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Tuesday, June 11, 2002

  • Wildflower 'rescue' under way
  • And now, the 'steel' arrives
  • Meeting of the minds in Victoria
  • Updates for the date book
Chris Redmond

Moving back home after graduation


Wildflower 'rescue' under way

Volunteers with shovels will be out in the woods of UW's north campus this morning, rescuing a mass of wildflowers that would otherwise be lost to road construction.

"We'll be cleaning out the woods so these flowers aren't destroyed," says Larry Lamb, known as Waterloo's passionate advocate of natural gardening. Lamb is manager of the ecology laboratory in environmental studies.

Today's operation is being carried out in cooperation with the UW grounds crew, who notified Lamb that the flowers would be lost when the bulldozers roll in, likely next week, to start on an extension of Parkside Drive connecting with UW's new research and technology park.

"It happens to go through the woods," says Lamb, "and that upset me -- until I went up to see the woods, and it's really not good quality." The area is already much disturbed and isn't worth protesting about, he said, but the flowers are a treasure (and worth many thousands of dollars, at nursery prices) -- trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit (pictured), blue cohosh and more.

"We're going to take our cars and some flat shovels," says Lamb, adding that while he has a few people lined up already, more volunteers are welcome. The best way to get involved? Just turn up, either at the woodlot this morning (access from Bearinger Road) or around noontime at Needles Hall, which is where many of the flowers are coming.

A wildflower garden was created last year on the ring road side of NH, says Lamb, but "we didn't get a lot of the flowers that are now available," not to mention some shrubs, such as red elderberry and chokecherry. What's being moved today will make the Needles Hall garden full and gorgeous, he says.

Some flowers may also go to the Robert Dorney Garden outside the environmental studies buildings -- and volunteer helpers can take some flowers home with them too, he adds.

This kind of transplanting exercise really should have been done in early spring, Lamb noted, but "we'll do the best we can." He's guessing that replanting work at Needles Hall will be continuing tomorrow and Thursday.

[Casual uniform]

Aboard his ship, HMCS Algonquin, is Lieut. (N) Lepinsy Chanthalansy -- a combat systems engineering officer, and a UW student. Chanthalansy is featured in the spring issue of the Correspondent newsletter for UW's distance education students. "It was hard writing exams late at night with the ship rolling and pitching," he reported as his ship stopped at Penang, Malaysia, on the way to the Arabian Sea in support of the "war against terrorism".

And now, the 'steel' arrives

Heavy equipment -- called "steel" by those in the know -- should be arriving on the north campus site in a week or ten days, says Tom Galloway, UW's director of custodial and grounds services.

Waterloo city council was expected to approve a tender last night for the first phase of the research park project, a massive job of digging out trees, removing topsoil, levelling bumps, creating two storm water management ponds, packing in the "building pads" on which foundations will be erected, and roughing in the main roads between Columbia Street and Parkside Drive.

It'll all take two to two and a half months, Galloway estimated.

"Before they can move any earth," he said, "they have to put an erosion fence around the entire site. You won't be able to go onto the site at all." (The access road to the north campus day care centres stays open, he stressed.) Headquarters for the job will be a construction trailer behind parking lot X, to the northeast of the Optometry building.

Meeting of the minds in Victoria -- a news release from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

From the latest developments in the Big Bang theory to the most recent findings in population health -- these are all on the agenda of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's upcoming 20*20 Vision event being held June 14-17 at the Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. The event, which marks CIAR's 20th anniversary, will bring together more than 170 of the world's leading research experts in disciplines ranging from economics and health sciences to molecular science and earth system evolution, who will be exploring some of the research initiatives that are shaping the world as we know it today.

CIAR was established in 1982 to address scientific, economic and social issues of long-term significance to Canada. Often called Canada's catalyst for discovery, CIAR enables top researchers from across Canada to work closely with their most distinguished colleagues from around the world on intellectual challenges of global importance. According to Time magazine, CIAR is the "most sophisticated and innovative research institution in Canada . . . charged with making sure Canada stays abreast of the world's top minds in the most far-reaching and important fields." CIAR is funded by private sector donors, the Government of Canada, and provincial governments (including Ontario and Alberta).

