Saturday, 30 August 2014

World Class Cyclists Wheeling Into Town

Tour de France heroes, big-race winners and top Canadian talent are among the field of 120 racers wheeling into the city for the first leg of the Tour of Albertacycling event on September 3.

The Lethbridge course, spanning 142 kilometers in six laps through the city, was planned to provide maximum viewing options for local residents hoping to cheer on their favorite rider and team or for those just wanting to see some of the top cyclists in the world close up in action.

“The Lethbridge event, designed as a circuit race with several laps, is a very fan friendly style of race where spectators can stay in one spot and see a lot of race action,” says Duane Vienneau of Edmonton, executive director of the Tour of Alberta.

“The Lethbridge segment is also unique because it features a later afternoon start, as local organizers wanted residents to be able to watch when they finished work for the day,” he says.

Although this is the first time Lethbridge has hosted a stage of the race, it is the second year Vienneau’s team has organized the Tour of Alberta.

Touted as being the only event of its kind in Canada, last year’s event attracted 15 of the world’s top cycling teams and was viewed by 200,000 live spectators. It was televised to 41 million viewers in more than 162 countries.

The economic impact for Alberta was estimated at $24 million, he says. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world's governing body in the sport of bicycle racing, has given the event a 2.1 rating.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Future grim for bears

Grizzlies and black bears in southern Alberta face a grim future if public perception of them doesn’t change soon, according to local bear expert Charlie Russell.

“These are wonderful, beautiful animals that are trying their best to get along with us,” says Russell, a Pincher Creek area author and photographer who has been studying bears in Canada and Russia for more than 50 years. 

“It’s almost like bears have been deliberately given the reputation of being highly ferocious animals because then it’s easier to justify hunting and killing them.”

Russell will be presenting his insights into bear behaviour on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the University of Lethbridge after spending the past 52 years closely observing the nature of these animals in their natural habitat. 

U of L Fosters Research

Since its establishment in 1967, the University of Lethbridge has been building a reputation for research excellence around the world while maintaining its focus on giving its students the tools they need to achieve success.

“It’s all for our students,” says Dr. Dan Weeks, U of L Vice-President (Research). “The reason we, as faculty members, do research is to teach our students how to do research.” 

Spanning numerous disciplines across five faculties that include Health Sciences, Arts and Science, Management, Fine Arts and Education, the U of L provides more than 75 undergraduate programs and graduate degrees at both the Master and Doctoral levels for a student body of about 8,600.

“The U of L is excellent in a wide range of fields from the humanities to the sciences,” says Weeks. ”Having faculty members that are highly regarded in their field really benefits the student because they have access to so much more information than what is available just from lectures and textbooks.”