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In Brief

MI to host Canada’s premier oceans conference

The Fisheries and Marine Institute will host the sixth annual Ocean Innovation (OI) Conference and Exhibition from Oct. 19-22 at the Delta Hotel and Convention Centre in St. John’s.

As Canada’s premier oceans event, OI-08 has attracted significant national and international interest from a range of maritime market segments.

This year’s theme, Ocean Observing Systems, will be of interest to scientists, business people with an interest in the marine sector, regulatory bodies, users of observatory systems and components, training institutions and associated maritime industries.

The three day event will feature presentations on a wide range of issues related to ocean observing system operations (technologies, robustness, liability), interoperability (standards and protocols), sustainability (financing, business models) and governance (policy). In all, some 25 presenters from around the world will address the delegates.

For more information on the conference, visit

New funding program for research on healthy aging

The Newfoundland and Labrador Healthy Aging Research Program offers new opportunities for researchers and students interested in issues related to healthy aging.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Healthy Aging Research Program (NL-HARP) is funded by the provincial Department of Health and Community Services and is administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research. The first year of NL-HARP will focus on capacity-building and on putting foundational elements into place to foster a stronger aging research presence in the province.

NL-HARP will make available up to a total of $200,000 in 2008-2009 for fellowships and student awards, faculty awards and research grants. The deadline for all applications is Jan.15, 2009. For more detailed information visit

The Works employees vote to accept offer

It took three tries, but employees of The Works finally voted to accept the terms of the most recent tentative agreement worked out between their union and their employer.

The Works is the recreation complex at Memorial University that includes the Field House, the Aquarena and other services. It is managed as a separately incorporate entity of Memorial University by a volunteer board of directors that includes representatives of the university, undergraduate and graduate students, the City of St. John’s and the general community. Its 299 maintenance, aquatic, fitness, food and customer service employees are represented by CUPE Local 3336.

Bill Thistle, chairman of the volunteer board that manages The Works, welcomed the positive vote.

“Our negotiating team and the CUPE team worked very hard to get to this agreement and the entire board of directors is delighted that the employees have accepted it,” he said. “I know the members of our fitness club and the users of our aquatics and other facilities, including the thousands of students of Memorial University, are also very pleased at this outcome. We have superb employees and we have a great set of facilities. We’re looking at upgrading and expanding those in the near future to further enhance the experience for our current and future members.”

Prize-winning author to read

Jake MacDonald, the winner of the 2002 Writers’ Trust of Canada Prize for Non-Fiction, is scheduled to read at Memorial on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including the Writers’ Trust winner Houseboat Chronicles, Mr. MacDonald has also published hundreds of articles for many of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic, Macleans, Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, and Explore.

His latest book is With the Boys: Field Notes on Being a Guy, a collection of true stories about men gathering in the outdoors – caribou hunting, fishing, flying in helicopters, among other male bonding excursions.