How does classroom learning translate to real-life applications? Well, the STEM Spotlight Awards offered my team (Cherlene Chang, BSc Kinesiology Major; Matthew Reyers, BSc Operations Research – Mathematics Major) the opportunity to pose a solution to a real-world question from Peace RiverHydros Partners. Our challenge was to optimize the existing charter flight system in terms of minimizing cost and commute times of workers, which provides service to six flight hubs in Western Canada including Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Prince George.
Fundamental to the formation of this team was the ideology of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Simon Fraser University.Read More »
We all know what an airplane is supposed to look like. A body with wings and a tail attached… and a cockpit at the front. A child could tell you the same.
But Air Force engineers don’t agree. It just takes a single look at the F-35 or the F117 Nighthawk to see that our concept of aircraft has dramatically shifted from what it was during World War II. From jet engines capable of reaching speeds twice that of sound, to even unmanned drones, the aircraft industry continues to evolve.
Recently, an image on the internet caught my attention. It was a side-by-side comparison of the B2 Stealth bomber and a peregrine falcon.
The similarity is striking. But despite its futuristic appearance, this technology is not new. The B2 Bomber is simply one of many tailless, stealth aircraft. In fact, some claim the inspiration for this design dates all the way back to the German prototype Horten 229 of the Second World War.Read More »
When people ask me what my greatest influence was to pursue science in university, I think they expect to hear a vaguely inspiring story about how I was driven to make the world a better place or more deeply understand the intricacies of life around me. The real answer? Twitter. Upon hearing this many people are incredulous that material more complex than hashtags and memes exists on Twitter- isn’t that where people go to procrastinate on homework they have to do and complain about the state of their hockey team? Fortunately, over the years Twitter has evolved into a platform for professionals to network directly with each other, as well as interact with members of the public. Businesses, innovators, academics, artists, scientists, and the general public are now able to share content, provide opinions, crowd source, and meet new people with shared interests through a website initially intended to assist groups of friends in keeping tabs on each other. Not bad. As a student now in second year university who discovered the online scientific community in high school, Twitter changed the way I thought about science and how it is communicated, and continually introduced me to new research and current issues that I am simply not aware of through reading large, popular science magazines and websites. In my eyes, when academics use Twitter to network and educate, both professionals and the public are the beneficiaries.Read More »
It is with immense joy that we formally introduce you to the culmination of a project that has been almost 2 years in the making: the very first issue of the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal! The digital version can be read here.
Consisting of five research articles and one review article, we are proud and excited to finally share the work of these talented undergraduate researchers, and we would like to invite you to join us in celebrating our release.
We will be hosting a launch event on Thursday September 29th where there will be free print copies of the journal, food, drinks, and the chance to chat with other undergraduates, reviewers, and professors about science and undergraduate research! The event will take place from 3:00-5:00pm in the Bio-Physics Lounge (located on the 9000 level between the Biology and Physics wings).
Finally, if you are an undergraduate with research to submit, we are currently accepting submissions for the 2016-17 cycle! Further details can be found here.
If you are interested in joining the editorial team for the upcoming year, we are accepting applications for editors and a graphic editor until October 8th and September 15th respectively. Find the editor application form here.
This spring, I had the opportunity to complete a research project at Salmon Coast Field Station (SCFS), located in the Broughton Archipelago, situated between northern Vancouver Island and the mainland. I am a third year student at the University of Toronto (UofT), but unlike most students and researchers at SCFS, I am not studying science or math. I am completing a double major in Canadian Studies & Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies. Students are streamed into science or arts so early in life – most of my peers, including myself, decided what subjects we were “good” at somewhere around grade 10. I chose history and social studies – the arts. The choice quickly seems irreversible as prerequisites build up and academic pressure looms. I studied marine science in high school, completing field work and scuba diving courses outside of Victoria, BC, for two years. I highly valued this experience, but considered it an outlier in my academic career. However, in my program at UofT, I learned about the impact of natural resources on national identity and conflict originating from resource or land disputes. As climate change continues, there will only be less resources for our growing population. The politics of resource distribution will become increasingly heated and inequitable if there are not legislative measures put in place to protect resources and the communities that rely on them. These issues forced me to recognize that I would need training in conflict theory, but also knowledge of climate change science. Therefore, I came full circle to my interest in marine science, and decided to enroll in an Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) research excursion course about salmon at SCFS.Read More »
Just a couple of days ago I (Emma) registered our journal for its very own ISSN! I will be the first to admit that I was more than a little excited. With the release of our first issue just around the corner (details of a launch event soon to come!), we are already ramping up for the 2016-17 cycle.
