June/July 2017 VOL 15 No. 3
Nicholas R. Hild, PhD.
Fifteen (plus) years for the Journal of Environmental Management! An amazing fete! And, I have been privileged to be a part of every issue; it has been an honor! When you talk about sustainability, just the mere fact that the Journal has been continuously produced for that long with a readership that receives each issue free of charge---that is the very personification of what it means to be sustainable---every issue packed with environmental information that is focused on ways we lighten our respective environmental footprints…together!
And, over that time, for me, there have been times when just settling on a topic for my column was difficult, let alone doing the research to support what my point of view was. But I can't imagine how many hours and false starts were a part of what Jim went through in getting an entire issue into print and into the mail. And he has single handedly accomplished that every other month for 15 years without missing a single issue. Congratulations, Jim!
But now looking back and remembering the many times I labored over completing my column by the deadline, I will always be grateful that I had the opportunity to help keep the Journal going out to the community of Arizona EH&S professionals, all of which makes this very last column the hardest of all to write.
The caveat to this being the last 'print' issue is, there will be a continuing ONLINE Journal which will allow even more room for pertinent EH&S information than the print version. It will still feature advertising---your EH&S companies and consultants that offer services still need your company(s) to utilize their products and services they provide. After all, they know that the Journal's readers are a targeted audience for the very products they provide through the Journal's hundreds of professionals who rely on the Journal for networking updates from all the EH&S organizations. So, just because the Journal is no longer delivered via snail-mail doesn't make it less important. However, it is now up to you to access the Journal---rather than keeping it on your desk where it gets 'buried' before its even read--- you now have the privilege of opening the ONLINE Journal any time, any place, 24/7! So, no excuses for missing an important SAEMS seminar or an EPAZ luncheon, or an Arizona Environmental Strategic Alliance Air Quality seminar---or any other Journal-advertised-event---the use of the Journal ONLINE is just a click away and you can do it on any electronic device, any time, any where!
FIFTEEN YEARS OF EH&S PROGRESS
So, how do we sum up 15 years of sustainable progress? Fifteen years ago, the Environmental Technology Management (ETM) program had been at the ASU-East campus (now the Polytechnic campus) for six years and, since 1984, had graduated more than 175 BS and MS degreed students. One of them was Jim Thrush, who took his MS degree into the real world, beginning the publication of the Journal of Environmental Management utilizing the idea that subscribers should get the Journal free and advertisers would provide the funding. The theory that he could do that successfully was developed from some of his research but the implementation of that theory followed his MS in Environmental Technology Management graduation when he published the first issue of the Journal. And, even though it took several months to iron out financial and technical production hurdles, it took a very short time to show that there was a real demand in the Arizona EH&S community for the kind of information the Journal provided. And, the rest (as the saying goes) is history.
Just as the Journal evolved and broadened its readership over the past 15 years, so too, did the ETM program. The program, which began in the early 1980s as a focused certificate program in Hazardous Waste Management, evolved quickly into an academic degree program in the College of Technology where it became the first ONLINE program to be offered at ASU. The ETM program also featured the first courses at ASU in Sustainability and Sustainable Development soon after relocating to the Polytechnic Campus in 1996. The online program had student cohorts from half a dozen countries and a dozen other states attending the program via ONLINE services provided by IT at the Poly campus. Like Jim, many of the ETM program graduates---now Environmental and Resources Management (ERM) in the College of Engineering---are in key EH&S positions across the country. At our annual ETM/ERM alumni gathering, several graduates told me how important it is that they have an informational resource like the Journal, just to maintain their network of professionals who are engaged every day in finding environmental solutions; it is truly a "team" effort in today's 'politically' charged environmental management arena.
So, while we are proud of all our ETM/ERM graduates and the work you/they do every day, continuing to sustain environmental progress is an ever more complicated and challenging process. Complicated particularly by the political whims of an administration that appears to want to turn back the clock and deregulate environmental progress going back to the 1970s, a time when 80% of the nation's surface waters were polluted and hazardous waste was allowed to be disposed of in landfills where groundwater became tainted and several "Love Canals" had yet to be discovered. So, it is even more important today that EH&S professionals continue to have access to the kind of information that the Journal provides. That is why Jim has found a way to keep the Journal going ONLINE (sustaining the effort) and to use it as a medium that maintains continuity across the vast network of professionals (like you) who join in the organizational events and activities that are a critical part of helping you find solutions to complex problems.
We need to continue this effort by thanking Jim for all he has done and for all that will be accomplished in the future. And we need to do this in remembering how much it impacts the future of our children's, children's, children. See you soon…ONLINE!