Thursday, March 11, 2010

  • Park researcher takes Canada to the US
  • What profs are doing on their sabbaticals
  • Odds and ends in the mildest of Marches
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Lemieux on skis]Park researcher takes Canada to the US

“The Olympics has resulted in a greater awareness and appreciation of Canada” among Americans, says a Waterloo researcher who’s been in the United States helping to spread his own kind of awareness as well.

He is Chris Lemieux (left), who was a postdoctoral fellow working with faculty member Daniel Scott in the department of geography and environmental management until he left last fall for eight months south of the border. Supported by the Canada-US Fulbright Program, he has spent time as a “visiting chair” at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and is now a “visiting fellow” at Colorado State University.

“As someone who does research on parks and protected areas,” he reports, “the locations of my Fulbright terms were chosen strategically — my first Fulbright term was located near Adirondack State Park and my second term near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. A nice change from Ontario! The experience has definitely provided mutually beneficial learning experiences between Canada and the US with respect to climate change and parks and protected areas.”

At Plattsburgh, he was based in the Center for the Study of Canada, working with Christopher Kirkey, a political scientist and the centre’s director. At Colorado State, he’s working with Jill Baron of the US Geological Survey and the CSU Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.

Says Michael Hawes, executive director of Fulbright Canada: “Dr. Lemieux’s research may offer some unique insight on the implications of cross-jurisdictional climate change policy on protected areas in both Canada and the United States.  We are very excited to have him on board.”

He’ll be heading back to Plattsburgh briefly to make use of an “eco-leadership” grant that was also awarded by the Fulbright program. Says Lemieux: “I received a small grant, $3,700, to help host a ‘Healthy Parks-Healthy People’ Day at Point au Roche State Park — I lived in a cottage right beside the park during the fall term. 

“Essentially, the grant provides a way for Fulbrighters to give back to the community that is hosting them. The purpose of the event is to educate the community about the human health and well-being benefits of parks and protected areas (in terms of physical activity, relaxation, stress relief, rejuvenation, etc.) and to engage them in healthy activities. The event is proving to be an important one, as the New York state government recently announced the possibility that the Park (in addition to several others) may be closed as a result of budget cutbacks. It seems to me that the role of parks will become even more important to the public during these difficult times (again, physical activity, stress relief, relaxation, affordable vacation destinations).”

The event at Point au Roche, on May 8, will include vendors and demonstration sites to “educate and engage the community on climate change solutions such as tree planting, energy efficiency retrofits, water protection, urban gardens, forest restoration, personal carbon footprint reductions, and on recycling, waste management and locally grown foods. Throughout the day, volunteers will be providing interpretive walks and demonstrations on park geology, birds, wildflowers, wildlife and forest ecology. Children will be particularly interested in the ‘pond critters’ demonstration.”

Now, what about being a Canadian, with degrees from Laurier and Waterloo, spending February 2010 in Fort Collins, Colorado, not far from ski country but a world away from the Team Canada fan base?

“Watching the Olympics has been a great experience,” Lemieux writes. “The US is a very passionate nation — they take everything, and especially their sports, very seriously. I have an HBC Olympic jacket that I proudly wear on campus and in town — I was definitely the recipient of some good-natured ribbing after the US men’s hockey team beat Canada in the preliminary round. I would confidently respond, ‘We won’t lose twice.’

“A friend from Canada visited me and we watched the final in a local pub. We were planning our escape route after the US team fought back from an 0-2 deficit. When Sidney Crosby scored, however, the pub quickly turned into a library (with two Canadians disrupting the place).

“People having been coming up to me saying how great the Olympics were and they enjoyed watching Canada do as well as they did. I also think there is a greater appreciation for hockey!”

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What profs are doing on their sabbaticals

Here’s another list of some Waterloo faculty members who are on sabbatical leaves that began January 1. The notes on sabbatical plans are as submitted to the board of governors, which has to give approval for all leaves.

Stephen Smith, recreation and leisure studies (12 months’ leave): “A research sabbatical with two objectives: an Executive Interchange with Industry Canada as a ‘Special Policy Advisor to the Director of Small Business and Tourism’ related to the development of a national tourism strategy and associated research agenda, and innovation in culinary tourism supply chains and strategic alliances.”

John Straube, civil and environmental engineering and school of architecture (6 months): “Will be spending time in Berkeley with time at UC, as well as at the factory and housing projects of research partner Zeta Communities, a builder of factory prefabricated net zero energy houses. Also plan the completion of a book on commercial building enclosures.”

