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An Eye on Southern Alberta’s Potato Industry

By | Uncategorized

In 2019, the University of Lethbridge will experience a shift that will launch us into the future of transdisciplinary research, enhanced by the supportive environment of the Science and Academic Building. However, this campus won’t be isolated in the ripple effect the addition of this transformational space for learning and research will cause. Nestled in the centre of Alberta’s agriculture industry, this building and its activities will strengthen the connection to the local industries that are making an impact nationwide.

Local potato growers and processors tour the Science and Academic Building.

 

One industry is our local and provincial potato growers. 45 of whom were on campus for the Potato Growers Association conference. Earlier this year, producers and processors toured the Science and Academic Building and witnessed the spaces where their research needs will come to life. Thomas Mcdade, Agricultural Director with Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA), was impacted by the building’s innovative use of space.

“I was quite impressed by how usable, workable and collaborative the space is intended to be. It appears to be a really great place to work and it’s definitely state of the art.”

One of the largest investments the PGA makes into the local potato industry is sponsoring the potato chair at the U of L, Dr. Dmytro Yevtushenko. Mcdade is often communicating with Yevtushenko, and says moving into the building will make an impact on their ability to work together and among the sciences.

“Because the work is spilling into other spaces, I see the collaboration in this building happening more easily. I think the types of relationships this building will facilitate will be terrific. “

David Hill, Director of Development, Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program at the U of L and organizer of the potato grower and processor’s tour, says for those stakeholders, it highlights that the impact of the building is far beyond this campus.

“It’s an exciting thing to allow them to see the new building because that’s where the research is going. They have a high interest in the fact that the U of L will begin to graduate students that have knowledge of the area and industry.”

And as the building is becoming part of the southern Alberta landscape, the work that it’s capable of facilitating has great potential to shape the local agricultural landscape as well.

Aerial photos | Fall 2018

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Fall 2018 Photo Tour

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Largest construction project since 1971

By | Construction

The look and scope of scientific discovery are set to be transformed in the fall of 2019 as the University of Lethbridge opens the new science and academic building. One of the most advanced facilities for teaching and researching the sciences in the country, the new addition to the Lethbridge campus is the largest construction project to take place since University Hall was completed in 1971. Sustainably designed with local climate in mind, students, faculty and community will come together under one roof to create, inquire and discover.

Now more than 50 per cent complete, the science and academic building has been under construction for nearly two action-packed years. The buzz of excitement in the campus community is building with every construction milestone achieved.

“Every time I have an opportunity to take a tour on the site, I’m astounded with the progress being made,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin. “We can now see some of the large design elements starting to take shape. From the atrium staircase to the glass curtain wall on the exterior of the building, it’s exciting to see our project come to life. This building will be of enormous benefit to so many aspects of our University life and to the extended community.”

A home for innovation and discovery, one of the major design principles was to encourage and foster research between the sciences. The open and flexible laboratory environments allow this to become a reality. Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Dan Furgason says with this new way of working and learning, the opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations and ideas will flourish and give students and faculty innovative ways to problem solve with more resources available than ever before.

“During my 30-plus years with the University, I have witnessed several changes and improvements in teaching and research,” says Furgason. “Students have always played an integral role in scientific research at the U of L and that role has been an important facet in student education. Over the years, the students have changed, the research environment has changed and now the facilities are about to change. It is truly exciting to contemplate the possibilities moving forward into the new building. As we build the culture to complement the new environment, I am certain students, researchers and the community at large will experience new and engaging modes of learning and investigation.”

It’s not just U of L students who will benefit from this leading centre for science and academics; students of all ages will join them in discovery. Elementary and high school students from around southern Alberta will have a home for innovation. Science outreach programs are expanding in a dedicated learning facility aimed at igniting the spark of science in the researchers of tomorrow.

Community outreach programs like Destination Exploration and Let’s Talk Science enable southern Alberta to develop individuals who are creative and innovative discoverers, leaders and independent learners, who are well prepared to contribute significantly to their local, national and global communities, right here at home.

“When children experience science in a new way, you open the door for a whole new world of discovery and excitement for them,” says Director of Youth Outreach Valerie Archibald. “With the dedicated outreach space in the new science and academic building, we can run more programming throughout the year that enables more children to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

As the new science and academic building grows, so too do the economic benefits to southern Alberta. With more than 350 workers currently on-site and that number expected to climb between 450 and 500 during peak construction periods, the project has not only brought jobs to the area but a welcome economic injection for local businesses. Additionally, the building, once operational, will contribute significantly to the overall impact the University of Lethbridge has on the city and region.