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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Reports Dec 14, 1995

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Mark Munzell photo
Fourth-year engineering student Christine Yeung (left) helps a young
student use the "nerve-o-meter." The simple electrical circuit is one ofthe
tools Yeung and other engineering students will be taking to schools in B.C.
as part of a new program aimed at creating interest in and understanding
of engineering and technology among children in grades 3 through 7.
Engineers aim to spark
science in young minds
by Stephen Forgacs
Stciff writer
A group of engineering students is
gearing up to take the wonders of engineering to the elementary school classrooms of the Lower Mainland beginning
next May.
GEERing UP is the name of a program
developed by undergraduate and graduate students from several of the nine
engineering disciplines within UBC's Faculty of Applied Science.
The GEERing UP team hopes to reach
more than 3.000 students between May
and August, 1996 through classroom
visits and summer engineering camps to
be held at UBC.
"So much of our formal learning as
kids is done through lectures, memorization and exams," said GEERing UP Director Christine Yeung, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering co-op student. "We
want to teach kids how to apply what they
learn, and how that knowledge relates
directly to what is going on around us
every day."
Some ofthe hands-on activities used by
GEERing UP include the "nerve-o-meter,"
a simple electronic circuit that is used to
teach children about electricity; and
OOBLIK, a corn starch and water mixture
that looks like a liquid but acts like a solid
and is used to teach material properties.
Volunteers met with success when they
put their methods to the test during UBCs
Open House in October.
The program's components—student
and teacher workshops, and summer
camps—are designed to leave both teachers and students with new knowledge
and skills.
Yeung developed the program idea with
three other students for a class project to
design a product that will benefit society.
Applied Science Prof. Sidney Mindess
said that while the faculty is providing a
grant to help get the program underway,
as well as some logistical support, the
students have been responsible for developing the program.
The students behind GEERing UP are
now looking for more student volunteers
from within the Faculty of Applied Science, and the financial and material support they need to cover material and
operational costs.
Yeung estimates an annual budget of
$90,000 is required for the program, which
will operate on a non-profit basis. The
amount includes bursaries for a number
of students who would otherwise be unable to attend the summer camp.
In late January, GEERing UP will hire
a staff of four student instructors to visit
the schools and run the summer camps.
Resnick, Emerman
elected governors
Anatomy Prof. Joanne Emerman and
Political Science Prof. Philip Resnick have
been elected as faculty representatives to
UBC's Board of Governors.
Emerman. a Vancouver native, received
her PhD and post
doctoral training at
the  University  of
California at
Berkeley. She
joined UBC in 1980
as an assistant professor of Obstetrics
and Gynaecology in
the Faculty of Medicine.
A current member of the research
co-ordinating com - Emerman
mittee and
mentoring committee in the Faculty of
Medicine, Emerman is a former chair of
the faculty's curriculum evaluation committee. She was acting head ofthe Dept.
of Anatomy from 1992 to 1993.
Emerman has been a member of UBC's
Faculty Association executive for the past
six years, and currently serves as the
association's treasurer.
She is actively involved with UBC's
Senior Appointments Committee, the Faculty Development Mentoring Network, the
Women's Resources Centre advisory committee, the Status of Women Committee
and the Academic Women's Association.
Between 1990 and 1992. Emerman served
on the President's Advisory Committee
on Sexual Harassment.
The  recipient  of a  National  Cancer
Institute of
Canada scholarship from 1981 to
1987, she currently participates
on the boards of
several international associations for cancer
"As a member
of the Board of
Governors, I plan
to promote positive interaction between
the administration and faculty." Emerman
said in her campaign statement.
"I am concerned with a number of
issues,  the most important being the
See BOARD Page 2
Festivities planned for
students far from home
by Connie Filletti
Staff writer
Frohliche Weinachten. Buon Natale.
Joyeux Noel. Gelukkige Kerstfeest.
Maligayang Pasko.
The languages may be different but the
meaning will be the same for some 200
international students on campus who won't
be going home for the holidays.
They'll be welcomed by banners wishing them a Merry Christmas in everything
from Greek to Chinese when they arrive
for a festive feast at International House
on Dec. 22.
For the third consecutive year, the
UBC chaplains and student services units
are organizing a traditional Canadian
Christmas dinner for international students and students living in residence
who will be alone over the holidays.
"For many of the international students, it is their first experience with a
traditional Canadian Christmas," said
Sarah Dench, an adviser in the Women
Students' Office and volunteer coordinator for the event.
"Students who have joined us for dinner in previous years have told us that,
although our Christmas customs may
not be the same as theirs, the dinner is an
opportunity for them to celebrate and
avoid loneliness."
This year, students will be invited to
share elements of festivities that they may
celebrate close to Dec. 25th in their cultures.
Two sittings are planned for noon and 3
p.m. Tickets are $2 in advance or $5 at the
door. Vegetarian meals will be available.
The United Church is assisting with
the food costs and local businesses have
donated gifts, but food donations are still
needed for the dinner, especially turkeys
and vegetables. Desserts will be provided
compliments of the UBC Food Group.
Volunteers who can help with decorating, food preparation and kitchen clean-up
are welcome. Please call Dench at 822-
4941 or e-mail sarah.dench@ubc.ca.
Lost Literature
Offbeat: Books that strayed find their way home
Dragon Bones	
Linguist Ken Yakashima translates tales told on bone
Timely Treats	
If you can't buy it, bake it
Down Deep
Feature: Beneath our feet are keys to mysteries waiting to be solved 2 UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995
Faculty, staff give electronically
Thanks for the e-mail. Please
continue my gift."
This is just one of many positive responses received by Simone
Carnegie, faculty and staff coordinator for UBC's Annual Fund,
in response to an innovative e-
mail approach to renewing donors.
"Faculty and staff who give to
the fund every year have told
me they're happy not to have to
go through the additional steps
involved in mailing in renewal
forms year after year," Carnegie
This year, for the first time,
staff at the Development Office
Continued from Page 1
continuation of teaching and
research excellence at the university."
Emerman cited tenure, pensions, faculty housing and equity issues among her other concerns.
Resnick, a graduate of Montreal's McGill University and the
University of Toronto, joined the
UBC faculty in 1971.
In 1990-91, he received the
Harold Innis Book Award from
the Social Science Federation of
Canada for The Masks of Proteus. His other publications include Letters to a Quebecois
Friend. Toward a Canada-
Quebec Union and Thinking English Canada.
