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In Brief

Legal scholar leads federation

Nathalie Des Rosiers, dean of the Civil Law Section at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, is the new president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. She began her two-year term at a meeting of the federation’s board which was held in Ottawa recently.

Prof. Des Rosiers succeeds Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean of graduate studies and professor of English at Memorial.

“Prof. Des Rosiers brings invaluable experience as a legal scholar, academic administrator and proponent of law reform to the position,” said Dr. Golfman. “Her leadership on issues such as gender equality, ethics and the impact of research has helped raise awareness of the significant contribution of the humanities and social sciences to every aspect of a modern, democratic and competitive society.”

A former member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario, Prof. Des Rosiers is also a former president of the Law Commission of Canada, of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO), and of the Canadian Law Teachers Association. She has received many prestigious awards, including the Médaille de l’Université Paris X, an honourary doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Order of Merit from the AJEFO.

Representing more than 50,000 researchers in 66 scholarly associations, 73 universities and colleges, and seven affiliates across the country, the Federation is the voice of Canada’s humanities and social sciences community.

Arts announces Labrador post-doc

Researchers interested in “all things Labrador” will have an exciting new opportunity in the new year. The Faculty of Arts at Memorial University will be sponsoring a postdoctoral fellowship in partnership with the Labrador Institute for the academic year 2009-10 and beyond.

The fellowship program promotes new scholars in the social sciences and humanities with a focus on issues concerning Labrador or Aboriginal communities.

The Labrador Institute was established by Memorial University to establish, co-ordinate and support projects designed to facilitate the well-being of the Labrador community, as well as to expand the Labrador knowledge base.

Their recent work in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts will certainly aid in furthering this goal. The fellowships will be awarded to students who have recently completed a doctoral degree and wish to further develop their research, publish their results and broaden their teaching experience.

Possible areas of study include: Aboriginal studies, Labrador history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, or any other arts-related field pertaining specifically to the study of Labrador.

The fellowships will be valued at $38,000 per year, with $10,000 allotted for travel and accountable research. The awards are non-renewable, and are tenable for a one year period. The applicants will be evaluated on their originality, feasibility of the proposed programs of work, relevance of proposed research to Labrador.

To apply, interested scholars are invited to visit the Labrador Institute website ( and download a copy of the application form and criteria.

Voting for Gros Morne

The federal election may have come and gone, but Dr. Hank Williams, an honorary research professor with the Department of Earth Sciences, is still asking everyone to get out and vote. Dr. Williams has nominated Gros Morne National Park as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature and is counting on the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to do everything they can to get the world heritage site in the competition’s top 77 by voting for it at

“When I first registered Gros Morne we were 280 on the list, we’re down to 86 as of Sept. 20, 2008” he said. “We’re leading right now out of the Canadian nominees and we’re verging on the top 77 in the world. That alone would be quite an accomplishment.”

Voting for nominees on will continue to Jan. 1, 2009. A panel of experts will then review the top 77 nominees and choose 21 finalists, to be announced on July 21, 2009. Those 21 finalists will then be put to popular vote.

Gros Morne has a special place in Dr. Williams’ heart. He mapped the entire park and in addition to promoting the area’s vast beauty and its flora and fauna, Dr. Williams was responsible for recognizing the importance of the park to the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift. This led to the area being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

He believes inclusion in the top 77 Natural Wonders of the World will enhance the park’s profile as an international tourist destination.