Congratulations to UA SRP investigator Dr. Julie Neilson who has been named Director of the University of Arizona Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining (CESM). The CESM mission is to develop research and educational initiatives that address environmental issues related to mining activities in arid and semi-arid environments. The CESM was established by the UA SRP in partnership with the University of Arizona Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources to broaden the impact of and incorporate UA SRP findings into mining and regulatory practice. The CESM brings academic researchers together with the mining industry stakeholders to examine environmental stewardship of mining sites.
The CESM Technical Advisory Committee is composed primarily of members from the mining industry opening strong lines of communication with mining industry representatives. This has provided unique means by which to understand the issues that mines and consultants consider to be of greatest significance, to describe what the UA SRP has to offer, and to develop collaborative projects.
One CESM success is the development of an Industry-Academic Cooperative for reclamation of mine wastes associated with member company operations. Currently, the cooperative includes three major international mining companies with a research focus on identifying below-ground biogeochemical indicators of reclamation success. Neilson, who played a key role in establishing the Cooperative says: “the research cooperative provides an excellent forum in which mining companies can collectively evaluate research results from their respective projects and discuss management strategies that can be optimized based on the data generated.”