Resnick has served as a board
member and member of the executive with the Canadian Political Science Association and was
a UBC Senator from 1990 to
He is a frequent media commentator on public affairs and
Continued from Page 1
Four high school students will
also be hired to work as group
leaders through the summer
months, Yeung said.
For more information on
GEERing UP call 822-2858, or e-
mail geering-up@unixg.ubc.ca.
Christine Wisenthal
Travel Consultant
200 - 1847 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C.V6J IY5
Tel: (604) 739-9199
Complete Travel
Air, Rail, Cruise, Car Rental,
Special Interest Travel
currently writes a weekly column for Montreal's Le Devoir
'There is concern about the
centralization of power into the
president's office and lack of
effective faculty input into decision making," Resnick said in
his campaign statement.
He added that there also was
concern about "priorities that
have turned UBC more into a
development park than into an
academic community (and) of
actions by the administration,
for example, its suspension of
admissions into the graduate
program in political science, that
have denied due process and
put a serious chill on academic
Emerman and Resnick begin their three-year terms as
faculty representatives to the
Board of Governors on Feb. 1,
sent e-mail messages to faculty
and staff donors asking if they
wish to renew their donation.
Carnegie said contacting past
donors by e-mail has extended
the appeal's reach.
"I received a pledge from a
professor in the Faculty of Education who was on sabbatical in
France but still receiving messages through her campus e-mail
address," she said.
The 1995-96 Faculty and Staff
Appeal has had 88 per cent of its
payroll donors renew. Many give
through payroll deduction.
This year the Development
Office introduced continual payroll deductions to facilitate the
renewal process for donors. Under this plan the donor can, at
any time, change the designation
of their gift, change the amount
or cancel the deductions.
So far the Faculty and Staff
Appeal has raised $72,436 from
195 donors. Faculty and staff
who want to take advantage of
this tax-deductible donation before the end of the year are encouraged to call fund-raising coordinator Simone Carnegie at
822-8630, fax 822-8151, or e-
mail simone.carnegie@ubc.ca.
The UBC Annual Fund comprises five separate appeals: the
Parents Appeal, Alumni Appeal,
Faculty and Staff Appeal,
Wesbrook Society Appeal, and
the Class Act Appeal.
Call for Applications
UBC invites applications for the position of Director of the
Centre for Research in Women's Studies and Gender
Relations. The succesful candidate will be a scholar of high
standing with demonstrated commitment to research and
teaching in Women's Studies and Gender Relations, administrative ability, a proven record in obtaining research grants
and other fund-raising activities, and capacity to work with
scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to encourage all
areas of research. She or he will have a tenurable cross-
appointment in a regular academic department and will
carry up to a 50% teaching load there.
The initial appointment as Director will be for a period of
five years, with the possibility of an extension for a second
five-year period. Only internal candidates will be considered. Applicants should send a letter describing their interest in the position, a curriculum vitae and names and
addresses of at least three references to whom we can write
in confidence to Dr. Frieda Granot, Associate Dean, Faculty
of Graduate Studies, The University of British Columbia,
#180-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, V6T 1Z2. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 1996. It is expected that the
appointment will begin July 1, 1996, but there is some
flexibility in this.
Berkowitz & Associates
Statistics and Mathematics Consulting
• research design • data analysis
• sampling • forecasting
Jonathan Berkowitz, Ph.D
4160 Staulo Crescent, Vancouver, B.C., V6N 3S2
Office: (604) 263-1508
Home: (604) 263-5394
Wax - ii
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Providing Plastic and Wax sections for the research community
George Spurr     RT, RLAT(R)
Daytime (604) 266-7359
Evening (604) 266-2597
E- Mai! spurrvvax@infomatch.com
Kevin Gibbon     ART FIBMS
(604) 856-7370
(604) 856-7370
"The University will remain open during snow storms but
may cancel or reschedule classes on a university-wide
basis and/or curtail non-essential services in response to
the conditions."—UBC Policy on Disruption of Classes/
Services by Snow, May 1994
In the event of extreme snow conditions, listen to
CBC Radio, CKNW and other local radio stations
for information.
Technical Support
for Social Science Projects
^ Course & Instructor Evaluations
^ Scannable Forms (multiple-choice)
* Data Collection ,
* Statistical Analysis [
^ Custom Reports/Graphics "
^ Questionnaire/Survey/Test Design
Applied Research and Evaluation Services
(formerly Educational Measurement Research Group:
University of British Columbia
Room 2 Scarfe Building
2125 Main Mall
Dr. Michael Marshall
Iv      y Executive Director
v-/       Tel: 822-4145 Fax:822-9144
Edwin Jackson
Best Wishes and Glad Tidings
to you this Holiday Season.
224 3540
E-Mail:  102343.161 O@compuserve.com
Mutual Funds
licenced through
Life and
Competitive rates
with leading financial
Services Ltd.
UBC Reports is published twice monthly (monthly in
December, June, July and August) for the entire university
community by the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251
Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1. It is
distributed to most campus buildings and to Vancouver's
West Side in the Sunday Courier newspaper.
Associate Director, University Relations: Steve Crombie
(Stephen, crombie@ubc.ca)
Managing Editor: Paula Martin (paula.martin@ubc.ca)
Editor/Production: Janet Ansell Oanet.ansell@ubc.ca)
Contributors: Connie Filletti (connie.filletti@ubc.ca),
Stephen Forgacs (Stephen.forgacs@ubc.ca)
Charles Ker (charles.ker@ubc.ca),
Gavin Wilson (gavin.wilson@ubc.ca).
Editorial and advertising enquiries: (604) 822-3131 (phone),
(604) 822-2684 (fax).
UBC Reports welcomes the submission of letters and
opinion pieces. Opinions and advertising published in UBC
Reports do not necessarily reflect official university policy.
Material may be reprinted in whole or in part with
appropriate credit to UBC Reports. UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995 3
Earliest Chinese script
dissected by linguist
by Charles Ker
Stciff writer
Di Xin, last king of China's Late Shang
dynasty, went hunting one day in 1070 BC
and his victim's skull survived to tell the tale.
The king's version ofthe story relates how
he and his entourage were set upon by a local
chieftain. Di Xin prevailed, called for the
chieftain's head and ordered that the entire
incident be inscribed on it.
According to UBC Prof. KenTakashima. it
was common practice to inscribe daily observances and anecdotes from the royal
court on bones. He concedes, however, that
Di Xin may have broken new ground with his
use of a human skull. It seems ox shoulder
blades, or scapula, and turtle bellies, or
plastrons, were the parchment of choice
among his Shang predecessors.
"The stories were always told from the
court's point of view," says Takashima, who
recently finished translating an ancient collection of turtle plastrons. "There are few
references to the daily lives of ordinary people."
