[tugs] GGR299 Research Courses & U of T Sustainability Office

  • From: TUGS - Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society <r.tchoukaleyska@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: TUGSGeneral <tugsgeneral@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 16:35:53 -0500

Hi Everyone,

Hope you had a great break! 

A list of all 229Y Research Courses to be offered in 2005/06 in the Faculty of 
Arts & Science will be available at the TUGS Office starting this Thursday, 
February 24th. 

299 courses (including GGR299) are part of the research opportunity program. 
Students receive a credit course for supervised participation in faculty 
research projects. If you are interested in gaining valuable research 
experience, drop by the TUGS office from 12-4pm Monday-Thursday and take a 
look at next year's listing!

If you have any questions, contact TUGS: tugs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or Susan 
Calanza, Undergraduate Counsellor: calanza@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Her office is on 
the 5th Floor of Sidney Smith Hall.

Roza Tchoukaleyska
TUGS - President


                              TUGS Pub Night 
                      This THURSDAY, February 24th 
                               Rowers Pub 
                            150 Harbord St 
               (about three blocks west of Spadina,on the north side) 
                              Upper Level 

                       Snacks provided by TUGS! 

POWERSHIFT: The Energy to Build a Better World Lecture Series

Helping the new U of T Sustainability Office to achieve its Goals â?? Our
Draft Strategic Plan
Dr. Beth Savan
Thursday, February 24, 2005
6-7pm in the Bahen Centre BA2179

Want U of T to achieve its potential to be a mecca of sustainability here
in Toronto? The administration does too and has just launched the new
U of T Sustainability Office with the mission of dramatically reducing CO2
emissions and promoting overall sustainability on campus. The
Sustainability Director, Dr. Beth Savan, is eager to tell you more about
the office and hear your thoughts and views about sustainability here at U
of T. Come out to the lecture to hear more about the office and join Dr.
Savan at the Peel Pub afterwards to talk with her about how best to
accomplish the Sustainability Office's goals. Don't miss this exciting
opportunity to have your voice heard at U of T!

The new Sustainability Office on campus has the ambitions mission of
dramatically reducing the University's energy use and therefore its
greenhouse gas emissions. How can we best achieve this goal, and what role
can students play? This presentation will outline our draft strategic plan
and will solicit your comments and suggestions about how to meet our
ambitious goals most effectively. Come and contribute your ideas!

Come out and learn how U of T profs are using their energy to build a
better world!

For details on the Sustainability Office, lecture series and hosting
organizations, check out:
The Sustainability Office webpage: www.sustainability.utoronto.ca/
POWERSHIFT lecture series webpage: utoronto.ewb.ca/news.php?news_id=110
Energy Sustainability Community webpage: www.esc.ele.utoronto.ca
U of T Engineers Without Borders webpage: www.utoronto.ewb.ca


The Department is commencing its second set of interviews for 
a faculty position in Physical Geography. 

The Departmental Search Committee encourages all undergraduate students to 
attend and provide their input. 


Dr. Nathan Basiliko (PDF - UBC) 

Tuesday February 22 - 3:30 to 5:00pm - Room SSH 2125 


Soil microorganisms perform vital tasks in terrestrial ecosystems 
through the turnover of organic matter and nutrients.  Ultimately 
microbial activity mobilizes nutrients to sustain vegetation, while at the 
same time is responsible for the net release of greenhouse gasses 
from the terrestrial biosphere to the atmosphere.  In only the past 
decade, new molecular tools for rapidly characterizing signature genes 
in soils and measuring key microbial enzyme activities have been 
developed that allow for the scaling up of microbial ecology and 
function in soils from the microsite to the landscape.  This has led soil 
ecology to become one of the last major frontiers to understanding 
and improving management of ecosystems, especially under 
increasing environmental change and demands for natural resources.   