CIAR president Chaviva Hosek says that while the institute has held these types of events in the past, this particular gathering is significant in that it also represents an opportunity to celebrate its 20 years of commitment to fostering research efforts in Canada and around the world. "Canada is home to one of the world's premier research institutes, with many of the top researchers in areas such as nanoelectronics, climatology, social sciences, nuclear and astrophysics, economics, human development, population health and geology, among others. Our role is to support and promote interdisciplinary collaboration between these scientists and their counterparts around the world. This upcoming event is a rare opportunity to see so many world leading researchers share their thoughts and ideas with both their fellow experts and a general audience."

The guest list reads like a who's who in Canadian and international research. Speakers include economist and Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof from the University of California at Berkeley; astrophysicist Richard Bond from the University of Toronto; biologist Ford Doolittle from Dalhousie; physicist Catherine Kallin from McMaster; health care expert Clyde Hertzman from the University of British Columbia; climate expert Shawn Marshall from Calgary.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, best-selling author of The Ingenuity Gap and director of the Centre for the Study of Peace and Conflict at the University of Toronto, will be delivering a keynote address. Included in the agenda is a series of panel discussions by CIAR's Young Explorers, individuals named in CIAR's list of Canada's Top 20 science and engineering researchers aged 40 and under.

The three-day venue will include more than 25 presentations and panel discussions on such topics as "How the Earth Controls Biodiversity and Understanding the Tree of Life"; "Population Health: From Obscurity to Stage Left and Communities and Impacts"; "The Search for Extrasolar Planets"; "Nanoelectronics -- The Next Technology Revolution"; and "The Olympics We Can Win: Canada/U.S. Comparison of Population Health".

"This is a wonderful opportunity to see and hear some of the greatest scientific minds in the world," says Hosek. "The breadth and depth of the topics being presented, as well as the diversity of the speakers, is unprecedented. It is a fitting tribute to the work that CIAR -- and our researchers -- have accomplished over the last 20 years, and provides a glimpse of what may be in store over the next 20."

Updates for the date book

There's a "design café" session today in the Flex Lab in the Dana Porter Library, starting at 10:30. Details: "This Design Café uses IP Video Conferencing to look at Experiential X-Ray Reviews for Cardiorespiratory Students in an Undergraduate Physical Therapy Program. This web-based tutorial designed for physical therapy students will be presented by Brenda Bissell of the University of Alberta. Participating also will be the University of Calgary. Pre-registration for this exceptional event is required. To pre-register or to enquire further, please contact Diane Salter at ext. 6832."

But, I've been asked to announce, tomorrow's design café session on "teaching research methods" has been postponed "due to a death in the family of one of the presenters. Rescheduling information will be announced."

The Engineers without Borders group presents a talk today by systems design engineering student Scott Griffiths. He'll be reporting on his EWB internship in Guinea, in west Africa, starting at 5 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1302.

The International Student Association offers the next in its series of "country presentations" tonight, at 6:00 in the Flex Lab in the Dana Porter Library. Today's topic: Pakistan.

"Dance Adventure" has its spring recital tonight at 7:30 (and again tomorrow night) in UW's Humanities Theatre.

Advice on "summer living" will be offered tomorrow at a noon-hour session sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program. Linda Brogden of health services will be speaking on "to tan or not to tan", hydration, summer food, air quality and exercise, heat exhaustion and similar topics. Registrations for Wednesday's session were suggested in advance, but there's usually extra room at these events; this one will start at noon tomorrow in Davis Centre room 1302.

The career resource centre sends word that its scheduled career development workshop tomorrow under the title "Making Polished Presentations" has been cancelled.

Convocation runs Wednesday through Saturday, with various associated events, and after that, here's a glance at the horizon:



June 11, 1976: Vera Leavoy, who was one of UW's first administrative staff members, leaves for a year facing a new challenge in Paraiba as administrator of the Brazil-Waterloo Program in Engineering.

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