Stealth aircraft: the silent hunter

By Joanna Pater

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.Joanna Pater_plane_photo.jpg

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 »

Twitter and Science, revisited

By Lauren Dobischok

     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 »

Introducing the first issue of the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal!

SFU SURJ_2015-16_Cover_FINAL_Front.pngIt 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.

Exploring the Walbran Valley

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!

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These photographs are courtesy of the wonderfully talented Busta Pbj.

What Lies Beneath The Walbran

 

By Charly Caproff

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Photo courtesy of 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.

Read More »

CJSF Interviews SFU SURJ!

What better way to kick off the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal’s blog, than with an interview about SFU SURJ? We promise we’re not complete narcissists – we are just real stoked on this project!

Recently, Emma Atkinson (SFU SURJ Executive Editor) sat down with the host of the CJSF radio program, “Health Matters” to discuss SFU SURJ and undergraduate research on a more general scale.

Listen to the interview (in all its glory) here.

You can listen to “Health Matters” the last Wednesday of every month on SFU Ideas & Issues at 12:00pm. SFU Ideas & Issues presents news, research and stories from SFU’s students, campuses and communities. Got a story idea? Contact their Public Affairs Coordinator at CJSFpa@sfu.ca. Want to get involved? They’ve got tons of ways to participate on air, behind the scenes and in the community. Visit www.cjsf.ca/signup to attend one of their weekly orientations.