Ironically, it was illiterate peasant farmers who eventually dug up the Shang fragments and catapulted the dynasty from
myth to reality.
Takashima explains that until the turn of
this century, the Shang dynasty was believed to exist in imagination only.
Then, in 1903, scholar and novelist Liu
Tieyun was picking up some malaria medication for his benefactor when he noticed
something strange about the drugs being
ground by the pharmacist. He ordered the
druggist to stop his grinding and sell him the
medicinal scapula fragments with the unmistakable etching. Until then, farmers referred to the fragments as dragon bones. To
Liu, the fact that these bones contained
writing was as incredible as the mythical
dragons themselves.
Liu's benefactor, himself an expert in
bronze inscriptions previously considered
the oldest known Chinese writings, con
firmed the historical significance ofthe dragon
bone inscriptions. They, in fact, represented
the earliest writings from the country's oldest
historical period.
Their authenticity was further bolstered
by the fact that they were discovered at
Yinxu, the mythical birthplace ofthe dynasty
located about 500 kilometres south of Peking.
Takashima says the ancient script found
on the so-called oracle tones consists of
some 4,000 different symbols, few of which
resemble modern-day Chinese characters.
Plastrons and scapula can contain a few
symbols covering divinatory or historical
events on a single day or up to 500 characters
spanning a half a year. As with Liu and his
benefactor, Takashima had to master first
the language of the bronze inscriptions before he tackled the linguistic puzzle posed by
the oracle bones.
Unlike the ancient clay tablets from Mesopotamia, which contain mostly economic
information from the times, the Shang oracle
bones are rich in religious, political and
social commentary. They document kings'
dreams, hunting expeditions, wars against
foreign tribes, prominent births and harvest
information supplied by court diviners and
scribes. Takashima can tell the exact day
and time some fragments were inscribed
because they refer to solar eclipses or other
phenomena which can be calculated backwards using modern astronomical science.
Takashima, a linguist by training, has
spent five years meticulously compiling an
annotated English translation of 613 turtle
plastrons from the Archaelogica Sinica collection dating back to 1300 BC. The 19,000-
piece collection, covering the first 50 years of
the Late Shang dynasty's 250-year rule, was
scientifically excavated for more than a decade until it was whisked away to Taiwan
when Chiang Kai-shek fled China in 1947.
Takashima, who translated the oracle
fragments mostly from ink rubbings and
photographs, is currently in the process of
editing his six-volume, 4,000-page project.
by staff writers
nee upon a time, at a place called the University of British Columbia, there was a library full of books. There were big books and
little books; old books and new books; serious books and fun
Over the years, many people came to the library to see the books, which, in
the beginning, were filed in order and lived on shelves covering six floors of
Main Library.
But with time, many of the books were moved by some of the people and
ended up on the wrong shelf. Some were so badly lost, they were living on the
wrong floor.
Throughout the year, the staff who took care of the books at Main Library
would try to return them to their proper place, but they could only do so on a
spot basis.
Then for one week this past summer—the first time in almost 10 years—
about 300 people who work at UBC Library checked every shelf in the Main
stacks and in the Fine Arts Library, looking for misfiled books to put back in
order. They looked through enough books to reach from UBC to downtown
Vancouver and back.
During the blitz. Main Library was closed between 9 and 11 a.m. Each staff
member contributed about six hours of their time to work on an assigned
section of stacks.
Many volunteers also helped the staff as they searched for the misfiled
books, including University Librarian Ruth Patrick, John Gilbert, chair of the
Senate Library Committee and Maria Klawe, vice-president. Student and
Academic Services.
The North American literature and science and engineering books were
badly misfiled, but the worst was the film section.
When the people came back to Main Library after the shelf reading was
complete, many told the staff how much time they were now saving finding the
books they wanted, and they all lived happily ever after.
The end.
Charles Ker photo
Asian Studies Prof. Ken Takashima
ancient Chinese scripts that record
Shang dynasty.
'These were the ancestors of what has
become the world's oldest continuous civilization," he says. "Many of the cultural
attitudes shaping Chinese civilization derive directly from attitudes and practices
already visible in these early societies."
The professor claims the Confucian concept of heaven and earth is already evident in
the use of turtles; the plastrons possibly
representing earth and the shell, heaven.
Also, philosophical elements ofYin and Yang
can be found in the oracle bone statements
which are frequently counterbalanced by
positive and negative phrases.
While there have been numerous archeological and historical studies of oracle bones,
Takashima is the first scholar to undertake
a precise linguistic dissection of China's
national treasures. The Archeological Sinica
is considered the most complete and authentic oracle bone collection of the more
than 150,000 pieces unearthed to date.
Takashima's next project will be more
is compiling an English translation of
rich daily details ofthe legendary Late
historical in nature as he plans to probe
the power structure ofthe Shang dynasty.
For example, the dynasty's first king,
Wu Ding, had a contingent of close to 50
diviners overseeing about 25 court scribes.
Di Xin. on the other hand, had four diviners and two scribes.
Takashima wants to find out where scribes
and court technocrats came from and whether
they were trained in the palace ofthe Shang
capital or in the provinces. He also wants to
find out how the kings and queens accumulated such immense power and wealth. Tombs
excavated at Yinxu yielded caches of jade,
bronze and ceramics which surpass treasures found in Egypt's fabled Tutankhamen
"Was there a change in the perception
of divine intervention and power as the
dynasty wore on?" Takashima asks. "I
want to find out more about the mentality
of these people who are at the root of
Chinese civilization."
Capping tuition not a
viable solution, Miller
Dan Miller, minister of Skills, Training
and Labour, gave a simple answer when
asked Nov. 24 if the provincial government
would consider placing a cap on tuition at
post-secondary institutions.
"No," said Miller, condemning the notion
that a tuition cap would solve any of the
problems facing universities and colleges.
Miller was speaking at a forum on post-
secondary education sponsored by UBC's
Alma Mater Society and attended by faculty members, students, and administrators from several educational institutions
in B.C. Organizers hope that ideas, criticism and solutions that emerged from the
conference will serve as reference points
for future policy making.
Miller praised his government's performance in the post-secondary field while
attacking federal Human Resources Minister Lloyd Axworthy and the provincial
"We're looking at $800 million in cuts
from the federal government," Miller said.
MLA Linda Reid, who attended the forum
as Liberal education critic, later criticized
Miller for using the event as a campaign
opportunity and said the government is
using the reduction in federal transfer payments to B.C. as an excuse for cutting
education and health care spending.
