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UBC Publications

UBC Reports Aug 13, 1998

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Volume 44, Number 13
August 13, 1998
Find UBC Reports on the Web at www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca
Stephen Forgacs photo
Beaming From Side To Side
Construction workers and visitors to UBC's new Forest Sciences
Centre are dwarfed by massive Parallam support beams, an advanced
wood product developed in B.C. The building, located on Agronomy
Road at East Mall, and the adjoining Centre for Advanced Wood
Processing will be opened officially on Sept. 29 but faculty, staff and
students have been moving in since the end of July.
Four awarded Order
of Canada honours
The director of a major UBC-based
earth sciences project, two UBC professors emeritii, and a UBC senator have
been named to the Order of Canada.
Prof. Ron Clowes, Prof. Emeritus
Charles Laszlo, and Senator Paul Lin
were named members of the Order of
Canada, while Prof. Emeritus Alan Cairns
was named an officer of the Order, the
second highest ranking.
Cairns is one of Canada's authorities
in the field of political science. Many of
his scholarly writings and essays have
had a profound influence in changing
and shaping modern Canadian politics.
He is considered a knowledgeable and
valued adviser on federal-provincial relations and has served on numerous Royal
Clowes has spent much of the last
decade leading a comprehensive project
aimed at   understanding the structure
and evolution of Canada's landmass and
offshore continental margins (see Profile,
page 12). Clowes, a geophysicist and professor in UBC's Dept. of Earth and Ocean
Sciences, is director of Lithoprobe, Canada's largest and longest-lived national
earth sciences research project.
During the past 30 years, Laszlo has
worked on problems ranging from hearing research to practical applications. As
director of UBC's Institute for Hearing
Accessibility Research he created a unique
environment where engineers, audiolo-
gists, physicians, educators, psychologists, and hard of hearing consumers
worked together on hearing accessibility
problems. Laszlo, who himself is hard of
hearing, is an international leader in the
effort to eliminate the stigma attached to
hearing loss.
Lin's efforts have contributed to
See ORDER Page 2
cool urban
hot spots"
Klawe named new
dean of Science
by Stephen Forgacs
Staff writer
Maria Klawe, vice-president, Student
and Academic  Services,
has been appointed dean
of the Faculty of Science.
Klawe has served as
vice-president since February 1995. Prior to that
she was head of the Dept.
of Computer Science for
six and a half years. She
holds the Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research
Council (NSERC)-IBM
Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for
B.C. and the Yukon, which
focuses on increasing the
participation of women in information
technology careers.
"I have enjoyed working with Maria
over a number of years and look forward
to working with her in this new role," said
Barry McBride, UBC vice-president. Academic. "She brings a wealth of experience
in the Faculty of Science to the dean's
position, as well as the experience she has gained
from her responsibilities as
a senior vice-president."
During her term as vice-
president, Klawe worked
with the Campus Advisory
Board on Student Development to increase students'
communication and involvement with the university through a variety of
means, including open forums, surveys, and the
campus-wide orientation
program, Imagine UBC. She
also worked to improve access to information technology through
Advisory Committee on Information Technology initiatives such as the campus
See KLAWE Page 2
Doctors-to-be get
rural experience
By Hilary Thomson
Staff writer
From Iqaluit in the Northwest Territories to Pender Island, UBC's medical
students are finding out what it means
to be a doctor in a small town.
This year's summer rural practice
elective program has 109 second-year
students working with doctors in 56
communities around B.C., the Yukon
and the Northwest Territories. Some
students also work in underserved facilities in Vancouver.
Students select their location and
work a minimum of 40 hours per week
in four- to eight-week terms. For most
students, this is their first clinical experience. They are supervised by doctors
who volunteer their teaching time.
"Variety is the best part of this assignment," says Shannon Douglas, who
is completing a five-week term at Fraser
Lake, a town of about 2,000 people
west of Prince George.
"I've helped care for a dying patient,
removed a set of tonsils and helped
deliver two babies - all under supervision of course," she says. "Any time
anything interesting came up, I was
Douglas lives in a trailer on her
parents' property near the diagnostic
and treatment centre where she works.
She loves the northern countryside.
Many local doctors seem to have a
more active life outside their practice
than city doctors, she says, an aspect
of rural practice she finds appealing.
Long unpaid hours on call, however,
are a negative feature. Overall, she
says the experience has reinforced her
desire to become a general practi-
See RURAL Page 2
Web Wise
It's out with the old as the Library converts to a new Web-based system
Smoke Signals 3_
A UBC forest researcher says forest fires have ecological value
Terra Incognita 12
Profile: When Ron Clowes talks history, he's talking millions of years
TIM OKE, Geography
Atmospheric Science Program 2 UBC Reports ■ August 13,1998
Continued from Page 1
connectivity project, the faculty
workstation initiative, and the
provision of e-mail and Internet
access to all students, faculty
and staff.
As a researcher, Klawe has
gained particular recognition for
her work on the use of interactive multimedia in education.
She is founder and director of
the collaborative Electronic
Games for Education in Math
and Science (E-GEMS) project.
Through E-GEMS, scientists,
educators, writers, and game
and educational software developers work together to develop
interactive multimedia and curriculum materials to teach mathematics and science.
Klawe takes over from Acting
Dean David Measday and former
dean McBride.
Continued from Page 1
strengthening the diplomatic
and commercial relationships
between Canada and China. He
was appointed to UBC's Senate
by B.C.'s lieutenant-governor in
1994 and re-appointed to a second term in 1997. He is also an
honorary professor with UBC's
Institute of Asian Research.
The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize
outstanding achievement and
service in various fields of human endeavor.
Continued from Page 1
tioner in a rural community.
Student Cathryn Brown,
working in a Queen Charlotte
City clinic and hospital, agrees.
There's an incredible amount
of variety - everything from the
flu to motor vehicle accidents to
cancer," she says.
She was surprised by the doctors' encouragement to perform
procedures herself - she had
expected to observe only.
A life-long Vancouver resident. Brown has also been Impressed with northern living.
"Everyone up here seems to
be a character," she says.
Communicating with students and doctors who are widely
separated geographically has
been a challenge for administrators. This summer, they introduced a Web-based network designed for dialogue and as a
teaching supplement.
"We chose palliative care as
the subject for the pilot because
it's a universal concern," says
Dr. Bob Woollard, director of
undergraduate programs in the
Dept. of Family Practice.
The network provides a link
to on-line periodicals, palliative
care Web sites and a secure
chat group where students and
Vancouver palliative care specialist Dr. Doris deGroot can
reflect on their experiences. A
committee of students and faculty will be evaluating the effectiveness of the network at the
end of the summer.
Students receive a stipend of
about $200 a week from provincial government grants and charitable donations. Students do their
own fund-raising during the year
to supplement these sources.
The rural practice program,
an elective since 1974, becomes
a required part of the revised
undergraduate medical curriculum in 1999.
The Liu Centre for
International Studies
Aug. 20,1998,12:00-2:00pm
CK. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall
To present and review the development perm it submittal and plans
for the approved Liu Centre for International Studies to be constructed on the International House site, which also houses
Panhellenic House.
The 1,700-square-metre facility will be a three-storey signature building
nestled within the existing trees on the site. It will comprise academic
offices as well as seminar, conference and lecture facilities. A Development
Permit Application has been submitted and construction is anticipated to
begin spring 1999, occupancy summer 2000.
For further information, call Jim Carruthers, Campus Planning and Development 822-0469.
We Need You
to meet people, have fun and support United Way!
We already have a great team of volunteers but the more
there are, the less work and more fun for everyone!
Are you new to campus and want to meet people from other
areas? Do you want to get involved with staff, faculty and
students from all across the campus? Do you want to help
support your community?
No experience needed — training will be given —
must be eager to have fun!
If you want to know more, please contact one of the following:
Eilis Courtney (UBC United Way Campaign Chair for 1998)
822-6192 or e-mail eilis.courtney@ubc.ca
Doug Napier, Facility Manager, Land & Buildings
822-4116 or e-mail dougn@plantops.ubc.ca
Aideen Clery, ELI, Continuing Studies
822-1442 or e-mail aideen.clery@ubc.ca
United Way
Wax - il
Histology Services
Providing Plastic and Wax sections for the research community
George Spurr RT, RLAT(R)
Kevin Gibbon ARTFIBMS
Phone (604)822-1595 Phone (604)856-7370
E-mail spurrwax@univserve.com   E-mai! gibbowax@uniserve.com
Web Page: www.uniserve.com/wax-it
Berkowitz & Associates
Consulting Inc.
Statistical Consulting
' research design • data analysis • sampling - forecasting
Jonathan Berkowitz, Ph.D
4160 Staulo Crescent, Vancouver, B.C., V6N 3S2
Office: (604) 263-1508 Fax: (604) 263-1708
an explosion
of gated communities
Fear of crime has led to an explosion of gated communities — walled residential developments that promote safety through restricted access. Robert
Helsley's study of crime and urban development shows that "gating" by one
community diverts crime to other areas. In the extreme, it may actually increase the number of criminals and level of crime in the central city.
About K
Ethical Guidelines
for Preferred Supplier
UBC is inviting input from the campus community on the
draft Ethical Guidelines for Preferred Supplier Agreements.
Comments will be incorporated into a revised document
for approval by the Board of Governors at its November
The draft guidelines are available on the World Wide Web
at http://www. external-affairs.ubc.ca/ethicguide.html
and will be published in UBC Reports in September. We
welcome your comments to October 9, 1998. You may
reach us:
by mail:   Business Relations Office
201 - 6328 Memorial Road
Vancouver BC   V6T 1Z2
by fax:      (604)822-8102
by e-mail:lisa.fedorak@ubc.ca
Edwin Jackson
Astronomy teaches the correct use of the
224 3540
4524 West 11th Avenue, phone & drop in,
or by appointment, your place.
Income Tax,
Income, &
Estate Planning
Competitire raton
witk leaawx fuuuLoi*l
Mutual Funds
Services Ltd.
Life and
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 on campus to most campus buildings.
UBC Reports can be found on the World Wide Web at
Managing Editor: Paula Martin (paula.martin@ubc.ca)
Editor/Production: Janet Ansell Oanet.ansell@ubc.ca),
Contributors: Stephen Forgacs (stephen.forgacs@ubc.ca),
Susan Stern (susan.stem@ubc.ca),
Hilary Thomson (hilary.thomson@ubc.ca).
