CHED taps JESAM for scientific writing workshop of Philippine HEIs

IMG 1039Participants of the Journal Capability Workshop at Sierra Hotel, Dumaguete City last August 13, 2019.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), in partnership with the Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM), held a capability building workshop for journal editors, researchers and faculty of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The first capability workshop kicked-off in the Visayan region, with CHED Region VII hosting the workshop with the assistance of the Office of Planning, Research and Knowledge Management (OPRKM) of the CHED Central Office at Sierra Hotel, Dumaguete City, August 12-16, 2019.


More than 40 faculty and researchers from 21 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private higher education institutions attended the workshop. With participants coming from non-Journal Incentive Program (JIP) recipient schools, the workshop aims to assist universities and colleges in the general aspects of journal management by holding a series of training-workshop on peer-review process, database management, similarity checking and other support services; to consolidate and improve the promotion of science journals through website and social media management across the regions in the country; to assist the journals in applying to indexing systems; and to train faculty members and researchers to enhance scientific writing skills.


The Dumaguete leg of the capability-building workshop series composed of HEIs from Regions VI, VII and VIII. The draft articles of the participants from their respective researches were further refined and reformatted based on the pointers from the scientific lectures presented by the JESAM team. Dr. Josefino A. Ronquillo, Supervising Education Program Specialist, CHED-Region VII, said he will follow up to the participants their ‘improved’ and ‘reformatted’ articles for possible publication in scientific journals. “I assure you that I will make the follow up and urge these participants to submit their articles to CHED. If these outputs will be published, it will be for their own good”, Dr. Ronquillo added.


In his opening message, National Scientist and former Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary and CHED Chairman, Dr. Angel C. Alcala, said he hope the region will produce the best papers as output of this capability building workshop. “Lets make our country’s track record equal to or better than Southeast Asian countries in terms of research”, Dr. Alcala stressed. Dr. Alcala is currently the Chair of the Technical working Group of CHED-JIP and Professor Emeritus of Silliman University,


CHED ACAAt the age of 90, Dr. Angel C. Alcala still continues to share his wisdom and provide valuable advice to the younger generation of teachers and researchers. 


The JESAM team, led by Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Managing Editor, presented lectures on writing technical articles for scientific journals; preparing the review of related literature, materials and methods; and publication ethics. Meanwhile, Dr. Loucel E. Cui, Editorial Assistant, discussed writing results and discussion, conclusion and recommendations. Furthermore, Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas presented the practical guide to getting published in journals.


On the second day of the workshop, the participants enriched the outlines of their respective draft articles. As they presented the outlines of their researches, constructive critiques were given by other participants and it helped the authors further improve their articles. The sharing of ideas and commenting raised the confidence of the participants to enhance their scientific writing skills. 


Meanwhile, journal management was the theme of the presentations on the third day of the workshop. Dr. Ancog discussed the importance of the peer review process, while Dr. Lawas introduced the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science indexing system. Ms. Cherry S. Padilla, Editorial Assistant, presented how to manage a database of a scientific journal. Lastly, Dr. Cui lectured on how to conduct similarity checking of journal articles.

The next leg of the capability workshop will be for the participants of Mindanao HEIs on September 2-6 in Cagayan de Oro City. The capability workshop series will also brought to Nueva Ecija this October for Northern Luzon HEIs and Lucena City, Quezon this November for Southern Luzon region HEIs.

JESAM Conducts Journal Management and Scientific Writing Seminar at UEP

UEP JMMP July 29 2019Journal mentoring. Dr. Rolando A. Delorino, President of UEP, welcomed the JESAM editorial team during the journal management seminar last July 29, 2019 (photo Dr. Loucel E. Cui).


The Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM), a Web of Science-indexed journal of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), conducted a journal management seminar-workshop at University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), University Town, Catarman, Northern Samar, on July 29 to 31, 2019.


This is part of JESAM’s Journal Management Mentoring Program which aims to assist universities and colleges in the general aspects of journal management by training-workshop on peer-review process; database management; journal lay-outing and formatting; similarity checking and other support services; to assist the journals in applying to indexing systems (Web of Science, Scopus, etc.); andto train faculty members on how to write scientific articles.