Michael Worswick, mechanical and mechatronics engineering (12 months): “Sabbatical will allow me to focus on my rather large research program on manufacture of light weight automotive structures. I will continue to lead the Waterloo component of the $46M ‘Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing Innovation’ and implement a recent CFI major infrastructure award. I will also continue to advance commercialization of a state-of-art body armour technology developed at UW.”

Robert Shipley, planning (6 months): “This leave has three objectives. In conjunction with at least two colleagues in the European Union I pan to work on two or three book manuscripts as well as articles. The second objective will be development of an international exchange program involving three EU and three Canadian universities under the Canada-EU agreement. The third objective will be conducting field research.”

John Holmes, psychology (6 months): “Book contract with Guilford Press for completion of 400-page book by July 2010 (The Architecture of the Interdependent Mind: Solving Four Universal Problems in Relationships).”

Robert Gibson, environment and resource studies (January-June 2010 and January-June 2011): “The sabbatical will be devoted to work on four projects: two with SSHRC funding that centre on application of sustainability and resilience concepts to initiatives in Biosphere Reserves and Model Forests; plus proposal to update my book on Sustainability Assessment; and the drafting of a new model federal statute combining strategic and project level environmental assessment.”

Daniel Gorman, history and political science (6 months): “The main focus of my scholarly work during this proposed sabbatical will be to finish the manuscript of a book on international governance in the interwar period. Most of the archival research for this project, as well as two chapters, is now complete. Thus, I would use the sabbatical time primarily to write the remaining chapters in preparation for submission to a publisher. I will also travel to Geneva to finish the remaining archival work I need to do at the League of Nations Archives at the United Nations. I anticipate that the manuscript for this book will be complete by the end of the proposed sabbatical and ready to be submitted for publication by the early fall of 2010. Finally, I also plan a trip tot he United Nations archives in New York to conduct preliminary research on my next project, an examination of the role played by the UN in facilitating the decolonization of British colonies in the 1960s.”

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Odds and ends in the mildest of Marches

An online survey to measure “service satisfaction” is under way this month at the UW library and other libraries across Canada. The study, known as “LibQUAL+”, is “a user experience survey designed and administered by the Association of Research Libraries. Its purpose is to help academic libraries gain a better understanding of their users’ views of the services they offer. . . . to identify gaps in desired, perceived, and minimum expectations of service”. University librarian Mark Haslett adds a promise that “Once the survey results have been compiled and analyzed, we will be letting the Waterloo community know the results and how we will act on them.” Says a memo: “Waterloo faculty, graduate students, and a sample of undergraduates and staff, will receive e-mail messages inviting them to respond to a brief set of questions. Data collected will be compared to that of other academic libraries and will, we hope, provide us with a better understanding of areas in which we are especially strong and those areas which may require improvement. The UW Library previously conducted the LibQUAL+ survey in 2001 and 2007. In 2010, we will participate with many other Canadian academic libraries, including Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier, and Queen’s. If you receive an email, please consider participating! Your input will help us evaluate how well our services meet your needs. By completing the survey, you will also have the opportunity to enter to win one of five $100 gift cards for Retail Services. The survey takes approximately 6 minutes.”

A high-profile event that was scheduled for next week has been cancelled, says a memo from the faculty of engineering. Marcel Coutu, president of the Canadian Oil Sands Trust, was scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon in the Humanities Theatre. "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Marcel will not be joining us," writes Kate McCrae, development officer in engineering. Publicity for the event had said that Coutu — a 1976 graduate of Waterloo's earth sciences program — would "provide an update on recent developments in the oil sands, talk about their economic impact to both Canada and Ontario, and speak to continual improvements the industry is making on their environmental performance. More than telling you what he thinks, Marcel wants to hear what students in Waterloo think — questions or concerns about [Calendar
	    sketch]Canada’s oil sands. He intends to have a frank and honest dialogue, openly addressing even the tough issues." McCrae says the visit may be rescheduled for next fall.

Finally, this chronological reminder from the university's registrar: "Please note that the last day of classes for this term is Monday, April 5. To compensate for the cancellation of classes on the previous Friday, Good Friday, class times on April 5 will correspond to the Friday schedule for this term. A 'Friday schedule' is a timetable of classes delivered on a Friday. Monday, April 5. for the winter term has been designated as Friday. For example, classes that meet on Mondays and Wednesdays but not on Fridays will not meet on April 5 because we are using the Friday schedule on that day. Classes that meet on Fridays but not Mondays will meet on April 5 because we are using the Friday schedule that day."


