[spinning earth]

Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Tuesday, April 22, 1997

Weekends in the woods

Earth Day today, represented by the spinning globe above, is a good day to mention that weekend environmental field trips in the great outdoors are being offered in May and June by UW's Heritage Resources Centre. The Carolinian Weekends -- adult and family field tours -- will be led from an ecology centre at a 50-acre estate in Port Burwell on the Lake Erie shore.

The first excursion, Carolinian Canada Spring, May 2 to 4, will focus on natural history in general, including early spring migrants, wildflowers and amphibians and reptiles. Steve Wilcox, a naturalist who has spent many years exploring the Long Point area, will be the trip leader.

Warblers and Woodland is the theme of the May 16-18 weekend. The tour will focus mostly on birds, with an effort to see or hear a weekend total of 125 or more species, including hooded warblers, Louisiana waterthrush, Cerulean warbler, and perhaps, the Kentucky warbler. Wilcox will lead that trip as well.

Carolinian Landscapes, led by faculty member Gordon Nelson, takes place June 6 to 8. There will be an overview of forests, marshes, environmental and land-use history and landscape character of the zone, focusing on the Long Point, Port Burwell and Big Otter Creek area.

Cost of the trips is $195, which includes two nights' accommodation, meals, transportation and interpretive material. The centre, based in the faculty of environmental studies, also offers weekly summer day camps and an overnight camp in July and August for children ages nine to 11. More information: ext. 2072.

Honours for a robot, a building

The robot first: an "autonomous walking machine" built by a team of systems design engineering students has been named Cool Robot of the Week by the robotics program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The six-legged Waterloo robot, catchily dubbed Hexotica, has "a degree of control and range of movement unmatched with other small walking robots," its creators say, "while maintaining the same robust and adaptable behaviour. Low level control algorithms for the legs based on industrial robotic control allow us to move the foot in a straight line path between any two points in the leg's work envelope (an ability most walking robots of this size do not have)."

The team -- Dylan Horvath, Jeff Lee, Stefan Williams -- started work on the robot in third year, and brought it to its present state last fall as a project for SDE 461. Their supervisor is John McPhee.

Now the building: the new wing of Matthews Hall, opened last summer, has won an "award for architectural excellence" from the Ontario Association of Architects. It was presented to Stephen Teeple, the architect for the project, on Friday, with UW architect Dan Parent and Bob Norman, dean of applied health sciences, on hand to beam their approval. "Out of 95 submissions, 5 won awards and there were 7 honourable mentions," reports Judi Carter, assistant to the dean in AHS.

Source of part-time jobs

A memo to UW departments from Christine Schmidt of the student awards office gives the low-down on the Ontario Work-Study Plan for this term. "The plan," she writes, "promotes part-time on-campus employment to full-time students whose financial needs have not been met by the Ontario Student Assistance Program. . . . The cost of the plan is shared on a 75-25 arrangement between the Ontario government or the University of Waterloo and your department. You could employ a student on a part-time basis for 1/4 the normal cost. In 1996-97 there were approximately 170 part-time positions filled."

Jobs under the program must be created specifically for it, and "not displace regular employees in any way". Hiring is done through the student awards office in Needles Hall.

Schmidt is looking for departments that would like to hire students under the plan next fall and winter. She can be reached at ext. 6031 for more information.

Today, tomorrow and soon

As mentioned, it's Earth Day, except for those who observed it last month on the first day of spring. (I'm a mite confused, I have to admit.) Whatever the date, the ambitions aren't small:
Ultimately, the goal is to have Earth Day become an annual occurrence on a nationally visible scale because it will have become second nature for so many millions of people. The earthday.org website supports the dream of a healthy, vibrant planet; a loving, caring world; and the noblest endeavors of the human spirit.
On a less exalted level, here are a few other events and announcements: Finally . . . the results for yesterday's Boston Marathon are available on the Web at http://www.bostonmarathon.org. "I skimmed the Canadian results," a keen local runner reports this morning, "and noticed three Waterloo staff/faculty: Maureen Cairney (dean of arts office), Patricia Campbell-Pearson (graphic services), and Terry McMahon (chemistry). Terry broke the three-hour barrier."


April 22, 1965: The board of governors meets, and appoints new faculty members including Ted Cadell (psychology), Hildegard Marsden (German and Russian), Warren Ober (English), Hari Sharma (chemistry), and Ted Appleyard (earth sciences).

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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