Two of the articles ("Water Crisis: Inevitable or Preventable?" and "Dowsing") in this issue of WAT ON EARTH were written by Dr. Robert Farvolden, Professor Emeritus, former Chairman of Earth Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. He formed the first major program of groundwater teaching and research in Canada at the University of Waterloo in 1971. Bob was concerned with the lack of adequate water supplies in developing countries and advised governments in Central and South- America and Africa. He will be fondly remembered for his kindness, his mentoring of young scientists and his enthusiasm and vision for a better world. Bob passed away onSeptember 13th after a brave fight with cancer. This issue of WAT ON EARTH is dedicated to his memory.
Well the Fall term has come to a close and 1995 has vanished into the geological record. The year was an eventful one for me. Starting in January my wife and I travelled to Sri Lanka, to attend the Second Asian Geological Congress. Organised by Professor P.G. (Gerry) Cooray, the event was a unqualified success. Large numbers of geologists and geological engineers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, including many females, attended a packed five day meeting in Colombo. The meeting had a large number of enthusiastic speakers, some interesting cultural events and was held in excellent Hotel facilities. Following the meeting we had the opportunity to see much of the southern half of the island. Fortunately the civil war was in a peaceful phase whilst we were there, and we were able to see a great deal of the geology of the spice island.
May was a busy month with the combined annual gathering of the Geological Association of Canada with the Mineralogical Association of Canada in Victoria; a meeting with a lot of discussion about the public awareness of geological education. It was then back to Toronto for another excellent meeting with the National Association of Geology Teachers organised by Robert Lord and his committee, held at the Ontario Science Centre, in Don Mills. Members of the committee doubled up as field trip leaders for several of the post-conference excursions.
Most of the summer was spent creating several World Wide Web documents
Canadian Geoscience Council (CGC), for the
Quaternary Sciences Institute, in the first of what I hope will be many "modules"
for teaching, and for WAT ON EARTH (which you have obviously discovered). Peter and I would really appreciate some feedback on how these are being received at variou
s points across the continent and beyond. The CGC development was to put the
Explore Careers in Geoscience document in a form which was accessible to High School students. The URL for this is:
Late June and early July was spent at a NATO meeting in northern Scotland discussing the ramifications of what might happen to animal and plant communities in a globally-warmed world. Most of the late Summer and Fall has been taken up by preparing new notes for my Earth sciences class, helping to edit the NATO Conference Proceedings Volume, finishing some outstanding research and trying to get the Quaternary Sciences Institute Newsletter, and this issue of WAT ON EARTH online.
The item titled "Telling little green lies," by Haroun Tazieff points out that there are many sides to some of the complex changes to our environment. Haroun is noted for his strong and sometimes radical views.
Both Peter and I have concerns about what will happen with the financial cut-backs to universities across Ontario. The University of Waterloo, like most other universities in this province will see a 15 percent cutback and this will lead to some drastic re-organisation by the various administrations.