Community

It’s Houston Bird Week!

 

ABNC is partnering with Houston Audubon to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with an Early Morning Birding Hike for the first-ever Houston Bird Week!

Watch a roseate spoonbill and great blue heron wade in water or watch an Osprey soar as you listen to the chirp of colorful songbirds. Located in the heart of a major migratory path, Armand Bayou Nature Center is an amazing place to go birding all year round.

Spaces are limited, so register today!

When: September 28, 7-9am

Reservations: Reservations required

Age: 12 years & up

Rates:  Members $10, Non Members $12

BOOK YOUR EARLY MORNING BIRDING HIKE TODAY!

4-H Awards Banquet

SSCI has been actively involved in giving back to the local community by involvement and sponsorship in programs ranging from development of the local youth to preserving important ecosystems in the area.  SSCI has always valued the lessons and skills that 4-H teaches through agricultural activities.  4-H works diligently to give children the opportunity to learn about sciences and engineering through the STEM program.  4-H’s mission is to develop life skills, leadership, and responsibility by placing children in a learning environment with interactive civic engagement.  The 4-H Club has put forth a tremendous effort to provide children with access to fun learning programs to enhance their development, which has done so much for the youth and is a program that SSCI is committed to continue to help grow.  SSCI recently had the opportunity to sponsor the 4-H Awards Banquet on August 16, 2019 and was more than pleased to be a part of such a great evening.  Thank you to all the great volunteers and leaders at 4-H for everything that you do.  SSCI looks forward to contributing more to this great program’s growth and success.

Global Recycling Day

March 18, 2019 is Global Recycling Day!

SSCI will be doing its share of recycling and waste reduction in the office environment. SSCI reuses copy paper as much as possible for internal use, and we have a designated recycling bin for paper and plastics. Plastic or Styrofoam coffee cups have been replaced by ceramic mugs in the common area to reduce waste all year round. Other ways to make the office environment greener include bringing your own lunch to work in a reusable container to reduce waste and utilizing paper clips in lieu of staples. These seemingly small actions really add up over the course of a year.

Recycling at home does not require much effort, and separating recyclables is easy. Many refuse providers offer recycling pick up with garbage collection. Otherwise, dropping off recyclables at the nearest center can be a wonderful teaching moment for the next generation. Reusable shopping bags are one of the best ways to reduce plastic waste, and some stores, like Target, offer the incentive of a small discount for using them. Even if one uses plastic grocery bags, they can be brought back to large chain stores, like Walmart or HEB, where bins are provided to accept clean plastic bags to be recycled. One globally recognized day of conservation can be the start of educating the masses on the importance of recycling everyday thereafter. Click here to find a recycling center near you.

ABNC Party for the Planet, 2019

Save the Date!  Please join the Armand Bayou Nature Center’s Board of Trustees and sponsor San Jacinto College at PARTY FOR THE PLANET on Saturday evening, May 4th, 2019.  You are invited to enjoy a catered dinner, live music by Andy and the Dreamsicles, dancing, charitable auctions and games.

Armand Bayou Nature Center was founded in 1974 as a result of efforts begun by an environmental visionary, Armand Yramategui. Armand foresaw the urban growth around Armand Bayou and strove to have this land remain a wilderness. Armand’s tragic death in 1970 inspired a local, regional and national coalition of people and organizations to acquire the 2500 acres of land now preserved as ABNC.  ABNC is a non-profit organization that was established with the mission preservation and environmental education.  The Party for the Planet is ABNC’s annual fundraiser to support the mission and activities at the nature preserve.

SSCI has provided support to ABNC for many years and we encourage you to consider begin part of the fundraising dinner and auction celebration.  More information can be found about supporting the event at Auction Perfect.

 

ABNC and Houston Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count
December 15, 2018 through January 5, 2019

Please don’t forget to sign up for Christmas Bird Count at armandbayoucbc@gmail.com. This is not an Armand Bayou Nature Center event, but is done in partnership with Houston Audubon Society. The Audubon Society invites birders of all ages and skill levels to participate in this international event. Birders will rise with the sun and spend one day counting every bird they see. This is the largest avian census and not possible without volunteers just like you!

They also need lots of feeder watchers within the circle so if you can’t make all day and would still like to participate, please sign up to be a backyard feeder watcher/counter, at the same email address.

