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HomeNewsCNC to analyze Nechako River water sample from '94

CNC to analyze Nechako River water sample from ’94

The College of New Caledonia cracked open a time capsule buried during the school’s 25th anniversary back in 1994.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary this semester, an event was held this past week to reveal all of the capsule’s contents.

With a few hundred people in attendance, one of the unique items was actually a water sample that had been gathered from the Nechako River.

Former CNC president Dr. Terry Weeninger, who served from 1990 to 2004, and current CNC president Dr. Dennis Johnson presented the sample to the school’s biology program for what will sure to be some interesting studies being conducted.

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“We are beyond excited. I do wish that they had left it a little better but at the same time, it just adds to the mystery,” Biology instructor Kelly Wessels told MyPGNow. “It will be really exciting to see what was then compared to now. We know that there’s probably nothing living because it’s been sealed up for so long, but in terms of the pollution levels with our new environmental control laws I’m really excited to compare the chemistry of the water and what compounds might be present in it.”

The planning on how they want to go about analyzing the sample is still being decided, but Wessels believes they’ll likely need to seek assistance from Prince George’s other post-secondary institution.

“I know it’s probably outside of our current expertise in the department, so we’ll probably have to reach out to maybe some of our colleagues at UNBC — they have an analytical lab up there.”

With that, however, the timeline on when results can be expected to be discovered from any testing they do is completely up in the air, especially with the current strike by UNBC’s Faculty Association.

That being said, though, Wessels is hoping to find creative ways to incorporate the analyzing into the student’s curriculum.

“This is something we want to incorporate into our plans; what can we do with it, what might we learn from it, and can we get our students involved and excited in this as well?”

The capsule also included aerial photos of CNC’s woodlot, a vial of water from the Nechako River, 25th anniversary Christmas tree bulbs, a floppy disk with a course outline to show the “technology of the day,” a CNC t-shirt, and a curling funspiel trophy and medal.

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The items from CNC’s time capsule will remain on display at CNC’s Library. CNC’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue with an open house and gala event at the end of February.
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