Calendar: Natalie Boucher (natalie.boucher@ubc.ca)
Editorial and advertising enquiries: (604) 822-3131 (phone), (604)
822-2684 (fax). UBC Information Line: (604) UBC-INFO (822-4636)
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 • August 13,1998 3
Forest fires not all bad,
says forest researcher
by Stephen Forgacs
Staff writer
Forest fires that sweep the province
after a long dry period play an important
role in maintaining ecosystems and ensuring the survival of certain plants and
animals, a UBC Forest Sciences professor says.
Each year, thousands of hectares of
forest and grassland in the province go
up in smoke. As of last week there were
more than 500 forest fires burning in
But for generations of Canadians who
grew up hearing the U.S. Forest Service's
Smokey the Bear say forest fires were
bad, television images of raging fires leave
impressions of devastation.
"Smokey the Bear made people feel that
fire was strictly the enemy of the forest. It
killed animals, destroyed trees and plants,
caused soil erosion, and fouled streams,"
says Assoc. Prof. Mike Feller. "Fire does
have a negative impact, but it also has
positive effects which are very much part
of the natural ecological cycle."
Certain trees and plants rely on fire to
provide conditions for germination while
animals such as deer and elk thrive on
the vegetation that grows on burned sites.
Feller says.
Feller has studied the effects of forest
fires for years, in particular their impact
on nutrient cycles, but has delved into a
range of other issues as well.
Both his and other researchers' findings suggest that, after years of adhering
to a policy that directed efforts be made to
fight every forest fire in the province, the
B.C. Forest Service's move to a more selective approach to fighting fires makes sense
in both dollars and ecology.
Feller says most North American jurisdictions now assess fires based on factors
that include risk to human life, property,
timber supply, recreation and wildlife.
The weight that is placed on factors depends on regional economies as well.
"In the Canadian Arctic we expend
resources fighting fires that threaten the
habitat of fur-bearing animals, such as
marten, to protect the local economy," he
Among the ecological factors that
should be considered in forest management policies, says Feller, is the importance of early successional conditions,
which occur in the period immediately
after a forest fire when vegetation reappears.
This period provides food for deer,
moose and elk, which eat low-lying
shrubs, grasses and flowers — plants
which disappear as the forest grows and
prevents sunlight from reaching the
"Without fire, you would have fewer
early successional plants, and far fewer
of these animals," says Feller.
Certain plants, such as the flower
Corydalis sempervirens, will germinate
only after being exposed to the heat of a
fire and require strong sunlight to grow.
Trees, such as lodgepole and jack
pine, also rely to a certain extent on the
heat of fire to open their cones and
permit germination.
Efforts to simulate natural disturbances such as fire through clearcutting
and other forest management practices
have met with only limited success, says
Feller. He points out that forest fires tend
to leave a natural mosaic of burned and
unburned forest, and that even a severe
forest fire, in which temperatures can
reach 700 to 800 degrees Celsius, will
leave some vertical trees that play a role
as wildlife habitat.
Feller has also found that while nutrient loss from soils as a result of forest
fires can have serious implications in
some alpine regions in the interior of the
province, nutrients in coastal regions are
quickly replenished.
"Air pollution does wonders in replacing nutrient values lost by fires on the
coast," he says.
Library says goodbye
UBCLIB, hello Web
By Hilary Thomson
Staff writer
When the old UBCLIB computer system shuts down Sept. 1, it will mark the
last chapter in the Library's conversion
to its new Web-based automated library system.
"UBCLIB was the last piece of the old
text-based system," says Library Information Services Head Martha Whitehead. "We kept it available for searching
but had to stop updating its catalogue
and it's now more than a year out of date.
It's time to make the final switch."
The UBC Library Web site, introduced in May 1997, will replace all
UBCLIB databases and services.
The move to a Web-based system
was inevitable, Whitehead says.
Some of the major parts of the
UBCLIB system were almost 20 years
old, she says. As well, it used locally
developed programs running on an
obsolete operating system via an old
mainframe computer. A breakdown in
any one of these areas would threaten
the millions of records stored at the
The move to a new system also tied in
with the campus-wide administrative
systems migration that phased out all
of the old mainframe equipment, operating systems and associated communications network.
The old system served us well and
was innovative for its time," says White
head. "But as one of the largest research libraries in Canada, we have to
keep pace with constantly changing
The new UBC Library Web site is a
totally integrated information system
that unites many resources under one
interface. With just basic Web browser
skills, users can move easily through
article indexes on various systems, electronic course materials or subject
guides. They can also search for a journal or on-line text and then link directly
to its full text, a feature not found in the
old system.
The Library Web site also includes
InfoGate, an alternative text-based interface to the catalogue of UBC Library
Many new databases have been
added to the UBC Library Web site this
year and the site is being redesigned for
September based on feedback from students, faculty and staff.
A training session on the Web site is
being offered to faculty and graduate
students on Aug. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to
noon at the Koerner Library, Sedgewick
Teaching Lab, with extra sessions in
the fall. To register, e-mail
Student training sessions will be
scheduled throughout the fall. For further information on training, call 822-
The UBC Library Web site is located
at www.library.ubc.ca.
Stephen Forgacs photo
Smokey the Bear left us thinking all forest fires were to be prevented, but
Forest Sciences Prof. Mike Feller's research suggests that's not always the
best ecological approach.
Engineer, 18th-century
expert among Royals
An authority on the 18th century and
an expert in steel manufacturing processes are among the six UBC faculty
members recently elected to the Royal
Society of Canada.
Elected were Mathematics Prof. Martin Barlow, Prof. Emeritus Larry Bongie
of the Dept. of French, Geography Prof.
David Ley, Prof. Indira Samarasekera of
the Dept. of Metals and Materials Engineering, Earth and Ocean Sciences Prof.
Leslie Smith and Prof. Carl Walters of the
Zoology Dept. and Fisheries Centre.
Fifty-seven new fellows will be inducted
at a ceremony
in Ottawa Nov.
Barlow is
one of the
world leaders
in probability
theory. He has
made fundamental contributions in a
variety of
fields, but his
most notable
work has been
on the math-
e m a t i c a 1
theory of diffusion and heat conduction
on fractals.
Bongie is a researcher and author whose
work demonstrates mastery of 18th-century literary, philosophic and historical
studies. The French Enlightenment is his
chief subject field, but his range extends to
figures associated with 18th-century Britain. His five groundbreaking books on five
different authors place him in the top rank
of 18th-century scholars.
Ley is one of the most distinguished
contemporary social geographers and is
considered one of the most astute analysts of the Canadian city. Author of five
books and some 75 articles, his work
deals with the changing social fabric of
the inner city and also raises important
questions about representation, culture
and politics, and about the ways in which
we know and describe space.
Samarasekera is best known for her
outstanding work on the continuous casting of steel. In this work she has combined mathematical modelling of heat
flow and stress fields in the system with
unique in-plant measurements. These
results have led to major improvements
in continuous casting in plants throughout the world.
Smith has received national and international recognition for his original research contributions to the field of hydrology. His work has encompassed stochastic
analysis of fluid flow and solute transport,
modelling of transport process in fractured rock, consideration of thermal effects on groundwater flow, and the assessment of the role of ground-water flow in
Walters has
broadly to research in population and com-
munity ecology
with publications ranging
from the study
of the physical
phenomena of
lakes and other
fresh waters
and plankton
biology to the
development of models for fisheries stock
assessment. He is best known for his development of models known as adaptive management, which use proper experimental
design to evaluate renewable resource management policies.
Fellowship in the Royal Society of
Canada is considered Canada's senior
academic accolade.
Among Canadian universities, UBC
has the second highest number of Royal
Society fellows with 135. The University
of Toronto has 250.
Smith 4 UBC Reports • August 13, 1998
August 16 through September 5
Monday, Aug. 17
Green College Member
Speakers Series
Creating An international Indigenous University. Claudine
Montes, Centre for the Study of
Curriculum and Instruction.
Green College at 5:30pm. Call
Sunday, Aug. 23
Chinese Paintings. LO Quin
Yuan, artist. Asian Centre, from
noon-5pm. Continues to Aug. 31.
Call 822-0810.
Monday, Aug. 24
Graduate Students
Instructional Skills. Faculty Development Seminar Room (basement of David Lam Building, use
outside entrance behind
Trekkers), from 8:30am-5pm.
Continues to Aug. 26. Call 822-
6827 to register.
Monday, Aug. 31
Graduate Students
Instructional Skills. Faculty Development Seminar Room (basement of David Lam Building, use
outside entrance behind
Trekkers), from 8.30am-5pm.
Continues to Sept. 2. Call 822-
6827 to register.
Butterfly Wing Patterns: The Development And Evolution Of
Decoration. Vernon French. IRC
#4, 3:45pm. Refreshments at
3:30pm. Call 822-2304.
Green College Member
Speakers Series
The Male Sex: A Risk Factor For
Heart Disease. Christine Crowley,
Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Green College at 5:30pm. Call
Friday, Sept. 4
Linking Canadian And African
Health Professionals: WorkingTo-
getherTo Provide Health Care To
Communities In Crisis In North-
em Uganda. Gizaw Shibru, Canadian Physicians for Aid and
Relief. Mather 253, from 9-10am.
Call 822-2772.
Saturday, Sept. 5
Journey To Huangshan: The Yellow Mountain. David Guang-Wei
Yeung, artist. Asian Centre, from
llam-5pm (weekdays), noon-
5pm (weekends). Continues to
Sept. 13. Call 439-1913 or 822-
Faculty, Staff and Grad Students
Volleyball Group. Every Monday
and Wednesday. Osborne Centre
Gym A from 12:30-1:30pm. No
fees. Drop-ins and regular
attendees welcome for friendly
competitive games. Call 822-4479
or e-mail kdcs@unixg.ubc.ca.
Parents with Babies
Have you ever wondered how babies learn to talk? Help us find out!
We are looking for parents with
babies between four to 21 months
of age to participate in language
development studies. If you are
interested in bringing your baby
for a one-hour visit, please call Dr.
