Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
The supplementary environmental projects that MIT will undertake are:
1. A program on education and the environment created by MIT's Program for Environmental Education and Research (PEER) in collaboration with the Cambridge public schools. Three Cambridge high school teachers will be awarded four-week summer fellowships at MIT, during which they will design environmental projects for their students. The teachers will work with two MIT graduate students to develop and implement these projects during the academic year. Projects will range from assessing fish runs and water sampling in local rivers, to assessing the use of toxic cleaning agents. This program will also include a regional conference for teachers and two public seminars on environmental subjects of regional and national importance.
"I am delighted that MIT and EPA are making it possible for our schools to participate in the Education for the Environment program," said Bobbie D'Alessandro, superintendent of the Cambridge Public Schools. "The Education for the Environment program will enhance the opportunities for students to learn about urban environmental protection through hands-on field activities."
2. A web-based "Environmental Virtual Campus" which can serve as a regulatory training tool for MIT as well as for other colleges and universities. The program will graphically illustrate locations where regulated activities occur (laboratories, vehicle maintenance facilities, the cogeneration plant, art or photo studios, etc.) and provide brief guidance about applicable regulations. The Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence will host the virtual campus on its web site. There will be a link to EPA's web site. The Environmental Virtual Campus will be widely available to the public.
3. A biofiltration stormwater management system for the Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, scheduled to open in 2003. A swale will collect runoff, which will be filtered through vegetation to eliminate contaminants before it is discharged at a reduced rate into the proposed Vassar Street storm drain line. If the Stata stormwater management approach is successful, MIT will consider using this environmentally beneficial approach to stormwater management for other campus projects.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 25, 2001.