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Floods, Fighting Viruses, and a Fancy Event

July 11, 2019

It has almost been two full weeks at shad, and time has not gone by any slower! Many of us started off the day with a great game of dodgeball at the gym at 6:25am. After a good sweat session in the gym, the shads headed off to Jennings for some breakfast. Right before our first activity of the day, we had our first full fiducial -- it was amazing. Then, we broke off into our DE project groups to focus on our elevator pitches. Soon after we had our first lecture of the day: Storm Water Mitigation, presented by Jamie Burke.



Mr. Burke, Senior Manager of Corporate Operations for the town of Sackville, visited the Shads at Mount Allison to give them a look at an example of the projects he works on in his role in Sackville. Mr. Burke provided an in-depth explanation and analysis of the planning and progress of a flood-prevention project within the town, as Sackville’s Lorne street area is prone to flooding during heavy rain. He went over the various procedures, applications, steps, and delays that were involved in the projects various phases. He also explained the process of submitting the project construction plans and contract to be bid on by various engineering firms. Further, he explained the complications with the various marsh landscapes on which construction took place. He discussed the process of financing the project through federal, provincial, and municipal funding, as well as some co-operative funding with Ducks Unlimited. Finally, Mr. Burke showed us the current state of the various natural rainwater containment sites, such as the now expanded restructured Waterfowl park. He also explained that while the project’s Phase 2 is complete, the current rainwater containment solutions are only large enough to contain their “1-in-50-years” storms, but not their “1-in-100-years” storms, which are comparatively much larger in size, so he will be working on implementing a long-term solution for preventing flooding caused by these larger storms. 


After an informative seminar by Mr. Burke, all the Shads were hungry for lunch at good old Jennings hall. Even though we all love Jennings, everyone was super excited to have free time before our afternoon sessions. Most of the shads spent their free time running around town (mainly in the grocery store) stocking up on snacks for their dorm rooms. Soon after an eventful lunch, we headed to our next seminar: Herd Immunity with Dr. Matthew Betti.



Next up, for our final seminar of the day, Dr. Matthew Betti of Mount Allison University explained the importance of herd immunity when it comes to dealing with viral infections, and how math is involved in predicting the amount of people infected by, susceptible to, and immune to a certain virus. Dr. Betti broke down the way that viruses work to attack our cells, and how our immune system learns and reacts to fight off the infection. Dr. Betti explained that by injecting a weaker or dead strain of a virus via a vaccination, the body is able to prepare itself to fight that weaker virus as well as other similar viruses (i.e. the real, stronger viral infection the vaccination is aimed to prevent). He explained the need for as many people to get vaccinated as possible in order to prevent a viral infection within a community, potentially infecting people who are cannot receive vaccinations for various reasons. Finally, using mathematical models, Dr. Betti explained how viral infection epidemics occur, and how herd immunity is the best known way to combat the spread of these viruses to avoid an epidemic.


To top off our seminars today, we finished the day off with some workshops run by our very own Program Assistants and Faculty Members. During today’s workshops, shads could choose to participate in a variety of workshops including: Human Social Behaviour with Cara, Community Gardening with Andrew, How to Rap with Yasna, Global Health with Saarah, and Programming in Python with Mousa. All of the workshops focused on vastly different topics, but each one allowed the shads to try something new and gain insight on their chosen workshop field. 




After a long day of learning, we were ready to go get some dinner! Luckily, us Shads and our program staff were invited to a networking barbeque at the Sackville town hall. All the shads were super excited to get their fancy pants on and enjoy an evening with members of the community and each other. The rooftop had an amazing view of the town, and made a great scene for this amazing event. (shoutout to the town of Sackville for a great dinner too!) We had a wonderful time at town hall, but unfortunately, we had to say goodbye in order to finish up the rest of the night at Bennett House.


To end off a long long day, we split off into our committees to put in some work for our projects. With that time we prepared for our upcoming Cocoa Hut and of course, uploaded memes onto our official meme page (@shadbuzz.mta go follow)! Finally to end off the night, we listen to inspiring shad speaks, and of course wrapped it all up with some highlights and our favourite Shad Mount Allison song. 


Thanks for reading our blog post (if you made it this far lol)


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