Janet Werker's Infant Studies Centre, Psychology, 822-6408 (ask for
Studies in Hearing and
Senior (65 years or older) volunteers needed. If your first language
is English and your hearing is
relatively good, we need your participation in studies examining
hearing and communication abilities. All studies take place at UBC.
Hearing screened. Honorarium
paid. Please call The Hearing Lab,
Parents With Toddlers
Did you know your child is a word-
learning expert? Help us learn how
children come to be so skilled at
learning new words! We are looking for children (two-four years
old) and their parent(s) to participate in language studies. If you
are interested in bringing your
child for a forty-five minute visit
please call Dr. Geoffrey Hall's Language Development Centre, Psychology at UBC, 822-9294 (ask for
Research Study
Relationship Study. Heterosexual
men (25 years of age and older), in
relationships of greater than six
months needed for a UBC study of
relationships. Complete questionnaire at home, receive $10. Call
UBC Campus Tours
The School and College Liaison
Office offers guided walking tours
of the UBC campus most Friday
mornings. The tours begin at
9:30am and run for 90 minutes.
Interested students must pre-reg-
ister for the tours at least one week
in advance. Call 822-4319.
UBC Botanical Garden Tours
The Nitobe Memorial Garden, Botanical Garden and Shop in the
Garden are open from 10am-6pm
daily to October 4. Tours of the
garden will be given by The Friends
of the Garden every Wednesday
and Saturday at 1 lam. Tours are
included in the price of admission
to the garden. Inquiries for the
gardens call 822-9666 and for the
Shop call 822-4529.
Testosterone Study
Volunteers Needed
Men aged 55-70 with low free testosterone are needed to test the
effects of an approved form of oral
testosterone (Andriol) on bone
mass, body composition and
sexual function. Principal investigator. Dr. Richard Bebb. For more
information or to sign up for this
study please contact Mary-Jo
Lavery, RN (Study Coordinator) at
682-2344 ext. 2455.
Parents With Young Adults
Today it is much more common for
young people to return home to live
with their parents. As part of a research study, mothers and fathers
with the 20-30 year olds who have
returned home are invited to participate in parent/adult-child conversations about their experiences. Three
chances to win $100. Call Michele
Paseluikho, Counselling Psychology
822-5259 or 269-9986.
Museum Of Anthropology
Recalling The Past: A Selection Of
Early Chinese Art From the Victor
Shaw Collection; Vereinigung:
Nuu-chah-nulth/Gitxsan artist
Connie Sterritt; Transitions: A
Traveling Exhibit of First Nations
And Inuit Art. : Cannery Days: A
Chapter In The Lives Of The
Heiltsuk; Hereditary Chiefs Of
i Haida Gwaii; Attributed To
I Edenshaw: Identifying The Hand
OfThe Artist. MOA Cafe now open
daily 10am-4pm throughout the
summer. Call 822-5087.
The British Columbia Seniors Medication Information Line (BC SMILE)
is a free telephone hotline established to assist seniors, their families and caregivers with any medication-related questions including
side effects, drug interactions, and
the misuses of prescription and
non-prescription drugs when it is
not possible to direct such questions to their regular pharmacist or
physician. Monday to Friday 10am-
4pm. Call 822-1330 or e-mail
smileubc@unixg. ubc.ca.
UBC Weight Loss Study
We are looking for overweight
males/females between the ages
of 20-45 to participate in a new
research study using metabolic
stimulants to promote weight loss.
For more information, call Romolo
Parent-Child Relationship
! Mattering To Children. Are you a
| parent of a child who is still in
i school? Would you like to help me
understand how parents know that
they are important? I am conducting a survey of parents' understanding of how they know they
matter to their children. You can
complete the survey in your own
home and return your responses
by pre-paid mail. Call Sheila
Marshall 822-5672.
Chan Centre Summer Tours
Tours are now running Monday to
Friday daily at 11:30 am at the
Chan Centre for the Performing
Arts at UBC (across from the Museum of Anthropology). Meet us in
the lobby for a half-hour of UBC's
newest performing arts "gem". To
book special tours call 822-2697.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Finding Common Ground: Work-
ingTogether For The Future. Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome and Neonatal
Abstinence Syndrome Conference
from Nov. 19-21 at the Coast Plaza
Suite Hotel at Stanley Park. E-
mail: elaine@cehs.ubc.ca or call
Elaine Liau 822-4965.
Community Sport Summer
UBC Community Sport Services
programs provide a unique experience for the development of participants of all ages. It provides qualified instructors, a positive atmosphere, variety of facilities, and offers an enjoyable and meaningful
experience for all participants. E-
mail: fairplay@unixg.ubc.ca or call
UBC Fencing Club
UBC Fencing Club meets every
Wednesday and Friday at 7pm in
Osborne Gym A. Learn decisionmaking, poise and control. Newcomers welcome. Drop-in fee. Leave
message at 878-7060.
Intercultural Studies
UBC Certificate in Intercultural
Studies Summer Institute offers a
creative week of focused skills development that combines face-to-
face workshops with on-line coaching. August 17-21. Website: http: /
/itrc.cstudies.ubc.ca/summer or
call 822-1437.
Art Exhibition
Recent acquisitions to the UBC
Photography Collection. Many artists are UBC staff and instructors
internationally renowned for their
work. Morris and Helen Belkin Art
Gallery Tues.-Fri. 10am-12noon;
Sat-Sun 12-5noon. Continues to
Sep. 27. UBC staff, faculty and
students free with valid ID. Call
Cut Flower Sale
Cut-cash-carry at wholesale prices.
Snapdragons, zinnias and ageratum,
7/$l. Spray carnations/asters, 3/
$1. Every Friday, 8am-lpm. Horticultural Greenhouse, West Mall and
Stores Rd. Call 822-3283.
Women's Nutrition Study
Women between the ages of 19-45
required for a study examining nutrition attitudes and practices. Involves a questionnaire and interview. Will receive a gift certificate
for the Bread Garden or Starbucks.
Call Terri at 209-3281.
Peer Program Recruitment
For Canadian Peers.
We are currently recruiting UBC
Canadian students for the 1998-
99 Peer Program. The program runs
from September 1998 to April 1999.
Apply today. Help an international
student. Call 822-1265.
Statistical Consulting And
Research Lab (SCARL)
SCARL offers long- or short-term
statistical and analytical assistance to UBC researchers. Resources include expertise in many
areas of statistical methodology
and a variety of statistical software. Website: www.stat.ubc.ca/
-scarl, e-mail: scarl@stat.ubc.ca
or call 822-4037.
Engineering Day Camp For
GEERing Up! UBC Engineering
For Kids. CEME 2206 from 9am-
4pm. Week-long, continues to
Aug. 28. $125/week for children
entering Grade 2 to leaving Grade
7. Call 822-2858.
Hong Kong Women
Young women who are members
of Hong Kong astronaut (parents
in Hong Kong and children in
Canada) or Hong Kong immigrant
families (parents and children in
Canada) are required for a study
examining their personal and
family decisions. Call Kimi
Tanaka 254-4158 or Dr. Phyllis
Johnson 822-4300.
Psychology Research
Dr. Johnston's UBC Psychology
| Lab is looking for 5-12 year olds
: for research on the ways younger
and older children respond to
questions about cartoons and
stories with different answer
choices. Call 822-9037.
UBC School of Nursing
Second Fall Institute
Program Evaluation. Institute
leader, Assoc. Prof. Ann Hilton.
Sept. 26, Oct. 17, Nov. 7 and Dec.
5, 9am-4pm. Registration $325
(before Aug. 22), $375 (after Aug.
22). Student (with ID) $195 (before Aug. 22), $245 (after Aug.
22). Registration fee includes
packet of selected readings and
other materials. Call Edna at 822-
7453 lor registration forms.
i        UBC Glaucoma Clinic
Volunteers Needed
! The UBC Glaucoma Clinic at the
Eye Care Centre is looking for
volunteers to participate in eye
research which will help improve
the diagnosis and treatment of
glaucoma. Prefer volunteers over
45 who have no known glaucoma. Examination is free, confidential, safe, painless and takes
90 minutes. Call 875-4111, ext.
61737 (Monday-Wednesday) or
pager 205-0770 (Monday-Saturday).
Share a moment
last a lifetime!
or /•■!»■■ vamcouvii
Ever thought of becoming a
Big Brother? Contact us today.
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, 31G-62S1 Cecfl Green
Park Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1. Phone: 822-3131.
Fax: 822-2684. An electronic form is available on the OBC
Reports Web page at http://www.publicafltes.ubc.csa.
Please limit to 35 words. Submissions for flie Calendar's
Notices section may be limited due to space.
Deadline for the September 3 issue of UBC Reports—
which covers the period August 16 to September S—Jte
noon, August 24. UBC Reports • August 13,1998 5
Following is an annotated version of Environmental Programs Annual Report 1997. For
a copy of the full report or for additional details please contact the Manager. Environmental Programs at 822-9527.
Executive Summary
The strategic focus for Environmental Programs in 1997 was centered on developing
the existing programs into an overall environmental management system (EMS) for
the University. The completion of the EMS review, initiated in 1996, identified key
steps to be taken to achieve this goal.
The University significantly strengthened its commitment to the environment by
approving and funding the development of several key programs identified by the EMS
review including:
• expansion of the existing Environmental Compliance Audit Program;
• initiation of stage II of the Storage Tank Management Program; and
• development of a comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Program.
Environmental audits are an integral part of an environmental management system
and are relied upon globally to identify areas of non-compliance, potential environmental impacts and environmental liabilities. In addition, environmental audits are
relied upon to monitor and measure an organization's effectiveness at addressing
these issues. Expansion of the audit program significantly enhances the University's
ability to proactively address environmental issues.
The development of a comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Program underlines
that UBC is committed to its obligation to the University Community to integrate a
safe, healthy and environmentally responsible culture into the working and learning
experience at UBC.
In addition, the development of an Environmental Legislation Handbook, procedures
relating to the Contaminated Sites Legislation and the expansion of environmental
awareness initiatives further contributed to the development of the EMS.
Several important environmental projects were conducted in 1997, at no cost to the
University, through the BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks "Environmental
Youth Team Program". By providing training, supervision and sponsorship of these
projects, invaluable work experience was provided to several recent UBC graduates.
