Last Day of Classes

So December 10 was the last day of classes for the fall 2010 semester.  Of course, it’s not all done yet.  Not until final exams are finished.  But the worst, I think/hope, is over.  Projects for the term included:

  • Impact assessment of tight-gas drilling operations on bull trout populations and habitat
  • Phase I site assessment of a landfill site
  • Development of a ground- and surface-water sampling plan for landfill leachate contamination
  • HS&E “audit” of SAIT’s Wellsite Production Education Centre (WPEC)
  • Creation of an environmental impact assessment public participation plan for a hypothetical ski resort development
  • Remediation of a biome contaminated with crude oil

While most of these projects were instructive, interesting, and somewhat enjoyable (though stressful), the “audit” was anything but.  The problem, unfortunately, is that we did not receive any useful training in the actual activities and process of completing an audit.  Yes, we know that there must be an opening meeting, document review, preparation for on-site activities, execution of on-site activities, preparation and distribution of the audit report, completion of the audit report, and audit follow-up (if necessary).  But that’s about all.  No instruction on the actual audit activities was provided.  My class was extremely frustrated and disappointed with the entire course (ENVS223 Environmental Audits and Management Systems) , and many of us feel like customers who have not received the product paid for.

The biome remediation project was very interesting and engaging, and I’m going to try to write about it here over the holiday break.

Anyway, after all the stress and frustration of the semester, we are now preparing for finals.  But Friday night was a night off for me.  Instead of studying, I went with a couple friends to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (4/5), and then decided to stay for the late show of Burlesque (4/5).  Both were fantastic and couldn’t be more different from each other.  It’s really nice to  see the final parts of the Harry Potter saga coming to life.  Burlesque was better than I expected.  I knew that with Cher it would be pretty good, but I was surprisingly impressed with Christina Aguilerra’s performance.  Both did a fantastic job.

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