March 23, 2006

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Learn about leading edge technology

Interested in discovering more about leading edge technology in the research and higher education community? Attend BCNET's sixth annual advanced networks conference called Converging Minds: Tools for Innovative Solutions, April 25 and 26 at SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre. Not just for techies, this year's conference incorporates a series of speaking tracks and interactive workshops offering something for everyone from the technologically savvy to the average computer user. With more than 50 presentations to choose from, a stellar lineup of technology experts, researchers, educators as well as corporate executives will address some of the top information technology topics on campuses today and will present new and innovative technology ideas for enhancing research and education projects. For more information visit

Clague wins outreach award

The Geological Association of Canada has awarded John Clague, professor of earth sciences, a major public outreach award, the E.R.W. Neale medal. It recognizes his sustained and outstanding efforts to share earth science with Canadians. Appointed a Canada Research Chair in natural hazards research at SFU in 2003, Clague is a leading Canadian authority in glacial geology and environmental earth sciences. Through his research and availability to the media, Clague has raised public awareness of the earthquake threat on the West Coast. In his efforts to make earth science more accessible to the public, he has also developed innovative geoscience resources for educators and the public, including posters, maps, books and websites. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Clague is also a former president of the Geological Association of Canada and of the Canadian Geoscience Education Network.

European organization honours Flowers

The European GeoScience Union has recognized Gwen Flowers, an assistant professor of geography, with its outstanding young scientist award. Flowers holds a Canada Research Chair in glaciology with the department of earth sciences.The award recognizes Flowers' contributions to understanding the dynamics of glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. Flowers' particular interest is in the glaciological elements of watershed hydrology, natural hazards and climate change. To receive this award, geoscientists must be under the age of 35 on Dec. 31 in the year of the general assembly.

Wright lectures on prejudice

What does it mean to say that someone is prejudiced? Examining how the self - our often unconscious sense of who we are - contributes to prejudice provides novel insights into why discrimination continues even as most people claim not to hold negative attitudes about other groups. It may also point to new solutions to the problems of prejudice. Professor of psychology Stephen Wright, a Canada Research Chair in social psychology, will address this topic during his lecture Prejudice: Finding the Roots of Discrimination in Our Thoughts about Ourselves for the President's lecture series on March 29 at 4:30 p.m. at the Halpern centre at the SFU Burnaby campus. The lecture is free and open to the public and a reception follows. For more information call 604-291-4910.

Dialogue program seeks recruits

SFU professor Mark Winston is looking for undergraduate students in any faculty, to join his popular semester in dialogue programs for this summer and fall. The credit program, associated with the Morris J. Wosk centre for dialogue, is designed around a focal topic that changes each semester. The program's goal is to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility, to encourage their passion to improve Canadian society and to develop innovative intellectual tools for effective problem solving.

The summer 2006 semester in dialogue focuses on Local Leaders, Global Futures. Participating students will organize and facilitate a public dialogue about the future of the region as part of the Imagine B.C. project. They'll also attend a number of local and international events that are happening in Vancouver this summer, including the World Urban Forum.The fall 2006 semester in dialogue features First Nations, Inuit and Metis: Traditional Beliefs and Contemporary Challenges. Students will explore the rich tapestry of past and current aboriginal life. To apply to the undergraduate semester in dialogue, contact For more information about the program visit

Swimming for cystic fibrosis

Members of Simon Fraser University's varsity swim team hope to break a few world records on April 2, but their bigger goal by the day's end will be to increase awareness of cystic fibrosis (CF), a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease that afflicts 3,500 Canadians. The team will join young swimmers from neighbouring clubs who have been collecting pledges for the CF Foundation's 32nd annual swim-a-rama at the SFU pool. At 3 p.m., SFU swimmers will attempt to break three world records, including the women's 800-metre freestyle, the 200-metre women's individual medley and the men's 200-metre individual medley.

Team members will combine their efforts relay-style in each race. One of the event's organizers, Penny Pedersen, wife of former SFU president George Pedersen, says there is a great need for more research and a greater understanding of the disease, which struck their two grand-daughters, claiming the life of one a few years ago. For more information about the event check

Public open house set for June 3

The biggest event of Simon Fraser's 40th anniversary year, the Burnaby campus open house on June 3, is rapidly coming into focus. "Support from all areas of the campus has been unprecedented in its breadth and depth," says K.C. Bell, event coordinator. "There are well over 120 displays, activities and presentations in planning and it wouldn't surprise me if more appeared on the day." People are being very creative in their plans, he says, mentioning human resources' job fair and professor Jan Wall's performance of bamboo clappertale (an old Chinese art form that sounds a bit like Rap). The public open house will be preceded by a special session for outstanding secondary school students who have been offered early admission to SFU.

More than 350 volunteers are being recruited to help with general event support, with hundreds more staff, faculty, students and other volunteers participating through departments, programs and administrative units. If you'd like to help, please use the sign-up form which will be on the website by April 3. "This is one of the biggest community projects we have ever undertaken," says Bell. "We expect the Burnaby campus to be humming with visitors of all ages." The campuses in Vancouver and Surrey will also be open.

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