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Friday, June 25, 2004

  • Chinese honour for geographer
  • 246 workplace injuries last year
  • The election . . . and the campaign
Chris Redmond

400 years of French settlement

[On railing, greenhouses in background]

Identified by campus bird-watchers as a red-tailed hawk, this raptor took a break on the walkway railing at the Dana Porter Library, where librarian Christy Branston got the photo earlier this week. The bird has been creating "quite a fuss" among campus blue jays and squirrels, adds Scott Paterson of arts computing, who spotted it in a nearby pine tree on Tuesday.

Chinese honour for geographer

An "honorary professorship" at a Chinese university for a UW geographer was one highlight of a conference on "integrated water resource management" held in China earlier this month.

Honoured was Geoff Wall, associate dean (graduate studies and research) in the faculty of environmental studies, who heads the Eco-Planning and Environmental Management in Coastal Communities of China ("ECOPLAN China") project that got rolling in 2002.

[In front of big-character poster]

Lin and Wall in the ceremony at Dalian University of Technology

The project -- supported by $3.9 million from the Canadian International Development Agency -- is designed to enhance the capacities of academic institutions, provincial and municipal administrations, and individual industrial and commercial enterprises to address critical issues of eco-planning, environmental management and monitoring of environmental quality in the province of Hainan and the city of Dalian, China.

Wall was presented with his honorary professorship by Xian Lin, president of the Dalian University of Technology, on June 11. DUT is one of the major project partners in China.

That was the first day of the water resource workshop, which was held at DUT. Dalian is a typical eastern coastal city in China and is striving for an eco-city designation. The workshop was intended to help the city improve its water management and planning.

Lin praised Wall's significant contribution to improving the cooperation between the universities in their graduate student education and research activities. Wall gave a presentation on eco-tourism development following the ceremony.

The workshop that followed -- held in the the Bochuan Hall in the Central Library of DUT -- involved a variety of participants including scientists, planners and government officials. Canadian participants came from UW, the Region of Waterloo and the city of Hamilton; Chinese involvement is from the school of management at DUT, the municipality of Dalian, Nanjing University and the Hainan department of lands, environment and resources.

The workshop covers various themes including watershed planning and management, integrated water management, regional planning and indicators, and water demand control strategy.

Zengbin Song, vice-mayor of Dalian, and Lin, the president of DUT, indicated that water management has been a problem that has confronted Dalian for a number of years -- and as a result of the local economic development in the last two decades, the pressure on the water supply and waste water management of the city has become more serious than ever before.

Wall said in his remarks that the workshop provides an opportunity to exchange knowledge and information between China and Canada, which can benefit from each other by sharing experiences and lessons on water resource management.

246 workplace injuries last year

The number of employee injuries at UW dropped last year, but the "lost days severity rate" was up sharply, meaning that UW will pay significantly more to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

A surcharge of some $70,000 on top of UW's $600,000 WSIB premium for 2003 is expected, says the annual injury and fire report from the university's safety office. In 2002, 2001 and 2000, UW received refunds because the lost-days rate was lower than expected.

The year saw 31 lost-time injuries to employees, and a total of 498 "lost days" when individuals couldn't work as a result of workplace injuries. WSIB calculates a "severity rate" of 43 for UW -- twice the average for employers in its "education facilities" category.


History professor Stan Johannesen will officially retire July 1, ending a faculty career of exactly 35 years. A specialist in early American history who came to Waterloo from the University of Missouri, he is also known as a drama reviewer and author whose first novel was published last year.

  • CS student Sameer Ahuja is remembered
  • Several stars join women's volleyball Warriors this fall
  • Outdoor air quality in Waterloo Region
  • Are Knowledge Workers Found Only in High-Technology Industries?
  • First round of funding for food research network
  • New president for Commonwealth of Learning
  • Student living in library at New York U
  • Olsen twins will go to New York U
  • Waterloo Inn goes wireless
  • Internship program for professionals with international training
  • Revised criteria for Ontario Scholar designation
  • Review of Ontario's Private Career Colleges Act
  • A total of 246 workplace injuries were reported during 2003, but most of them didn't result in anybody having to take days off work. "Falls were the predominant type of injury," the report says. A chart indicates that 60 accidents took place while someone was walking -- typically, that would be a fall on a stairway or on ice and snow -- and 50 during "housekeeping and custodial" work. It classifies 24 accidents as "clerical and office", while 14 were during laboratory work.

    Plant operations, food services, and the housing and residences operation had the largest number of accidents, but a list by department indicates six injuries during the year in earth sciences, four in chemistry -- and one in French.

    Reported injuries to students and visitors, which aren't counted in the WSIB statistics, totaled 96 last year, down from 158 in 2002.

    As for fires, "the total number of alarms of 145 was an increase from 101 in 2002," the report says. "The Waterloo Fire Department responded to 143 of these alarms. Most of the alarms (24) occurred in Village I.

