September is a time I associate with curiosity and a sense of discovery as we enter a new academic year. At the same time, there is the sense of the familiar with the return to classes. Similarly this September, Science Atlantic will be exploring new developments and continuing to do the familiar things well.
An exciting year of undergraduate conferences will kick off with Math, Stats and Computer Science at Acadia and AUGC at SMU in October. Updates and improvements to Conference-in-a-Box (CIAB) will make it easier for conference organizers to prepare and run the meetings while allowing participants to focus on discussing science, networking and enjoying themselves.
Watch the Science Atlantic website (completely overhauled by Jasmine this summer) and social media feeds @scienceatlantic.ca, Facebook) for news of student awards. Last year, more than 80 students were recognized for their outstanding contributions at SA conferences. Two of them were invited by Canada Science Publishing to write blog posts about their work, which is a great opportunity for bright students to share their experiences with the entire country. Emily Peters described her journey to study biofuels and Laryssa Halat explained what fascinates her about seaweed shedding.
You will also learn what happens to students from Science Atlantic conferences after they graduate and progress in their careers. Watch for biographies to be published in the Alumni Hall of Fame.
Also this fall, we will induct two more outstanding contributors to the Science Atlantic Members Hall of Fame, both with a strong sense of community and willingness to work hard to support science in the region. Welcome and congratulations to David Richardson, former dean at SMU, and Allen Britten, former dean at CBU. Recognition events for both will be held this fall.
A major development at the Science Atlantic office is AFRED, the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database [project ended in 2020]. Its goal is to make information about equipment and facilities easily available to researchers and industry so that exciting science can occur. A lot of hard work went into developing the model and securing funding. Please welcome our newest staff member, Patty King, who will lead the implementation. Look for her on your campus in the coming months.
Behind the scenes, the new governance model will be fully implemented at the November AGM at CBU. Thank you to past-chair Rob Raeside, capably assisted by Robert van den Hoogen and Debbie MacLellan, for their hard work to make this happen so we can be compliant with new regulations for non-profit organizations.
Members of the Science Atlantic community will be communicating through a new Virtual Commons supported by Google Apps for Non Profits. Thanks to Prasad’s work, I anticipate it will work quietly in the background and we will hardly notice the transition.
Like most Septembers, there are exciting new initiatives and a comforting level of normalcy.
Chair, Science Atlantic