We will begin accepting submissions as of September 6th, 2016, and with that in mind we have released an updated set of submission guidelines for the upcoming cycle. The full set of guidelines can be found on our website or downloaded directly here.
A couple of important changes to note:
Rolling Submissions: This cycle, SFU SURJ will be adopting a rolling submissions system. Manuscripts will be evaluated by editors as they are received. If conditionally accepted, submissions will immediately enter the peer review process. Articles will be released digitally throughout the months leading up to the release of a print publication in September 2017, compiling the articles together. The final deadline to submit for the 2016-17 cycle is January 13th, 2017.
Research articles: The primary goal of our journal is to foster and feature undergraduate research in a positive, educational environment. With this in mind, we have clarified our requirements of research articles. Research submitted to SFU SURJ must be original and scientifically sound, but it need not necessarily be novel. Negative results, replication studies, etc will accepted. This policy is similar to that of journals like PLOS ONE.
After a first year during which we were delighted to read about the wonderful research being conducted by undergraduates, we are looking forward to the next round of submissions! If you have any questions about our submission guidelines, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay tuned for the 2015-16 issue headed your way.
As undergrads, when we talk about our lives – the jobs, experiences, opportunities, classes – the conversations regularly turns to the resume. An experience’s value can be judged by its appearance, or lack thereof, on the official document of your education. This categorization of education into the official, which we schedule and earn, or the intrinsic, which is ever-occurring and unrecognized, does the double duty of fragmenting a life-long thread of acquired knowledge and alienating young people from building a sense of self education.
I’m 20. That number doesn’t inspire a whole lot of self-confidence in the significance of my perspective, but I am getting educated as we speak, or so my CV would imply.Read More »
Why is it that whenever you ask anyone to name a famous scientist they are almost always men? You get answers like Einstein, Newton, Darwin, etc. If you ask specifically for female scientists people will usually know Marie Curie along with maybe Rosalind Franklin or Ada Lovelace, but they’re unlikely to be able to name any more than that. Seriously, there must have been way more than three female scientists. How is it that those are the only names we know? It certainly wasn’t because women weren’t pursuing science, in fact there were quite a few notable women in scientific fields long before it was “socially acceptable” for women to be scientists. It was mostly due to women being actively unwritten from science contributions. Their work was overlooked, underfunded, and in many cases even claimed as the product of another (always male) scientist.Read More »
Following up on Charly’s post earlier this week, we couldn’t resist sharing a few more photos of the spectacular Walbran Valley. If these don’t make you want to skip that midterm you’ve got coming up and go adventuring, we don’t know what will. Enjoy!
These photographs are courtesy of the wonderfully talented Busta Pbj.
The Walbran Valley is one of the last remaining intact old growth red cedar forests on southern Vancouver Island. This ecologically diverse area contains impressive stands of coniferous trees that are thousands of years old. During the ‘war of the woods’ over a decade ago, the Walbran Valley was the center of heated protests between industry and conservationists. Recently, it was revealed that the logging company Teal-Jones intends to clear-cut sections of this pristine environment, which has ignited organizations, such as the Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club BC, the Ancient Forest Alliance and The Friends of the Carmanah/Walbran to speak out and fight for the protection of this forest ecosystem.
Karst is a landscape that is formed from the underground erosion of soluble rocks like limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The erosion forms underground openings, caves, and streams that support unique ecosystems. Karst landscape can be easily damaged by activities such as logging and road building.
If the old-growth forest underlain by karst is logged, the area could become a desolate landscape, compromising the water quality of the drainages.