National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz introduced to SESAM the Future Earth Philippines Program during the Loyalty Alumni Symposium last October 10, 2018.
The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), in cooperation with the SESAM Alumni Association, held its 10thAlumni Homecoming Symposium last October 10, 2018 at SESAM Lecture Hall with the theme “SESAM Alumni and Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning for All”.
This year’s awardees are Dr. Ramon M. Docto (PhD in Environmental Science 2003), University President of Palawan State University, as the Outstanding SESAM Alumnus for Institutional Service; and Dr. Mari-Ann M. Acedera (PhD in Environmental Science 2013), Director of Marine Resource Research Division of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), as the Outstanding SESAM Alumna for Research and Development.
The awardees received a bust of Macli-ing Dulag, an environmental hero of the Philippines, to commemorate his contributions to raising the need for a more careful analysis of development projects that is anchored on social justice and sustainable development. The bust was made by Ms. Yvette Co, a local artist in Los Baños and Project Director of Ginhawa Craft Studio Café. In the coming years, the token, in honor of Macli-ing Dulag, will also be awarded to future outstanding SESAM Alumni with hopes of inspiring people through the story of sacrifice that Dulag exhibited in his life.
Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, Dean of SESAM, gave her opening remarks and welcomed the alumni, students, faculty, and staff who attended the symposium. Afterwards, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Chancellor of UPLB, gave an inspirational message applauding the contributions of UPLB-SESAM Alumni.
National Scientist Lourdes J. Cruz was also invited at the symposium as a resource speaker. NS Cruz discussed her latest research program, “Future Earth Philippines Program”, which aims towards sustainability and resilience in the Philippines. SESAM Dean, Dr. Faustino-Eslava, together with Dr. Azanza, Dr. Culaba, and Dr. Sumagaysay, are also part of the research program. The urgent need for sustainability and resilience in the Philippines as it is currently running on a non-sustainable mode, wherein the ecological footprint of the country surpasses its biocapacity, was highlighted during the lecture.
SESAM faculty, staff, students and alumni during the Centennial Loyalty Day celebration last October 10, 2018.
In this year’s Alumni Homecoming, a Scientific Poster Competition was also organized to encourage scholarly work using multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches. It also served as an opportunity for students, faculty, and alumni to showcase their research, programs, and projects in the field of Environmental Science. A total of 12 posters participated in the competition that were assessed and graded by Professor Emeritus Enrique P. Pacardo, Dr. Carmelita M. Rebancos, and Dr. Hildie Maria E. Nacorda. The poster entitled “Evaluation of Satellite-Based Gridded Precipitation Datasets in Mount Makiling, Philippines” by Mr. Jonathan T. Macuroy, Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, Ms. Clarisse SV. Siababa, and Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon won the poster competition and was awarded the Professor Emeritus Enrique P. Pacardo Best Poster Award.
Dr. Rico C. Ancog, President of the SESAM Alumni Association, thanked all the SESAM Alumni who participated in the event, as well as the faculty, staff, and students who attended the event and helped in preparation of the loyalty parade and other alumni homecoming activities. (Louie Paolo D. Leynes)
Centennial Loyalty Day Float. SESAM faculty and staff paraded a float showcasing its projects and technologies last October 10, 2018 at 100th Loyalty Day Celebration.
The School of Environmental Science and Management participated in the annual University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) loyalty day foot parade last October 10, 2018 at the D.L. Umali Freedom Park. This year a float competition was also included in line with the theme “100 Years of Uplifting People’s Lives and Beyond”.
The faculty and staff of SESAM worked hand-in-hand to assemble a float showcasing the accomplishments its recent and ongoing projects. These includes the innovative Tunnel Ventilation Technology (TVT), which aims to assess the tunnel vent technology as applied in swine and poultry industries; The biodigester under the United States Assistance in Development (USAID)-funded project entitled “Reducing Agricultural Post-Harvest Loss by Developing a Cost-Effective Cold Storage Facility”; the services offered by the Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate the Agricultural Industry (SARAI), such as the real-time weather monitoring; Project Ligtas (VOTE) for landslide hazard and rainfall monitoring; rainwater harvesting, which was piloted in Calamba City, funded by the Oscar M. Lopez Foundation; and the constructed wetlands, in collaboration with the Batangas City government.
The best float initially had a PhP 75,000.00 cash prize, however, the Loyalty Day Parade committee jacked-up the amount to PhP 100,000 to commemorate the celebration of the 100th loyalty day of UPLB. Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. said the float-making competition is one measure of the unity of the colleges and units of the university. “I would like to see these units work together, and the float-making shows that unity exists in the organizations”, he stressed.
