Report to APICS Council, Spring 2009
The APICS (Earth Sciences) Committee consists of Jarda Dostal (SMU), John Hanchar (MUN), Jacob Hanley (SMU/industry liaison rep.), Fenton Isenor (CBU), Sue Johnson (NB DNR), Serge Jollicoeur (Moncton), Colin LaRoque (Mt A), Brendan Murphy (St FX), Ron Pickerill (UNB), Rob Raeside (Acadia), Peter Wallace (Dalhousie), Dave Wedlock (CoGS-NSCC), Graham Williams (GSC-Atlantic).
Brendan Murphy concluded his term as chair in November 2008, to be replaced by Rob Raeside.
The Speakers Tour is conducted and sponsored jointly by APICS (ES) and the Atlantic Geoscience Society. The 2008-2009 speaker was Colin Laroque, Mt. Allison University, who visited five schools in February and March, and delivered a lecture on “The intertwining branches of tree ring science in Atlantic Canada”. The abstract is appended below. Dr. Laroque presented his talk at Cape Breton University on February 10th, Dalhousie University on February 12th, St. Francis Xavier on February 19th, Memorial University of Newfoundland, February 20th, 2009 and Acadia University on February 23th, 2009. Over 250 people attended his talk at these five institutions.
“The intertwining branches of tree ring science in Atlantic Canada”
Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings, and in Atlantic Canada most tree species produce an annual increment by incorporating growth inputs from their local environment. Growth inputs usually manifest themselves in the same way in trees of the same species, and in this manner, species specific patterns of growth can be tracked through the life span of a forest. These individual patterns have the ability to illustrate changes occurring in an environment, and dendrochronologists use these changes to help illuminate scientific questions in a number of ways. This talk will present a brief background to some of the basics of tree ring analysis and then illustrate local case studies to explore some of the potential uses of dendrochronology. Chemical signatures captured in time from pollutants derived from the Sydney Steel plant, historical studies of coal mining activities at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, and the home of the oldest tree ever recorded in Nova Scotia will be discussed.
Atlantic Universities Geologic Conference
A major topic of discussion in the Earth Sciences committee is the annual student conference. While the conference is generally quite successful, it predates APICS and maintains an entity distinct from APICS. As the conference inevitably is reinvented every year by each local organizing committee, the Earth Sciences committee has seen fit to provide input into its organization. Issues have arisen associated with number of speakers (exacerbated by the early timing, and the rising prominence of the February Atlantic Geoscience Society conference as a venue for student presentations), and the high value of some of the industry-sponsored awards (are judges capable of distinguishing a $1500 winning presentation from a nearly as good but unrewarded presentation?). The APICS (ES) committee agreed to recommend a clear set of more stringent criteria for the judges. The committee will also communicate with department heads to inform them about the AUGC and to raise its profile in departments.
The Earth Science committee website has languished for the past few years, and the committee agreed to have it updated. Through the main office, this has been completed and a spiffy new website is up at http://apics.dal.ca/earthscience/.
Jacob Hanley (SMU) joined the APICS Earth Science committee as industry liaison representative.