceremonial turnover was  facilitated by the incoming president of the Rotary Club of Bay, Laguna and former SESAM staff Dr. Mariliza V. Ticsay. This was held at SESAM grounds on January 21, 2021. Members of the Rotary Club of Bay, Laguna attended, as well as SESAM Faculty and Staff.

Mr. Gilbert Hidalgo, current president of the Rotary Club of Bay Laguna, said the donation of 10 bicycles to SESAM is under the activity entitled “Padyak Kalikasan Bike Distribution Project.” He added that prior to the donation of bikes, Rotary Club of Bay earlier conducted a “Gupit Gwapo Libreng Gupit” and a Feeding Program Nutrition Project at Baranggay Puypuy, Bay, Laguna. “This is our advocacy at Rotary Club, which is caring for the environment” Mr. Hidalgo added.

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Dean of SESAM, proudly received the 10 bicycles. He said that the donation fits well with the environmental sustainability mandate of SESAM as it complements its curricular offers with actions on the ground. “Let’s walk the talk, let’s not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions by using these bikes”, he stressed.

For his part, Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. said that making the UPLB campus environment friendly is part of his advocacy of future proofing UPLB. “Sana all”, as he delightfully expressed his gratitude to the Rotary Club of Bay, Laguna for donating the bicycles. He recalled when he was a graduate student in The Netherlands and in Japan that riding bikes was part of a student’s life. Chancellor Camacho then related a number of key ongoing infrastructure and environmental initiatives that his administration is actively pursuing to further improve the campus of UPLB and provide the best learning environment for its students and employees.

Chancellor Camacho also revealed that the university is already talking with e-jeepney operators to ply the routes of UPLB soon. “If other universities can do this, we can do this since we are the national university”, Chancellor Camacho said. 

Attention Students: ENS Courses Enlistment

To enlist courses, please follow the process below:

The student is to request the professor in charge via email, cc: dkvergara@up.edu.ph, with the following info:

1. Full name, as appears in SAIS.
2. SAIS ID (no need for Student No.)
3. Course and section (Example: ENS 242 WX)
4. Units for credit, if for ENS 290, 300, or 400

SESAM announces comprehensive exam results

The results are finally out!

The Office of the Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Management congratulates its MS and PhD Environmental Science students for having passed the Written Comprehensive Examination, 1st Semester AY 2021-2022. For more information, please contact Dean Rico C. Ancog at rcancog@up.edu.ph

JESAM jumpstarts 2022 with new issue release

The Journal for Environmental Science and Management (JESAM) recently released its December 2021 issue (Volume 24 Number 2) featuring topics on landscape changes, bioremediation, biogeography, ecological restoration and policy reviews on nuclear energy and mining.

Two articles tackle landscape pattern changes covering the cases in Amazon forests and in China. One proposes two new single value indices for landscape fragmentation using Fragstats landscape metrices and compares it with the current indices. The other analyzes the changes in coastline length in Fujian Province in China from 1995 to 2015 using remote sensing and GIS technology. Spatial pattern analysis provides a wider understanding of the dynamic ecological processes and external factors affecting it in a specific temporal scale.

The issue also includes two articles on the use of biological treatment for waste management. One discusses the isolation and identification of bacteria and fungi involved in the composting process of cellulose present in municipal and agriculture waste. The other article probes the capability of indigenous bacterial consortium in biodegradation of carcinogenic reactive azo dyes that has potential for effluent treatments. These findings are beneficial in the advancement of addressing waste pollution, both for biological and chemical pollutants, by hastening degradation of both organic and inorganic compounds with the use of indigenous microflora community- a more economic way than other remediation processes.

Articles on the biogeography of ecologically-important species were also included in the issue. One article investigates the occurrence and habitat use of non-native small mammals in upland urban forest environment of Baguio City, Philippines. The other article establishes the relationship between key physical and soil properties with the presence of teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) at natural sites of Mae Yom National Park in Thailand. Such findings are useful in understanding the potentials of occurrence and distribution of species that may be beneficial in conservation or monitoring initiatives of government agencies involved.

The issue also includes discussions on nuclear energy and mining in Philippine setting. The article on nuclear energy dissects the Philippine nuclear issues and presents a framework for possible crafting of nuclear program. The article on mining reviews the Philippine Mining laws and regulations and issues in the industry and offers new perspectives on responsible mining and ecological restoration. These papers refresh understanding and possibly stir-up conversations that may lead to revisiting current position, policies, ordinances, or laws on these particular issues in the country.JESAM is an international refereed scientific journal indexed by Web of Science and Scopus produced semi-annually by the University of the Philippines Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management. JESAM is among the five Philippine-based journals included in the 2021 Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Report with current Impact Factor of 0.326.  JESAM is open for submission of research articles of environmental topics and issues. Full articles in this issue may be accessed at https://bit.ly/JESAMarticles. (CBGigantone and CSPadilla)