The Environmental Services Facility, continued to provide efficient and innovative
solutions for UBC's hazardous waste and are leaders in this area. In 1997, 90 tonnes
of hazardous waste was processed by the facility.
Mission and Commitment
The major focus of environmental programs is to implement policy #6, Environmental
Protection Compliance.
"UBC will act responsibly and demonstrate accountable management of the
property and affairs of UBC in protecting the environment. All individuals in the
University community share the responsibility for protecting the environment.
Administrative heads of unit are responsible for ensuring compliance with
legislation and UBC procedures both on and off campus."
Approved January 1994
Affirmatively, the Mission of the department of Health, Safety and Environment for
1994 - 1997 was:
To lead the development and implementation of health, safety and environmental programs for the University Community."
To this end, the goals in 1997 for environmental programs were:
• To assist the University in complying with environmental regulations.
• To lead the development and implementation of the University environmental
programs, policies and procedures.
• To ensure the University Community has access to required training in environmental programs, policies and procedures.
To achieve these goals. Environmental Programs set the following five objectives for
1. Expand the Environmental Compliance Audit Program and implement a three year
2. Conduct an emergency scenario and table top exercise, and develop a plan for an
Emergency Preparedness Program at UBC.
3. Ensure that UBC operations are in compliance with all applicable legislation.
4. Conduct an environmental legal review and distribute an Environmental Legislation
Handbook to all Administrative Heads of Unit.
5. Develop and implement a plan to respond to the recommendations from the
Environmental Management System Review.
UBC's Commitment To The Environment
In 1997 the University expanded its environmental commitment by approving the
expansion of the Environmental Compliance Auditing Program. The addition of two
audit staff to the existing program and an allocation of resources to conduct testing
and analysis as part of the audit process have enhanced the program significantly.
A three year plan has been initiated to conduct audits of all high, medium and low
risk activities at the University. In addition, stage II of the storage tank management
program was allocated funds by Land and Building Services.
The University also allocated resources to the development of a comprehensive
emergency preparedness program at UBC, which includes the development of a
disaster plan.
To further emphasize the University's commitment in this area UBC President,
Martha Piper, endorsed the Environmental Protection Compliance Policy (Policy #6).
by signing a Policy document which will be re-produced as a poster and widely
distributed across campus in 1998.
President Martha Piper signing Policy #6, Environmental Protection Compliance
Environmental Programs Activities
Environmental Management System
An environmental management system (EMS) is part of an overall management
system that addresses the immediate and long term impact that an organization's
products, services and operations have on the environment.
An effective EMS can enable an organization to:
• anticipate and meet growing environmental expectations,
• ensure ongoing compliance with local, national and international requirements,
• realize cost savings,
• reduce environmental liability, and
• demonstrate due diligence.
Figure 1 — Environmental Management System Framework
Since the expansion of Occupational Health and Safety in 1994 to incorporate
Environmental Programs, several initiatives towards establishing an EMS for the
University have been undertaken. Activities in 1997 included:
• an expanded compliance audit plan, approved in November
• development and approval of a comprehensive emergency preparedness program
• development of an Environmental Responsibilities Seminar, for Deans. Directors
and Administrative Heads of Unit
and several initiatives mentioned below.
Environmental Management System Review
The external review conducted in 1996 by Deliotte and Touche was formally
completed in 1997 and the report produced by the Steering Committee was
presented to the Board of Governors on December 11, 1997. The review contained
several recommendations which are being implemented as part of the EMS.
Environmental Legislation Handbook
To assist Administrative Heads of Unit in ensuring their units are compliant with
legislation. Environmental Programs and Academic and Legal Affairs prepared the
Environmental legislation Handbook. 6 UBC Reports • August 13,1998
The handbook is a compilation of legislation that is potentially applicable to
operations and activities at the University. Included in the handbook are brief
outlines of the predominant Acts in Canada and resources for obtaining copies of
applicable Acts and Regulations.
Procedures Relating to the Contaminated Sites Legislation
Legislation pursuant to contaminated sites, which consists of the Provincial Waste
Management Amendment Act (1993) and the Contaminated Site Regulation (BC. Reg.
269/65) became law on April 1, 1997.
The legislation creates a comprehensive framework for the assessment and remediation
of contaminated sites and the liability for such sites which is absolute, retroactive and
joint and several. To ensure that the University's environmental obligations are met,
procedures were developed and implemented to ensure compliance and minimize
Activities at UBC that are potentially affected include:
• development projects,
• sale, release, purchase or acquisition of property, and
• lease and other contracts relating to lands and buildings.
Reporting on Environmental Issues to the University Board of Governors
Environmental reports were presented to the University Board of Governors at the
February, July and December meetings.
Benchmarking of the EMS
An annual comparison of a component of the University EMS with other institutions
has been implemented. In 1997 hazardous waste management operations at UBC
were compared with those at three other Canadian universities.
The highest percentage of hazardous waste treated or recycled at the comparison
institutions was 10%. At UBC (based upon 1996 figures) it is 30%. The calculated
relative costs per kilogram of hazardous waste for the three comparison institutions
were $6.90, $5.40 and $3.60. The same relative cost at UBC is $1.80.
The efficiency and cost effectiveness of the UBC operation is due to several factors
• a focus on alternative methods for the wastes other than disposal, these include
innovative treatment and recovery operations and exchange programs,
• the ability to incinerate the majority of biohazardous waste which reduces the cost
of waste disposal, and
• the highly competitive waste disposal business in British Columbia resulting in
reduced costs.
Environmental Programs Advisory Committee
The Environmental Programs Advisory Committee met twice in 1997. In addition to
reviewing overall program activities the committee were involved In developing
proposals to expand the environmental compliance audit program.
Environmental Training and Awareness
President's Environmental Award for 1997
Jim Carruthers of Campus Planning and Development received the President's
Environmental Award for 1997. The award recognizes UBC employees who have
made exceptional contributions to environmental awareness and protection efforts.
Carruthers, a development planner, helped develop procedures to assess potential
environmental contamination in sites owned by the University. In addition, he
ensures that the procedures related to development projects are followed. He is the
third recipient of this annual award. Previous recipients were Diana Hastings from
Wood Science (1996), and Pat Harrison, formerly of the Botany Department (1995).
Environmental Programs Merit Award
Adrienne Vair was presented with an Environmental Programs Merit Award. The
merit award recognizes UBC employees who have made consistent efforts to promote
and support the University's environmental efforts. This was the first year that this
award was presented. Vair, who worked in the histopathology laboratory at
Vancouver Hospital Health Sciences Centre's UBC site, participated in the Solvent
Recovery Program since 1994.
Waste Watchers Environmental Newsletter
Four issues of Waste Watchers were published in 1997. The newsletter, designed to
increase awareness regarding environmental issues, is distributed quarterly to
approximately 600 people.
Environmental Programs Web Page
The Environmental Programs web page at www.safety.ubc.ca/envprog/env.html has
been significantly revised and updated. Information currently available includes:
• all hazardous waste disposal procedures,
• emergency planning information,
• substance assessment fact sheets,
• Waste Watchers newsletters,
• chemicals available through the chemical exchange program, and
• photochemical and solvent recovery program information.
Environmental Responsibilities at UBC
The Environmental Responsibilities seminar in 1997 focused exclusively on responsibilities of Deans, Directors, Department and Administrative Heads of Unit. The two
hour session was organized by Environmental Programs and Academic and Legal
Affairs.  It was attended by 29 people representing the following units:
Continuing Studies
Plant Operations
Animal Sciences
Maple Ridge Research Forest
Institute for Resources and the
Food Services
Pharmaceutical Science
Student Services
Animal Care
Civil Engineering
Science One
Pharmacology /Therapeutics
Agricultural Sciences
School of Library Archival
O.T Div. Sch. Rehabilitation
Health Safety & Environment
Parking & Trans. /Campus Security
Hazardous Waste Management
As part of the Department of Health, Safety & Environment, Chemical Safety &
Biosafety courses, sections devoted to hazardous waste management are presented
by Environmental Programs staff. In 1997 approximately 1800 people attended these
courses.  In addition, specific departmental courses are conducted by request.
Pollution Prevention Workshop
The first workshop on pollution prevention was conducted in 1997. The workshop
focused on laboratory methods that can be utilized to reduce the amount of hazardous
waste generated.  Seventeen people attended the workshop in 1997.
Emergency and Earthquake Preparedness
Presentations on Emergency and Earthquake Preparedness were given to several
groups in 1997 including; the University Health and Safety Committee, the Old
Administration Local Safety Committee and Health, Safety & Environment. Emergency procedures training was also provided by Environmental Programs through the
Chemical Safety Course.
In addition, two screenings of the video " Academic Aftershocks", which describes the
Northridge earthquake in July 1995, were organized and twelve other groups or
departments requested the video to show Faculty and Staff. Approximately 1000 "Are
You Ready For An Earthquake On Campus?" brochures, produced by Health, Safety
& Environment, were distributed to Faculty, Staff and Students.
Work Experience for Students and Recent Graduates
In 1997 Environmental Programs employed four work study students to undertake
a number of environmental projects.
In addition, Environmental Programs sponsored three projects under the BC Ministry
of Environment's Environmental Youth Team Program. These projects provided
valuable work experience for three recent UBC graduates.
Regulatory Compliance
Environmental Programs were involved in several regulatory compliance related
issues in 1997 that are outlined below.
Oyster River Compost Facility
A compost facility operated by the Pacific-Bio Waste Recovery Society on University
owned property at Oyster River, Vancouver Island, was the subject of a BC Ministry
of Environment investigation in late 1996. The facility was deemed to have been in
violation of its Waste Management Permit. The Ministry did not proceed with charges
as the operators promptly addressed the violation.
In response to the investigation and Ministry recommendations the University took
the following action:
• Environmental Programs met with the Ministry and conducted an environmental
audit following the meeting,
• an action plan was developed by the facility operators for addressing the items
outlined in the audit report, and
• communication between Academic and Legal Affairs and the Ministry concerning
the University being named as a co-holder of the facility permit.
Materials Handling Facility
In March, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) inspected the Plant
Operations Materials Handling Facility located at 6055 Nurseries Road (South
Campus). While no operating issues were identified at the meeting, the GVRD
subsequently notified the University that the facility must be permitted under the
Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Municipal Solid Waste and
Recyclable Material Regulatory Bylaw No. 181 and amendment Bylaw No. 183.
