News in brief for the week of April 4, 2001

Support for an Arctic ice project, Pre-Med student Alexandre Allard wins prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Grad student Morantz honoured for Making Waves and renovations close the bookstore and computer store

Support for Arctic ice project

Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company, announced a $125,000 donation to finance a project on Arctic ice conditions, under the leadership of Bruno Tremblay of the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Tremblay launched his project on April 4 in Resolute Bay, where he will install buoys that track ice thickness and temperature, with the objective to better understand ice compression, movement and future evolution. His work can be followed on his blog:

Allard wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize

McGill Pre-med student Alexandre Allard and research partner Danny Luong were recently awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize for their research into the biodegradation of polystyrene. The pair isolated three bacteria that are capable of breaking down 69 per cent of Styrofoam within two weeks. “We hope that our method will be widely used and consequently increase the water quality in the world,” said the winners. They also recently won a number of awards at Hydro-Québéc’s Science Fair and were named Personnalités de la semaine La Presse/Radio-Canada.

 Morantz makes waves

Matthew Morantz, a Chemistry grad student, was awarded one of 45 student Outstanding Commitment Award grants by the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). Morantz was honoured for his work as the Founder and Executive Director of Making Waves Canada, a non-profit student initiative that offers affordable swimming lessons for special needs children.

Already established in Montreal and other Canadian cities, Making Waves plans to expand within Canada and to create a pilot version of an international fellowship program. This fellowship will send a specially trained volunteer to Lebanon in order to teach children at the Empowerment Through Integration camp for the visually impaired how to swim.

Computer store, Bookstore closed for renos

The McGill Computer Store is currently closed for inventory and renovations. The University Bookstore will be closing its second and third floors on April 7, and the entire store will be closed April 8-9 for inventory. Both stores will reopen on Monday, April 11.