Additional information about the Texas Christmas Bird Counts is available at Houston Audubon.

SSCI Participates in Career Fair

SSCI participated in the Second Annual Career Night at Pearland Junior High East (PJHE) on August 4, 2018.  The PJHE Roughnecks invited presenters from a variety of backgrounds to discuss careers and educational paths with the 7th and 8th grade students.  The students experienced exciting, hands-on learning while gaining an understanding of the educational steps needed to achieve their goals.


 

 

SSCI presented a booth displaying sampling equipment, protective gear, and education materials.  Students were able to ask questions from the SSCI staff such as, “Where can I study environmental science?” or “What kind of services do you provide?”.  Demonstrations of how to use hearing protection were a big hit!

 

 

Also in attendance was SSCI’s very good friend, Tim Pylate, Executive Director of Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC).  ABNC brought wildlife to show students the importance of these species and discuss careers in natural resources.  ABNC located on Bay Area Boulevard is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the United States.  Read more about ABNC at www.abnc.org.

SSCI also participated in the PJHE career night in 2017.  We are pleased to be able to support the local community in providing educational information and career guidance.

SSCI and Interfaith Caring Ministries, a Winning Team

SSCI participated in the 25th Annual Festival of Trees Gala at the Lakewood Yacht Club on December 6, 2018. Interfaith Caring Ministries (ICM) hosts the annual fundraiser to provide the necessary funds to support the outreach program for the Clear Lake community.  The Gala included fundraising activities, a special invocation by Taylor Lake Christian Church, and a performance by Clear Lake High School’s ensemble choir, Soundwaves.

 

SSCI’s team enjoyed the festivities and supported the charity with Helen Hodges, P.E., President, Jo Drake Keim, Vice President, Caitlin Tovar, Chemical Engineer, and Stacy Emerick, Administrative Manager in attendance.

SSCI supports El Lago Coffee Co.

El Lago Coffee Company

    

Joe and Terry Butcher are the proprietors of local coffee roastery El Lago Coffee located in Seabrook, Texas. In an effort to reduce the impact of shipping coffee across the planet and pursue their love of sailing the pair took their sailboat’s maiden voyage to South America to pick up their first load of green, or raw, coffee beans for roasting back in the States.  However, on their return journey the pair encountered a storm, forcing the proprietors to call the Coast Guard for rescue.  The sailboat, and their caffeine-laden bounty, was lost to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.

Today the Butchers are roasting coffee that they import in a traditional manner, it comes in 100 kilo packages and is transported by a cargo barge. The goal of El Lago Coffee Co. is to use the proceeds from roasting specialty beans to fund another sailboat with a much larger hull allowing the dream of EcoSail-transport to live on.

El Lago Coffee Company states that the El Lago Coffee Schooner will be a zero emissions “Ecosail” ship and carry a standard 20’ shipping container. The maximum load will be 47,500 pounds of green coffee beans. The duo say that they can begin construction of the Schooner when they reach their goal of selling 100,000 pounds of coffee annually.  In support of local business and eco-friendly initiatives, SSCI has started sourcing office coffee from El Lago Coffee Co. in an effort to help fund the Butcher’s dream of eco-sailing.

 

 

SSCI Job Timeline: Culvert Construction

SSCI provided maintenance activities to a damaged culvert owned by an HOA located in Dickinson, Texas (Site) where existing articulated concrete blocks (ACBs) were uplifted and separated during a Hurricane Harvey.  This caused the subgrade to be eroded and a large hole to form at the base of the culvert. SSCI was able to mobilize quickly and efficiently to solve the problem.  The work involved designing a new, more effective culvert layout that would significantly reduce erosion during large rain events.

The following construction services were also completed during the remediation:

  • Pumping of standing water in the washout area;
  • Replacement of soil and re-grading of subgrade slope;
  • Salvage and placement of ACBs onto subgrade;
  • Placement of inlet and piping;
  • Paving of high-flow areas in the culvert to reduce erosion.

A final post-repair visit to the Site was conducted to ensure the satisfaction of the HOA and replace ACBs in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. The HOA continues to work with SSCI on other detention pond, erosion, and maintenance activities.  SSCI finished the work ahead of schedule even after being impacted by weather-related delays.