Dr. Rolando A. Delorino, President of UEP, stressed the importance to produce quality journal articles to lift the status of UEP, the first state university in the Visayas. “This is our priority now, I want to challenge our faculty members to write and publish their research outputs”, Dr. Delorino said during the opening program of the seminar. Dr. Delorino is an alumnus of SESAM, he graduated MS Environmental Studies in 1989 under the UPLB-Ford Foundation Fellowship Grant.


For his part, newly-appointed Vice President for Research, Development and Extension, Dr. Tito M. Cabili, said that he is excited for the rebirth of the Pacific Journal of Science and Technology (PJST). “I am looking forward for the new articles that could be included in the relaunch of the PJST after this seminar”, Dr. Cabili said. “The revival of the journal is my first goal as VP and I want it to be sustainable and hope to be indexed soon”, he added. An alumnus of SESAM, Dr. Cabili graduated PhD Environmental Science in 2009.


The JESAM team, led by the Managing Editor and SESAM Assistant Professor, Dr. Rico C. Ancog presented lectures on writing technical articles for scientific journals. Dr. Loucel E. Cui, University Researcher and JESAM Editorial Assistant, discussed the elements of a publishable journal article content, structure and form, particularly on the review of related literature and materials and methods of a scientific article.


On day two, Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, University Extension Specialist II and JESAM Production Editor, presented the practical guide to getting published research journals. Dr. Ancog also presented the principles in publication ethics. After lectures, the participants conducted a workshop on the application of the elements of publishable article. They were grouped based on their respective disciplines, as the authors worked on how to improve their articles for the future issue of PJST.


UEP participants JMMP July 2019The colleges and campuses of UEP were well-represented during the journal mentoring and scientific writing seminar. 


Day three highlighted the journal management part of the seminar, with Dr. Lawas presenting about JESAM: Role of journals and the importance of Peer Review Process and Clarivate analytics-Web of Science; Dr. Cui discussed similarity checking on journal articles; and finally, Ms. Cherry C. Padilla, University Research Associate II and JESAM Editorial Assistant, lectured on how to manage a journal database.


More than 30 faculty and staff of UEP attended the seminar, representing the nine colleges, including the Catubig and Laoang campuses. More than five articles were prepared and ready for peer review for the next PJST issue.

Dr. Ancog served as plenary speaker in two scientific meetings

PSSNThe participants from UPLB during the 2019 PSSN conference held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.


Recently awarded 2019 Outstanding Young Scientist Dr. Rico Ancog served as plenary speaker of two separate scientific meetings in the first two weeks of July 2019. The assistant professor and UP Scientist III of SESAM discussed topics on inter- and trans-disciplinal science, and environmental governance and valuation imperatives related to Invasive Alien Species in the Asia-Pacific region. 


The first conference was the 19thInternational Conference on Nature Studies of the Philippine Society for the Study of Nature (PSSN) held last 2-6 July 2019 at Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. In support to the conference’s theme “Nature, People, and Development: Making Connection Matters,” Dr. Ancog discussed a paper defining transdisciplinal approach to effectively link various sustainability dimensions across the project development and project evaluation phases. He discussed the importance of crafting a inter- and –transdisciplinal praxis, along with systematic methodological framework that would effectively operationalize the formulation and implementation of a research project related to environmental problem. Overall, the well-attended conference was instrumental for attendees to exchange information and discuss potential collaborations in the future for a deeper understanding of the connection between nature, people and development. In addition, the paper of Mr. Christian Cuevas, a recent MS graduate of SESAM and advisee of Dr. Ancog was also presented. It tackled the use of choice experiment (CE) method in the estimation of tourists’ willingness to pay for the recreational serve of Mt. Macolot in Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines. 