The College of Arts and Sciences won the best float. The College of Agriculture and Food Science won 2ndplace with a prize of PhP 40,000. Meanwhile, the College of Veterinary Medicine won 3rdplace, with a prize of PhP 25,000.
Dr. Glenn S. Lubugin, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (middle), presides over the water agenda workshop last September 20, 2018 (photo: Office of Public Relations)
The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water spearheaded a workshop on the research agenda on water last September 20-21, 2018, at the Office of the Chancellor, UPLB. It aims to discuss the past and current initiative and research agenda on water of each campuses of UP system. Representatives from UPLB, UP Baguio, UP Visayas and UP Mindanao attended, as this was part of the agreement made last June 28, 2018 during the meeting of the eight campuses to create blanket proposal on water research.
During the opening program, Dr. Glenn S. Lubugin, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, stressed the importance of integrating various disciplines in addressing water-related issues.
Representative from each campus were invited to discuss the past and current initiatives on water, framework, research agenda and priority projects. In his talk, Dr. Roger Luyun, Chair of Research and Development Committee of the center, discussed how the water center was institutionalized. He mentioned that agriculture and watershed management were some of the research niches of UPLB. However, he reiterated that there is a lack of repository of database in the country, so the water center envisions to do water resource assessment and database management.
Mr. Jeffrey Javier of Cordillera Studies Center presented the research areas of UP Baguio. Most of the studies that they are conducting is related on disaster management. He highlighted that water is one of the concerns in their area due to its geographical location.
Meanwhile, UP Visayas, represented by Dr. Rosalie Hall, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, revolved on their focus area such as fisheries and domestic water. She also revealed that their university is planning to have their own water center.
Dr. Joseph Acosta, Assistant Professor from UP Mindanao said that their framework includes different activities on the filed of mapping, GIS application, modeling, land use planning, among others. It has different thematic areas and water is one of these.
“To solve the fragmentation or at least address other issues on water, we should at least agree to have a unified research direction on water” as stated by Dr. Agnes Rola, Chair of the Networking and Partnership Committee of the water center.
The group formulated set of objectives and an operational framework for the proposal with the main goal of attaining “water security for all at all times”. (Jessa O. Aquino, EnP)
Dr. Nicolas Peyraube is willing to study caves in the Philippines, particularly the Cavinti underground river and cave in Cavinti, Laguna.
An Associate Professor from the Department of Geology of the University of Bordeaux, Talence, France, presented a study of karsts and caves last September 5, 2018 at SESAM Lecture Hall, UPLB.
Dr. Nicolas Peyraube, who already visited SESAM early last year, is an expert in hydrology, caves and karst, with a PhD in air and water transfer in karst aquifers. He collaborated with a team of civil engineers and environment group of hydrologists and karstologists in his study of Cusac and Lascaux caves in France.
Also an expert in cave aerology, Dr. Peyraube said that studying of caves is important since there can be paintings, engravings, corpses and speleothems that must be preserved as historical relics. In addition, caves are also worthy to study since many diseases can be discovered within its ecology such as green disease from algae due to humidity and carbon dioxide from visitors; white disease from calcite deposition due to changes in ventilation; and mushroom disease because the aerology is fragile and any perturbation can help the development of species brought by visitors.
According to Dr. Peyraube, Cussac Cave, which has a width and height of five to six meters and its 1.5 km long, has paintings engravings and corpse and it is closed to public. Air in the cave is not breathable from June to December since there is too much carbon dioxide. Scientists have monitored Cussac Cave since 2007.
Meanwhile, Lascaux Cave is small compared to Cussac Cave. It has only a width and height two by five meters and it is only 250 meters long. This cave contains 1,900 paintings and considered as the most important cave in France. It is also closed to the public since 1970. The cave is monitored since 1960 and scientists placed more than 130 sensors.
At present, Dr. Peyraube is looking for collaborators, as he is also willing to study caves in tropical countries, particularly here in the Philippines. “There is a possibility that I could work on the Cavinti underground river and cave complex”, Dr. Peyraube said. He aims to monitor the water flow, temperature, electrical conductivity, pH and major ions of the Cavinti Cave, which is found in the Municipality of Cavinti, Laguna.
About 70 SESAM faculty, staff and students attended the presentation. Dr. Peyraube is married to a Filipina named Dr. Jessica Villanueva, who is also alumna of UPLB and former research staff of SESAM.
Everyone is cordially invited on September 11, 2018 (Tuesday), 4-5 pm at SEARCA Drilon Hall.