Monday, January 7, 2008

  • Muffins available as classes begin
  • Warm and dry year, until December
  • Students can elect senate members
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Be a Don flyer]

The UW residences are hiring dons for the spring 2008, fall 2008 and winter 2009 terms — applications open today and run through January 31.

Link of the day

Orthodox Christmas

When and where

Federation of Students nomination period for 2008-09 executive January 7 through 21, information ext. 36781.

UW senate executive committee 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students entering UW in September 2008 is January 9 (exceptions and details listed online).

Web clinic for "people of all skill levels and experiences to work on their websites", Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:00 starting January 9, information e-mail

Women in Mathematics Committee welcome-back supper party Wednesday 5:00, Math and Computer room 5158, open to women faculty and students in math, RSVP

FASS 2008 auditions Wednesday-Friday 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Humanities room 334; Faculty, Alumni, Students and Staff welcome; this year's show, "Global Warming: Kiss Your FASS Goodbye", hits stage February 7-9.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference Thursday-Saturday, Hilton Hotel, Toronto, details online.

International student orientation session Thursday 1:00 to 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Environmental studies open house and information session about graduate studies, Thursday 2:30 to 4:00, Environmental Studies II room 286.

Orchestra@UWaterloo open rehearsal Thursday 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., Ron Eydt Village great hall, information online.

St. Jerome's University dean Myroslaw Tataryn gives the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Lecture: "God Keep Our Land", Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Blood donor clinic January 14-15 and 23-25, Student Life Centre, make appointments now at turnkey desk.

Fall term marks for undergraduate courses now appearing on Quest; marks become official January 28.

Montréal alumni networking event January 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Ecomusée du fier monde, register online by January 25.

Family Day holiday Monday, February 18, UW offices and services closed (Monday of reading week).

37th annual Hagey Bonspiel for faculty, staff, retirees and friends, Saturday, February 23, Ayr Curling Club, registration online.

Muffins available as classes begin

Winter term classes are under way today, and services are back to full operation — even the Tim Horton's outlet in the Student Life Centre, which was scheduled to open at 7:30 this morning and operate 24 hours a day over the weeks ahead. (Detailed hours of food services outlets for this term are listed online.)

Most students on campus this term have been here before — they're either carrying on from fall term classes, or returning from a co-op work term. In the latter case, they'll be scheduled for return-to-campus interviews Wednesday through Friday in the Tatham Centre, and probably writing a work report that will be due next Monday, January 14.

A tiny number of undergraduate and graduate students, though, are new to UW this term. The Federation of Students and the Student Life Office are co-hosting a New Student Orientation today for all such newcomers; it starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Life Centre, Multi-Purpose Room. "The event," says Becky Wroe of the Federation, "is geared toward introducing our new students to services offered on our campus, and also provides opportunity to have their questions answered about their new home away from home." (Thursday afternoon, there's an additional orientation session aimed at international students, 1:00 to 4:30 in Davis Centre room 1302.)

The student awards and financial aid office is open 8:30 to 4:30, Monday to Friday, to distribute winter term OSAP student funding. "In an effort to decrease waiting times," a memo notes, "the office will continue to use a time ticket system. Time tickets will be given out each day. To better serve students, tickets will be given out throughout the day and will be released for more than one day at a time. Students from other provinces may come at any time. Students are reminded that they must have their Social Insurance card and WatCard, or government issued photo ID, to pick up their student funding."

The writing clinic sends word that results from December's English Language Proficiency Examination are now posted in all undergraduate offices and outside the Writing Centre in PAS 2082. Congratulations to all students who passed. Students who were not successful can visit our web site to explore their options."

Also: "Counselling Services and the English Language Proficiency Program would like to remind undergraduate and graduate students of the winter '08 workshop schedule. These very popular workshops are free, and they are taught by highly qualified counsellors and instructors. Topics range from Stress Management, Study Skills, Writing Skills, and QPR (Suicide Prevention Program). For a complete listing, please review the easy-to-print PDF form found online."

Campus Recreation has scheduled registration for its leagues for this week, and for instructional programs next week. • The bookstore, TechWorx and the UW Shop will be open late (until 7 p.m.) today through Thursday, returning to the usual 5 p.m. closing on Friday. • Feds Used Books also has extended hours (8:30 to 5:30) this week, and will be open Saturday from 10 to 5.

Students who didn't get their flu shots during the fall term, but are now back on campus, can drop by the Health Services clinic to get them any time between 9:00 and 4:00, Monday to Friday. (Waterloo Region's public health office also has a couple more flu shot clinics scheduled, including one on Wednesday, 2 to 8 p.m. at 99 Regina Street South.)

And there's stress relief available at the end of the first day of classes: the popular Fed 102 party is tonight at Federation Hall, with doors opening at 10 p.m.

