Tuesday, January 6, 2009

  • Safety urging: Help yourself to sand
  • Rain and snow the top 2008 memories
  • Student loan details, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Safety urging: Help yourself to sand

UW's safety office wants staff, students and faculty members to know that sand is good for something in this snowy time of year besides a reminder of beach season.

[Green sand bin]“Watch out for icy conditions,” says a poster that’s been displayed lately on electronic bulletin boards, featuring a picture (left) of the kind of sand bin that sits at many spots near UW parking lots and walkways. “Play your part,” says the poster. “Use sand/salt from the bins.”

It adds that people on campus should report unsafe walking conditions to the plant operations 24-hour line at ext. 33793. And Sheila Hurley of the safety office says that’s also the number to call if there’s no sand in a bin, or no bin at a spot where perhaps one would be useful.

“The thing we are trying to stress this year,” says Hurley, “is having people play their part in helping make the campus a bit safer — if they see an icy condition, to take some time and go to the sand bins and sprinkle some sand to prevent a slip or fall.”

The office also has a more general poster, "During winter, give falls the slip,” with advice about staying upright despite the snow and ice that have hit hard this winter.

Says the flyer: "Watch out for and avoid black ice. Often this occurs when temperatures rise above freezing during the day and drop below freezing at night. Do not get caught by surprise — monitor the weather.

“Wear winter footwear, even for short walks. When walking on ice or snow take short steps to keep your centre of balance under you. Use extra care when getting in and out of vehicles; parking lots are particularly difficult to maintain between parked vehicles. Use handrails on steps/ramps. Avoid shortcuts. Use salted/sanded and well-lit walkways. Delay use of recently plowed areas as they can be slippery until the salt/sand has taken effect.

"During storms UW's first priority is main road routes to ensure emergency access and then primary walkways. Attention to some walkways and parking lots may not be possible until at least 24 hours after a storm has subsided. Keep clear of snow removal equipment for your safety and to expedite their response to storm conditions.”

Some advice for staff members in particular: "During and following winter storms review any access concerns with your supervisor. Report slips and falls to your supervisor for completion of UW Injury/Incident Report.”

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Rain and snow the top 2008 memories

edited from the “annual summary” for 2008 issued by Frank Seglenieks, coordinator of the UW weather station

Wet, wet, wet. That was the weather story for 2008. I don’t think that will come as a surprise to most people if they think back to green lawns, lush gardens, and a whole lot of shoveling. We finished with 1159.5 mm of precipitation in 2008 compared to an average of only 904.0 mm. This makes it the third highest annual total precipitation in the area since records began back in 1915.

For the first half of the year the precipitation was merely above average, but then in July we saw 181.0 mm (the wettest month since July of 1991 as well as seeing a 1-in-25-year 6-hour storm and a 1-in-10-year 15-minute storm) and we started entering record territory. On July 11 between 3 and 9 am we recorded 78.0 mm of precipitation, the highest one-day total since July 7, 1991. So much rain fell that day you can see it clearly on the annual graph of precipitation.

The precipitation didn’t let up for the rest of the year, ending with the wettest December since 1949. It was quite the contrast to the previous year, when the big weather story was how dry it was. In fact the amount we were over the average in 2008 was very close to the amount we were below in 2007, so if you take the total precipitation over the last 2 years it is very close to the average.

The snowy winter and spring from earlier this year combined with the third snowiest fall to give us 326.5 cm of snowfall for 2008. This is far and away the most for a calendar year, easily surpassing the old record of 257.4 mm back in 1924. On March 8-9, 31.5 cm of snow fell, the highest single day’s total since January 22, 1966.

We didn’t really see any extended periods of extremely above or below average temperatures. Overall it was 0.2 degrees above the 1971-2000 average; this still makes it the coolest year since 2004. The year started off very warm, with January over 3 degrees warmer than average. Then more winter-like temperatures took hold and stayed until a brief warm spell in early April, but it wasn?t until late May that it really started to warm up.

Although we didn’t see a single day above 30 degrees Celsius during the summer, the average temperature for the season was higher than average. In a survey done on the UW weather station blog over 75% of people called it either a good or great summer, perhaps as a result of the lack of both smog warnings and extremely humid days. These warm temperatures carried on into the early fall, but the year ended with 3 consecutive colder-than-average months. The extremes for 2008: highest temperature, 30.4 Celsius on June 9; lowest temperature, minus-23.4 on March 10.

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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Student loan details, and other notes

The Student Awards and Financial Aid Office "will be releasing OSAP funding by appointment only from the Tatham Centre," writes assistant director Rhonda Voskamp. "Appointments will be available between 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. each day. Representatives from the National Student Loan Centre will also be on site at Tatham Centre from January 5 to 27. In response to students’ overwhelmingly positive feedback on the on-line appointment system introduced in the fall, the office has doubled the number of appointments available to see as many students as possible during the first three weeks of the term. All OSAP students received an email notification on how to book their appointment. Students may also check the web site for additional information. New this term, the office will also serve students who receive funding from other provinces in Tatham Centre. These students should report to the lower level of Tatham Centre — no appointment required. All students are reminded that their fees must be arranged and they must present their SIN card and government-issued photo ID at the time of funding pickup. OSAP students who were not enrolled full-time during the fall term or who did not pick up their fall instalment of OSAP funding, will also need to provide confirmation/ proof of their gross earnings for 2008."

