Monday, November 22, 2010

  • Climate change hurts homeless: study
  • IST's media services moving to MC
  • Blood clinic: Your blood can save lives
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

A swarm of networkers. This was the scene in Biology 1 last Tuesday night, when some 200 students attended the Science Speed Networking event to meet and network with more than 30 science alumni working in traditional and non-traditional careers – from physician, optometrist, and the editor of Chem 13 News, to the cellarmaster for Cave Springs Cellars and the registrar of St. Jerome’s University. Photo: Thorsten Dieckmann

Back to top

Climate change hurts homeless: study

Waterloo-WLU joint news release

Results of a study conducted by Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo researchers suggest that those experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable in Canada to the effects of global climate change.

A public workshop on November 29 will examine the implications of the study’s findings for Waterloo Region. A second workshop on December 6 will focus on long-term planning for Regional Municipality of Waterloo strategies.

“Right now we have a window of opportunity to prepare for the expected changes to avoid human catastrophes in the future,” said Manuel Riemer, co-principal investigator and psychology professor at Laurier.

A team of university-based and peer researchers conducted the study, led by Riemer and Johanna Wandel, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of human geography at the University of Waterloo.

The team interviewed 48 people experiencing homelessness in Waterloo Region. Participants discussed how they typically deal with the challenges of severe weather. Interview results were then linked to southern Ontario climate data and models estimating climate changes for the region over the next few decades.

Surprising results

“Having appropriate gear, including good shoes, rain ponchos and tents, as well as safe spaces to store gear are key factors in dealing with weather that will increasingly become more extreme,” said Wandel. “Predicted climate changes include severe rain storms, sludge from melting snow, and a significant increase in the number of extremely hot days.”

Researchers say staying hydrated on hot days is a challenge since most public water fountains in the region have been removed. They were surprised to discover that for those who experience homelessness, summer also brings struggles with extreme cold.

“I would have sworn that in the summertime you would be fine at night,” said Wes, a study participant. “I nearly got hypothermia one August night…I had no blankets, I was sleeping on a piece of cardboard…and I was dizzy and completely disoriented.”

A partner in the study, the Region of Waterloo’s Social Planning, Policy and Program Administration division says it is committed to including study findings in its long-term homelessness-to-housing stability strategy planning.

The November 29 and December 6 public workshops will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener. To register, contact Manuel Riemer at The community report is here.

Back to top

IST's media services moving to MC

The audio-visual areas of IST’s Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services (ITMS) group have been located in E2 for many years, long before becoming part of IST. These areas will soon move to MC, with three of them to move by December 6. The move merges IST’s “customer facing” areas into one client space, the well-known Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP), and will allow closer interaction between staff members who work with the converging technologies of computers, data, audio, video, and networks.

The following areas will be staging their move to MC during the week of November 29 to December 3.

  • Media Resources including film loans and podium key access (headed by Cheryl Petrie) will relocate to MC 1052 (CHIP)
  • Equipment Loans & Rentals (headed by Dwight Schmidt) will relocate to MC 1063 and MC 1052 (access through the CHIP)
  • E-classroom and Technical group (headed by Marcel David) has almost completed its move to MC.

The Production Studio area (headed by Scott Charles) will move as its space becomes available later. IST is grateful to the faculties of mathematics and engineering for facilitating a series of space trades that allowed this long-anticipated move.

The ITMS group investigates and supports technologies used for instruction, such as UW-ACE, the e-classrooms, media loans (feature and documentary films and other learning materials), audio and video production and editing, video conferencing, web conferencing, and live streaming, among other services.

“We will do our best to accommodate all requests during the time of the move,” says Andrea Chappell of IST. “We expect Media Resources and Equipment Loans & Rentals will be closed on the afternoon of December 3, before their weekend move, and services may be somewhat reduced for the first few days of the next week.

“We encourage our clients to book and call ahead so you can plan for any special arrangements for services during the last few days before the move. We appreciate your patience during this transition and look forward to providing services to you from MC and the CHIP.”

Back to top

Blood clinic: Your blood can save lives

“Since April we have collected nearly 600,000 units of blood across Canada,” says Stephanie Blight, community development coordinator of the Canadian Blood Services Kitchener-Waterloo Mobile unit. “But we have a long way to go to meet hospital demand and meet our annual target.”