Dr. Ancog was also invited to also serve as a plenary speaker during the R&D Conference on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Management and Biosecurity Measures in the Asia Pacific Region held on 8-12July 2019 at Diamond Hotel in Manila, Philippines. The IAS has been considered as among the major threats to biodiversity such that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has called on parties to find mechanisms for the introduction, control and eradication of alien species. Organized by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the research arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the IAS conference aimed to enhance the R&D partnerships and cooperation between and among Asia-Pacific countries, better understanding of the institutional and capacity developments necessary for an effective IAS management, and in strengthening strategies and policies to address issues on IAS. 


Dr. Ancog proposed a general framework to determine the appropriate method to measure the spread dynamics of an IAS, and from there elaborate on some facilitative to sufficient conditions to strengthen management of IAS. Joining Dr. Ancog are Jomari Christian Baggay and Stellah Aclan, university research associates at SESAM, who also presented a paper on some IAS control strategies in a national park in the Philippines. Along with Dr. Leonardo M. Florece and Dr. Ancog, they comprise the research team of a SESAM-implemented project on IAS in Allah Valley Protected Landscape (AVPL) in Mindanao funded by the Foreign Assisted and Species Projects Services (FASPS) of DENR.


Overall, the papers presented during the plenary talks of Dr. Ancog were products of research projects implemented by SESAM signifying the School’s active research culture, as well as its aim of ensuring that its research results are disseminated to the widest possible, especially government regulatory agencies.

SEARCA, IdSC Water conducts workshop on Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security

SEARCA water

Participants of SWRM Program Workshop spearheaded by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (SEARCA Director), Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez (UPLB IdSC Water Chair), Ir. Abdullah Isnin (AWGWRM Chair) and representatives from SEA government units working on water.


Water plays a vital role in global food security as 50% of agricultural production is seen to increase to feed nine billion population by 2050. A holistic management on water resources is deemed necessary as the population increase puts more pressure to water resources. In response to this, a collaborative workshop on Program Development of Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security in Southeast Asia was conducted by SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and UPLB Inter-disciplinary Center for Water (IdSC Water) at Los Baños Laguna from June 26-28, 2019. 


Representatives of the ASEAN working group on Water Resource Management (AWGWRM) member countries together with SEA country representatives (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao PDR, Indonesia), ICHARM, Tohoku University, Philippine National Agencies, Academe, Local Government Units, International Non-Government Organizations and Civil Society Organizations attended the workshop in crafting the Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security in Southeast Asia. 


Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, emphasized the food security challenges due to diminishing water resources. Water scarcity has been prominent as demand for competing users arise raising water security concerns, not just in Philippines, but in the whole SEA region. 


The workshop was conceptualized to establish the important link between food security and water security. The 3-day workshop distilled needs and gaps to be addressed in research and development, capacity building, and knowledge management focusing on current initiatives on sustainable water resource management for food security in SEA. 


With this, SEARCA seeks to develop an umbrella program focusing on research convergence towards sustainable water resource management in Southeast Asia, which will be included in SEARCA’s 11th 5-year plan. (C.B.Gigantone and J.O.Aquino)

4th water forum focused on agriculture

WF4The 4th Water Forum last June 25, 2019 at the College of Engineering Agro-Industrial Technology, UPLB, attracted stakeholders from different sectors. 

Water scarcity/stress is one of the biggest problems the country is facing due to increase in competition among various water users, wherein the agriculture sector as the top user. With this, the University of the Philippines Los Baños Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water (UPLB IdSC Water) conducted Water Series Forum #4 with the theme “Securing Water for Agriculture: Technology, Valuation and Governance.” It aimed to present the current status, gaps and challenges to water security in agriculture in relation to the supply of quality water, available technologies both in the supply and demand side, valuation and governanceDifferent stakeholders from National Government Agencies, Private Organizations, Non-Government Organizations, Academe, among others participation in the forum. 

Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., UPLB Chancellor, stated that the forum is one of the important events of the center as this focuses on the role of water in agriculture, which is an important input in achieving food security. 

Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez, Chair of the IdSC Water and Associate Professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), gave an overview about the Center. She provided statistics on the statement of water resources in the country. 

