Tuesday, May 12, 2009

  • Environment will get Huntsville facility
  • Gallery group joins 'creative' Montréal project
  • There once were a few other notes . . .
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Surely that's not a hula hoop?]

Collaborating on a water conservation design are "Eric" and "Amelia", participants in an R3Design workshop as part of a Waterloo Unlimited program for grade 11 students held during March break. Another workshop is bringing a group of grade 10 students to campus this week, focusing on "vision": "Students will consider the perspective of scientists, engineers, writers, philosophers, and others as they examine the theme of vision." Photo by Betty Bax.

Back to top

Environment will get Huntsville facility

from a news release from the UW media relations office

The Town of Huntsville and the University of Waterloo, in co-operation with the federal government, yesterday announced the creation of a world-class research and learning facility for environmental and ecological sustainability, to be built in Huntsville, Ontario.

“The establishment of a world-class educational facility has been identified in the Town of Huntsville’s 2008 Community Master Plan,” said Huntsville mayor Claude Doughty. “Today we are proud to see this opportunity, with the assistance of the federal government, move forward.”

Federal industry minister Tony Clement, who is Member of Parliament for the riding that includes Huntsville, "shares our vision," Doughty added, "and today we share the dream taking a giant step towards reality. Without Tony and his desire to make it happen, this project would have taken many more years."

This new facility will be used to support activities when the leaders of the world's most powerful economies, the G8 countries, meet in Canada in June of next year. After that, it will be fitted up for occupancy by the University of Waterloo in the fall of 2010.

The new UW Summit Centre for the Environment will be located on the Summit Campus overlooking Fairy Lake. It will also have access to the Summit Centre, currently under construction, with its many related facilities. As such both centres will be located near many downtown amenities, including a 400-seat Algonquin Theatre, restaurants and accommodations. Huntsville’s environs offer an ideal location as a living laboratory for ecosystem and social sciences research, with nearby biosphere reserves, conservation reserves and provincial parks.

Endeavours at the UW summit centre will include research, teaching, training and conferences — comparable to such noted centres as the Banff Centre in Alberta or the Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan. The centre will deliver undergraduate and graduate courses and workshops on related topics. It will also offer training programs for mid-career professionals in such areas as ecosystem restoration, strategic environmental assessment, sustainable tourism, environmental planning and green business.

The centre’s research program will involve ecology, climate change, tourism, land-use planning and local economic development. The centre will service students, government agencies, universities, consultants and non-governmental organizations. The university anticipates that up to 3,000 researchers and students will use the facility annually. Many of them will work with a new Centre for Ecosystem Resilience and Adaption, which will be housed in the facility.

“This is a wonderful example of what a community and university can accomplish when they develop mutually beneficial partnerships,” said Deep Saini, dean of UW’s faculty of environment. "The Town of Huntsville will enjoy employment and other economic benefits that are generated by an academic facility and the university benefits from having such a robust environment in which to teach and conduct research.”

The facility will cost an estimated $9 million. It will include laboratories, seminar and meeting rooms as well as dormitory space for up to 50 students and faculty. The town will build, own and manage the facility, with capital funding secured from various federal programs. UW will lease the facility. The university will deliver the programs and provide research-related furnishings, including $200,000 to equip a wet laboratory.

Says mayor Doughty stated: “Today we have a partnership forged from the intellectual capital of the University of Waterloo, the financial capital and support of our federal government and the cultural and natural environment of the Town of Huntsville as we all strive for excellence together.”

Back to top

Gallery group joins 'creative' Montréal project

Students from UW and the Ontario College of Art and Design, along with professionals from several agencies, are in Montréal this week working toward “creative participatory activities” with delegates to the World Environmental Education Congress.

UW’s art gallery, Render, is a partner in the project, and introduced it in a news release yesterday:

“Render is very pleased to be collaborating with the Musagetes Foundation on DodoLab, an experimental, creative research initiative to be launched at the 5th World Environmental Education Congress in Montreal, May 10-14, 2009. DodoLab will playfully and imaginatively engage with the congress participants through a series of related survey-based and participatory projects.