"He (Miller) is talking about $320 million out of a $20 billion budget and saying
they have no choice but to impact negatively on education, and that is just rubbish," said Reid.
Michael Hughes, a student representative on UBC's Board of Governors who also
participated in the forum, was more supportive ofthe provincial government's record,
saying he finds it unlikely the government
will support large tuition increases as a
result of the federal cuts.
Miller said the New Democratic Party has
shown its commitment to education by borrowing to build the infrastructure ofthe B.C.
post-secondary system since it came to power
four years ago.
"We have made a very deliberate decision
to expand our investments in post-secondary education for a variety of reasons, one of
which is that there is a direct link between
the opportunities that you present in post-
secondary education and your economy."
Throughout his speech Miller emphasized vocational and technical training—
education that, he said, will ultimately provide jobs for the 70 per cent of high school
graduates who do not pursue a university or
college education.
He cited UBC's new Forest Sciences Centre as the sort of investment in education his
government believes in, specifically, investments that will meet the needs of B.C.
employers who require graduates with specialized skills.
Miller set the stage for further change.
"There is no system in Canada that should
be, and is, immune from looking at change...If
we can't become more efficient... in the cost
of delivering post-secondary education, we
have to challenge ourselves." 4 UBC Reports • December 14, 1995
December 17 through January 13
Tuesday, Dec. 19
Animal Science Seminar
The Nutrition Of Fish. What's So
Different? Stewart Anderson, PhD
candidate, Animal Science.
MacMillan 158, 12:30. Refreshments. Call 822-4593.
Wednesday, Jan. 3
Interdisciplinary Studies
Words And Their Discipline.
Green College recreation lounge,
5pm. For PhD Students. Call 822-
Thursday, Jan. 4
Canadian Studies Lecture
Negotiating Alien Space In Recent Canadian And Australian
Plays. Joanne Tompkins, Head,
Dept. of Theatre and Drama,
Monash University. Buchanan
B212, 12:30pm. Call 822-5104.
Canadian Studies Workshop
Settler Society Theory. Alan
Lawson, Dept. of English, U of
Queensland, Green College small
dining room 8pm. Call 822-5104.
Friday, Jan. 5
Grand Rounds
Newer Concepts In Childhood
Neuromuscular Disease. Dr. Elke
Roland, Dept. of Paediatrics. Division of Neurology. GF Strong
auditorium, 9am. Call 875-2307.
planning 8c
Monday, Jan. 8
Green College Speaker Series
Kit Brennan On Her New Play 'Tiger's Heart." Kit Brennan. playwright. Green College recreation
lounge. 7:30-9:30pm. Call 822-
Tuesday, Jan. 9
Overcoming Multi-Drug Resistance In Cancer Through The Use
Of Liposomal Drug Carriers.
Rajesh Krishna, grad. student,
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and BC Cancer Cancer
Agency. IRC#3, 12:30pm. Call822-
Medical Genetics
Departmental Seminar
The Genetics Of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes: Finding Genes Pre-
disposingTo Multigene Disorders.
Dr. Leigh Field, Paediatrics, U of
Calgary. Wesbrook 201, 4:30pm.
Refreshments 4pm, in 226. Call
Green College Speaker Series
Toward A History Of Scientific Philosophy. Alan Richardson, Philosophy. Green College recreation
lounge, 5:30-6:30pm. Reception
in Graham House 4:45-5:30pm.
Call 822-6067.
Green College Speaker Series
Where Did It All Come From: The
Origin Of Structure In The Universe. Robert Brandenberger,
Physics, Brown U, Providence.
Rhode Island. Green College recreation lounge, 7:30pm. Call 822-
Wednesday, Jan. 10      Friday, Jan. 12
Call   822-
Sati: The Event And The Ideology.
Mandakranta Bose. Research
Assoc. Centre for Research in
Women's Studies, lecturer, Dept.
of Classical, Near East and Religious Studies. Centre for Research
in Women's Studies and Gender
Relations, 3:30-5pm. Free. Call
Thursday, Jan. 11
Seminar Series
The Japanese Business System
And Economy: Changing Patterns.
Prof. Masao Nakamura, Faculty of
Commerce and Business Administration. Asian Centre 604, 12:30-
2pm. Call 822-5612.
Law and Society
Evaluation Of A Constitutional
Right For Minority Education: Section 23 OfThe Canadian Charter.
Prof. Angeline Martel, Sociolinguis-
tics atTele-universite, U. de Quebec. Green College recreation
lounge, 5pm. Call 822-6067.
CICSR Distinguished Lecture
Fundamentals of Real-Time Scheduling. C.L. Liu, Dept. of Computer
Science, U of Illinois. CICSR/CS
Building 208, 4-5pm. Refreshments. Free lecture. Call 822-6894.
J%l   Please
fcw Recycle
Students, faculty, staff and members ofthe public—
Does this affect you? The following projects for the
UBC Campus arc currently being considered. You are
encouraged to give us vour opinions on these projects:
Permit Reviews in Progress
Horticulture Building Renovation iff Greenhouse Addition
Public Art Sculpture "Cumbria" 1966-67, Artist: Robert Murray
—Lasscrrc/Art Gallery Plaza
TR1UMF-ISAC—Phase 1, site preparation
Temporary Trailers—CEME Building
St. John's College—New Residential College
New Chapel Building-—St. Mark's College
• Earth Sciences Building—Phase I
Permits Issued
• Forest Sciences Advanced Wood Processing Lab
& For your Information...
Permit Fees—changes arc proposed to all L'BC Development
& Building Permit fees in 1996
For More Information on any of these Projects
please contact Kathleen Laird-Burns at 822-8228,
laird@unixg.ubc.ca or visit our Campus Planning &■ <P" "
Development Home Page on the Internet al ;  :'^|
Information supplied l/\:
Regulatory Services, a division of
Campus Planning &: Development,
2210 West Mall, Vancouver,
BC, V(Vf 1/.4. 822-822X (ph),
822-6119 (fax).
Fisheries Centre Seminar
The Impact Of White Sucker Introductions On Brook Trout Population. Pierre Magnan, U. de Quebec
(Trois-Rivieres). Fisheries Centre,
Hut   B8,   Ralf  Yorque   room.
Lipids And Neonatal Brain Development: Defining The Essential Fat. Prof. Sheila M. Innis,
Dept. of Paediatrics. GF Strong
Auditorium. 9am. Call822-8633.
Badminton Drop-In
Faculty/Staff/Grad Students are
welcome to join in the fun at the
Student Recreation Centre,
Wednesdays and Fridays, 6:45-
8:15pm now through March /96.