A special need stems from “a devastating shortage of O-Negative blood type, the universal donor, which we require on hand at all times for emergency situations in which there isn’t time for blood typing (for example, a severe car accident.)”

That’s why a blood donor clinic will be held in the Student Life Centre’s Multi-Purpose Room this Thursday, November 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, November 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Another clinic is scheduled for January 20-21.) The process takes about an hour. As always, you can book an appointment at the Turnkey Desk, or drop in during clinic hours.

Waterloo donors have already surpassed their target of 2,500 units for 2010, Blight says, “but we still need your help more than ever going into the holiday season.”

Some background:

  • CBS operates 41 permanent sites (one at Bridgeport and Weber) and more than 19,000 mobile clinics annually.
  • Clinics operate six days a week in order to keep enough of each blood type available. “Red blood cells only have a shelf life of three to five days, so it goes basically from the donor to the recipient!”
  • The collection target for 2010-11 is 927,000 units of whole blood. A unit is about 450 ml.
  • Only 3 per cent of eligible Canadians donate blood; a fifth of those are age 17-24 — the age group of most university students. “As our loyal donor base is aging, we need youth to stand with us and take the one hour that it takes to save up to three lives.”

CPA staff

Back to top

Link of the day


When and where

Centre for Career Action open house events November 22-26, Tatham Centre. Details.

‘Guerrilla Grammar’ workshop sponsored by Organizational and Human Development, today, 9:00 to noon. Details.

Town Hall Meeting hosted by FedS and the Speech Communication Society on the future of the Speech Communication Program. Bill Chesney, arts associate dean, will be present. Today, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., Environment 1 Courtyard. More information.

UAE campus event for Waterloo alumni and friends hosted by president Feridun Hamdullahpur, today, 6 p.m., Al Murooj Rotana Hotel, Dubai. Details, RSVP.

Co-op employer interviews for architecture students begin Tuesday; interviews in Toronto November 26; rankings November 29-30.

‘Personality Dimensions with Work-Life Balance” course offered by organizational and human development, Tuesday 8:30 a.m. Details.

Ping Pong Showdown and Expo as a fund-raiser for World AIDS Day, organized by Black Association for Student Expression, Tuesday 10 to 4, Student Life Centre.

Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge, opening reception for “High Performance: Evolution and Innovation in Canadian Design for Sports and Recreation Equipment” Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., exhibition continues through January 9.

PDEng presentation: “Real World SharePoint for All-in-One Departmental Management” Wednesday, 11:30, Davis Centre room 1568.

Feng shui discussion group sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Wednesday, noon, Math and Computer room 5136.

Free noon concert: “House of Doc” (roots music from Winnipeg) Wednesday, 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy presents Haratmut Schmeck, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, “Smart Grid, Renewables, Electric Mobility” Wednesday, 5:00, Carl Pollock Hall room 4333.

Alumni affairs event for parents with children approaching university age, Wednesday, 6:00, Hilton Suites Toronto Markham. Details. If you can’t attend, but would like to be part of the action, follow us on Twitter at #uwfuturealum. Send your questions and check out what others are saying!

Evening with an author at Stratford Campus: Scott Stratten, UnMarketing, Wednesday, 7 p.m., 6 Wellington Street, Stratford.

Staff association craft sale (17th annual) November 25 (10 to 4) and 26 (9 to 3), Davis Centre room 1301.

Surplus sale of university furnishings and equipment, Thursday, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall. Details.

International spouses group “Making Cards with Barb” Thursday, 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

The Laser Turns 50. Talk by Donna Strickland, physics, Thursday, 7 p.m., CEIT room 1015. Tours of Strickland's lab follow: numbers limited, please register. Details.

Green Go at the Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, Thursday, from 9 p.m.

‘Social Networking for Business’ presentation by Glenn Cressman, Friday, 9:00 to 4:30, Stratford campus. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Terry Fallis, author, “From Lapsed Engineer to Award-Winning Author” Friday, 2:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 307.

A Cappella Club end-of-term concert Friday, 8 p.m., Modern Languages Building Theatre of the Arts. Tickets $5 at door. Details.

‘Technology to Support Graduate Supervision’ workshop organized by Learning Community on Graduate Teaching and Learning, November 30, 1:30, Humanities room 336. Details.

WatITis 2010 Conference for information technology staff, Tuesday, December 7, Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall. Registration closes Nov 24. Details.

Friday's Daily Bulletin