“The connected lab projects are designed to record and share participants’ ideas, to explore diverse approaches and cultural perspectives, and to gage feelings and emotions at the conference in relation to our environmental challenges. The lab looks to share possibilities and perspectives, to explore alternative design methods and solutions, and to engage the WEEC community in creative participatory activities that will open alternative avenues of exchange, development and education. This multi-faceted lab will push an expanded view of the role of design and creativity that embraces social interaction through experimental, accessible and adaptable methodologies.

“The various projects to be pursued are meant to have an active dynamic presence at the conference and to produce tangible content presentations (installations, video, publications, shareables) of use both during and beyond the conference and that will inspire future initiatives and collaborations.

“At heart, the DodoLab asks us to blur boundaries and cross barriers between communities, disciplines, cultures and generations. Furthermore, the lab hopes to inspire reflection on complex concepts of self, home, community and nation in relation to our current environmental challenges and, in particular, our ability to share knowledge and initiate, seed and spread meaningful responsive action.

“Participating in the DodoLab in Montreal are a team of professional artists, designers, environmental educators and architects, along with students from the University of Waterloo and Ontario College of Art and Design. Also participating at WEEC is the team from ‘rare’, sharing information about their many programs and initiatives.”

It listed these members of the “DodoLab team”: Shawn Van Sluys (Musagetes Foundation); Andrew Hunter, Maggie Hunter and Barbara Hobot (Render); Farid Noufaily (architect/artist), Rufina Wu (architect/artist) and Stephen Wood (information architect, Ikoro Digital); Emily Alfred (executive director of Riversides), Chris Flanagan (artist & DJ), Amos Latteier (artist) and Eileen Finn (landscape architect); Giles Lane of proboscis; Kyrie Vala-Webb and Vanessa Martin (UW Knowledge Integration students); Majd Al-Shihabi and David Kadish (UW Systems Design Engineering); Catia De Silva (UW Architecture); Andrew Guaglio (UW Fine Arts); Kasey Hinton, Carly Anne Mersereau and Marissa Neave (OCAD).

Back to top

There once were a few other notes . . .

[Stapleton]The department of athletics and recreational services yesterday announced that Christine Stapleton (left) will be its new associate director, taking over from Beth Ali, who left UW in April. Stapleton is currently the women’s head coach of the National Elite Development Academy, a training centre program in Hamilton. She comes to Waterloo with “over twenty-three years of experience in Canadian university sport as an athlete, coach, and administrator”, an announcement said. It quoted athletics director Bob Copeland: “We got our top draft pick in Christine. She exemplifies our commitment to talented and principled leadership, which is the most fundamental building block of delivering an exceptional student-athlete experience.” Stapleton will guide a varsity program with 31 teams, more than 80 coaches and more than 560 student-athletes. “I am excited to start work at Waterloo,” she said. “I look forward to working with all the Warrior coaches, department staff, and student-athletes and supporting them in their pursuit of excellence.” She was a five-year varsity athlete at Laurentian University on basketball teams that won back-to-back national championships in 1990 and 1991, and later led the University of Regina women’s basketball team to the 2001 CIAU national championship in 1996-1997. As a national level coach she made Canadian basketball history by leading the 2004 Junior Women’s National Team to its first-ever FIBA World Championship berth and also led Canada to a winning record at the 1999 and 2001 World University Games. She’ll be starting work at UW on June 8.

Also from the athletics office in the Physical Activities Complex: director Bob Copeland issued a statement yesterday encouraging support for the attempt by local tycoon Jim Balsillie to buy the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and move the team to Southern Ontario. He said: “The University of Waterloo Department of Athletics encourages its many stakeholders to go to makeitseven.ca in support of Jim Balsillie’s bid. This move will be great for hockey fans including thousands of University of Waterloo friends, alumni, and students.”