Pathological Incinerator
The pathological incinerator at the Environmental Services Facility, located at 6025
Nurseries Road (South Campus), underwent air emission testing in August in
compliance with permit requirements. The incinerator met the testing criteria for
particulates but failed to meet the criteria for flow rate and hydrogen chloride. The
flow rate result, however, was within 10% of the permitted criteria and was deemed
to be acceptable. The primary reason for failure was deemed to be due to an
inaccurate test method. The air emission testing was repeated in November using a
more appropriate testing method approved by the GVRD and the incinerator met all
Storage of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
The University has permitted storage at the Environmental Services Facility for
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) and has been collecting PCB containing materials
at a rate of approximately 5000 kg per year. These materials primarily consist of
electrical light ballasts that are being replaced on campus. The University requested
an amendment to the existing permit to allow for increased storage of these materials.
Sewer Disposal at the Animal Care Centre
The Animal Care Centre disposes of animal bedding and waste food products to the
sanitary sewer system. In January 1996, the GVRD advised the University that
disposal of these materials may be in contravention of the GVRD Sewer Use Bylaw No.
167 and requested that the University "find an alternate means of disposal for this
type of material". The University is actively working with the GVRD and an
environmental consultant to address the issues. UBC Reports ■ August 13, 1998 7
Reportable Spills
The University again had no reportable spills (as defined under the Spill Reporting
Regulation, BC Reg. No. 263/90) in 1997. There were three reportable spills in 1995
and none in 1996.
Environmental Services Facility (ESF)
In 1997, the Environmental Services Facility remained focussed on reducing the
amount of hazardous waste requiring disposal. To this end, successes have been
achieved in increasing, the amount of chemicals recycled and the amount of
treatments performed to reduce or eliminate hazardous waste.
Hazardous Waste Treatment
Hazardous waste treatment at the facility consists of a number of activities described
Solvent Recovery
The 4400 liters of solvent recovered by
the facility in 1997 is a 3.5% increase
from the 4255 liters in 1996. The overall
increase in 1997 volumes can be accounted for by a growing demand for
recycled acetone and methanol and by
the addition of the solvent Varsol to the
Incinerated Waste
The amount of material incinerated in
1997 experienced slight decreases from
1996 in all waste categories (see Figure
Figure 2 - Volumes of solvent processed
at the enviornmental Service Facility in
! *'"'
70 "
60 -
•    Pathological
►     \       «
*.\ i     »   ' *    '
i         ¥          *■•*■**
<£     „      *     -*.,    ii,)-. Jt-'   ■*
(X1000 Kg)
-—■»-,   ';;_
!       ^■">C   >
s^*.' .-■:':
""■j^.'i. ^ ^'&.\;"'';t-'■'■"
30 -
—*— Other       *
1996              1997
Figure 3 - Trends in the amount of incinerated materials processed since 1992.
Figure 3 also indicates that since 1992 the volumes of waste incinerated at UBC have
been decreasing. In each of the last 5 years there has been a decrease in the amount
of waste requiring incineration. This reduction is due to the diversion of waste to other
disposal routes and waste minimization efforts. Reduction of incinerated waste
allows facility staff to concentrate more on pollution prevention programs and on-site
waste treatment, ultimately reducing environmental impacts and disposal costs.
Table 1 below lists the volumes of waste received for incineration per generator in each
waste category.
TOTAL (kg)
Infectious Autoclaved
De-listed Radioactive
Table 1 - Waste incinerated in 1997 (kg)
Overall, the amount of waste incinerated decreased from 57,868 kg in 1996 to 49,801
kg in 1997. The following notable changes in volumes may be attributed to the 14 %
• 4,000 kg less pathological waste from UBC generators. This is a result of a changes
in research practices.
• 1,000 kg less of "Other" waste from UBC. This category includes paint rags, or
solidified ethidium bromide gels and is a result of improved segregation and
treatment of material.
• 700 kg less of "De-listed Radioactive Waste" from SFU, due to the sourcing of
alternate disposal procedures.
• -2,000 kg less of "Infectious Autoclaved" waste. This is due to the reduction at
source of noninfectious laboratory supplies that were previously combined with
"Infectious Autoclaved" waste and reduced use of these products in laboratories.
Research and Development
Procedures are currently being researched for the treatment of heavy metals and
cyanides in solution. The objective of heavy metals treatment is to remove metals in
solution through precipitation, such that the resulting solution is suitable for
discharge to the sewer system and the separated precipitate is suitable for landfill.
Cyanide treatments being investigated involve the chemical or biological degradation
of the cyanide molecule resulting in non-hazardous byproducts. These waste
streams accounted for approximately 2800 liters (-14 drums) of hazardous waste in
1997, with an estimated $7000 associated disposal cost. The current methods being
researched are expected to result in a 75 % saving of the disposal cost for this waste
Hazardous Waste Storage and Off-Site Disposal
The amount of waste received at the facility in 1997 is shown in table 2. A detailed
explanation of the figures is provided in the full report, which is available for the
Department of Health, Safety & Environment.
Chemical Conservation Program
The Chemical Conservation Program was introduced this year as a collective program
name that combines all chemical recycling/reuse and pollution prevention initiatives
available to waste generators who use the Environmental Services Facility. The
consolidation of all activities into one program will help to simplify to users the
services offered and the goal of the program.  Current programs include:
• Recovered Solvent Distribution,
• Chemical Exchange,
• Silver Recovery,
• Pollution Prevention Workshop, and
• Waste Watchers Newsletter.
Recovered Solvent Distribution
The volume of re-distilled solvents distributed back to waste generators increased by
39% to 1424L as a result of increased participation in the program and in part to the
recent addition of Varsol to the list of products offered.
The distribution of acetone increased significantly compared to 1996, but levels of
xylene and methanol remained relatively the same. The increased demand for
recycled acetone reflects UBC's interest and willingness to reduce the quantity of
hazardous solvent that is disposed of through waste contractors.
Chemical Exchange
The quantity of chemicals exchanged this year decreased from the previous year due
to the 6 month absence of the technician administering the program. Approximately
200 kg of chemicals were exchanged in 1997.
Improvements to this program have been made in an attempt to increase the exposure
of the program amongst the UBC labs.   These changes include:
• distribution of inventory lists through the Waste Watchers Newsletter,
• up-to-date inventory lists available through the WEB-Page, and
• monthly releases of inventory lists to waste generators.
Silver Recovery Program
The silver collected from the treatment process is sold to a refinery for reuse.
Approximately $600 is expected this year from the silver recovered from waste
solutions. These funds are applied towards general hazardous waste disposal costs
at the facility.
Waste Type
% Diff.
1,100 kg
2,255 kg
Corrosive Liquids
1,938 L
1.327  L
Corrosive Solids
372 kg
De-listed Radioactive
3,422 kg
2,665 kg
Hazardous Chemicals
1,356 kg
5,220 kg
Infectious Autoclaved/Decontaminatec
23,185 kg
24,139 kg
PCB Waste
7,720 kg
4,317 kg
1,976 L
24,975 kg
21,716 kg
Photochemical Waste
4,553 kg
5,233 kg
Potentially Explosive Materials
5.2 L
1.81 kg
Segregated Biomedical
499 kg
2,386 kg
1.297 kg
916 kg
9.993 L
7,563 L
Solvent - Non-Chlorinated
16,520 L
11,800 L
330 L
Waste Oil
1,400 L
7,590 L
63,672 kg
29851 L
63,988 kg
30,591 L
Table 2 - Type and amount of material handled at the Environmental Services Facility
in 1997.
Environmental Compliance Audits
The environmental compliance audit program is an integral part of the University's
Environmental Management System. As mandated by the policy #6 (Environmental
Protection Compliance), the audit program is responsible for examining all UBC
activities for compliance with environmental legislation, UBC policies and procedures, and best management practices. There are currently two main components 8 UBC Reports • August 13, 1998
to the audit program: the department/site audits and storage tank audits.
During 1997, a three year plan to audit all sites of high, medium and low risk activity
at the University was approved. Several audits were conducted throughout the year
and audit protocols were revised to adequately reflect changes in environmental
statutes. A standardized report format and associated templates were also developed.
Environmental Compliance Audit Process
An environmental audit consists of several steps illustrated in figure 4. Feedback is
received during the audit process and has thus far been positive. One example from
a Department Head includes the following:
"...I also appreciate the fact that my own personal dedication to environmental
causes has been noted, and am grateful that the general environmental
information made available to me by you in the context of potential environmental problems within the department has enabled me to undertake the kind of
improvements which are still possible, even in a low-risk department.
...this audit has been very helpful in focussing attention on these various
problems...It was also very useful to me personally to make me further aware
of my responsibilities with regard to the environment...
The audit was carried out in a thoroughly professional manner, and in all aspects
a positive experience."
Investigations ^^^^H^^r      s^^H
^^^      Pre-Audit
^^^^^    Meeting
Continual       ^
Improvement   ^^^^                        .
^^A     Site Inspections
Audit Follow-up                ^
Preparation of Audit
Figure 4 - The environmental compliance audit process.
The University activities and departments are divided into four risk categories:
• Class 1  = High risk
• Class 2 = Medium risk
• Class 3 = Low risk
• Class 4 = Very low risk
Departments and sites are assigned to one of these risk categories depending on the
likelihood of (a) hazardous materials being used or stored, and / or (b) the
department/site engaging in environmentally regulated activities. Storage tanks are
also assigned to these four categories depending on their content, size, location, and
age. The risk assessments are confirmed during the audit and adjusted if necessary.
Department/Site Audits Conducted
The number of departments/sites audited to date is shown in table 3.
/Site Risk
Total number
audited to date
audited in 1997
% of Dept/Site
audited to date
Class 1    •■
•    6fc
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4
■ <8S»  .
Table 3 - Total number of audit sites identified and audited to date.
As a result of the audit findings, recommendations were made which include
formalizing and documenting all training, and ensuring that individuals are aware of
their environmental responsibilities. Environmental Programs initiated development
of two tools to aid departments in complying with these recommendations:
• a Personnel Safety & Environmental Orientation and Training Record, which outlines
recommended training and can be used as a method of documenting the training,
• a summary document outlining environmental responsibilities of both individuals
and the University.
