News From AU – Science Outreach Update (New Pamphlets); Good Morning Vientiane

March 26, 2003

News From AU – Science Outreach Update (New Pamphlets); Good Morning Vientiane

Science Outreach Update
Robert Holmberg, Associate Professor, Biology, reports on recent activities of Science Outreach – Athabasca:

Did you know that you can see up to 222 birds, 60 butterflies, 55 mammals, and at least 16 species of dragonflies in the Athabasca region? Information about these animals can be found in five brochures produced by Science Outreach – Athabasca, Crooked Creek Conservancy Association of Athabasca, and several individuals.

The brochures now available are:
“¢ bird checklist
“¢ butterfly checklist
“¢ dragonfly description and checklist
“¢ mammal checklist
“¢ mammal descriptions with illustrations

The primary workers on these brochures were: Joan Sherman, Kirsten Kolind (of Athabasca Regional Recreation), Tim Terry, Bill Fuller, and Angela Wagner. Those who helped with content, illustrations, layout and editing included more than two dozen people from Athabasca University, the Athabasca area, and Edmonton, as well as participants of the Athabasca butterfly and Christmas bird counts. Thanks to them all for their assistance.

The purpose of these brochures is to encourage the general public to appreciate the diversity of wildlife that we have in this area and, hopefully, to help preserve it. The brochures are available to the public at places such as Athabasca University Library, Athabasca Public Library, the Athabasca tourist information centre, Junior Forest Warden camp as well as area provincial parks. The brochures have been handed out to students of our BIOL 345: Ecology and to wildlife classes at Edwin Parr Community School.

Two other brochures are in preliminary stages of development: Mushrooms and Other Fungi and Biting Flies – what you can do to avoid them. Other possible topics include: trees and shrubs, amphibians and fish, aquatic plants, aquatic insects, mollusks, lichens, and orchids. We are also interested in brochures on non-wildlife, including: rocks, minerals, land forms, constellations, etc. If you would like copies of these brochures or are interested in helping in any way, please contact Linda Lindballe (

“Good Morning, Vientiane …”

The Centre for Distance Education continues to expand its global borders. This week more than 40 MDE students took part in a six-hour online video-conference ‘talk show’ with DE experts across Asia and around the world.

Professor Jon Baggaley was in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to organize the event. His workshop about online conferencing methods was a part of the PanAsia Networking Conference organized by the International Development Research Centre.

As the day began in Indochina, it was already evening in Canada, but MDE students remained online until far into the night, talking to their new contacts in countries including Laos, Cambodia, China, Mongolia and Vietnam. As the day ended in Laos, Professor Johnny Widen joined the webcast from his office at the University of Lulea in Sweden, where it was dawn.

This was the latest in the series of ‘CDE Live’ seminars, which bring MDE students into contact with international distance education experts (see map, above). Jon also chaired the DE component of the PanAsia conference. While in Laos, he met Sangay Jamtsho, lecturer at the National Institute of Education, Bhutan, who is a new MDE student (above).