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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
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
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
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
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
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
Finally . . . the results for yesterday's Boston Marathon are available
on the Web at
"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."
- UW's joint health and safety committee is meeting this morning
(10:00, Needles Hall room 3004), with an agenda that includes bicycle
safety (as usual), fire and injury reports, and smoking policy ("removal
of East Campus Hall basement lounge as designated smoking area").
- An information session for graduate students about the impending
changes to grad student fees runs from 10:30 to 12:00 in Needles
Hall room 3001.
- Denise Stockley of Simon Fraser University will speak about
Virtual-U, a project to
create educational software that can be used to deliver courses over
the World Wide Web, at 11:00 in Math and Computer room 5158.
- Tomorrow afternoon, Mike Lazaridis of
Research in Motion, a UW spinoff
firm, will talk about "Getting the Web Ready for Wearable Wireless
Internet Devices". His talk, which starts at 3:30 in Davis Centre
room 1302, is sponsored by
UW's Infranet project.
- Several elevators on campus will be shut down for maintenance
over the next couple of days. Each shutdown is for about four hours:
Engineering II and Physics sometime during the day tomorrow,
Engineering I sometime on Thursday.
- The fourth annual
Garden fund-raising plant sale is to be held at noontime Thursday,
May 8. "Please donate seeds, seedlings, house plants, perennials,
garden books, seed trays, etc.," writes Roger Suffling of the urban and
regional planning school, who's one of the organizers. Such material can
be brought to campus the day before the sale -- for more information,
Suffling can be reached at ext. 3184 or rcsuffli@cousteau.
TODAY IN UW HISTORY
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
and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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Copyright © 1997 University of Waterloo