[Snyder]A reception will be held tomorrow to honour Paul Snyder (right), who retires after 36 years’ service in what’s now the department of information systems and technology. A biographical note provided by IST says he earned an honours BMath from UW in 1970, worked for Gulf Oil for a time, and was hired in 1973 as manager, information systems and planning, in the “computing centre”. And then? “Paul continued to further his education and in 1984 he received a Master of Applied Science (Management Sciences) degree. Over the years, Paul has held various managerial positions within the department which ultimately led to his current position of Director, Client Services. IST’s Client Services group is responsible for the desktop computing environment, software packages, tools and techniques required to provide a coherent electronic working environment for all members of the UW community. Current issues and priorities include managing a desktop rollover program for the academic support units to manage the ongoing renewal of desktop computers; developing and delivering high quality training programs for computer users and computing support staff; tracking the evolution of Web technologies including Web Content Management Systems. Paul has been a valued member of many committees over the years, most recently serving as Chair of the University’s Web Advisory Committee.” Says Alan George, the associate provost who heads IST: “Paul has been a committed and effective leader within IST as well as in the broader campus community over many years. Personally, I will miss his thoughtful advice and good humour.” The retirement party will be held Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:30 in the Laurel Room, South Campus Hall; RSVPs go to pjpenk@uwaterloo.ca.

A "blast" e-mail message went out yesterday reminding undergraduate students of the deadline for adding a winter term course: January 9 (this Friday) in the case of distance education classes, January 16 for online classes. Those are among the academic deadlines listed on the Quest web site. The e-mail message went to "approximately 26,430 students", the registrar's office says — a figure that doesn't represent winter term enrolment, of course, but includes all the people who are currently UW students in good standing and thus could theoretically choose to register for a course this term.

Linda Brogden of UW's health services is featured as the "member of the month" in January's newsletter from the Columbia Lake Health Club, located in TechTown on the north campus. • Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre has an ambitious production scheduled for March — Shakespeare's "Henry V" — and I hear that some of the rehearsals are being held in UW's Math and Computer building, since KWLT doesn't currently have a home of its own. • Sigrun Domen, who began her UW career in June 1977 and most recently served as senior accounts payable clerk in UW's finance office, officially retired as of January 1.


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Link of the day

Birthdays today

When and where

Bookstore, UW Shop and TechWorx, South Campus Hall, open for winter term rush Monday-Thursday 9:00 to 7:00.

Feds used book store, Student Life Centre, open this week 8:30 to 5:30.

General Services Complex and Commissary building road and service circle access entirely shut down today, 7:00 a.m. to midnight.

Chapel Choir rehearsal 3:00 to 5:00. University Choir auditions and first rehearsal 7:00, Conrad Grebel UC chapel. Details.

Library books signed out on term loan before the beginning of December are due Wednesday; return or renew online.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students Wednesday-Friday, Tatham Centre.

Chamber Choir auditions Wednesday-Thursday, 1:00 to 5:00. Details.

Services Fair aimed at new students Wednesday 4:00 to 7:00, Student Life Centre lower atrium. Details.

FASS auditions Wednesday-Friday 6 to 9 p.m., Humanities room 373. “Live FASS, Die Tomorrow” runs February 5-7. Details.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., East Campus Hall.

Render (UW art gallery) opening reception for two exhibits, “dogswalkme” by Susan Detweiler and “Twilight of an Empire” by Crystal Mowry, Thursday 5:00 to 8:00, East Campus Hall.

Warriors Band first practice of 2009, all welcome, Thursday 5:30, Physical Activities Complex room 2012.

‘Language as a Complex Dynamic System’ at Renison University College, Thursday 7:00 p.m.; guest speaker Diane Larsen-Freeman, University of Michigan; details e-mail jpwillia@ renison.uwaterloo.ca.

Orchestra@UWaterloo first rehearsal Thursday 7:00, Ron Eydt Village great hall. Details.

Knowledge integration seminar series: Lt. Col. Jim Kile, “Building Trust: A Story of Canada’s Field Hospital in Afghanistan” Friday 2:30, Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute.

Club representatives meeting Monday, January 12, 4:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Work reports from fall work term, to be marked by CECS coordinators, due Monday at 4 p.m.

Application deadline for September 2009 undergraduate admission is January 14 for Ontario secondary school students. General deadline, March 31. Exceptions include pharmacy (for January 2010) January 30; accounting and architecture, February 13; engineering and software March 2. Details.

Clubs, Services and Society Days with tables and displays in the Student Life Centre great hall, January 15 and 16, 10:00 to 3:00.

Co-op job postings for spring work term begin January 17; employer interviews begin January 29.

Blood donor clinic January 19 and 20, 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre, book appointments at turnkey desk or call 1-888-236-6283.

UW board of governors meets Tuesday, February 3, 2:30 p.m.

PhD oral defences

Computer science. Marcilio Mendonca, “Efficient Compilation Techniques for Large Scale Feature Models.” Supervisors, Don Cowan and Krzysztof Czarnecki. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, January 9, 2:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Physics and astronomy. Helia Jalili, “Materials Physics of Half-Metallic Magnetic Oxide Films by Pulsed Laser Deposition: Controlling the Crystal Structure and Near-Surface Properties of Sr2FeMoO6 and CrO2 Films.” Supervisor, K. Tong Leung. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, January 15, 2:00 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Psychology. Katrina Goreham, “Does Unfairness Have a Ripple Effect? The Impact of Independent and Interdependent Self-Construals.” Supervisor, Ramona Bobocel. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2419. Oral defence Friday, January 16, 10:00 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

Chemistry. Maryam Ebrahimi, “Selective Surface Chemistry of Bifunctional Carboxylic Acid, Aldehyde and Alcohol on Si(100)2x1: Exploring Competition Between Alkyl, Alkenyl, Carboxyl, Hydroxyl, and Carbonyl Groups in Surface Functionalization.” Supervisor, K. Tong Leung. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, January 16, 2:00 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

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