Bring your library card. To check
for cancellations e-mail
Art Gallery
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art
Gallery. Current exhibition Nov. 10,
1995 - Jan. 14, 1996. Seeing in
Tongues: A Narrative of Language
and Visual Arts in Quebec. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday
10am-5pm and Saturday, 12-5pm.
1825 Main Mall. Phone 822-2759.
UBC Nursing and Dept. of
Counselling Psychology
Are you pregnant for the first time,
currently working, living with a
partner, and intending to return
to work after the arrival of your
baby? Help us learn more about
working and parenting so that
we can help you. Volunteer for
the "Transition to Parenthood
for Working Couples Study" by
calling Wendy Hall, Assistant
Professor, UBC School of Nursing at 822-7447.
Christmas at the Shop in
the Garden
Fresh festive wreaths, baskets
and door swags made by the
Friends ofthe Garden, a volunteer group. Also an exciting selection of gifts. All proceeds support the Botanical Garden. UBC
Botanical Garden, 6804 S.W.
Marine Drive. Shop hours:
1 lam-5pm. Call 822-4529.
Frederic Wood Theatre
Tiger's Heart by Kit Brennan,
directed by Jan Selman. Frederic
Wood Theatre. Jan 10-20, 8pm.
Weekdays adults $12, students
and seniors $8. Weekends adults
$14, students and seniors $10.
Preview Wed. 2 for $12. Reservations and ticket information
call 822-2678.
Omission of WRIT 098D
from Registration Guide
All sections of Writing 098D, Preparation for University Writing
and the LPI, were accidentally omitted from the 1995/96
Registration Guide. These sections, aimed at students with English
as a first language, are running as scheduled, and students may still
register for them through TELEREG. The details are as follows:
Catalogue #
Day and Time
Buch D302
January 8
MWF 12:30
Buch B228
January 8
Buch B220
January 17
For details concerning Writing 098B (for students with English
as an additional language), please refer to the last page of the
Registration Guide.
Phone 822-9564 for information regarding
these and other Writing Centre courses.
New courses include Intermediate
Composition, Advanced Composition, Essay
Writing, Report and Business Writing, and
Thesis Writing.
tym Writing
The UBC Reports Calendar lists university-related or
university-sponsored events on campus and off campus within the Lower Mainland.
Calendar items must be submitted on forms available from the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251 Cecil
Green Park Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1. Phone:
822-3131. Fax: 822-2684. Please limit to 35 words.
Submissions for the Calendar's Notices section may be
limited due to space.
Deadline for the January 11 issue of UBC Reports —
which covers the period January 14 to January 27 —
is noon, January 2. UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995 5
Deadlines 1996
Tues. Jan. 2
Jan. 11
Tues. Jan. 16
Jan. 25
Tues. Jan. 30
Feb. 8
Tues. Feb. 13
Feb. 22
Tues. Feb. 27
Mar. 7
Tues. Mar. 12
Mar. 21
Tues. Mar. 26
Apr. 4
Tues. Apr. 9
Apr. 18
Tues. Apr. 23
May 2
Tues. May 14
May 23
Tues. June 4
June 13
Tues. July 2
July 11
Tues. Aug. 6
Aug. 15
Mon. Aug. 26
Sept. 5
Tues. Sept 10
Sept. 19
Tues. Sept 24
Oct. 3
Mon. Oct 7
Oct. 17
Tues. Oct 22
Oct. 31
Mon. Nov. 4
Nov. 14
Tues. Nov. 19
Nov. 28
Tues. Dec. 3
Dec. 12
Jan. 14-Jan. 27
Jan. 28-Feb. 10
Feb. 11 -Feb. 24
Feb. 25-Mar. 9
Mar. 10-Mar. 23
Mar. 24-Apr. 6
Apr. 7-Apr. 20
Apr. 21-May 4
May 5-June 15
no calendar
June 16-July 13
July 14-Aug.17
Aug. 18-Sept. 7
Sept. 8-Sept. 21
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Oct. 20-Nov. 2
Nov. 3-Nov. 16
Nov. 17-Nov. 30
Dec. 1-Dec. 14
Dec. 15-Jan. 11
Calendar     i
UBC Reports carries a two-week calendar of CBC-sponsorecl events in each issue.
Submissions are published free of charge and arc accepted from all UBC
departments. To appear in the pertinent issue, submissions must be received
by the deadline for that issue as noted in the accompanying Deadlines
To submit an event for publication, please:
1. Type or clearly print your submission on the following form and limit it to 35
2. Fax this form to the Public Affairs Office at 822-2684.
It is the submitting department's responsibility to ensure that all information is
Event: Seminar
(circle one)  Other —
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Title: _
(please specify: name, title, department and other affiliations)
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Park Road. Vancouver, BC.
For further information please contact UBC Reports at Public Affairs Office. Phone
822-3131. Fax 822-2684. 310-6251 Cecil Green Park Road. Vancouver. BC. V6T
T TBC REPORTS Advertising Rates 1996
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Distribution: Twice monthly on the CBC campus and
in 'Ihe Courier an Vancouver's West Side except, once a month in June.
July. August and December
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1/4 page (152mm x 178mm, 6" x  ""') $331.00
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For advertising information call Public Affairs at (604) 822-3131 6 UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995
News Digest
Management and professional staff members at UBC will receive
a 1.2 per cent salary increase for 1995-96, retroactive to July 1,
The Board ofGovernors approved the increase at its Nov. 16
The Board also approved the establishment of a 2.5 per cent merit
pool for discretionary increases for 1994-95 for M&P staff who
performed beyond job requirements. The merit-based increase is
retroactive to July 1. 1994.
Management and professional staff are the third major UBC
employee group to reach a wage agreement with the university since
the summer. The 2.000-member Faculty Association ratified a
contract with the university last summer and 4,500 unionized
employees, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE), ratified a five-year contract Oct. 5 that provides a six-per
cent increase in wages and benefits during the life ofthe agreement.
The Corporate-Higher Education Forum is calling for nominations for two awards that recognize and promote excellence in
furthering corporate-university co-operation in research.
The $5,000 awards include the Bell Canada-Forum Award for
outstanding researchers involved in co-operative research of major
significance, and the Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd.-Forum Award
to honour remarkable achievement in facilitating corporate-university research co-operation.
Nominees may be individuals or groups and must have been
engaged in collaborative industry-university research of major
significance or have facilitated in organizing such research. Only
work performed in Canada will be considered.