At its meeting today, the senate undergraduate council will look at a proposal from the Faculty of Mathematics to launch a new undergraduate program in “statistics for health”, with students able to apply after year 1 in co-op math. • The faculty of mathematics has named the valedictorians who will speak on behalf of graduating students at next month's Convocation: Vincent Chan (graduating in pure math and applied math) [Smith]at the morning ceremony on June 12, Morgan Grainger (computer science) in the afternoon. • Brenda Smith (right), who has been working for UW since May 1974 and in recent years has been administrative assistant to the dean of arts, officially retired as of May 1.

And . . . I've had a brief geography lesson since writing in yesterday's Daily Bulletin that the Herschel Space Observatory will be launched on Thursday morning from the Guiana Space Centre. There are (actually I knew this part) three little countries on the north coast of South America; west to east, they are Guyana (English-speaking), Suriname (Dutch), and French Guiana or Guyane Française (French, obviously). It's from the last-named of the three — which is legally part of the Republic of France — that the Herschel will be launched this week by the European Space Agency. UW's science faculty is throwing a big event for the occasion, starting at 8:30 Thursday morning in the Humanities Theatre, and all are welcome.


Back to top

Link of the day

Limerick Day

When and where

Campus recreation instructional program registration for the spring term continues through Thursday. Details.

Library workshops today: “Smart Searching” 10:00; “Introduction to RefWorks” 1:30, both in Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

‘Identity Theft and Internet Safety’ seminar by Michele Dunsford, UW police, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, 12:00, Physics room 145.

Senate undergraduate council 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Arts faculty council 3:30 p.m., PAS room 2438.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. To be repeated May 26. Details.

Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing Gauss competition for grade 7 and 8 students, Wednesday. Details.

Career workshop: “Work Search Strategies for International Students” Wednesday 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Library workshop: “Primo: Find Books and More” Wednesday 2:00, Flax Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Hallman Lecture: Barbara Silverstein, state of Washington, “Research to Practice to Policy and Back Again”, Wednesday 4:30 p.m., Hallman Institute room 1621.

Communitech Tech Leadership Conference Thursday, Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener. Details.

Chem 13 News exam for high school science students, sponsored by UW and University of Toronto chemistry departments, Thursday. Details.

Residences and off-campus housing open house at new office, Student Life Centre lower atrium, Thursday 12:00 to 2:30.

Microteaching session sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Mathematics alumni lunch at Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators annual meeting, Thursday 2:30, Baker’s Grille, Carleton University, Ottawa. Details.

Book launch: Where Am I? Why We Can Find our Way to the Moon but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard, UW department of psychology, Thursday 3:30, UW bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Orchestra@ UWaterloo first rehearsal Thursday 7:00, Conrad Grebel University College great hall. Details.

‘The Wedding Singer’ produced by K-W Musical Productions, May 14-16, 20-23 at 8 p.m., May 23 at 2 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $29 at Humanities box office.

‘Global Financial Crisis’ one-day conference at Wilfrid Laurier University, Friday; free panel discussion, “Lessons from the Financial Crisis”, 3:30, SBE building room 1220. Details.

Canoeing the Grand: outing sponsored by International Student Connection, Saturday, bus leaves campus 11 a.m., tickets $30 from Federation of Students office.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 18: UW offices and most services closed, and classes cancelled.

UW Senate meets Tuesday, May 19, 4:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Sharcnet Symposium on GPU and Cell Computing, Wednesday, May 20, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

‘Effective Reference Letters for Your Graduate Students’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, May 20, 11:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Avogadro Exam offered by UW department of chemistry for high school science students, Thursday, May 21. Details.

Computer science Distinguished Lecture: Thomas A. Furness III, University of Washington, “Cobwebs in a Virtual Brain” Thursday, May 21, 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Last day to drop or withdraw from courses with 100 per cent fee refund; “drop, no penalty” period ends, May 22.

You@Waterloo Day open house for students who have received offers of admission to UW, and their families, Saturday, May 23, 10:00 to 2:00, headquarters in Student Life Centre. Details.

Niagara Region wine tour organized by UW staff association, Saturday, May 23. Details.

Winter term grades become official May 25 on Quest.

UW Retirees Association annual general meeting Wednesday, May 27, 3:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin