CEAP began in the fall of 1996. At Calvin, as at other colleges, relatively few natural science courses have included a service-learning component. So, Gail Heffner of the Service-Learning Center, Janel Curry of the Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies, and James Bradley of the Department of Mathematics met to discuss this concern.
In her previous work before coming to Calvin, Janel had been engaged in a campus environmental assessment program; the three of them concluded that such a program could be fruitfully conducted at Calvin as well. They decided that in order to integrate the assessment into the curriculum and involve a maximum number of students, data collection and analysis might replace one or more labs in existing courses.
A first workshop on CEAP was held in the summer of 1997 and focused on the natural sciences. Initial participants were David Van Baak (Physics), Kumar Sinniah (Chemistry), Mark Muyskens (Chemistry), Randall Van Dragt (Biology), Beverly Klooster (Biology), Sandford Leestma (Mathematics and Computer Science), Steve Faber (student), Greg DeVries (student), Gail Heffner, Janel Curry, and James Bradley. At this workshop an input-output model of the campus physical environment was developed and was used as a starting point to identify some aspects of the Calvin environment that could be effectively studied in courses. During the following year, projects were conducted in at least 5 courses and students from these courses participated in a poster session displaying their work.
A second workshop was held in the summer of 1998. This time, attendance was expanded to include faculty and staff from other sectors of the Calvin community. Joining six of the original CEAP workshop attendees were the following new participants: Andrew Blystra (Engineering), James Penning (Political Science), David Warners (Biology), Frank Gorman (campus architect), Jim Clark (Geology), Robert Hoeksema (Engineering), James MacKenzie (Student Academic Services), Henk Aay (Geography), Lori Keen (Biology lab manager), Joel Visser (student), Beryl Hugen (Social Work), George Kuiper (Physical Plant), and Elizabeth VanderLei (English).
From its inception, CEAP has been highly interdisciplinary. Individuals from different disciplines did the original planning. During 1997-98, chemistry and biology faculty and students collaborated on study of the ponds included within the bounds of Calvin's campus. In 1998-99, collaboration will increase as engineering, chemistry, and biology faculty work together to study water flow and quality on campus.
The third summer faculty workshop was held in May of 1999. Five additional faculty joined the CEAP faculty core, including Bert de Vries (History/Archaeology), Kathi Groenendyk (CAS), John Tiemstra (Economics), Fred DeJong (Sociology), and Kendra Hotz (Religion and Theology). Paul Steen and Rachel Van Noord, Environmental Science students who have been active in CEAP also participated in the workshop. Participants spent their time sharing results from previous projects working on proposals for new CEAP projects, and planning for the future. Time was taken to enjoy the success of Dave Warners' project which involved planting a wetland area with native plant species.