Selection of award recipients will be based on evidence of
exemplary leadership in furthering university-industry co-operation in research, vision and creativity, and involving students in
collaborative research projects, among other criteria.
Nominations must be received by March 1, 1996. For further
information call (514) 876-1356 or fax (514) 876-1498.
The Corporate-Higher Education Forum is a leadership organization dedicated to developing stronger links between Canada's
academic and business communities.
The Rev. Marcel A. J. Gervais, Archbishop ofOttawa, will deliver
the 1996 Carr Lectures.
Gervais' first address. The Sanctity of Family Life, will take place
on Friday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Robson Square Conference
His second public lecture. Christian Humanism and Family Life,
will be delivered on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of the Epiphany
at the Vancouver Ohool of Theology located on campus at 6000
Iona Drive.
The Carr Lectures are sponsored by St. Mark's College and the
Newman Association of Vancouver.
For more information, call 822-4463 or 263-7559.
The classified advertising rate is $15.75 for 35 words or less. Each additional word
is 50 cents. Rate includes GST. Ads must be submitted in writing 10 days before
publication date to the UBC Public Affairs Office, 310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road.
Vancouver B.C.. V6T 1Z1, accompanied by payment in cash, cheque (made out to UBC
Reports) or internal requisition. Advertising enquiries: 822-3131.
The deadline for the January 11, 1996 issue of UBC Reports is noon. January 2.
perfect spot to reserve
accommodation for guest
lecturers or other university
members who visit throughout
the year, Close to UBC and other
Vancouver attractions, a tasteful
representation of our city and of
UBC. 4103 W. 10th Ave.,
Vancouver. BC. V6R2H2. Phone
or fax (604) 222-4104.
accom. in Pt. Grey area. Minutes
to UBC. On main bus routes. Close
to shops and restaurants. Inc. TV,
tea and coffee making, private
phone/fridge. Weekly rates
available. Tel: 222-3461, Fax: 222-
Fully furnished, near UBC.
Delightful, bright and cosy, 2-
bedroom home with den, 2
bathrooms, garage and
pleasant garden. Renting from
May 1996. 1-2 year lease to 2-3
people. Non-smoking, no pets.
$1500/month. References
required. Call (604) 733-7986.
A New Spirit
of Giving
Your needs keep changing, but not your freedom-loving spirit.
Which makes the new Civic Hatchback ideal for the way you
live. The engine packs more punch, so you can go where you
want. A longer wheelbase gives you more room inside enough
to pack in over 375 litres of friends and/or life's necessities—
skis, tent, snowboard—you name it. And the convenience of a
50/50 split fold-down rear seatback gives you more choices.
Plus looks that set back the competition. Best of all, you won't
be packing around heavy payments.
'e™s    built Without Compromise, i^osi
I Lai J
FraMf Valley AulomaH
19515 Langley Bypass
2400 Bamat Hwy
2466 King George Hwy
15291 FiaserHwy
20611 Lougheed Hwy
2390 BurrarU SI
445 Kingsway 873-3676
6984 Kmgsway
4780 E Hasimgs
725 Manna D"ve
Five suites available for
academic visitors to UBC only.
Guests dine with residents and
enjoy college life. Daily rate $50,
plus $ 13/day for mealsSun.-Thurs.
Call 822-8660 for more
information and availability.
full baths, furnished condo,
garage, balcony, spectacular
view. Steps to Granville Island
market, Available Jan. 1 /96 for 7
months. Non smoker. $1600/
month, Call 739-0302.
rent. Comfortable one bedroom
suite, fully furnished and
equipped, patio. Close to UBC.
Available for three months or
longerfrom January. Reasonable
rent in return for taking care of
two affectionate cats. Please call
Perfect for expatriates/
professors. Mountain and park
views. Excellent environment.
Access to transport and
shopping. Available from early
Jan/96 to end August. No pets
N/S. Reference required. For
details call 224-3423.
BASEMENT SUITE, fully furnished
for single, non-smoker. All
amenities. Private entrance. On
West 11th Avenue, between
Discovery and Trimble. Available
end of December, for three to
four months, or monthly. Call 224-
WORKSHOPS. Intensive weekly
classes for adult ESL speakers,
starting January 26. Intermediate
or advanced. West End
Community Centre, 870 Denman
Street. Enrolment limited.
Contact instructor: Barbara
Wakal 689-5918.
Downtown Yaletown area, near
new library. Fully furnished.
Swimming pool .sauna, etc. $ 1400/
month inclusive. Perfect for single
person, couple on sabbatical,
visiting profs., mature students for
short/long term. 730-0098.
WEST POINT GREY family house 3-
4 bedroom, 6 appl., w/w, yard,
top 2 firs. $ 1,800, entire house w/
basement suite $2,100 lease.
Refs. Call 739-6873.
HOME with big yard. Available
from mid-March through the end
of May. Rent negotiable. Call 263-
4126 or 732-2565.
Asset Allocation Service. Let me
remove the worry and hassle of
making your pension and RRSP
investment decisions! I use
sophisticated computer
software to analyse your
investment personality and
retirement goals to optimize
your entire retirement portfolio.
Call Don Proteau, B.Comm.,
R.F.P. at 687-7526 to receive a
free Asset Allocation Kit.
References available. RETIRE
yourself with the information you
need to make the best
investment decision. Call Don
Proteau at 687-7526 and ask for
the Asset Allocation Kit.
Secretarial services at
reasonable rates: letters, essays,
theses, reports, manuscripts,
novels, etc. 30 years experience.
APA specialist. 228-8346.
Next ad deadline:
noon, January 2
Notice to UBC Staff Pension
Plan Members
The results of the election for Directors to serve on
the UBC Staff Pension Plan Board for a two-year
period from January 1, 1996, to December 31,
1997, are as follows:
Jon Nightingale
Deferred Member
Shirley Reeve
Controller, TRIUMF UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995 7
Stephen Forgacs photo
Baker Tom Zorbakis removes some of the 6,000 shortbread cookies being
made for the UBC Christmas Bakeshop from the oven. He'll also supervise the
creation of 600 dozen Christmas Cherry Bars, a UBC favourite for the past five
years. The recipe from Treats to Rememberis reprinted below by permission.
Traditional baking
snapped up quickly
Boiled Dark Fruitcake and Brown Sugar
Shortbread are among the holiday season
Treats to Remember on sale now in the
UBC Christmas Bakeshop.
Edited by UBC Food Group director
Christine Samson and administration
manager Allen Leong. Treats to Remember, the latest collection of special recipes
from the UBC kitchens, has been selling
like hot cakes.