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[Library sign heavy with snow]

This week it's rain and fog, but on New Year's Day it was a different story. "Here's what those of us who live on campus woke up to," writes Linda Kenyon of the dean of engineering office. "It was absolutely beautiful!"

Warm and dry year, until December

a report on 2007 by Frank Seglenieks of the UW weather station (monthly and quarterly reports are also available online)

The biggest local weather story for 2007 was the persistent lack of precipitation throughout the year. In the end, the final precipitation total (671.9 mm) was only about three-quarters of what we would expect in an average year (904.0 mm) and only a mere 15.4 mm away from being the lowest annual precipitation since 1970.

The lowest recorded annual precipitation at Environment Canada’s Waterloo-Wellington airport station was 656.5 mm in 1998. There are some years with less precipitation before 1970 at the Kitchener station, but they all have missing data for some months making it difficult to define what was the lowest ever annual precipitation.

The lack of precipitation was seen in almost all months of the year, with six months recording significantly below average precipitation and only the month of December being significantly higher than average. June was the driest month with only 26.6 mm coming down, about one-third of the average total for that month.

It was another hot year at the University of Waterloo Weather Station with the temperature coming in at 0.6 degrees above average (remember that the averages are based on temperatures recorded from 1970-2000 at the Waterloo-Wellington airport). This doesn’t make it a record year, but still significantly higher than average and in the top 10 warmest years we have seen since 1970 (as with precipitation, comparisons to the Kitchener station before 1970 are difficult).

The year started off abnormally warm, with winter not really taking hold until mid-January followed by a very cold February. March was pretty much average while a cold snap at the beginning of April made it one of the three significantly colder than average months.

The rest of the spring and summer were about a degree warmer than average, and the summer didn’t seem to stop, with September almost 3 degrees warmer than average. And then came October, a real temperature anomaly at a stunning 5 degrees above average which made it the warmest October in about 60 years. But then things turned around again with a colder than average November and an average December.

¶ February 19 had both the highest 15 minute and 1 hour temperature rise of the year. It often happens that these two events coincide on the same day, but in this case although they happened on the same day they were 12 hours apart. I had to go back a few times to convince myself that it really happened. Here is a quick summary of the day: it was a cold morning dipping down to minus-26.7 Celsius overnight. Once the sun came up the temperature quickly rose to minus-10 in the span of a couple of hours, it then levelled off at around minus-5 for most of the day until 9 p.m. when once again the temperature rose quickly, going up 4.7 degrees between 9:15 and 9:30 and ending the day at 2.9 Celsius. Thus the temperature range for the day was 29.6 degrees, the largest daily temperature range we have ever seen at the UW weather station.

¶ The most precipitation in 15 minutes of 2007 came on May 15, when we saw 13 mm between 6:45 and 7:00 p.m.; this also coincided with a quick drop in temperature and a rise in the wind speed. I happen to have seen this storm live, and it was really something when it hit, enough to cause a power outage in parts of Waterloo Town Square. That day also saw the 2007 record for 1 hour precipitation (20.4 mm) and daily precipitation (33.4 mm).

¶ June 8 was going along nicely until a storm came through that dropped the temperature from 25.6 Celsius at 4:00 p.m. all the way down to 19.9 at 4:15 pm, the largest 15-minute temperature drop we have ever seen at the station.

¶ September 25 had a high temperature of 30.1 Celsius, the highest fall temperature we had ever recorded in the 10 year history of the UW weather station. We have to go back about 60 years in the Environment Canada data to find a warmer day in the fall. (We were close to 30 degrees on two of the days of the Thanksgiving Day long weekend, making it the hottest long weekend of the year.)

¶ October 28, the first day that it went below zero since the spring, was the latest first frost day we have seen at the UW weather station, also leading to the longest frost-free season (174 days) we have seen.

The University of Waterloo weather station is supported by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Geography, the Climate Research Branch of Environment Canada, Campbell Scientific Canada, and the Waterloo Engineering Endowment Fund.

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Students can elect senate members

A notice from the university secretariat

Nominations are requested for the following undergraduate student seats on Senate:
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2010.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2010.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Mathematics, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2010.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2010.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (phone ext. 36125) and from the Secretariat and Federation of Students websites. At least five nominators are required in each case. Completed nomination forms should be submitted to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall 3060, no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, January 21, 2008. Elections, if necessary, will coincide with the annual Federation of Students elections (February 12-14).

Refer to the Senate website for information about Senate and its Committees/Councils.

Undergraduate student Senators completing their terms of office as of April 30, 2008 are: Steve Hayle (Arts), Caustan De Riggs (ES), Aly Sivji (Math), Neelmoy Biswas (Science), Aaron Stauch (at large), Renjie Butalid (at large). Save for Caustan De Riggs, who is completing his second consecutive term on Senate, all are eligible for re-election.


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