Storage Tanks Audited
In 1997, the Inventory of Permanent Hazardous Materials Containment Sites (storage
tank inventory) was completed. The assessment was based on current Campus
Planning and Development architectural / engineering drawings, as well as, information provided by on-site personnel. This database will continue to expand as new
tanks are identified. A summary report of these tanks was provided to Campus
Planning and Development, Plant Operations, Financial Services (for insurance
purposes), and the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services.
A storage tank audit tool was developed in 1997 using applicable legislation, codes
of practices, and best management procedures. A total of 21 low risk storage tank
audits have been completed. Common issues identified in the storage tank audits
conducted thus far include:
• the need to formalize tank monitoring, and
• the need to develop storage tank contingency plans.
Environmental Site Assessments
In 1996 and early 1997 the University developed procedures in response to the
Contaminated Sites Legislation. These procedures (UBC Procedures Relating To The
Contaminated Sites Legislation) outline criteria for environmental site assessments
for a variety of projects including specific development projects, leases, and property
transactions. As a result of these procedures, environmental site assessments were
conducted of the following areas:
St. John's College
New Creative Arts/Journalism
Continuing Studies
St. Marks Chapel
Agassiz Research Farms
Faculty Club
Panhellenic House
International House
None of the sites assessed were shown to be contaminated according to criteria under
the Contaminated Sites Regulation.
Emergency Preparedness
The University's ability to respond to emergencies or disasters in the future has been
significantly increased due to the approval of a four phase plan to create a
comprehensive emergency preparedness program. The program, along with existing
activities, is described below.
Emergency Preparedness Program
The program consists of a three development phases over three years and a fourth
on-going testing and exercising phase.  These phases are described below.
Phase I
(year 0 -
Phase II
(year 1.5
phase Hi
(year 2*5
Phase IV
(year 3 +
Key Elements
1.5) •    Establish an Emergency Preparedness Steering Commit
tee and related sub-committee, hire emergencyplanner
• Develop emergency policy
• Identify hazards* conduct risjk assessment and develop a
disaster plan
• Identify resources and key personnel required for Emergency Operations Center
2.5)      •    Implement phase I findings, develop departmental emergency plans
• Train key personnel and University community
• Test disaster plan
- 3J        »    Develop recovery strategies for the University
• Review and approve departmental emergency plans
) •     On-going training of key personnel and the University
• Testing of the plan
• Review of departmental plans
• Revision of program elements
• Emergency planner reduced to 50% (0.5 FTE)
Table 4 - The four phases of the Emergency Preparedness Program
Emergency Scenario - Operation Equinox
In June of 1997, the Department of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) conducted
the fifth annual emergency response scenario on the UBC campus. These events are
used to test and evaluate protocols and procedures used during an emergency
response. Program elements that are operating smoothly are identified as are
opportunities for specific system improvements. This exercise was designed to test:
• inter-agency communication,
• hazardous materials response protocols at UBC,
• the incident command system and interagency involvement, and
• implementation of the evacuation procedure for the Vancouver Hospital - UBC site.
As in previous years, the exercise reinforced the necessity of an emergency communication system for the University, since no such communication system is currently
in place. The lack of a permanent communication system, including radios and a
unique emergency frequency, can seriously compromise UBC's ability to effectively
respond in the event of a large scale emergency or disaster. The scenario also
confirmed that there is an effective response to hazardous materials on campus. The
response during this exercise, as well as the interactions between the response
agencies, far exceeded that in earlier years.
Agencies involved included HSE, Parking and Transportation / Campus Security,
Public Affairs. BC Ambulance Service, RCMP, Vancouver Hospital - UBC Site, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services. Approximately 60 people participated in this event.
Each year there has been a significant improvement in the overall emergency
response at the University. This arises not only from developing competence in
specific functional areas, but also from the improving interaction between the various
response agencies and from an understanding of each others' roles and procedures
on the University campus.
Tabletop Scenario
The first table top scenario was conducted in 1997 by Environmental Programs. In
a tabletop exercise, representatives from emergency agencies meet around a table to
discuss their response to a particular scenario. Reaction times are not critical: the
primary benefit of this exercise was to examine interagency interaction and response.
The 1997 tabletop simulated an explosion at the Environmental Services Facility.
Emergency Procedures and Information Handbook
A work study position was created in fall 1997 to develop an emergency procedures
and information handbook. The desk size flip chart will contain emergency
information and was completed and distributed to faculty and staff in 1998. UBC Reports • August 13, 1998 9
To understand the value that Pemberley offers... do the math.
The equation of the location at UBC next to Pacific Spirit Regional Park plus the quality which
Cascadia is known for, combined with an exceptional financing offer,
adds up to tremendous value... homework was never this rewarding.
graduate to UBC...
Visit our furnished showhomes, 5605 Hampton Place, UBC.
Open 12-5 pm daily (except Friday)
One bedroom and den available • One bedroom front $179,900 (including GST)
Call 221-1996
* Subject tn current rates
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"»> 10 UBC Reports • August 13, 1998
News Digest
The School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, within the Faculty
of Medicine, has received an endowment of $75,000 from the Rotary
Club of Vancouver in memory of Rotarian Syd Welsh.
The donation will support research and teaching activities in
Prof. David Stapell's Human Auditory Physiology Laboratory
(HAPLAB). Studies include assessments of hearing in infants and
children and investigation of the brain processes underlying the
perception of sound.
Welsh had a personal interest in hearing issues. The Rotary Club
of Vancouver has chosen hearing as its special field of interest and
will also make two annual awards of $750 each to practicum
students in Audiology.
The Rotary Club/Syd Welsh Endowment Fund will be matched
with UBC funding.
The committee from the Faculty of Arts judging this year's UBC
Essay Competition in English had a difficult time picking a winner
so they gave the top prize to three high school students. The subject
was "competition."
First place went to Meaghan Buckley-Pearson of Magee Secondary in Vancouver, Barbara Moss of Prince of Wales Secondary and
Chandra Murdock of Vancouver Technical Secondary.
In awarding each student the top $1,000 essay prize, the
committee ranked them as equal, saying each showed some real
strengths. Twenty-two other high school students received a distinguished performance rating along with a $50 UBC Bookstore gift
certificate. Eight others got honorable mentions.
More than 2,400 Grade 12 English students at 121 schools
throughout B.C. submitted entries. The students had three hours
to compose their essays.
Alan Donald, Ph.D.
Biostatistical Consultant
Medicine, dentistry, biosciences, aquaculture
101-5805 Balsam Street, Vancouver, V6M 4B9
264 -9918 donald@portal.ca
For Sale
looking to optimize their RRSP,
Faculty pension and retirement
options call Don Proteau, RFP or
Doug Hodgins, RFP of the HLP
Financial Group for a
complimentary consultation.
Investments available on a no-
load basis. Call for our free
newsletter. Serving faculty members
since 1982. Call 687-7526. E-mail:
40 hr (Sept. 23-27; Nov. 25-29)
TESOL teacher certification
course (or by correspondence).
1,000's of jobs available NOW.
FREE information package, toll
free (888) 270-2941.
Proofreader avail. Anything you
need proofed or edited, I can
do. Theses, reports,
questionnaires, music, books,
speeches. $30/hr. Leave a
message at 822-0820 or e-mail
FREE CLEAN-UPS. Your garage,
basement, attic, etc. in
exchange for good salvage
items. Each situation assessed on
its own merits. Otherwise, fair/
reasonable prices to clean up/
take your junk/garbage away.
Call 733-8652.
Ages2.5 to 5years. ABC University
Kindercare Daycare. Pleasant,
spacious surroundings, small
group. Healthy snacks and
tender loving care by ECE
qualified staff. One block from
UBC gates 4595 W. 8th Ave. Call
POINT GREY. A fab 1 BR apt. in a
healthy building with a large
contingency. Bus just outside
door and right to UBC. Terra cotta
tile, crown mouldings, new
appliances, etc. LP $ 144,900. Call
Gwendy Williams, Park Georgia
Realty, 421-7275.	
GAMBIER ISLAND 8 beautiful
acres - forest and meadows with
5 BR character home plus studio
and rental suite. Easy walk from
ferry. Great B&B. $299,000. Call
Sharon Petzold, Prudential Sussex
3BR plus den, 2bath. Great view.
Cable, fully equipped kitchen.
$ 159/night, $450/3 nights. To Oct.
Contact slowen@ican.ca, tel.
540-1068 or 822-1340.
KAYAK RETREAT on southern Gulf
Island for your party of (max.) 3-4
persons. Kayaks and equipment
included. Cozy oceanfront
accommodation. On-site
launching. Birdwatching, hiking
and skywatching from Mexican
hammocks, Lots of wildlife and
peace. Call 228-8079. Web site:
cyberwest/paddlepender/ E-mail
UBC Alumni Assoc, seeks person
to answer telephone, make up
contracts and mail out, book
viewing appointments and take
clients through Cecil Green Park
House. Typing, good telephone
manner, experience dealing with
people required. $15/hr„ 20 hrs/
wk, Sept. 14-Oct. 2. Call Suzanne
at 822-6289.
The classified advertising rate is $16.50 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 September 3 issue of UBC Reports is noon, August 24.
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, V6R 2H2. Call or
fax 222-4104.
accommodation in Point Grey
area. Min. to UBC. On main bus
routes. Close to shops and
restaurants. Include TV, tea and
coffee making, private phone/
fridge. Weekly rates available.
Call 222-3461. Fax: 222-9279.
Five suites available for
academic visitors to UBC only.
Guests dine with residents and
enjoy college life. Daily rate $54
plus $ 14/day for meals Sun-Thurs.
Call 822-8660 for more
information and availability.
BROWN'S    BY    UBC    B&B
Comfortable and relaxing
accommodation close to UBC in
quiet area. Quality breakfasts,
queen-sized beds, private bath
available. Satisfaction is assured
for your friends or professional
guests. Reasonable rates. Call
BAMBURY   LANE      Bed   and
breakfast. View of beautiful BC
mountains, Burrard inlet and city.
Clean, comfortable. Use of living
room, dining room, and kitchen.
