Master of Science in Environmental and Life Sciences Steering Committee

This committee was established by Science Faculty Council in March and April 2014.  The committee membership is comprised of the Coordinator of MELS and one member each from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Geology.  This committee is to deal specifically with MELS issues.

The current membership is:

Dr. Hamid Mumin, Coordinator (to June 30, 2022)
Dr. Bryan Cassone, Biology (to December 31, 2025)
Dr. Sheika Henry, ADES (to August 31, 2023)
Dr. Mike Charette, Chemistry (to June 30, 2024)
Dr. Alex Koiter, Geography (to February 28, 2024) – Second term
Vacant, Geology

Terms of Reference – MSc (Environmental and Life Sciences) Steering Committee


The MSc (Environmental and Life Sciences) or ‘MELS’ Steering Committee was established as a standing committee of the Science Faculty Council. The purpose of the MELS Steering Committee is to work in collaboration with the MELS Graduate Coordinator on issues related to the development, implementation, and management of the MELS program, including regulations for the degree as outlined in the Graduate Calendar. These include acting as the Graduate Admissions Committee for MELS (regulation 10.2.1 (10)) and reviewing graduate student advisory committee recommendations on student performance, course requirements, thesis proposals, and thesis examination. Generally, the MELS Steering Committee will perform the functions of a Department, as specified in the BU-BUFA Collective Agreement, for all matters pertaining to the MELS program.


The members will include:

1) MELS Graduate Coordinator

2) One (1) representative from each of the following core departments:

1. Biology
2. Chemistry
3. Geography
4. Geology

3) One representative, as desired, from each of the remaining Departments in the Faculty of Science. It is recognized that not all Departments may wish to be represented on the MELS Steering Committee. No later than the end of April each year, the MELS Graduate Coordinator will contact each Department not currently represented on the committee to invite them to select a representative. These Departments may elect a representative, or decline to participate.


Faculty representatives will normally be appointed for a three (3) year term, with the opportunity to renew for an additional three (3) years. To ensure continuity, terms should be staggered and some memberships renewed so that no more than half of the committee members change in a calendar year.

Selection and term of office for the MELS Graduate Coordinator is governed by the BU-BUFA Collective Agreement.


The committee will be chaired by the Graduate Coordinator of the MELS program.


The committee will meet as required, which will normally be monthly during regular session (Fall and Winter terms). Meeting times will be arranged by the MELS Administrative Support by polling committee members for their availability. Minutes will be taken by the MELS Administrative Support, or when unavailable, by a Committee member on agreement of the other members.

Where a recommendation is being made for a student who is being supervised by the Graduate Coordinator of MELS, the Coordinator will recuse him/herself from being Chair for this part of the meeting, and another Committee member will act as Chair.


Each member, including the Chair, shall have one vote.


The quorum is met with fifty percent (50%) of the Committee members in attendance.


The terms of reference shall be reviewed annually at the commencement of each academic year and amendments proposed to reflect the current needs of the Steering Committee. Science Faculty Council will have final authority on approval of amendments.


The Chair, through the MELS Administrative Support, will circulate an agenda to the committee, at least one week prior to scheduled meetings. The minutes will be distributed to the Committee members and kept on file. As a standing committee of Science Faculty Council, the Chair of the Steering Committee will provide regular updates on the activities of the Committee to SFC.