University of Calgary

SEEL funding

SEEL funding supports student projects

By Mark Lowey

The new University of Calgary-Shell Experiential Energy Learning (SEEL) program has awarded $41,875 to individual students and student clubs learning about the areas of sustainable energy, environment and economy.

U of C’s solar car team captured the lion’s share of first-round SEEL funding—$12,500 this year toward the popular and successful project’s new vehicle. “Receiving funding from Shell’s SEEL program means that we can spread our message of sustainable energy education to a larger number of stakeholders and provide our team members with better resources,” says George Demian of the solar car team.

The Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy Students’ Association (ISEEESA) received a total of $8,375 toward the Solar Decathlon project. The new multidisciplinary project, which involves the U of C, SAIT and Mount Royal College, is to enter an international competition for post-secondary schools to design and build a solar-powered house for display in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2009.

“We are extremely excited and enthusiastic about our collaboration and our entry in the Solar Decathlon, and are glad the SEEL funding has provided us with the kick-off that we need,” says Mark Blackwell, ISEEESA’s president and an undergrad in the Haskayne School of Business.

The SEEL evaluation committee also awarded $5,000 to a new week-long field course for up to 25 U of C students, in northern Alberta’s Athabasca oilsands region. The course, to be held in late August, is being offered by the university’s environmental science program in partnership with Keyano College in Fort McMurray.

The SEEL funding dovetails nicely with the U of C’s northern strategy being led by Tony Myers, advisor to the president on strategic initiatives, says Dr. Mary Reid, associate professor of biological sciences and director of the BSc environmental science program. “It provides a way for us to have a Fort McMurray component in our required ENSC501 field course without demanding excessive fees for our students.”

Other first-round SEEL funding includes:

• $6,000 to help 18 Schulich School of Engineering students take a week-long, energy- and environment-focused educational tour to Germany this spring;

• $1,000 each to 10 Schulich School undergrads travelling to the island of Crete in Greece in May to take engineering courses that include study of waste- and water-management systems.

The SEEL program, administered by ISEEE and adjudicated by a committee that includes a student representative from each of the six faculties working with ISEEE, offers up to $100,000 this year to individual students and clubs.

The deadline for applications for second-round funding is July 30, for activities and events running Sept. 1, 2007 to Jan. 31, 2008. The application form is available on ISEEE’s website: