The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)

Spring 2002 (Volume 3, Number 1)


Partnership Between the National Park Service (NPS) and the George Washington University

The National Park Service (NPS) and the George Washington University (GW) have initiated a partnership on long-term environmental sustainability.

The legislation that NPS is based on requires that it manage its areas so that future generations will also be able to enjoy these areas of natural significance. In accordance with this requirement and with an understanding of environmental stewardship, NPS has initiated a partnership with the E&EM Program and the Information Systems Management Program of GW.

The primary objectives of this partnership are to carry out training on environmental management and sustainability issues, assist in the distribution of information, and to enhance the role of NPS as a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability. The training activities are intended to concentrate on both the park professionals and the public. The park professionals include NPS park managers, staff members, and state/municipal park managers. The improvement of the daily activities and decisions of these professionals in favor of the environment could potentially enhance the efforts of sustainability.

The efforts will begin with issues of environmental compliance and methods to evaluate conformance, such as auditing. This will be taken a step further, moving beyond compliance with environmental management systems, ISO 14000 and similar systems. The focus will be on wide-ranging matters, such as transportation, energy use, building construction, landscape management, and green procurement. The efforts will be continued by education on issues like principles of sustainability, global warming, biodiversity, and native cultures. Humans and their environment interact in a complex manner, often causing adverse effects for the environment. Education will provide an insight to this relationship, the resulting effects, and actions that can be taken to reduce or eliminate these effects.

Currently, the partnership between GW and NPS is just being established. Stay tuned for developments later on in the E&EM Newsletter. Meanwhile, you can also check NPS's website for further information on their sustainability initiative.

Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor