Volume 13, Number 7 November 18, 2005

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Musical treat

SASKATOON – U of S music students and faculty experienced a rare treat Nov. 8 and 9 when three members of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) visited campus and gave master classes on their areas of expertise.

Music Department Head Dean McNeill says as part of NACO’s Nov. 7-19 tour of 13 cities and towns in Alberta and Saskatchewan in honour of the two provinces’ centennials, members came to the Department’s home in the Education Building and shared their knowledge.

McNeill says NACO principal trumpet Karen Donnelly and assistant principal viola David Goldblatt gave master classes on their fields Nov. 8. NACO composer in residence Gary Kulesha gave a lecture on Nov. 9 and worked with the U of S wind ensemble as it rehearsed one of his pieces. McNeill says it was “a big deal” to have musicians of this calibre on campus.

Researchers supported

SASKATOON – Three new U of S faculty were awarded a total of $253,000 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Nov. 7 for their research equipment.

U of S Vice-President Research Steven Franklin notes total funding to the U of S from the CFI New Opportunities Fund has now reached more than $7.86 million for 70 projects.

The U of S recipients are: Qing Meng (pathology) - $68,000 for equipment to study atherosclerosis; Richard Bowles (chemistry) - $88,000 for super-computing equipment to study nanometre-sized metal particles with electrical properties and nanometre-sized pollutant particles that affect clouds; and Stephen Foley (chemistry) - $97,200 for specialized equipment to develop new catalysts for industrial applications.

Top publishers

TORONTO – According to a study published recently in Science Watch, researchers at the University of Toronto publish more than at any other institution in the country.

A U of T media release said the study found its researchers published 25,883 papers between 2000 and 2004, over 10,000 more than the second place institution.

The Science Watch study used the Thomson Scientific University Science Indicators to look at research at 46 universities in 21 scientific fields. The indicators track the number of articles produced by a researcher and the number of times each article is cited by other researchers.

The U of T led in 15 of 21 fields examined. Other top scorers were the University of British Columbia with 14,819 papers, and McGill University with 13,996.

UBC ahead in green building

VANCOUVER – The latest residential apartment project at the University of British Columbia is a showpiece for green building standards in the developing live-and-work community of University Town.

The four-storey, 55-home building is being built following UBC’s Residential Environmental Assessment Program, a rating system for residential building performance. Special features of the project, called Clement’s Green, include a geo-thermal system for heating water, hot water meters for each suite, Energy Star appliances, dual flush toilets and a building waste management and recycling plan.

Clement’s Green, scheduled for completion in mid-2006, is already sold out.

Library gets robot

VANCOUVER – This country’s first and North America’s largest library robot, a state-of-the-art Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), is the main feature in the first phase of the University of British Columbia’s $68 million Irving K. Barber Learning Centre that opened in early October.

The robot is expected to expand the library’s capacity to house print materials, according to a UBC media release. The ASRA is linked to the library’s online catalogue and, after a staff member or user request an item, a series of robotic cranes identify and retrieve the material from its spot in steel bins stored on floor-to-ceiling shelves in four aisles, each 100 feet long, 65 feet high and 45 feet wide. Each of the 19,000 bins contains about 800,000 bar-coded volumes and other materials.

The ASRS stores 30 per cent of the collections previously housed in the main library. Its capacity is 1.8 million volumes, which means at least 15 years of growth space in the library.

The system was paid for with a donation of more than $20 million from UBC alumnus Barber, founding chairman of Slocan Forest Products Ltd. The provincial government contributed $10 million and the university matched the funds.

Tuition talks start

CALGARY – The U of C has begun consulting its students about two tuition proposals for 2006-07 – a recommendation to again provide students with a minimum $1.64 million in “quality” initiatives like student commons, class size reductions and teaching certificate programs for grad students and faculty, and a tuition increase of between six and seven per cent subject to discussions with the government.

A news release from the university said it receives about $8 million a year in revenue from incremental tuition fees and cannot absorb the cost of a tuition freeze without offsetting increases in provincial operating grants.

Recommendations stemming from the consultation process will go to the Board of Governors in December.

Sustainability visit

SASKATOON – York University’s UN Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, Chuck Hopkins, visited the U of S Nov. 4 and gave a public lecture to 50 people.

He said education plays a vital role in local and national strategies for sustainability – whether by increasing basic education, reorienting existing education, increasing public understanding, or conducting training programs. Hopkins also met with the U of S Sustainability Working Group and representatives from the University of Regina to discuss setting up a “regional centre of expertise” here on education for sustainable development.

Aboriginal project

VICTORIA – The University of Victoria and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation have joined forces to undertake a pilot project aimed at improving the success rates of Aboriginal students in post-secondary education.

Called LE,NONET which means “success after enduring hardships” in the Sencoten language, the project will provide non-repayable financial assistance, peer mentoring, academic apprenticeships and community internships. A university news release said 80 per cent of the funding, or $4.5 million, will come from the foundation while the university will pick up the remaining 20 per cent.

U of A has asteroid

EDMONTON – A graduate of the University of Alberta found a unique way to thank the institution when he named his latest asteroid discovery after his alma mater.

Andrew Lowe found ‘Uofalberta’ in 2002 between Mars and Jupiter, about 330 million km from Earth. The asteroid is about five km in diameter, and is one of 234 celestial bodies discovered over the years by Lowe, an amateur astronomer.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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