Media Advisory November 19

GAY PRIDE AND PUBLIC SPACE – A NEW TAKE ON GEOGRAPHY
Professor Lynda Johnston is not your typical geographer. A long-standing activist for gender and sexual equality, her research looks at the links between place and sexual identities. To mark her promotion to professor, she’ll be giving a free public lecture this week on how gay pride parades and festivals transform the usually taken-for-granted heterosexual spaces of cities. “Gay pride parades and festivals make visible bodies that don’t tend to fit heterosexual norms,” she explains. In her lecture Professor Johnston will draw on the experiences of cities such as Hamilton, Sydney and Edinburgh in coming to terms with the public expression and celebration of sexual diversity, and she warns that the audience can expect a few surprises. Professor Johnston’s inaugural professorial lecture, ‘Proud people and places or just more Riff Raff? The spatial politics of Gay Pride’, takes place tomorrow, Tuesday 20 November, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato. The lecture is free and open to the public, and begins at 6pm.
 
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO LECTURE LAW STUDENTS
Attorney General Chris Finlayson will give a lecture this week to University of Waikato law students on the Treaty of Waitangi. The lecture is part of a paper being run by Te Piringa - Faculty of Law lecturer Valmaine Toki, focusing on the role of the Treaty in contemporary New Zealand. The lecture will take place in A.G.30 on Wednesday 21 November, from 2-3pm, and is free and open to the public.

ARE WE PREPARED FOR ANOTHER RENA?
How New Zealand would handle another oil disaster like the Rena is the topic of discussion at the University of Waikato next week. Chair of Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill will hold a public lecture called The Rena, and Offshore Oil Exploration: Impacts and Preparedness. His lecture will explore the environmental impact of the Rena oil spill and how it may have influenced how New Zealand will respond to major pollution events in the future. Professor Battershill has been closely monitoring the environmental recovery of the Bay of Plenty following the grounding. During his lecture, he will look at oil spill event preparedness in New Zealand and compare the Rena grounding to Australian responses to oil spills as a case study for how well prepared New Zealand is for another disaster. The lecture takes place on Tuesday 27 November, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, beginning at 1pm. It is free and open to the public. It’s being held as part of the Geosciences 2012 conference being hosted by the Department of Earth and Ocean Science at University of Waikato from 25 – 28 November.

THE ONE RESEARCH STUDY TO RULE THEM ALL
Just a stone’s throw from Hobbiton, a group of researchers are embarking on their own quest – to look at international perceptions of, and hopes and expectations for, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Lead researcher Dr Carolyn Michelle of the Audience Research Unit at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, a short drive from Hobbiton, says she’s hoping for an international response to the survey, which is similar to one done for the James Cameron movie Avatar in 2009. “Whether or not you’re a serious Tolkien fan, and even if you’re a Hobbit hater, we want to know what you are thinking and feeling about The Hobbit prior to its release,” she says. “You can participate in the one research study to rule them all at http://goo.gl/4vsvf.” The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, directed by Peter Jackson, was filmed in New Zealand and is due to be released on 12 December. Dr Michelle and colleagues from the University of Waikato’s Screen and Media Department, working with collaborators in Canada and Denmark, are hoping global interest in The Hobbit will help generate more than 1,000 responses to their survey from around the world.

WAIKATO PROFESSOR TO WRITE CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE LAW
A Waikato University professor is helping reform the law for the future of carbon capture and storage in New Zealand. Director of the University of Waikato Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL), Professor Barry Barton is working with government and industry insiders to develop a legal and regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage (CCS). He’s been awarded a $245,000 grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and will be working with CEREL and international carbon capture experts from Australia, Canada, the United States, the European Union and Norway to draft the framework. At present, New Zealand law does not provide for carbon capture and storage. Carbon capture and storage uses existing technology to separate the carbon dioxide from emissions at sources such as power stations burning coal or natural gas, or from industrial sources, and then it’s injected into geological formations such as depleted gas reservoirs, or deep saline aquifers.