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Link of the day

World Kidney Day

When and where

Co-op job interviews for spring term positions, “continuous” phase March 9-31, rankings open every Tuesday and Thursday. Details.

Graduate Conference in Philosophy (17th annual), Thursday-Friday. Keynote speaker Mark Wilson, University of Pittsburgh, “how Wave Front Found Its Truth-Values” Friday 3:30, Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Details.

Career workshops Thursday: “Exploring Your Personality Type” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Law School Bound” 12:30, Tatham 1208; “Preparing for the LSAT” 1:30, 1208; “Teaching English Abroad” 1:30, 1208; “GRE Information and Preparation” 3:30, 1208; “Foreign Lawyers and Law Graduates” 4:30, 1208. Details.

Employee Assistance Program brown bag seminar: "Career Planning: The How and Why Behind Getting Started or Switching Gears". 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

RefWorks advanced workshop, presented by UW library, 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Health informatics micro-bootcamp 4:30 to 6:30, Davis Centre room 1302, information e-mail uwhiclub@

 ‘Canadian by Choice’ documentary film on United States soldiers who deserted and moved to Canada, followed by question and answer session, 6:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Cultural Caravan performances by clubs, 6:30 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Arriscraft Lecture: Luis Callejas, Paisajes Emergentes, Colombia, “Projects, Competitions and Methods” 6:30 p.m., Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

9/11 Research Group presents Michael Keefer, University of Guelph, “Critical Thinking on 9/11 and the War on Terror” 7:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

‘Arcadia’ by Tom Stoppard, drama department spring production, March 11-13 and 18-20, 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, students $10. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Doug Coughey, “Data Recovery” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Employee Assistance Program presents UW president David Johnston and Richard Ennis, psychology department, “Hitting the Wall and Moving through It: Using community relationships and resilience for success,” Friday 12 noon, CEIT room 1015.

Senate finance committee Friday 1:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “A Consideration of a Complex Health Care System” Friday 1:30, Environment II room 2002.

International treats at Renison Ministry Centre, Renison UC, Friday 2:00 to 3:00.

Philosophy colloquium: Mark Wilson, University of Pittsburgh, Friday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Club That Really Likes Anime final show of the term, Friday 4:30 to 10:30, CEIT room 1015, and Saturday 2:30 to 10:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116. Details.

UW Music Club benefit concert Friday 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $5; music ranges from Beethoven and Chopin to Latin rock and indie guitar.

Waterloo Space Society unveils its new telescope Friday 7:30 to 11 p.m., Waterloo Park bandshell.

Warrior Weekend events Friday and Saturday evenings, with 28 straight hours of International Celebration Weekend, Student Life Centre, including Tamil dances, crafts, food, UW Breakers, jazz band, movies. Details.

Lights play at Federation Hall Friday, doors open 9 p.m., advance tickets $10 at Federation of Students office.

Niagara Falls and winery trip organized by International Student Connection, Saturday, bus tickets $20 at Federation of Students office.

Management consulting case competition with presentations to judges, spectators welcome, Saturday 11:30 to 5:30, CEIT room 1015. Details.

Nature walk at Huron Natural Area, Kitchener, hosted by Natural Landscaping Team, Saturday, free, bus leaves Davis Centre 1 p.m., information and reservations e-mail nlt.uwsp@

‘Confronting the Darkness: Canadian Complicity in Torture in Afghanistan” panel discussion Saturday 2:00, Conrad Grebel UC great hall.

Opera Kitchener performance of “Madama Butterfly” Sunday 3 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

Explorations 2010 visit to faculty of engineering for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 and their parents, Monday 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. Details.

March break open house for future students and their families, Tuesday, March 16. Details.

Blood donor clinic March 18, 10:00 to 4:00; March 19, 9:00 to 3:00; March 31, 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room, appointments call 888-236-6283.

Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, March 18-21, Princess Twin Cinemas. Details.

First Robotics Competition Waterloo regionals, competition for high school students, March 19-21, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

• Client support specialist, information systems and technology, USG 8-9
• Director of technical theatre, drama and speech communication, USG 9
• E-classroom and technical services supervisor, instructional technologies and multimedia services, IST, USG 10

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