Mar 06, 2003

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Lank award grant to study murrelet
The forest innovation program, a provincial initiative designed to invest stumpage fees collected from forest companies into forest research, has awarded a $149,000 grant to SFU biological sciences professor David Lank. The centre for wildlife ecology researcher says the grant will be used to continue Fred Cooke's groundbreaking research on marbled murrelets. Cooke started the centre and is now an emeritus professor of biological sciences at SFU. The murrelet is one of a few seabirds that nest in trees and is the last North American bird for which scientists discovered the nesting habitat.

“The grant covers six different studies that refine our ability to identify exactly what kind of old growth forest trees murrelets like best to nest in and nest in most successfully. The studies will also provide information on murrelets' movement between areas,” says Lank. A researcher from the provincial ministry of forests and another connected to the University of Victoria are sharing the grant with Lank.

Women wrestlers win championship
SFU's women wrestlers won their first Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship in St. Catherine's Ontario on March 1 after making their first appearance in the CIS finals. They are the only Canadian collegiate team to win back-to-back national titles in two different sport associations.

The team won on the strength of gold medal performances from Carol Huhyn, a former world medallist, and Emily Richardson, along with medals from three other wrestlers. SFU finished with 51 points, well ahead of second place University of Calgary with 33 points. The SFU women's team won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) championship last year and was competing for the first year in the CIS. Wrestling coach Mike Jones was also named coach of the year.

Researchers awarded PIMS grant
Two collaborative research groups, which belong to the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Science (PIMS) and have a strong base at SFU, are the recipients of awards in a new PIMS grant competition. Successful applicants receive one to two years of funding for multi-site activities in five to 10 research areas. Five collaborative research groups will receive funding for the period 2003-2005. Among them are a group in number theory, headed by SFU math professors Peter Borwein, Imin Chen and Stephen Choi, and a group in scientific computing, led by SFU math professors Bob Russell, Steve Ruuth and Manfred Trummer. Each group will receive $150,000 to $200,000 over two years.

Each group has also been allocated two PIMS postdoctoral fellowships, one at SFU and the other at the University of B.C. Trummer, SFU's PIMS site director, says PIMS' creation of collaborative research groups is meant to foster the formation of multi-university, think-tanks capable of tackling global, math-related issues. The number theory group often tackles problems related to internet security. The scientific computing group tackles various mathematical modeling problems, and aspects of signal processing and computer graphics. PIMS, a consortium of five western Canadian universities and the University of Washington, funds and promotes basic and industrial research in math.

Rafferty appointed to board
Pauline Rafferty, chief executive officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C. is a new alumni order-in-council appointee to the SFU board of governors. A SFU archaeology graduate, Rafferty has extensive experience in financial management and marketing. She has held various high-level positions in government and managed several innovative and successful projects.

Rafferty has served as a member of several boards, including the Oak Bay board of variance, the Heritage Society, and the National Capital Commission advisory committee. The SFU board of governors also recently re-elected Brandt Louie as chair and elected John Cowperthwaite as vice-chair.

Request for feedback
Members of the university community have until the end of March 2003 to respond to a request for feedback on SFU's existing policies governing ownership and commercialization of intellectual property (IP) and proposed changes. The request for feedback comes from Bruce Clayman, VP-research, who has posted a discussion paper at VP Research and discussion paper.

The discussion paper describes the present situation, gives some contextual information and presents a proposal to make the present IP policy environment more uniform. Clayman is seeking input via email or letter and is open to meeting with groups that have questions or are interested in gathering more information about proposed changes.

Spring break evaluated
Is spring reading break a good thing? The senate calendar committee is currently evaluating whether to retain or eliminate the spring reading break. The committee would like to hear the SFU community's comments about this before presenting its recommendation to senate in early April. Please send any comments to Graham Percival, by March 13.

VanCity joins business council
VanCity Credit Union, with $8.2 billion in assets and 286,000 members, is the 13th financial services institution to join the national global asset and wealth management business council at Simon Fraser University.

Established in 2002 to provide leadership and guidance to the new global asset and wealth management MBA program, the council's members include Canada's leading investment services firms and organizations. Members provide three-month internships to students and are active in the program as lecturers, executive speakers and mentors. VanCity's vice-president of wealth management, Karen Hoffmann, will sit on the council.

Wosk, Davies awarded Jubilee medals
Yosef Wosk, director of continuing studies interdisciplinary programs and the founder of B.C.'s rapidly multiplying Philosopher's Cafés, has been honoured with a Queen's Golden Jubilee medal. The award is for his many contributions to “his fellow citizens, the community and to the Canadian Crown.” Similarly recognized was Lorne Davies, SFU's founding athletics director, who is now executive director of the university's Terry Fox humanitarian awards program. The medals were presented at a Feb. 25 ceremony at Government House in Victoria.

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