 NEW GRAPHIC NOTATION SYSTEM FOR INTERNET2 INTERACTIVE MUSIC WORKS
A new music scoring system that coordinates players in different countries and enables score adjustment in real-time has been trialled simultaneously in Hamilton and Beijing. The Graphic Network Music Interactive Scoring System (GNMISS) is the result of research and design by Associate Professor Ian Whalley at the University of Waikato with programming support by Raphael Marczak. It was premiered at this year’s MUSICACOUTICA12 telemusic concert festival in Beijing. The scoring system is coupled with the use of Internet2 and the Ipv6 format to allow high definition mulitichannel bi-directional digital video and audio to make networked-based compositions and performances. Visually, the score is arranged in a circle (it looks a bit like a pint colour wheel), and allows people in different countries to construct scores together, and alter the scores in real-time, says Whalley. “It’s based on three layers that map emotions to colour, sounds to motifs, and symbols to musical gestures. It also solves the problem synchronizing musical tempo across networks and shows player entry cues based on a large clock-like interface.” The outcome is part of international initiatives to develop scoring systems purposely designs for net music.

WAIKATO STUDENTS TO SEE RESULTS OF JAPAN'S GREAT QUAKE
Five University of Waikato students get a unique opportunity to travel to Japan in December to see first-hand the devastating results of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Japanese language students Murray Bowden, Tracy Lee, Haley de Rijk, Andrew Greed and Christa Row have been selected to take part in the Kizuna Project, a programme designed to promote understanding about the current situation and recovery efforts after the earthquake and tsunami. Haley de Rijk remembers only too well the day the tsunami hit. “My aunty and uncle and their two kids live in Ibaraki which is one of the affected areas, and I was in absolute shock watching the images on television.” It was a few days before Haley’s family could get in touch with them. “Thankfully they were fine, but their house wasn’t.” The Kizuna Project is fully funded by the Japanese government and will see more than 100 students from New Zealand and Australia travel to the worst affected areas in Japan. The students will be in Japan for nine days.

CAFÉ SCIENTIFIQUE TO DISCUSS CHALLENGES FACING NEW ZEALAND LAKES
Global trends indicating increased algae blooms in lakes and rising lake surface temperatures will be explored at next week’s Café Scientifique in Tauranga. University of Waikato Chair in Lake Restoration Professor David Hamilton will discuss the challenges of lake management, the value of water globally and options for New Zealand to continue managing its freshwater resources in his talk, Environmental Prosperity: Mapping a pathway for future freshwater management. Lakes in New Zealand are under increasing pressure from greater loads of nutrients entering them as a result of ‘land use intensification’. Professor Hamilton will discuss the rate of intensification, and explore the future options for the country. Professor Hamilton was awarded the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society medal in 2010 and the Hamilton city Kudos Award in environmental science in 2012. Café Scientifique is free, and open to anyone wanting to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. It is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. The next Café will be held next week on Monday 26 November, 6.45pm for 7.15pm at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. For more information please visit: www.waikato.ac.nz/go/cafescientifique.

ROAD SAFETY BEAR GETS PHONE APP
Ruben the Road Safety Bear now has his own Android phone app – thanks to some nifty programming work by a group of students from Waikato University’s Department of Computer Science. The five students produced a set of simple Android-based games for kids in fulfilment of the COMP 314 software engineering project - a three-month exercise for third-year students to work in groups to design and implement a medium-sized software project for a client. The students worked with Jenny Davis, transport projects administrator at the Waikato Regional Council, to develop the games which reinforce four road safety messages: Be bright- dress bright; Stop, look, listen and link; Helmet on right and tight, and Seat yourself right, buckle in tight. The games are now available as a free download from the Google Playstore. They can be found at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apps.rubenroadsafetygame.menu&feature=search_result&rdid=com.apps.rubenroadsafetygame.menu&rdot=1.

DAME MALVINA MAJOR TO HOST ALUMNI AND FRIENDS RECEPTION IN TAURANGA
Senior Fellow in Music at the University of Waikato, Dame Malvina Major, will host an alumni and friends event alongside Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones at Mills Reef Winery in Tauranga, on Monday 26 November. Dame Malvina will give a short history of her international singing career, discuss voice technique and run a master class with University of Waikato voice students. Waikato alumni and friends are invited to register to attend this free event to hear the latest Waikato University news and updates. Email rsvp@waikato.ac.nz to register.

FARMING: WHY SHOULD WE CARE? AN EVENING WITH PROF JACQUELINE ROWARTH IN AUCKLAND
Waikato alumni and friends are invited to register for an event at The Dominion in Auckland on Tuesday 27 November with Professor Jacqueline Rowarth and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. Dr Rowarth heads the University of Waikato’s agribusiness programme and is currently standing as a candidate for a Fonterra directorship. A frequent contributor to public debate on agriculture and agribusiness, Dr Rowarth will discuss the impact of farming on New Zealand’s economy and why it’s not just farmers that benefit. Email rsvp@waikato.ac.nz to register.


 

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