Sir John Key officially opens UC Trading Room

Former Prime Minister and University of Canterbury alumnus, the Rt Hon Sir John Key officially opened the new Trading Room in the UC Business School on Monday.

The UC Trading Room simulates a financial trading environment, providing business and finance students with experiential learning and skills in fund management.

The 12-seat facility includes a live stock ticker display, access to business news feeds and a range of electronic business databases including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Global Financial Data and SIRCA. It will be used primarily for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in finance across three programmes – the Bachelor of Commerce, the Master’s degree in Applied Finance and Economics, and the Master’s degree in Financial Management.

Read the news story to find out more.

Check out the coverage on 1 News.

Sir John Key opens the Trading Room in the Business and Law building, 16.10.17 Sir John Key, Rod Carr, Sonya Mazey, Darren Russell, Jadrzej Bialkowski and many others. Client, Lyn Larsen, Exec Assistant Learning Resources. Hannah Seeley SSAC.

Sir John Key officially opened the UC Trading Room in the Business and Law Building on Monday. Left to right: Dr John Wood – Chancellor, Dr Rod Carr – Vice-Chancellor, Sir John Key, Professor Sonia Mazey – Pro-Vice-Chancellor College of Business and Law


Sir John Key opens the Trading Room in the Business and Law building, 16.10.17 Sir John Key, Rod Carr, Sonya Mazey, Darren Russell, Jadrzej Bialkowski and many others. Client, Lyn Larsen, Exec Assistant Learning Resources. Hannah Seeley SSAC.

Sir John Key tries out some of the new technology in the UC Trading Room. 

Are Antarctic Weddell seals threatened? Help find out

In partnership with Zooniverse, Gateway Antarctica is seeking intrepid citizen scientists to help count Weddell seals in the Ross Sea – and contribute to their future. 

Gateway Antarctica student and citizen scientist Stuart Grayson,  set up the counting platform on the Zooniverse website, and volunteers are needed urgently.

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Find out more below.

The Antarctic Air Day on 7 October saw Dr. Regina Eisert offering visitors a chance to become part of a research team as citizen scientists.

Setting the scene –  In Antarctica two land-based automated cameras have captured images in two directions from points on Turtle Rock, Erebus Bay. The pictures were taken every 10 minutes over the periods from 27th November 2014 through to 1 January 2015.

  • The goal is to figure out when seals go for their daily swim (and hence become invisible to remote detection, such as by using satellite images) and determine the daily activity cycle of the seals

By counting  how many Weddell seals there are in the Ross Sea area of Antarctica, we can tell if they are being adversely affected by human fishing for toothfish, or by the ice melting away beneath them due to climate change.It is really hard to count seals – they live in very remote hard-to-reach locations where weather conditions are extreme, and they spend a lot of their time in the water. But during the summer they haul out onto the ice for some time each day. If we can count them then, and also understand the typical pattern of numbers out on the ice, then perhaps we can make reasonable estimates of the population.

  • Zooniverse volunteers are asked to help count the seals in these pictures.
  • The pictures span every hour of the day due to the 24-hour sun of the Antarctic summer and around 10,000 pictures were taken in total.

Meanwhile, back in Christchurch (7  October): – looking at all the pictures takes time and the researchers need a little help getting through them all.

Knowing that it is never too early to become a scientist, Dr. Eisert offered younger visitors a chance to try out their skills at seal counting at the Antarctic Air Day. Top prize winners secured not only bragging rights among their friends, but also a free family pass for the International Antarctic Centre, thanks to their generous sponsorship of the programme.

Want to play a part?  – The Zooniverse project is live now and open to citizen scientists of all ages. Anyone can log onto website (see below) and lend a hand with the counting, and learn all sorts of cool Weddell seal facts.

There are also many cute photos of these photogenic animals.

The goal of the research is determine the daily activity cycle of the seals, who periodically disappear under the ice to feed, or perhaps just for a change of scene.

Dr. Eisert explains, “as one of the key top predator in the Ross Sea region, Weddell seals are vital sentinels for the state of the ecosystem. To monitor their population over the entire region, we need to use remote sensing by satellites or planes, but we can’t get accurate counts unless we know when the seals are present at the surface and what drives their activity cycles over a full 24-hour period: the angle of the sun, tides, or a combination of factors.”

  • Accurate seal counts will help support conservation in the Southern Ocean by supporting  the newly established Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (MPA) that aims to protect the area from potential effects of fishing for toothfish. With Weddell seals assumed to be a major predator of toothfish, protecting their foraging areas was a key factor in designing the MPA.
  • However, without knowing how many seals there are and whether their numbers are changing, we cannot determine whether the MPA is fulfilling its purpose.
  • Reliable data on this key predator species will make an important contribution to monitoring the Ross Sea region and help meet New Zealand’s international obligations to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

If you are interested in finding out more, or wish to be part of this research in support of New Zealand’s international commitments in the Antarctic, click here.

Resilience – what are your brain waves doing right now?

Study break is almost here and that can bring mixed feelings, possibly even some worries or anxiety.  How are you doing right now? 

UC has many people who are here to help, and there are things you can do too around building personal resilience. To help make it happen, it helps to understand more about how our bodies work. Wendy Risdon from UC Health Centre tells us why you should let out a long…slow…breath. 

On a scale of 1-10, with “1” being an absence of resilience and “10” being super resilient, where would you rate yourself on that scale?

Why did you place yourself there and my last question is this; would someone who knows you well also rate you similarly?

You may well ask me the question, what do you mean by resilience?

I mean the ability to move through life’s difficulties without becoming stuck in them.

Experience is a great teacher, so one way we become more resilient is to have more experiences. Experiences give people life skills to draw on and these life skills are gathered by navigating through disappointments and setbacks. What changes as a result of getting through these situations is your self-talk and then what you come to believe about yourself. Self-talk lifts you up or brings you down. It doesn’t matter if it is the truth or not, if you believe it and it feels true it will influence your actions and your body’s biological processes.

I don’t believe resilience can be taught. What can be taught is the ability to ask questions which raise self-awareness. Why do I think that? Where has that belief come from?

So much of what we believe to be true about ourselves has often come from something a significant adult has said to us before the age of seven. This makes sense when we learn about brain wave activity changes throughout the lifespan. An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures brainwave activity in hertz (Hz), cycles per second. A baby’s predominant state of being is in delta, a low frequency cycling of 0.5-4Hz. A child between the ages of two and six years is predominantly in theta brain wave activity which is 4-8Hz. This state is a very programmable state and the same as hypnotherapists use.  In a theta state a child is able to download incredible volumes of information which sets the scene for adulthood.

The” alpha” brain wave pattern of 8-12 Hz, creates a feeling of calm consciousness and heightens self- awareness. This becomes the predominant state for those aged six to 12 years. The beta brain wave pattern is 12-35Hz and occurs when there is active, focused, consciousness.

It appears to be beneficial to be able to cycle through different states of consciousness depending on whether we wish to sleep or study. The key to slowing brain wave activity is to breathe slowly, focusing on creating a long slow out breath. This helps to elicit the “relaxation response” which creates a state of calmness needed to induce sleep.

At the UC Health Centre, I use Healing Touch, Music, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery and Relaxation Breathing to bring a person into an alpha brain wave state so they can experience what it feels like to be truly calm and relaxed. This helps a person move through negative emotions, fear and anxiety and begins to build resilience.

Wendy Risdon
Nurse – UC Health Centre

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