Institute Activities and Programs

The increase in the public's knowledge of environmental and physical science issues over the last several decades has helped foster a broadened scientific awareness that has led to positive action. Institute students and faculty work to educate school children and the public on a broad variety of scientific issues. Past and present activities include:
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE: The Institute has hosted "Bringing Renewable Energy to West Virginia". This timely conference, co-sponsored by the West Virginia Development Office, highlighted measures that adjacent states have taken to successfully promote renewable energy adoption, and examined the state of renewable energy in West Virginia. Topics included incentives, net metering, and the political reality of alternative energy in WV. A mixture of presentations (from groups including the U.S. Department of Energy, the Pennsylvania State Energy Office, the WV Development Office, the Shepherd University Institute, and the Conservation Fund) and workshops on photovoltaics, passive solar, wind, and other renewable energy applications provided a broad perspective for homeowners, developers, students, educators, and those concerned with increasing our state’s energy independence.

  • WASHINGTON GATEWAY JUNIOR HIGH ACADEMY: This is a statewide program for 7th grade students held for one week (by the whole Shepherd Campus) during the summer. This is a motivational camp, targeting the underachiever with potential and peaking their interest in various topics; our goal to make these students aware that they have the potential to achieve in college and in life. Dr. Snyder and Dr. Best have for multiple years offered the science and study skills courses of the Academy. Dr. Best also serves as the Academy's Academic Coordinator

  • EISENHOWER WORKSHOPS: The Institute has hosted Eisenhower grant teacher workshops. In addition, Institute faculty have worked with neighboring school districts to develop Eisenhower grant workshops focusing on "Tough Topics to Teach" and "Earth and Sky".

  • EXCHANGE PROGRAM: In 2002,  the Institute has conducted a student exchange program with the University of Plymouth, England, Department of Environmental Science. Ten students from each school were exchanged simultaneously and underwent an educational experience that focused on the  environmental and cultural aspects of each country's history.

  • GROWTH CONFERENCE: In January of 2001, a conference on the perception of growth in the Eastern Panhandle was held at Shepherd University in conjunction with West Virginia University and the Potomac Headwaters Council.

  • SCHOOL TO CAREER ACADEMY: Dr. Snyder developed an environmental component to the School to Career Academy offered by the Community and Technical College component of Shepherd University to regional high school students, and presented this to students during the academy.

  • STREAM CLEAN-UPS: Faculty members have involved students in several stream clean-ups as part of a Stream Partners Grant co-authored with emeritus faculty member Dr. Richard Latterell. As part of the grant, the Jefferson County Watershed Association was formed, where the college and community join together in cleaning and improving the water quality of streams in Jefferson County. This has been an extremely rewarding experience, and provided many connections between students and members of the community.