Waterloo enters Step 3 of the province's reopening framework
The Region of Waterloo has moved into Step 3 of Ontario’s Reopening Framework. "Step 3 means we are making small changes to campus operations as we continue to move towards more in person campus experiences," wrote Director of Safety Kate Windsor in a memo circulated to the campus community yesterday afternoon."
"We are continuing to resume in-person course activity scheduled for spring term," Windsor writes. "You can find a list of undergraduate and graduate courses happening in person on the COVID-19 website. Class sizes and safety procedures such as wearing a mask and physical distancing will stay in effect for the remainder of the spring term."
"If your departmental COVID-19 Safety Plan or course schedule requires you to work on campus you can now start or resume permitted activities with the approval of your supervisor. You must continue to follow the instructions for work laid out in your departmental safety plan. These regulations apply whether you or your colleagues have had a vaccination or not."
"The Step 3 regulations include no changes to current research activities. We are beginning to transition research safety plans and compliance monitoring from the Office of Research to Faculties. The Office of Research will share more information on this soon, after discussions with department chairs and deans."
Operational changes on campus
- The Student Life Centre and Turnkey Desk are open Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Limited study or dining spaces are available in the Great Hall. You must present a valid WatCard to use the space and there is a limit of one person per table only. The former Bomber patio is also open for use Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seating for one person per table.
- Athletics and Recreation will be opening Columbia Icefield (CIF) for open recreation, fitness classes and Fitness Centre usage as of Monday, July 19th. The PAC pool will open during the week of July 19th for lane swims. You must register in advance for all programs.
- W Store Gifts + Apparel is open for in-person shopping Monday to Friday 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. W Store Course Materials + Supplies will re-open for in-person shopping in mid-August. Print + Retail Solutions will continue to facilitate textbook and course material ordering and offers shipping or curbside pickup options. W Print will be operating online-only until further notice.
- All Library locations are closed except for book pickup and delivery services. Davis Centre Library is open for study space only: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment.
"If you are working or studying on campus, please note that we are temporarily removing some COVID-19 signage from common areas in preparation for new signage that we will install in the coming weeks," Windsor's memo continues. "Please continue to follow all public health guidance including physical distancing, daily self-assessment using Campus Check-In, hand hygiene and use of face coverings in all common spaces."
"If you have not yet been vaccinated, or need to get a second dose, there is now an on-campus vaccine centre for employees, students and their families. The COVID-19 Rapid Antigen screening site is also open and screening eligible asymptomatic employees and students, no appointment needed."
"We appreciate your efforts in continuing to keep our campus community safe," Windsor concludes.
Water Institute announces 2021 Seed Grant recipients
A message from the Water Institute.
The Water Institute is pleased to announce that two research teams have been awarded funding in the recent 2021 seed grant competition. The Water Institute’s seed grant program was initiated in 2014 to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration, international partnerships, and to encourage the development of research proposals that tackle increasingly complex global water issues.
This year’s seed grant projects include diverse initiatives and collaborators:
Supporting decisions about groundwater extraction for irrigation with modern economic risk assessments
- Andrea Brookfield, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Margaret Insley, Department of Economics
- Chengguo Weng, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
The team will explore the application of risk management strategies developed in the finance literature, in particular the use of conditional value at risk (CVAR), to decisions about groundwaterextraction for agriculture. More specifically, the seed grant will be used to develop a decision-making framework using CVAR to characterize the risk-return trade-off of groundwater extraction in an agricultural context. The team will develop this framework focusing on two case studies: 1) irrigation in the severely depleted High Plains Aquifer in Kansas; and 2) expanding irrigation in the Saskatchewan River watershed in the Canadian Prairies.
Data fusion and analysis to predict overland flow flood risk: establishing a proof of concept
- Derek Robinson, Department of Geography and Environmental Management
- Bruce MacVicar, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Chul Min Yeum, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Michael Drescher, School of Planning
The team will use the seed grant to support work being undertaken by the City of Kitchener to restore Montgomery and Shoemaker creeks, which will include “daylighting” and reconfiguring water channels, installing new recreation areas, and, in collaboration with a local NGO (Reep Green Solutions), implementing a major educational and assistance campaign to encourage property owners to implement precipitation catchment features. The proposed seed grant will be used to 1) create a proof of concept showcasing how street-view data can be used to identify locations of flood risk, 2) collect baseline data prior to the modification of both the natural and human system, 3) identify critical properties for stormwater retention features, and 4) develop a working relationship with potential partners for future proposal collaboration.
Graduating from university — 36 years after I started
By Glenn Cooke (BMath ’20). This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of Waterloo Magazine.
I was accepted into a Waterloo math program back in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, I was far too immature to be successful. I lasted a few terms but eventually I had “required to withdraw” on my transcript.
Over the decades, I settled in Waterloo Region, got married, had a family and built a career. Despite not completing my degree, I always felt it was an important milestone. I maintained that when I retired, I would finish my degree.
Working in the yard one day I realized there was no reason to defer it any longer. I wasn’t sure I would be able to complete a degree in retirement, and my career allowed me the flexibility to attend classes.
So at the age of 51, I re-applied to math at Waterloo.
On my first day, I was fortunate to meet undergraduate advisor Alice Pfeifer-Hanov (BA ’06). When she asked everyone if they had their form, I stuck my hand up and queried, “Form? There’s a form?” Alice took me under her wing from that point forward. Without her guidance and support, along with other staff and faculty, I likely wouldn’t have been successful.
Despite the age difference, my classmates were friendly and welcoming. The current generation of students are the smartest, most welcoming group of people to ever grace this planet. The next 20 years is going to be an exciting time as they move out into the workforce and start to make changes in society.
Some new connections revolutionized my career. A professor who frequently mentors entrepreneurial students helped me shape a business idea which led to my being accepted to the Accelerator Centre, an incubator just north of campus. Thanks to the infrastructure, mentorship and overall ecosystem, I launched my venture, an online life insurance company, far more successfully than I could have on my own.
Surprisingly, a sense of accomplishment wasn’t my main takeaway when I graduated in 2020. Instead, I have a sense of closure for something that’s been unfinished for far too long.
Today, every time I pass the campus entrance, I point at the signs and proudly say, “I went to school there!”
W Store offers staff computer purchase payroll deduction program
A message from W Store.
With back to school season just around the corner, many of us are looking to upgrade our personal computer hardware for the year ahead.
W Store’s Staff Payroll Deduction Program is open to all regular full-time employees of UWaterloo. The program assists University employees in purchasing personal computer hardware from W Store by offering competitive pricing and a low-interest payroll deduction arrangement. The details of the program are listed below.
Computer Payroll Deduction program details
- Low-interest loans are available for amounts ranging from $500 - $3 000.
- With a term no longer than 36 months.
- Payments are arranged through payroll deduction, either monthly or bi-weekly.
- A 20 per cent (minimum) down payment is required at the time of purchase.
- The loan can be paid in full at any time with no penalty.
Contact John Jaray (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information, or to set up a payroll deduction program arrangement.