Min. to UBC, shopsandcity. Daily,
weekly and winter rates. Call or
fax (604) 224-6914.
Studio and 1 BR guest suites with
equipped kitchen, TV and
telephone. Centrally located
near SUB, aquatic centre and
transit. Suites $59-$ 121, Single
rooms with shared bath available
to August $30-$33. Call 822-1010.
6th. Heritage House, antiques,
wood floors, original stained glass.
Ten min. to UBC and downtown.
Two blocks from restaurants,
buses. Scrumptious full breakfasts.
Entertaining cats. Views. Phones
in rooms. Call 739-9002. E-mail:
Walk to UBC along the ocean.
Quiet exclusive neighborhood.
Near buses and restaurants.
Comfortable rooms with TV
and private bath. Full breakfast.
Reasonable rates. Non-smokers
only, please. Call 341-4975.
CAMILLA   HOUSE    Bed   and
Breakfast, 2538 W. 13th Ave.
Beautiful rooms        with
unforgettable breakfast. 15 min.
by bus to UBC and downtown.
Walk to restaurants and shops. A
place you shouldn't miss!
Reduced weekly rates. Call
Camilla (604) 737-2687. Visit our
Web page at http://
Warm hospitality awaits you at
this centrally located viewhome.
Large rooms with private baths,
TV, phones, tea/coffee, fridge,
Full breakfast, close to UBC,
downtown and bus routes. 3466
W. 15th Ave. Call 737-2526 or fax
ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE Looking for
summer accommodation?
Private rooms available for visitors
attending UBC on academic
business. Competitive rates.
Meals are included 5 days per
week. Call for information and
availability 822-8788.
ALMA BEACH B&B Beautiful,
immaculate, bright rooms with
ensuite in elegant, spacious home,
2 blocks to Jericho Beach/
Vancouver Yacht Club. Gourmet
breakfast. Central location to
downtown/UBC. N/S. Call 221-0551.
18th Ave. Visitors and students of
UBC are most welcome. 15 min.
to UBC or downtown by bus.
Close to restaurants and shops.
Daily rates from $50 to $100.
Please call and check it out at
KITSNEW1,000 sq. ft. 2 BR bsmt. suite.
Alarm, kitchen, full bath, L/R. N/S, N/
P. Avail, immed. $l,500/mo, + 40
per cent util. Call 738-8857.
garden suite. Patio, security, full
kitchen, F/P. Near UBC. N/S.
$1,100/mo. including cable and
utilities. Call 263-0265.	
room in Kits house for short-term
stays or commuting prof./grad
student. Non-smoking house with
two cats. Close to beach, bus,
downtown, UBC. Weekly/
monthly rates. Call Sherryl 730-
VERY LARGE, BRIGHT, beautifully
furnished 1 BR corner suite apt. at
Fir/16th for sublet. Avail. Nov. 1 to
Apr. 30. H/W floors, gas F/P, cable,
W/D, close to shops and buses.
Mature female preferred. Call
Laura at 730-1532.	
study, 2 F/P, 1 1/2 bathrooms,
large garden. Minutes from UBC.
Close to buses, shops, schools,
parks. $l,800/mo. Avail. Sept. 1.
Call 269-9122 or 261-8538.
POINT GREY Fully furnished and
equipped 2 BR main floor of quiet
house. Excellent location near
UBC, Jericho Beach, schools and
shops. H/W floors, skylights, 2
decks, F/P, D/W, shared W/D. N/
S, pets ok. Avail, immed. or Sept.
1. $1,950 includes util. and cable,
discount for year or more. Call
45 min. to UBC. Furnished, 4 BR, 2
bath. Water view, beach access.
$l,200/mo + util. Sept. to June.
(403) 439-0233.	
TRIUMF HOUSE. Comfortable
guest house with homey quiet
environment for visitors to UBC
and hospital. Located near
hospital. Rates $35-$55/night and
weekly rates. Call 222-1062.
Sleeps 3. L/R, kitchen/dining
room, bath, patio, parking. 35
km west of Lisbon. 4 km from
Cascais (trains to Lisbon and Expo
'98 site). US$400/wk (up to 3
persons), 4th person US$135/wk.
Long-term lease avail.
Sabbatical? Tel/fax:011-351-
1487-1383 Portugal or 731-9066
2 BR down, L/R, D/R, family room.
Fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer/
drier. Lawn maintenance and
cable included. Util. extra. $2,000
unfurnished. $2,400 furnished.
Security deposit required. N/S, N/
P. References. Call 943-6099.
Cypress, fully furnished, 3 BR/4
bathrooms, 5 appliances/gas
fireplace, study and family rooms,
Jacuzzi, 2 deck/patio areas,
garage/security system. Up to
one yr. lease. N/S, N/P. $2,500/
mo. Call 689-0909.
KITSILANO. Furn. floor of large house.
Quiet, private balcony — deluxe.
Beach is at your doorstep as is the
bus to UBC. Avail, last week of Aug.
or Sept. 1. Call 737-2966.
nightly. Stay in Aug. in Kitsilano
near all amenities, busesetc. Calf
VERY, VERY SPECIALfully furnished
3 BR house for rent in Kitsilano
Avail. Aug. 15 to Apr. 199?' or
longer. Call 940-2800.
Housing Wanted
BR house/apt. Convenienl to
UBC, near green space. Faculty
couple promises homeoWner
care while on sabbatical in
Vancouver, Jan.-May 1999. Cal
(802) 273-2253.
House Sitter
Mature, female student will
for your house and pets
term  or  short-term  (1
beginning Sept. to mid-Cbec
Excellent refs. Call Michelle, J267
avail, for housesitting, Sept. to Ffeb.l
any or all of that time. Reference?
avail. No charge to you! Small
pets OK. Message 822-082(p, e-
mail wklein@unixg.ubc.ca
Decide to Be an Organ
Donor and Tell Your Fam
BC Branch
(604)736-9775   1-800-567-8112
DTI British
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(604)877-2100   1-800-663-6189
(604) 681-4588   1-800-856-7266 UBC Reports • August 13, 1998 11
Inuit artist JobieArnaituk's
work, Walrus Composition,
combines fossilized walrus
skull, caribou antler and
soapstone to capture the
sense of power and strength
of one of the Arctic's most
powerful creatures. It is one
of the many works of
contemporary Canadian
and Inuit artists iii the
international travelling
exhibition Transitions,
which continues at the
Museum of Anthropology
to Jan. 3, 1999.
Centre for
International Health
Office of the Co-ordinator of
Health Sciences
Applications are invited from current UBC faculty members
for the position of Director, Centre for International Health,
Office of the Coordinator of Health Sciences. This appointment is for a term of five years, commencing September 1,
1998 or as soon thereafter as a suitable candidate is found.
The Office of the Coordinator of Health Sciences develops
and maintains effective collaboration, interdisciplinary understanding, and shared communication between the health
sciences, between the health programs and other units of the
University, and between the external community and the
University. The OCHS has an identity and set of functions
that transcend the individual faculties, schools and departments.
The Director of the Centre will be responsible for: creating an
institutional base from which UBC can offer leadership in
international health theory, research, education and practice;
facilitating linkage and interaction between the University
and other public and private, domestic and overseas organizations involved in international health; and forming linkages with other UBC Centres and units concerned with global
Qualifications for the position include distinction in teaching
and research in a field relevant to international health, demonstrated administrative ability, and proven experience in
mounting international/global health initiatives.
Applications (including a letter of application, a current CV
and the names of three references) will be received until
August 31,1998 and should be directed to:
Dr. John H.V. Gilbert
Coordinator of Health Sciences
University of British Columbia
400 - 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604-822-5571 Fax: 604-822-2495
E-mail: johnhvg@unixg.ubc.ca
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity.
We encourage all qualified persons to apply.
UBC Press
books win
This year is shaping up to be
an outstanding one for UBC
Press with six awards for its
publications in as many months.
Sinews of Survival: The Living
Legacy of Inuit Clothing by Betty
Kobayashi Issenman has won
the 1998 Millia Davenport Award
from the American Costume Society. The judges rated the Montreal author's work as the most
important book of the year.
Death So Noble: Memory,
Meaning, and the First World War
by Jonathan Vance has been
awarded the Sir John A.
MacDonald Prize, the Canadian
Historical Association's (CHA)
most prestigious award.
UBC Geography Prof. Cole
Harris was awarded the CHA's
Clio award for B.C. for his book
The Resettlement of British Columbia: Essays on Colonialism
and Geographical Change.
The Clio Award for the Prairie
region went to As Their Natural
Resources Fail; Native Peoples
and the Economic History of
Northern Manitoba, 1870-1930,
by Frank Tough.
The distinction "outstanding
book" goes to Tammarniit (Mistakes): Inuit Relocation in the
Eastern Arctic, 1939-63 by UBC
Social Work Assoc. Prof. Frank
Tester and Peter Kulchyski.
Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on
the Pacific, 1793 - 1843 by UBC
alumnus Richard Somerset
Mackie has won the 1997 Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing. Mackie, a Victoria freelance historian, argues
that the Hudson's Bay Company
pioneered the concept of a Pacific Rim economy on Canada's
West Coast.
by staff writers
A recent survey of academic journals has ranked Izak
Benbasat of the Faculty of Commerce and Business
Administration as the world's sixth most prolific
academic in the field of management information systems.
The survey ranked individual researchers by the number
of articles published in leading academic journals in
management information systems during the period 1991-
Benbasat is Canfor Corporation Professor of Management Information Systems, associate dean. Faculty Development, and winner of a 1998 Killam Research Prize.
The British Columbia Library Association has given an
Honorary Life Membership Award to Suzanne Dodson,
UBC Library's facilities
and preservation manager.
Dodson was recognized
for playing a leading role in a
20-year campaign to secure
the free deposit of provincial
government publications for
academic libraries.
Dodson was also
honoured for an award-
winning program of preserving microfilm of historical
The award is given to
those who have made
substantial long-standing
contributions to the association and to library service in
British Columbia.
Rudolf Vrba. an associate professor emeritus in the
Faculty of Medicine, has been awarded an honorary
degree from the University of Haifa in recognition of
his academic and public activities.
Vrba was a prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp
from 1942 until his escape in April 1944. He then co-
authored a report on the camp, the Vrba-Wetzler Report or
Auschwitz Protocols, which has become part of the history of
the Holocaust.
