Associate Professor elected International Environmental Association VP

Marietta College's Dr. Eric J. Fitch, associate professor of environmental science and leadership, has spent a busy and eventful summer.

During the first week in June, he was in Lincoln, Nebraska at the University of Nebraska working for ETS (the Educational Testing Service). He was one of approximately 200 environmental science high school and college educators selected to grade this year's AP Environmental Science exam essays from across the globe. There were approximately 52,000 exams taken this year, which meant that there were more than 200,000 essays to read and grade. Each reader on average graded more than 1,000 essays in the course of a weeks grading.

This activity is critical in the assessment of grades and the conveying of AP credit. As well as the APES (AP Environmental Science), AP Economics and AP Music were also being assessed in Lincoln the first week in June.

Fitch traveled to Vail, Colo., later in the month and attended the annual editorial board meeting for Water Resources IMPACT. IMPACT is one of two journals published by the American Water Resources Association and Fitch has served as an associate editor for the journal for the last several years. It is published every other month and on average Fitch has had editorial responsibility for one issue per year.

His topics have ranged from social issues in water management, to homeland security, to the upcoming November/December issue on post-disaster recovery. In addition to his editorial duties, Fitch writes the "What's Up With Water?" column for each issue. After the meeting, Fitch stayed on an extra day and attended the first day of the AWRA Summer Specialty Conference on "Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment."

Fitch wrapped up the month of June and beginning of July attending the 13th International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment in Portland, Maine. The IICE is the annual conference of the IEA (Interdisciplinary Environmental Association). Fitch presented two papers: Federal Environmental Protection and Management in the 21st Century: The Need for a U.S. Department of the Environment and Land Use, Infrastructure and Climate Change: Effects on Population Distribution and Infrastructure.

He also was the discussant for another panel and the moderator of a fourth. At the annual business meeting, he was elected vice president of the IEA. He will serve in this capacity for two years and then follow Dr. Anthony Lumby of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and become the president of the IEA for two years.

During his two years as vice president, he will also service as the director of the newly established international honorary for Environmental Studies and Science, Kappa Alpha Omicron. Marietta College will have one of the first chapters of KAO.

The IEA is an international association of scholars working in the areas of environmental studies and environmental science. It was established in the 1990s at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., and the headquarters has just recently been relocated to the University of Edmonton, which will be hosting the 2008 IICE.