Renewable Resources develops online presence
Recordings of the popular lunchtime seminars hosted by the Department of Renewable Resources can now be viewed anytime as the department posts them on its new video channel on the Vimeo website.
Vic Lieffers, chair of the department, sees the channel as a key addition to the department’s growing efforts to interact with stakeholders and showcase the cutting-edge science and applications being developed by the department’s 29 professors and 150 graduate students and research personnel.
The channel currently hosts five seminars covering topics ranging from why soils shouldn’t be called dirt to the evolution of chemical defences in coniferous trees.
The channel also showcases videos of the EMEND Forest Research Experiment, co-led by John Spence, the EcoSys Climate Modelling program, developed by Robert Grant, and the recent Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture, delivered by Bill Shotyk. The channel will also host the Forest Industry Lecture Series (now running for 34 years) and additional recordings of the department’s public seminar series.
The Renewable Resources seminar series provides a forum for local and international scientists and practitioners to speak on current research findings related to forests, soils, water, wildlife and fire. The seminars are typically about an hour long, and the department hopes to make about 20 seminars available each year. The channel can be accessed at www.vimeo.com/channels/RenR.
Accident claims life of promising young researcher
A visiting professor working with the U of A’s Livestock Gentec in collaboration with the Gansu Agricultural University in Lanzhou, China, died Nov. 12 after drowning in a swimming accident.
Lian Yang, 34, suffered a medical emergency while swimming alone. He was rushed to the University of Alberta Hospital, where attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
His time with the Livestock Gentec, although brief, was enough to demonstrate his drive, aptitude and love of his work to his new colleagues.
“Lian had a wonderful background for joining Livestock Gentec,” said Graham Plastow, CEO of the centre and co-leader of Yang’s project. “He joined our team to learn about the application of genomics to livestock, and he was particularly interested in beef, as it is one of the most important sectors in Gansu Province. He was quickly asking the very best questions.”
A memorial service was held in the Interfaith Temple of the Student’s Union Building on the morning of Nov. 18. Yang’s wife and brother-in-law were in attendance as members of the community, friends and colleagues recalled their experiences with the young researcher and offered words of support and sympathy to his family.
Yang, who arrived in Edmonton Oct. 17, had focused his research on the application of genomics to meat quality and its use to improve crossbred performance. He was eager to develop his knowledge base in this field and use these practices to benefit the beef industry in Gansu and throughout China.
He is survived by his wife and four-year-old son.
Students host free Open Wide clinic
Hundreds of Edmontonians who can’t afford dental care opened wide for University of Alberta dentistry and dental hygiene students Nov. 22.
More than 100 patients came through the on-campus clinic as part of the Open Wide clinic, which runs twice a year. It is a student-run clinic held in November and then again in March. It gives students a chance to work on their clinical skills and those with difficulty accessing dental care can get needed dental work for free.
“Access to care is one of the biggest concerns in the profession,” said Steve Patterson, clinical professor in the Department of Dentistry. “A recent Canadian health-measures survey indicated that close to 20 per cent of Canadians forego dental treatment because of cost. That’s about one in five adults, for example. A lot of people find it difficult to find care so typically this is something that is looked for and is recognized for them as a valuable service.”
The patients are identified through collaboration between the School of Dentistry and local community groups, and invitations to the clinic are sent to potential patients.
Ryan Savage is one of those patients. He just moved from British Columbia with his family and, until he finds a job, he has no health coverage. He says he is grateful for this service.
“I still can’t believe it’s actually free,” said Savage. “Dental work isn’t something that I can sit back and wait until I get the coverage for so it’s so unbelievable I can get this service.”
He came in for a cleaning and some fillings.
Fourth-year dental students and senior dental hygiene students look after the patients in November. At March’s clinic, third-year dental students will also see patients.
Tammy Zimmer, in her final year of the dentistry program, is taking part in her second Open Wide clinic.
“It’s been a nice experience,” said Zimmer. “It’s quite an opportunity for all of us to be able to use the skills that we’ve gained in school to help people. We’re very fortunate to be involved in a program like this.”