He has also helped produce six films relevant to Holocaust
history and has published a book, translated into five
languages, of personal recollections of Auschwitz.
A faculty member in the Dept. of Pharmacology and
Therapeutics from 1967 to 1990, Vrba is known for his
research on the chemistry of the brain and his studies
relevant to diabetes and cancer.
Grant B. Frame MSc, PEng
Your westside real estate PRO and UBC
graduate for peace of mind and the comfort
of dealing with a knowledgeable realtor
• Professional approach • Dedication to your needs •
Current market evaluations
Contact: Dexter Properties Inc. 3479 Dunbar St. Vancouver
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Toshiba pentium system
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I System Upgrade Pkg.
ASUS m/b,P 233 MMX
&VGA card $460    	
I Hard Drive Specials
2.5 GB $225 Installed
I* 3.2 GB $235 Installed
• 4.3 GB $250 Installed
• 6.4 GB $300 Installed
• 8.4 GB $400 Installed
I Simple data transfer
I included
ABC University Kindercare Daycare
Ages: 2-1 /2 to 5 years
Pleasant, clean, spacious surroundings; small group;
healthy snacks and tender loving care by
ECE qualified staff
Bonus: we will help toilet train your child.
We will transport your kindergartener to and from
Queen Mary School
Recommended by Parents
Hours: 7:45 am to 5:45 pm • One block from UBC gates
Ask for Deborah or Doug (staff) • 4595 West 8th Ave.
Phone 228-5885 12 UBC Reports • August 13,1998
Inner space man
Prof. Ron Clowes probes deep to understand Mother Earth
by Stephen Forgacs
Staff writer
When Ron Clowes speaks of
Canadian history, he doesn't
bring up the Riel Rebellion,
Confederation, the Plains of Abraham,
or anything else that happened within
the last few millennia.
Instead, Clowes speaks of events
that took place billions of years ago
deep beneath the Earth's crust. These
events led to the formation of mountain
ranges taller than today's Himalayas, of
canyons 10 times deeper than the
Grand Canyon, and of massive oceans
created and destroyed.
For the past 15 years, Clowes, a
geophysicist and professor in UBC's
Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, has
played a key role in leading-edge
research into Canada's geological
As director of Lithoprobe, Canada's
largest and longest-lived national earth
sciences research project, Clowes has
worked with hundreds of researchers in
the geosciences from across the country and around the globe to build a
profile, and understand the development, of the portion of the lithosphere
that lies beneath Canada and its
surrounding continental margins.
The lithosphere is Earth's relatively
cold, strong and rigid outer shell,
typically 100 kilometres or more thick
but as thin as 30 kilometres and as
thick as 300 kilometres in places.
Within the lithosphere is a global
mosaic of plates, some of which hold
continents, all moving relative to one
another. As these plates collide over the
course of billions of years, they can,
and do, transform the planet.
The most immediate and noticeable
effects of the slow movement of tectonic
plates are the earthquakes that result
as pressure building up between plates
is suddenly and violently released, a
none too subtle reminder that Earth is
still a work in progress.
Lithoprobe came into being in the
early 1980s following discussions
among many earth scientists in
Canada — geochemists, geophysicists,
and geologists — of the need for a
major, co-ordinated, multidisciplinary
research project. The result of those
discussions was Lithoprobe which, in
15 years, has more than met those
early goals.
Research into the earthquake-prone
Juan de Fuca plate off Vancouver
Island initially brought Clowes into the
Lithoprobe fold. In 1984, he and others
launched the fledgling Lithoprobe's first
major study of the Cascadia subdue -
tion zone, where the oceanic Juan de
Fuca plate is thrust below the North
American plate.
Thanks in part to the success of this
study, Clowes found himself working
on the proposal for funding of
Lithoprobe's Phase II.
In 1987, he was named Lithoprobe
director, responsible for the science
and administering funding provided to
the project by the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council
When the project — which recently
received funding for a final phase of five
years — concludes in 2003 after 20
years, NSERC, the Geological Survey of
Canada (GSC), partners in industry,
Stephen Forgacs photo
Ron Clowes and other Lithoprobe researchers are exploring the Earth at
depths much greater than those at which this "jeUyroll" was found. The
jellyroll, on display in the M. Y. Williams Geological Museum at UBC, was
formed between 11,000 and 25,000 years ago of sediment in a lake dammed
by glaciation. The jellyroll on display was cast from a mould made of the
formation after it was exposed in a sand pit near Lytton, B.C. Lithoprobe is
revealing events that occurred miles beneath the Earth's surface, many
millions of years ago.
provincial geological surveys and numerous Canadian universities, will have
channeled $100 million toward the 10
major components or study areas across
Canada that make up the project.
The project has exceeded the expectations of the original proponents and
certainly exceeded my expectations too,"
says Clowes. "No one could have
envisaged that it would still be going in
the year 2000, and with such strength."
Breakthroughs made during the
course of the project are immense in physical size alone: a
mountain range bigger than the Himalayas once towered across Ontario, Quebec
and into Labrador; a massive rift, 30
kilometres deep, once existed where Lake
Superior is now, before being filled in
over tens of millions of years by lava and
sediments; previously unknown structures as much as 20 kilometres high and
100 kilometres long lie deep beneath the
surface of B.C. and central Alberta; and
an ocean the size of the Pacific once lay
in place of Saskatchewan and Manitoba,
complete with island archipelagos similar
to Indonesia and the Philippines.
In some areas, researchers met with
astounding success. In the Northwest
Territories they were able to generate,
through seismic reflection, images of
great clarity of the Earth's crust and into
the lower part of the lithosphere below it.
"We have reflections at depths approaching 100 kilometres that we can
follow for 300 kilometres laterally,"
marvels Clowes. "That's never been seen
Another surprise came in northern
Quebec, just south of James Bay, where
researchers detected evidence that plate
tectonic processes were occurring some
700 to 800 million years earlier than
had previously been documented.
"Previous studies had demonstrated
that these tectonic processes occurred in
the Paleoproterozoic. just under 1,900
million years ago, with the best example
achieved in the Gulf of Bothnia between
Sweden and Finland. The evidence
collected in Quebec indicates movement
2,600 million years ago." he says.
Researchers have relied on a variety
of techniques from geology, geophysics
and geochemistry to build the detailed
profile. Deep Earth images are generated largely with seismic reflection, in
which sound energy generated by large
"vibroseis trucks" — likened to dancing
elephants — is reflected vertically and
provides a fuzzy image of rock types
and structures. Seismic refraction,
where energy released by deep explosions is measured as it reaches the
surface great distances away from the
source, and electromagnetic studies,
which investigate the electrical conductivity of the subsurface, are also used.
Now, with the majority of the
project components either
complete or nearing completion,
Clowes is able to paint a clear picture
of the contributions the project has
made not only scientifically, but also on
a social and economic level.
"The legacy of Lithoprobe includes a
data set which has no equal anywhere
in the world," he says, describing the
detailed mapping of Canada's deep-
earth structures from coast to coast.
The project's legacy also includes new
or refined technologies and techniques,
such as the application of seismic
reflection in the mining industry.
Although Lithoprobe met with openly
voiced scepticism from some Canadian
mining companies when it was getting
underway, applications of seismic
reflection have since been recognized as
valuable by the mining community,
something Clowes sees as a major
breakthrough and validation of
Lithoprobe research.
Mining companies are now putting
the proven technologies to use.
Noranda Exploration spent close to
S2 million on seismic applications last
year, and Inco Ltd. claims its involvement with Lithoprobe has caused it to
modify its world-wide exploration
program. Clowes says.
If a Canadian mining company makes
even a modest discovery using data or
techniques developed during the 20-year
project, the resulting benefits to the
Canadian economy in terms of jobs and
revenue could very quickly surpass the
total cost of Lithoprobe. Clowes says.
And. while he doesn't directly link
Lithoprobe to any current mining or
petroleum discoveries. Clowes credits
renewed petroleum exploration on the
west coast of Newfoundland in part to
advances made as a result of Lithoprobe
research in that area.
The mining industry and the
Geological Survey of Canada, a major
participant in Lithoprobe. have picked
up where Clowes and colleagues left off
with earthquake research on Vancouver Island. That research continues to
expand our understanding of the risks
posed by a major earthquake off the
B.C. coast.
Other countries are also paying
attention to the Lithoprobe example.
The Europeans have formed
EUROPROBE which, modelled on
Canada's example, is aimed at collecting data for the continent.
While the Lithoprobe years have
been demanding they have also been
rewarding, says Clowes.
"I'd be the first to admit that I've got
one of those jobs that's just been a joy to
work in," he says. "Because of
Lithoprobe, I've had a lot more exposure
to people and research in the earth
sciences than I would have otherwise."
Clowes, who joined UBC in 1970
after completing a PhD at the University of Alberta and post-doctoral work
in Australia, found himself travelling
full circle with Lithoprobe when he
wound up doing seismic reflection
research in southern Alberta, effectively
continuing on the work he did as a
doctoral student in the 1960s.
Clowes has also gained recognition from his peers, notably the
J. Tuzo Wilson Medal he
recently received from the Canadian
Geophysical Union for outstanding
contributions to geophysics. The medal
has particular significance for Clowes,
because he knew Wilson, a pioneer in
the concept of plate tectonics, and
knows the previous award recipients.
More important than the personal
recognition he has gained though,
Clowes says, is the growing awareness
of geological sciences in Canada. He
hopes this new awareness and interest
will make it easier for future researchers to receive the financial support
they need.
"As a society we spend billions of
dollars putting up space stations and
sending out probes into the planetary
system because we're curious about
what's up there. The night sky has
been a source of wonderment to
mankind from day one," Clowes says.
"And yet, for some reason, there's
not the same interest in good old
Mother Earth, despite the fact the
Earth provides our sustenance, resources and the hazards with which we
must contend.
"It seems to me that, if we're going
to put billions into exploring outer
space, we should be willing to put a
significant amount of research funding
into understanding inner space as
well. The problem is that inner space
is hard to comprehend, you can't just
look into it the way you can the night
sky. In my mind, that's reason enough
to justify Lithoprobe and similar
projects around the world."


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