Among the muffins, cakes, cookies and
quick breads, the treasury of treats includes 27 pages of Christmas baking. So,
if you forget to place your UBC Christmas
Bakeshop order by Dec. 18, try making
some of UBC's most popular festive goodies at home.
Treats to Remember is available for
$12.50 (GST included) at the bakeshop
located inside Pacific Spirit Place Cafeteria in the Student Union Building. Call
It's also available at the UBC Bookstore
for $ 11.95. or through mail order by sending
$ 14.95 (postage and GST included) to 2071
West Mall. Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2.
Christmas Cherry Bars
Crust & Filling
I cup + 2 tbsp (280 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
2 cups (500 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp (I mL) almond extract
I tsp (5 mL) baking powder
I cup (250 mL) coconut
I cup (250 mL) halved maraschino cherries
1/2 cup (125 mL) pecan halves
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract
2 cups (500 mL) sifted icing sugar
3-4 tbsp (45-60 mL) milk or cream
Preheat oven to 350°F (I80°C). Grease
13x9x2 inch (32x22x5 cm) pan. Mix I cup
(250mL) flour, rolled oats, I cup (250 mL)
brown sugar, soda and IIA tsp (I mL) salt. Add
butter and mix until crumbly. Press into pan and
bake 10 minutes. Beat eggs. Stir in I cup (250
mL) brown sugar and almond extract. Mix 2
tbsp flour, baking powder and III tsp (2 mL) salt
and stir into egg mixture. Add coconut and
cherries. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle
with pecans. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly
browned. Cool completely. For icing, beat all
ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Spread over bars.
Industry, research team up
to strike gold, copper ore
by Gavin Wilson
Staff writer
Making valuable gold and copper ore
deposits easier to find is the goal of a new
project ofthe Mineral Deposit Research Unit
(MDRU), part ofthe Dept. of Geological Sciences.
"What we're trying to understand is why
these deposits occur where they do, and why
some are better than others. If we can understand this, we will fulfill our scientific goals
and industry can use this knowledge to aid
in their exploration," said MDRU Director
John Thompson.
Gold and copper deposits form as molten
rock crystallizes and hardens, releasing water and interacting with surrounding ground
water. In a long series of complex processes,
metals are transformed from traces measurable only in parts per billion to much greater
concentrations that are economical to mine.
"There are a great many processes at
work. Our goal is to understand which are
the most important," Thompson said
Computer models will be developed to test
theories of how these processes occur. If
these models are borne out by real-world
testing, they could be used to predict which
areas contain significant ore concentrations.
Field work has already begun, with researchers mapping rocks in rugged terrain
from Alaska to Peru and analyzing samples
and drill cores from mining companies.
Thompson said this project is a departure
from earlier work at the MDRU, which focused primarily on B.C. mineral deposits.
"Being more international in scope
matches the interests of Canadian mining
companies," he said.
Seventeen mining companies are each
donating $10,000 a year to the four-year
project, with matching funds from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, bringing the total to about $ 1 million.
This is the seventh research project the
MDRU has started since it was founded in
1989.Sincethat time it has greatly increased
Geological Science's collaboration with industry and brought in more than $6 million
in research funding.
"We are filling a niche not adequately filled
before. So far, we've been very well received,"
Thompson said.
The MDRU brings groups of companies
together to fund projects, which involve teams
of faculty, research associates, post doctoral
fellows and graduate students.
Thompson said the new project has a
particularly strong and diverse team with
expertise in several sub-disciplines provided by Assoc. Prof. Kelly Russell, Assistant Prof. Greg Dipple and Visiting Prof.
Jim Mortensen.
by staff writers
William Sauder. chair and chief executive officer of International
Forest Products and Sauder Industries Limited, was acclaimed
as UBC chancellor last month. He begins his three-year term
in July, 1996.
The university chancellor is elected by the alumni of
the university and confers all degrees. The chancellor is
also a member of Senate and the Board of Governors.
A UBC graduate (BCom '48), Sauder was a member of
the university's Board ofGovernors from 1981 to 1987,
and served as chair of the board for the last two years of
his term. He received an honorary degree from UBC in
"I am very pleased at the election of William Sauder,"
said UBC President David Strangway. "He was chair of
the Board of Governors when I came to UBC and I look
forward to working with him again."
Sauder, his wife Marjorie-Anne and their eight
children are long-time patrons of UBC and have supported several medical
science initiatives at the university.
The Sauder Family Chair in Pediatric Diseases and the Sauder Family Chair
in Viral Diseases of Children are named in recognition of the family's philanthropy.
In addition to his activities in the forestry sector, Sauder currently serves as
a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Toronto-
Dominion Bank.
He also was a member of the executive committee of B.C. Hydro and the British
Columbia Development Corporation, as well as director of both companies.
UBC's Department of Housing and Conferences has appointed Janice
Robinson to the position of assistant director, Residence Life.
For the past seven years Robinson has served
as a residence life manager in several east campus
residences including Acadia Park, Fairview Crescent and
the University Apartments.
In her new position, she will provide leadership to five
live-in residence life managers who supervise more than
100 student staff in UBC residences. The managers and
student staff provide educational and community development opportunities and peer support to residents.
Robinson has a BA in Social Work from John Wesley
College and an MSE from the University of Wisconsin at
Platteville specializing in guidance and counselling.
The Dept. of Housing and Conferences manages on-campus accommodation
for more than 6,000 residents.
Zoology Prof. Peter Hochachka was recently awarded the Fry Medal
from the Canadian Zoological Society for his outstanding research.
Hochachka is a pioneer in the fields of comparative biochemistry and
physiological adaptations whose research
has furthered our understanding of
evolutionary processes. His research
focuses on the effect on mammals of
hypoxia, or lack of oxygen.
The award was presented at the
society's 34th annual meeting, held this
year in Rimouski, Quebec.
Also receiving an award was Zoology
graduate student Hans Keirstead. who
was recognized for the best zoology
doctoral thesis in Canada.
Keirstead, whose thesis supervisor was
Prof. John Steeves, director of Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (CORD), wrote his thesis on the inhibitory role of
myelin in spinal cord regeneration.
Hochachka (1), Keirstead
Associate Prof, of Music John Roeder is the recipient of the
1995 Outstanding Publication Award presented by the Society for
Music Theory.
His award-winning article, "Interacting Pulse Streams in Schoenberg's
Atonal Polyphony," appeared in the 1994 fall edition of Music Theory Spectrum, the society's journal.
