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Campus Life - Kamloops

Creative Videos Answer Quirky Science Questions

See below for the placings in the third annual Salmon in the Tree video project undertaken by teams of Biology 1210 students.

But first, from Science faculty member Susan Purdy, here is a short explanation of Salmon in the Tree and a brief description of the videos placing first, second, and third.

The ‘Salmon in the Tree’ project is now in its third year, and the project involves teams of Biology 1210 who are given a ‘quirky’ biological question to answer. They first have a library session where they learn how to differentiate between and find scholarly information sources. They also individually write an article to answer the question, and finally they produce a video.

The criteria for the video is that it uses suitably complex scientific information to answer the question, but also does so in an informative and creative way—all in under five minutes!

This year’s winner answered the question ‘How and why did the hummingbird cross the Gulf of Mexico?’ and did a spoof on ‘The Office’.

The second place video answered the question ‘How are leaf-cutter ants good farmers’ and used claymation in a very creative way.

The third place video answered the question ‘Why have male fish living downstream from big cities switched their sex?’, and is very funny.

First How and why did the hummingbird cross the Gulf of Mexico? (Lab 03)

Second How are leaf cutter ants good farmers? (Lab 01)

Third Why have male fish living downstream from big cities switched their sex? (Lab 11)

Fourth How are bees different from us when it comes to sex determination? (lab 10)

Fifth The promise of poop – can it really help patients with C.difficil? (Lab 01)

Sixth How and why did the hummingbird cross the Gulf of Mexico?(lab 09)

Tied for Seventh Why did the sloth climb down the tree to go to the bathroom? (Lab 08)

Tied for Seventh Why have polar bears switched to eggs for breakfast? (Lab 07)

Tied for Seventh How can our garbage be used to save the planet? (Lab 12)

Tied for Seventh How and why did the hummingbird cross the Gulf of Mexico?  (Lab 12)

Tied for Eighth Will Canadian monarchs no longer be able to vacation in Mexico? (Lab 08)

Tied for Eighth Why did the sloth climb down the tree to go to the bathroom? (Lab 05)

Tied for Eighth How are leaf cutter ants good farmer’s?- (Lab 04)


Biology Research—Q & A with Tara Folk

Tara Folk

Tara Folk is studying the impact of boats and other watercraft on loons living in Lac le Jeune.

Meet Tara Folk, a fourth-year Bachelor of Science student majoring in Biology. The Newsroom asked Tara about the ins and outs of conducting her own research project through TRU’s Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP).

TRU: Your project is titled, “The Effect of Development on the Life of the Common Loon: Do Interactions with Watercraft Impact Productivity?“. Boil it down for us.

TF: My project explored the relationship between watercraft and loon behaviour on Lac le Jeune, a lake 33km south of Kamloops with varying degrees of shoreline development. Nesting loons, families of loons and loons living life alone are constantly interacting with boats on the water and my aim was to determine whether these interactions have an impact on loon productivity.

TRU: What attracted you to doing this research?

TF: I was attracted to this particular line of research after taking a field ornithology course at TRU. I wanted to learn more about an iconic species, the common loon, and how humans can impact their daily routines.

Related Story: Bring learning to life with research experience
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TRU: How has your UREAP grant helped you get into doing research?

TF: The grant was used to purchase a spotting scope used to monitor the loon pairs from a non-invasive distance.

TRU: Will your project lead to a presentation or publishing opportunity?

TF: I am currently in the process of preparing the report for publication and hope to publish in a journal such as Wildlife Afield: A Journal of British Columbia Natural History.

“My favourite part about research was the chance to work independently on a project I cared about.” —Tara Folk

TRU: What have you learned from this experience?

TF: My favourite part about research was the chance to work independently on a project I cared about. It was extremely rewarding to see my research proposal result in an actual experiment, something that has allowed me to appreciate the field of research on a whole new level.

TRU: Who in your field do you admire and why?

TF: I admire my research supervisor Dr. Nancy Flood. Without her guidance and expertise, this project would not have been as successful as it was.

TRU: What impact do you hope your research will have?

TF: Researching the effects of urban development and the increase in human activity that comes with it is important in the development of management plans that will help reduce our impact on our environment. I hope that my research will help future conservationists or wildlife enthusiasts become more aware of the impact we have in the natural world.

Incubating loon on the southeastern end of Lac le Jeune. Photo by David Wingate.

Incubating loon on the southeastern end of Lac le Jeune. Photo by David Wingate.

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More Emergency Phones Being Installed

Emergency phones multiplying

A crew installs a new emergency phone in Lot T near Trades and Technology. Photo submitted.

The number of emergency phones located outside and inside is going up, with the one above installed last week in Lot T near Trades and Technology.

When done, 27 new phones will have been installed, which will bring the total to 39. As well, the few pay phones on campus have an emergency call feature.

The phones provide a direct link to Campus Security and to 911 emergency services.



Klassen Wins a Pair of $5,000 Awards

$10,000 smile

Matt Klassen

Business student Matt Klassen is wearing a $10,000 smile these days.

His name was drawn twice for different $5,000 prizes and his name announced at the School of Business and Economics Dean’s Reception on April 4, 2014.

One award is a scholarship and was for attending all 20 Business Kickstart 101 (BK 101) events this academic year. The other was through the meal with a mentor program. Klassen also won an offer of employment upon graduation from KPMG. Before then, Klassen will learn more about KPMG when he does a Co-op work term with them this summer. The Co-op placement is unrelated to the prizes.

Also receiving a prize was Kim Annis, who was the $1,000 scholarship winner. For each BK 101 event students attended, their name was entered into the draw for $1,000.

See below for a Question and Answer with Klassen.

View photos from the Dean’s Reception

Newsroom — I imagine the scholarship and having work after graduation has you a lot less stressed. How relieved are you?
MK — Very relieved and very thankful. The two most dreaded aspects of being a student (debt and the post-graduate job search), have been taken care of for me and for that I am extremely grateful.

Newsroom — What opportunities do you think the KPMG opportunities will present?
MK — KPMG is an amazing firm and I eagerly anticipate joining them in the summer and further down the road. The opportunity that I look forward to the most as of right now would be to finish up my undergraduate degree and begin going through the process of earning my CPA designation in accounting. An additional benefit to working with a public firm like KPMG is that their track record for students passing the professional exam is very high, and they offer an extremely supportive environment to do so.

Newsroom — Who was the first person you informed of the win? Did you inform by phone call, text, in person? Why that person? And how did the conversation go?
MK — My lovely wife of course. I called her and played coy for a couple minutes before springing the news on her. She was in obvious shock at first but the more the reality sunk in the more excited and thankful we both became.

Newsroom — Before this win, what was the the biggest, or a big one for you?
MK — I was lucky enough to win the Alvin and Lydia Grunert scholarship last year so that was another enormous blessing in paying for school.

Newsroom — Have you earned a nickname because of this?
MK — No nicknames as of yet, although shortly after winning a good friend posted a rather amusing meme on my Facebook wall. It said, ‘Win All The Money’ and was created using a rather amusing meme generator.

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