    "The number of wilful (intentional) false alarms increased to 44 from 23 in 2001 and 2002. There were 7 cases of actual fire, fumes, smoke, which was a decrease from 11 in 2002." Other causes of fire alarms included paint fumes, steam, cooking, defective fire alarms and lightning.

    The election . . . and the campaign

    There's a federal election on Monday, in case you hadn't noticed -- and yes, it's still possible to get onto the voters' list at the last minute. Another note about the legalities: employers are required to give employees time off if it's necessary so that they have four clear hours to vote during polling times, which are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Neil Murray of UW's human resources department says very few, if any, UW people should be affected -- but if there's anybody who starts work before 1:30 p.m. and works past 5:30 p.m., time off might be required.

    Monthly draws continue as a way of recognizing and entertaining Keystone Campaign donors (Keystone being the on-campus division of Campaign Waterloo). Eight winners were chosen in May and six more in June, says Bonnie Oberle in the office of development. Their names -- and their prizes, which include travel vouchers, coffee-makers and food services gift certificates -- are listed on the Keystone web site.

    June 30 -- next Wednesday -- is the nomination for this year's staff recognition awards, which offer a $1,000 prize to as many as 250 staff members. Students, faculty members and staff colleagues are all taking the opportunity to make nominations, says Trenny Canning in the university secretariat, who handles the paperwork. The awards, announced last fall, are part of the annual salary increase package. Anyone at UW can submit nominations, and the awards aren't related to job performance as reflected in annual reviews and ratings. "Have staff gone out of their way to help you?" the brochure for the program asks. "Then nominate them." A nomination form is available online or in paper form.

    GradComm car wash noon to 6 p.m., parking lot B1 near East Campus Hall, fund-raiser for engineering graduation celebrations 2005.

    Art and Spirit Festival, St. Jerome's University: Ojibwe storyteller Rene Meshake, 2:00 (East Campus Hall room 1219); reflections by artist Ted Rettig, 4:00 (ECH 1219); writer and visual artist talk, 8 p.m. (St. Jerome's fireplace lounge); reception and silent auction, 9 p.m. (fireplace lounge). Details online.

    Danny Michel plays the Bombshelter tonight, doors open 9:00.

    Art and Spirit Festival, Saturday, exhibition open 9-5 (UW art gallery, East Campus Hall); clay sculpting class, 9-12 (ECH room 1223); lunch with the artists, 1:00 (St. Jerome's community centre); "Inside the Artist's Studio" with Michael Enright, 3:00 (St. Jerome's fireplace lounge); "Faith in Music", mezzo-soprano Jennifer Enns Modolo, 8:00 (Siegfried Hall); closing reception, 9:00 (fireplace lounge).

    St. Jean Baptiste Day celebration for l'Association des Francophones de Kitchener-Waterloo, Saturday 12:30 to 9:30, Laurel Creek Conservation Area, information 746-7502.

    SLC Punks, music in the Student Life Centre, Saturday 6:30 p.m.

    Academy of Dance spring recital, Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

    Swing and Social Dance Club, Sunday 2:30 p.m., Columbia Icefield studio.

    A note from information systems and technology: "UW-ACE (University of Waterloo Angel Course Environment) sessions are being offered in July and August. Sessions include an UW-ACE overview, Quiz Structuring and Gradebook Creation." Registration is online, and more information is available from Jan Willwerth at ext. 2376 or e-mail uwacehelp@ist. [Rahaman]

    Shaz Rahaman (right), who works in UW's software engineering program, has some ambitious plans. "I'll be participating in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer Walk," she writes, "organized by the Princess Margaret Hospital on September 10. My blisters from last year's walk have just about healed and I'm ready to go again! Over four thousand people participated in last year's walk and we raised $12,000,000 for breast cancer research. I need to raise $2,000 by August 6 in order to participate. Donations can be made online or, if people prefer, they can send me a cheque (made payable to The Weekend to End Breast Cancer)." She can be reached at ext. 2275.

    I have a couple of late notes from last week's convocation ceremonies, specifically the Saturday afternoon event for the faculty of engineering. For the record: the valedictorian, speaking on behalf of graduating students, was Daren Azizi Toppin, graduating with a BASc in mechanical engineering. The Albert Sherwood Barber Award, "for best overall work term and academic performance", went to Pui Ching Kitty Wan, of systems design engineering.

    The UW Recreation Committee is looking for staff and faculty members to join a dragon boat team for competition July 17 at Laurel Creek Conservation Area. . . . Employer rankings from the "second interview cycle" for fall term co-op jobs opened on JobMine at 6:00 this morning. . . . Resurrection College, the Roman Catholic residence just across from campus on Westmount Road, has single rooms available for the winter term (call 885-4950). . . . UW-based Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo will have a prominent spot in Sunday's Pride Parade in Toronto and is still welcoming participants (e-mail jrlandeen@hotmail.com). . . .


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