Engr. Leslie Dizon, Division Manager of the National Irrigation Administration, discussed the water utilization of the agriculture sector. He also discussed the water scarcity occurrence in Manila and some parts of the country. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Roger A. Luyun, Chair of research and development committee of IdSC Water and a Professor at the College of Engineering Agro-Industrial Technology, UPLB, highlighted the technologies in agriculture during the plenary session. He emphasized that smart agriculture is the key for efficient water use which is driven by innovative changes and advanced technologies. 

Dr. Arlene Inocencio, Professor at De La Salle University discussed water valuation in agriculture. She emphasized water as an economic good. She pointed out that water should be allocated to the highest value uses. 

Water Governance in Agriculture, on the other hand, was the main focus of the lecture of Dr. Agnes Rola, Professor Emeritus at UPLB. She emphasized that the water crisis in the country was caused by weak water governance. 

Lastly, Engr. Henry Cacayan of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, tackled the initiatives towards water and food security. He mentioned the importance of a holistic approach in water resource management. "Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) plays a crucial role in sustainable agricultural management", he added. 

The afternoon workshop session focused on the key issues and interventions for each thematic area: Technology, Valuation and Governance. More than 80 participants from various stakeholders attended this year's forum (Jessa Aquino and Cathy Gigantone).

SESAM's Class of 2019 has 52 graduates


Top grads. Ms. Angelica Magpantay, (MS) and Dr. Gerald Salas (PhD), thanked SESAM during the 2019 testimonials.

The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) conducted a testimonial ceremony for this year's graduating students on June 20, 2019 at the New College of Arts and Sciences (NCAS) Gallery.

According to Dr. Janice S. Garcia, Associate Professor and SESAM head of Instruction, a total of 52 students- 16 PhD, 33 MS Environmental Science and 33 Professional Masters on Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management (PMTMEM) graduated for the class of 2019.

Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs said UPLB is very proud as SESAM produced the most number of post-graduates this year. With this number of graduates, Dr. Lapitan said that it is evident that SESAM is really pushing towards the UP mandate of being a research graduate university. "Our harvest today- the post-graduates- has able to contribute to the core of environmental scientists, so that the problems in environment will be addressed", Dr. Lapitan stressed. "Carry the cudgels for the environmental fight of UPLB", she added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Dean of UPLB Graduate School (GS), said the graduating class of 2019 is special because this year has the highest number of graduates from GS. He added that SESAM has shown why we should put importance to hard work and perseverance. "Indeed, this year we have a great harvest, especially from SESAM, we have more UP Scientists and new Most Outstanding Scientists that will guide our students", Dr. Camacho said.

For her part, Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana, Assistant Professor, recalled her student life while taking her PhD Environmental Science and she advised the graduating students to keep focus and continue to work hard as they will go back to their respective work and places. "Don't loose hope", she stressed, as she can relate to those students who were having difficulties in managing their time and doing other equally important duties while studying.

The top MS graduate, Ms. Angelica Magpantay, a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholar, mentioned the five "P's" that helped her in her graduate school journey-- professionalism, planning, passion and persistence, prayer and people. "We survived SESAM... but we will miss this, it is indeed our home away from home", Ms. Magpantay happily addressed the audience.

Meanwhile the top PhD graduate, Dr. Gerald Salas, a faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, Pampanga Agricultural Colleges, mentioned that this time, his dream came true for him to graduate from UP, after he was convinced before by his parents not to pursue his creative writing program in UP Diliman for his bachelor's degree. "At first I was afraid environmental science was not the program for me, but Dr. Carmelita Rebancos encouraged me to continue", he said. "I learned to prioritize and I got ample support from my family, friends and of course, my mentors here at SESAM, he added.

In her closing remarks, Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, Dean, SESAM, expressed her delight, as this year was really a bountiful harvest for the school, with the most number of post-graduates in the university. She told the graduates that they are 'trained to evolve and adopt'. "Always remind yourself why you chose your respective field", as she mentioned to the class of 2019 the different roles of both MS and PhD graduate that must be fulfilled. Dr. Eslava also thanked the families and love ones of the graduates who attended the testimonial, as well as the UPLB Environmental Society, who co-organized the activity.