Roeder, who joined UBC in 1985, also serves as director ofthe UBC School of
Music's Multimedia Centre, a facility for aural training, music notation and the
development of multimedia music software. His theories of 20th century music,
computer applications and rhythm have been published in leading journals of
music theory.
Roeder has served on the editorial boards of Perspectives of New Music and Music
Theory Spectrum.
Fine Arts Prof. Jeff Wall has received dual honours in recognition
of his outstanding achievements in the arts.
Wall was recently presented with the Eugene McDermott Award by the
Council for the Arts based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The
award recognizes an artist for the highest standard of achievement at the
national level in the visual, literary or performing arts whose work is underappreciated outside of the discipline. He also is the first recipient of the newly
created Munich Art Prize, the largest cash award for the arts given in Germany.
Wall, a UBC graduate, joined the faculty in 1987 after serving teaching appointments at Simon Fraser University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Accomplished in large scale photography, his work has been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.
Wall's research interests include philosophical aesthetics and critical theory
concerning problems of modernism in the arts since the Baroque period. He has
received international prominence for his unique work with transparencies. 8 UBC Reports ■ December 14, 1995
Probing earth's inner space
Scientists seek understanding of forces that formed our continent
Geophysics Prof. Ron Clowes heads Lithoprobe, the largest earth science research project ever undertaken in
Canada. Shown here examining seismic data are (l-r) Clowes and former graduate students John Hole, Deirdre
O'Leary and Mike Perz.
by Gavin Wilson
Staff writer
Toronto and Montreal are built
on the remnants of a mountain range that may have been
higher than the Himalayas.
A massive 35-kilometre-deep rift—
the greatest the world has ever
known—once threatened to break
North America in two.
And beneath northern Quebec is the
key to a riddle that has puzzled scientists for generations—how did the first
land rise above the waves of primeval
oceans to form continents?
These are just some of the startling
findings of UBC-based Lithoprobe, the
largest earth science research project
ever undertaken in Canada.
Headed by Ronald Clowes, a geophysics professor in the Dept. of
Geophysics and Astronomy, Lithoprobe
began in 1984. Its aim is to develop a
comprehensive understanding of the
geological evolution of the North
American continent.
"In many ways, we probably know
more about outer space than we do
about inner space—the earth beneath
our feet. Lithoprobe is designed to give
us a better understanding of the forces
that shaped this continent," Clowes
This journey through inner space
has taken Lithoprobe researchers from
Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and
up to the Arctic, probing deep below
the earth's surface to investigate four
billion years of geological history.
An army of researchers was enlisted
for this enormous task; more than 600
scientists associated with 28 universities, 17 private companies, and 13
federal and provincial government
The project's continuing annual
budget of about $5.6 million comes
from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the
Geological Survey of Canada. Mining
and petroleum companies, provincial
geological surveys and other sources
provide additional funds, data and
services to augment the base budget.
Even with this talent and funding, it
would have been impossible to conduct
this type of research until a few years ago.
However, advances in seismology, other
geoscience techniques and computer
technology have enabled Lithoprobe
scientists to map rock formations and
structures up to 100 kilometres below the
surface and infer what such measurements are indicating.
This region of inner space, the upper
part of which is the Earth's crust, is
known as the lithosphere—the rigid
outer part of earth which includes the
ever-shifting—and earthquake-making—mosaic of 12 major tectonic plates
and many smaller ones.
As well as answering fundamental scientific questions
about how the continent was
formed, studying the lithosphere can
tell us, in broad terms, where resources
are likely to be and help assess earthquake risks across the country, Clowes
The information is of particular
interest to companies involved in
mineral and petroleum exploration,
since the crust contains the oil, gas,
coal, base metals and precious metals
that help sustain our civilization.
"It's not our objective to find mineral
deposits, but we can help create an
understanding of the underlying
geology so that industry can better plan
their own explorations," Clowes said.
"We are looking for unique clues to
the processes that over billions of years
have formed the continent as we know
it. It's almost like being detectives in a
mystery novel. We gather evidence here
and there, and then put it together to
find the solution."
Among these sleuths' findings,
which have been published in more
than 700 scientific papers:
• A gigantic but now deeply buried rift
under Lake Superior and Michigan.
The largest ever discovered on earth,
it was as deep as 35 kilometres and
almost split the continent in two
about a billion years ago.
• Under Lake Huron and in southern
Ontario and Quebec, evidence of a
massive mountain range that once
rivalled the Himalayas. It formed
about 1.2 billion years ago when a
continent at least the size of India
collided with the existing North
American land mass.
The impact was so powerful it
pushed up massive blocks of land
over the Canadian Shield, creating a
5,000-kilometre-long mountain
range extending from what is now
Texas to Labrador. In the ensuing
eons, the mountains eroded, leaving
a relatively flat landscape.
• The most direct evidence to date of
how land first appeared on earth,
which at one time was covered by a
vast sea, and formed continents.
In an article published last
summer in the journal Nature.
Lithoprobe researchers explained how the discovery of a major
boundary some 40 to 80 kilometres
beneath northern Quebec provides
the answer.
Lava-spewing volcanoes created
the first islands to rise above ancient
oceans. These island arcs and plateaus, like the present Philippines
and Hawaii, were pushed along as if
on a massive wobbly conveyor belt by
plate tectonics (also known as continental drift). They smashed into each
other and eventually piled up into
mountainous continents.
Deep beneath Quebec, Lithoprobe
researchers found direct evidence that
plate tectonics was occurring 2.6 billion
years ago, 800 million years earlier
than previous evidence had indicated.
B.C. provides a more recent example
of continent building. Our province's
land mass originated during the past
180 million years, when micro-continents migrated out of the Pacific from
as far away as Australia and collided
with North America's then-western
shore. These collisions caused the land
and sea bed to buckle and fold, creating wave after wave of mountain
The main technique Lithoprobe
researchers use to make these discoveries is seismic reflection, which works
like a ship's echo sounder reading
water depths, but revealing instead the
buried structures of rock formations.
Specially-equipped 25-tonne
trucks, called "dancing
elephants" by the media, send
vibrations down into the earth. On
ships, technicians create vibrations
with pulses of compressed air.
Whatever the source, the principle is
the same. Vibrations travel down
through the earth's lithosphere and are
reflected or refracted at the boundaries
of structural features along the way.
The signals bounce back toward the
surface where they are picked up by a
network of geophone receivers.
The resulting images are processed
and displayed on powerful computers,
"and then interpreted much as a doctor
would an X-ray or ultrasound," Clowes
Lithoprobe scientists have become
world leaders in the use of seismic
reflection, pioneering new techniques
and applications, he added.


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