News Briefs: Suitable for news-reduced diets

By Natalie Sit

Kananaskis Field Stations 50th anniversary
University of Calgary students are familiar with the two U of C affiliated Kananaskis Field Stations through field courses, retreats and other events. The two field stations celebrated their 50th anniversary July 8, 2000.

In 1950 the R.B. Miller Station was the first station to open. Situated in the Sheep River Valley, the facility began as a site for trout research. The newer Barrier Lake Station was built in 1966.

“Both the R.B. Miller and Barrier Lake Stations have made significant international contributions in ecology and environmental science,” said KFS Director and U of C professor Edward Johnson. “And the stations have attracted world-class scientists over the years.”

The stations’ research focuses on global change, biological diversity and sustainable ecological systems. At the R.B. Miller Station, studies about Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and plant diversity are ongoing. The Barrier Lake Station researchers are investigating alpine butterflies, forest fires and bumblebees.

Calgary Herald strike over
On June 30, Calgary Herald newsroom employees voted to end an eight month strike and disband the union.

Reporters, copy editors, photojounalists, librarians and editorial assistants dissolved the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and decided between returning to work or accepting severance packages. Sixty-eight per cent of the employees accepted the severance package.

The strike began Nov. 8, 1999. The Graphics Communication International Union, which represents the mailroom, distribution workers and press operators, joined the CEP May 5. The GCIU ratified their settlement June 10.

Dial up Alberta’s history online
Thanks in part to a lottery grant, Alberta’s history will be available on the Internet in a joint project between several universities and museums.

The U of C’s “Our Future, Our Past: Alberta Heritage Digitization Project” involves the placing of digitized historical materials online, making them available to scholars, students and the general public. The University of Alberta, Provincial Archives of Alberta, the Glenbow Museum and the Nickle Arts Museum are partnered with the U of C in digitizing the materials.

Included in the eight million digital images are early aerial photos, newspapers and art by Albertans or inspired by Alberta.

The $118,000 grant from the Calgary Community Lottery Board is part of a $6.9 million donation to 167 community projects in Calgary.

Beaver fever no problem for cats and dogs
Two University of Calgary researchers developed a “beaver fever” vaccine for cats and dogs, the first such vaccine in Canada. After 15 years of research by Drs. Merle Olson and Doug Morck, the vaccine, which is already available in the U.S., will now be commercially available in Canada.

Beaver fever or giardia is a water-borne parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract.

“Giardia lamblia is a protozoan that just sits in the intestine and you could have it for years and not know it,” said Olson. “The vaccine tells the body that the infection is there and stimulates the immune system to send out antibodies to seek and destroy the parasite.”

According to Olson, a human and livestock vaccine will follow, but a human vaccine will take longer to develop and test.

Symptoms of beaver fever include high fever, chills, intestinal pain, nausea and diarrhea.

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