Friday, July 17, 2009

  • Green rescue mission accomplished
  • First results in from new space telescope
  • Sports and recreation briefs; overworked thumbs
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Green rescue mission accomplished

by Barbara Elve, Communications and Public Affairs

Environment lecturer Larry Lamb and student Ashlea Hegedus-Viola


Above, the Faculty of Environment's Larry Lamb and student Ashlea Hegedus-Viola sink their shovels into the earth around a young ninebark shrub that has been transplanted to the east side of Environment 1.

Even with many hands, it was heavy work, but some 50 trees, shrubs, and perennials in the path of a new construction project adjacent to Environment 2 have been rescued over the past week.

An extension to the north side of EV2 is slated for construction on the site of the Northern Ontario garden and Council Ring rock circle, which were established in 2004.

Under the direction of ecology lab manager Larry Lamb, who is retiring after today, students, alumni, and profs in the Faculty of Environment have been beavering away transplanting the rescuees to the east and north of EV1.

“We were able to save a lot more plants than we originally anticipated, thanks to the help of a dozen or so volunteer students and alumni who took part in a day of transplanting this past Monday,” reports Ashlea Hegedus-Viola, a fourth-year environment and resource studies student, who is working as the Dorney Garden intern this summer.

Today, a red maple, planted in memory of the late James Kay, a professor in the environment faculty, will be tree-spaded and moved to the south side of EV2. It is the largest specimen to be transplanted. Others include serviceberries; jack, red, and white pine; hemlock, balsam fir, tamarack, chokecherries, dogwoods, nannyberry, mountain ash, bush honeysuckle, purple-flowering raspberry, and columbine.

The 15 pink gneiss and granite boulders making up the Council Ring will be moved to temporary storage.

“I am so pleased that we were able to move so much of the plant material so quickly,” says Hegedus-Viola. “Although the Northern Ontario garden was just beginning to reach a desirable and attractive state, the relocated plants will continue to enhance the landscape surrounding EV1.”

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First results in from new space telescope

UW Media Relations

Less than two months after a perfect launch, and three months earlier than expected, the Herschel Space Observatory has produced its first scientific results. With the largest telescope ever put into space, Herschel is the first observatory to work in the far-infrared where the births of planets, stars, and galaxies are most easily seen.

Michel Fich“We didn't expect to get data until October but the initial tests after launch were so good that we couldn’t resist taking a quick peek at the sky!” says physics and astronomy professor Mike Fich (right), the leader of the Canadian HIFI team. HIFI is one of the three instruments on Herschel.

“We are all amazed at how well everything on Herschel is working. We expected to have a lot of work in getting Herschel ready for routine observations but, except for some really minor issues, this really technically complex system is working extremely well.”

The first results from Herschel include the best pictures ever taken at these long infrared wavelengths. However, Herschel is primarily a "spectroscopic mission,"’ using instruments to understand the molecules, atoms, and ions that make up young objects in the universe.

“Our first spectra are outstanding, showing details that were totally unexpected in all of the objects we looked at," Fich says. "We are already having to change our ideas of how these objects are created… and we aren’t even close to getting our best results yet. We have lots of fine-tuning of the instruments still to do!”

More information is on the Canadian Space Agency and European Space Agency websites.

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Sports and recreation briefs; overworked thumbs

Keith BeaversUW kinesiology grad student Keith Beavers (left) won a bronze medal in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Summer Universiade in Belgrade last Friday. According to a Canadian Interuniversity Sport news release, "following the race, Beavers hinted that he may be hanging up the Speedo after representing Canada at two Olympic Games (2008, 2004) and holding the Canadian records in both the 200-metre backstroke and the 200-metre individual medley. "

The Waterloo Warriors women’s basketball team have announced their 2009 recruiting class under second-year head coach Tyler Slipp. They are Saraya Hickey, a guard from Tsawwassen, British Columbia, who will be enrolled in speech communication; Laura Bossers, a wing player from Stratford, planning to study environmental engineering; and Erin Tilley, a guard from Oakville, who will study kinesiology. “All three of these recruits will fit in very well at Waterloo both athletically and academically,” Slipp says. Saraya, Laura, and Erin will all be receiving merit scholarships from the university.

These notes from the UW Recreation Committee: "Are you interested in honing your presentation skills by introducing a speaker for a brown bag luncheon? Would you like to help with UWRC events? A card-making workshop? Pre-planning a green funeral? Clothing giveaway? Free walking yoga sessions on Wednesday night in July? Free one-hour cooking classes in the evening in July and August? Email with your interest." Also, anyone interested in participating in a Weight Watchers At Work group please contact Andrea at

Researchers carrying out a study on the use of mobile hand-held devices and "related health or comfort troubles experienced during their use" are still looking for participants to fill out a five-to-eight-minute computer-administered confidential questionnaire. The questionnaire is here; the link will be live to the end of July. For information, email Sophia Berolo.

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Link of the day

Uptown Waterloo Jazz

When and where

Arts Expressintegrated arts camp” performance today, 1:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Kicks for a Cause: five-on-five soccer tournament, Saturday, 9 to 5, at UW CIF Fields. Winning team faces Warriors soccer team. Register by July 16, 7 p.m. Details.

Domestic cold water will be off in parts of the Student Life Centre: Brubaker's, the dental office, and the pharmacy, Monday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., during the redesign of Brubaker's walk-in cooler. Chilled water (used for chilling the building) will be shut down throughout the SLC for most of the day as well.

International teaching assistants: “What Successful ITAs Do” workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Monday, noon, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Reception for Ursula Thoene, computer sciences, retiring after 28 years at UW. RSVP by Monday. Event is Thursday, July 30, 4 to 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301.

Sprinkler system shut down in Engineering 3, Tuesday, 8 to 4, to allow demolition of a room.

Job information sessions for graduating students, Tuesday, 10:30, and Thursday, 2:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116. Attend if you are on a work term September-December, for information about on-campus recruitment and career services.

Career workshop: “Successfully Negotiating Job Offers” Tuesday, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Career workshop: “Work Search Strategies” Wednesday, 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

PDEng alumni lecture: three recent graduates speak on “Beat the Traffic: from University Avenue to Career Highway” Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Institute for Computer Research seminar: Robert Kroeger, Google, “A General-Purpose Caching Architecture for Offline-Capable Web Applications” Wednesday, noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

‘Dealing with Difficult Students’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday, 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops Thursday: “Success on the Job” 2:30 p.m., location to be announced; “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Getting a US Work Permit” 4:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

PhD oral defences

Systems design engineering. Azadeh Mohebi, “Statistical Fusion of Scientific Images.” Supervisor, Paul Fieguth. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 30, 1:00 p.m., Engineering II room 1307C.

Electrical and computer engineering. Mostafa Soliman Mahmoud Soliman, “Wideband Micro-Power Generators for Vibration Energy Harvesting.” Supervisors, Ehab F. El-Saadany and Raafat R. Mansour. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, August 5, 10:00 a.m., EIT room 3142.

Psychology. Erin Skinner, “The Influence of Study Context on Recollection: Cognitive, Neural, and Age-Related Processes.” Supervisor, Myra Fernandes. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2419. Oral defence Wednesday, August 5, 10:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Computer Science. William H. Rosgen, “Computational Distinguishability of Quantum Channels.” Supervisor, John Watrous. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, August 5, 2:00 p.m., RAC 2004.

Management Sciences. Muhammed Ali Ulku, “Analysis of Shipment Consolidation in the Logistics Supply Chain.” Supervisor, Jim Bookbinder. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, August 6, 10:00 a.m., E2 room 3324.

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