Since its inception in 2006, the University of Alberta School of Energy and the Environment (SEE) has contributed in various ways to finding solutions to relevant key issues. The distribution of research funding, as well as mobility and event support funds over the years, has enabled researchers to establish the groundwork for new and exciting lines of inquiry. These funds - including the Proof of Concept and Proof of Principle grants - were provided through the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE).
SEE was established with a link to CSEE, an organization funded by a grant from Industry Canada. The funding agreement specified that all grant funds must be disbursed by March 31, 2014. As a result of this funding expiration and the corresponding conclusion of projects, both CSEE and SEE will wind down in 2014. The funds SEE received from CSEE have been utilized to promote research and generate teaching opportunities, as well as to circulate meaningful information about energy and the environment.
A variety of courses sponsored through SEE have provided students with the opportunity to learn and better understand a number of topics, including energy, the environment, and the technologies being developed. SEE also organized and funded a number of meetings, workshops, and seminars. These events have provided researchers from around the world with the opportunity to collaborate and network with others in similar fields and with related interests.
The Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN) was launched with the close collaboration and support of SEE. This organization has worked to compile, interpret and analyze available knowledge about managing the environmental impacts to landscapes and water impacted by oil sands mining. This information is then transferred to those who can use it to drive breakthrough improvements in regulations and practices. The knowledge obtained has contributed to innovative improvements in oil sands environmental management regulations and practices. OSRIN will be winding down at the end of 2014 in parallel with SEE.
The founding Director of SEE, Dr. Joseph Doucet, and his team played a critical role in launching the School. The enthusiasm and efforts put into creating SEE has provided a solid framework for successive directors and team members to ensure its continued success.
With its contributions to OSRIN, promotion of learning through courses, advancement through research collaboration and much more, SEE has proven its value. Even though SEE will be concluding its projects in 2014, its successes and achievements will ensure it has a long lasting legacy.