Peatland and forests are widely distributed,important Canadian 
ecosystems.  In Canada, peatlands represent the largest pool of 
carbon in the terrestrial biosphere, likely the largest net sink for 
atmospheric carbon dioxide, and a net source of atmospheric 
methane.  Peat is also a valuable natural resource that is 
commercially mined, and efforts have been made to restore 
biogeochemical functioning of harvested sites.  Canada contains ca. 
10 % of the world?s forests, and forestry is a vital component of the 
Canadian economy.  New harvesting techniques, including variable 
live-tree patch retention, are currently being tested in hope of 
improving forest regeneration. 


Dr. Emma Watson (PDF - Environment Canada) 

Friday February 25 - 4:00 to 5:30pm - Room SSH 2125 


The varied topography and landscapes of the Canadian west afford 
unique opportunities to sample and develop tree-ring chronologies 
sensitive to different climate conditions from proximal sites. 
Dendroclimatic studies based on a broad network of moisture and 
temperature sensitive chronologies have been used to reconstruct 
changes in the variability of precipitation, temperature and streamflow 
at a number of sites in the region. Maps of precipitation variability in 
the southern Canadian Cordillera and adjacent U.S. extend back to 
1640 and are useful for viewing dry conditions of the early 20th century 
in a longer context and for assessing historically important events from 
a climatic perspective.  This network of chronologies has also allowed 
the investigation of more complex variables that integrate seasonal 
changes in precipitation and temperature.  Winter, summer and net 
mass balance reconstructions have been developed for Peyto Glacier 
in Banff National Park, Alberta.  These records are 322 yrs in length 
and offer a continuous insight into glacier variability over the Little Ice 
Age that was not available previously.  When compared with 
streamflow reconstructions, possible causes of annual discharge 
variability over the past 350 years (i.e. during periods of varying glacier 
extent) can be investigated.  The reconstructed mass balance series 
can be compared with conditions in the Pacific Ocean over the past 
100 years (almost triple the length of studies using the 35 year 
measured mass balance series).  The Peyto mass balance 
reconstructions are also compared with similar records developed for 
Glacier National Park, Montana to begin to address broader questions 
on the timing and scale of glacier advances of the past 300 years 
throughout this portion of the Rocky Mountains. 


Dr. Sarah Finkelstein (PDF - U.Ottawa) 

Tuesday March 1 - 4:00 to 5:30pm - Room SSH 2125 


Paleoecology is the study of how ecosystems change on century and 
millennial time scales. These long-term records supply important 
evidence for paleoclimatic and other paleoenvironmental changes. 
They also provide key insights into the mechanisms through which 
ecosystems change and develop, and allow hypotheses about 
ecosystem dynamics to be tested through time. Pollen grains 
preserved in lake or wetland sediments have long been used to 
reconstruct paleovegetation quantitatively; I show how advances in 
pollen grain taxonomy and in the use of regional databases are 
allowing pollen analysis to become a ?sharper? tool, increasingly able 
to track species-level interactions through time. Paleoecological 
techniques, including the analysis of pollen and diatoms (microscopic 
aquatic algae) in peat records spanning the past 5000 years at a Lake 
Erie coastal marsh, were used to test different hypotheses of wetland 
initiation and subsequent plant community change. This research 
indicates that geomorphic activity provides a fundamental control on 
wetland development, but hydrological changes, driven both by 
isostatic rebound and by climatic variability, acted to reorganize plant 
communities episodically since the middle Holocene. The 
paleoecological record from this wetland also provides a context for 
modern day changes by showing which once-dominant plant 
communities are no longer common and by identifying an invasive 
plant species. I am now applying paleoecological techniques to 
determine how aquatic ecosystems in two lakes in the central 
Canadian Arctic have responded to Holocene climatic shifts. 
Ultimately, paleolimnological records taken from a number of lakes 
that have varied in diatom diversity and in productivity will be used to 
test new ideas about the role of these in responses to disturbance and 
in resilience. 


Roza Tchoukaleyska

TUGS - President 
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 Sidney Smith Hall, Rm 613 
 100 St. George St. 
 Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G3 
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