The Ring

Studying sea, learning land and leadership

Tue, 2016-02-02 16:17

Kayaking with Redfish. Photo: Nicole Espe, Redfish student.
Kayaking with Redfish. Photo: Nicole Espe, Redfish student.
  • “Redfish teaches you about the systems of non-human and human nature around you, and shows you a community that you are a part of and you can help change.”
  • —Niloo Farahzadeh, 2015 Redfish alumna

The Salish Sea is a vibrant international region, teeming with change—so it should come as no surprise that an international field school which puts dynamic learning experiences at the heart of sustainability leadership reflects those characteristics as well.


World’s only chair in transgender studies

Tue, 2016-01-19 17:06

Devor and MacAdams. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Devor and MacAdams.

A million dollar donation to establish a chair in transgender studies—the first of its kind—will make all the difference to students such as Alyx MacAdams, who self-identifies as a genderqueer and trans-masculine person.

“I am very grateful that this chair now exists, and I look forward to participating in and witnessing what happens over the next few years,” says MacAdams.


A closer look at the fossil fuel industry

Mon, 2015-11-16 14:34

Coal extraction in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Photo: Picture BC
Coal extraction in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Photo: Picture BC

Who is steering fossil fuel extraction in Western Canada and what influence do they wield?  

These central questions are driving a six-year research and public engagement initiative, Mapping the Power of the Carbon-Extractive Corporate Resource Sector, with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The project brings together researchers, civil society organizations and Indigenous participants to study the oil, gas and coal industries in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. 


Mapping his own path forward

Wed, 2015-11-04 15:49

Branion-Calles
Branion-Calles

A lifelong love of maps led Michael Branion-Calles to the master’s degree he receives this month in geography. But his path was not straightforward—it started in English.

“I began my undergrad degree at UVic in English,” says Branion-Calles, “but once I took an elective geography class I quickly changed my degree path.” He says his appreciation for maps goes back to his childhood and as a kid he always liked maps—an affection that eventually pointed him to the spatial pattern analysis and research (SPAR) lab in the geography department.


A growing appreciation for Indigenous knowledge

Thu, 2015-10-01 16:34

Turner. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Turner. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Trudeau Foundation award supports Nancy Turner’s lifelong study of traditional plant use    

A long-time champion of Indigenous knowledge, UVic ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist Nancy Turner has devoted her career to understanding and communicating the crucial role that plants play in Indigenous cultures and languages, especially with respect to land use, rights and title. To support this important work the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation has awarded Turner a $225,000 fellowship over the next three years.


Coastal climate crunch: BC beaches could be battered by both El Niño and La Niña

Thu, 2015-10-01 11:36

Walker on Calvert Island. Credit: D. Shugar, 2014, Hakai Institute
Walker on Calvert Island. Credit: D. Shugar, 2014, Hakai Institute

Pacific research shows that extreme weather patterns—both hot and cold—could mean accelerated erosion in BC.

As storm season approaches, BC coastal communities need to prepare for the possibility of extreme flooding and erosion that come with both El Niño and La Niña weather systems, according to new trans-Pacific research published in Nature Geoscience.


Galiano Island field school breathes new life into learning

Tue, 2015-09-08 15:47

Student at field school. Photo: UVic photo services
Student at field school. Photo: UVic photo services

In July, under a blistering hot sun, 15 students and environmental studies professor Dr. Eric Higgs waited to embark on a unique learning adventure at the Galiano Island Land Conservancy Learning Centre.

During the following week, as part of the Ecological Restoration field school, the students share meals together and work intensely on group projects—off the grid, with no internet, and with the outdoor environment of the island’s District Lot 57 as their principal classroom. The lot, owned by the Galiano Island Conservancy Association, was once an active logging  and farming site. But now, it’s home to the Learning Centre, and Galiano Island residents want the land ecologically restored. That’s where the thinking, learning and labors of the students in the field school come in.


The footprints of human settlement on the BC coast could be 13,000 years old

Mon, 2015-06-29 16:02

L-R: Fedje and McLaren at the dig site. Credit: Joanne McSporran
L-R: Fedje and McLaren at the dig site. Credit: Joanne McSporran

Family gatherings around a fire pit—an ancient custom that’s still with us today—may have been practiced as long as 13,000 years ago along BC's central coast. Footprints from what appear to be a man, woman and child circling a hearth were discovered last month below the tideline.


Trudeau scholar examines youth and empathy in Canada

Fri, 2015-06-12 14:49

Nelems. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Nelems. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Is empathy changing in a world where social media and globalization are rapidly transforming how we interact with others? The University of Victoria’s Rebeccah Nelems is investigating empathy and youth as part of a prestigious three-year scholarship announced today from the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. She is one of only 16 Canadian doctoral students receiving a $180,000 award.


Arctic research propels ecologist into the ranks of Fulbright Scholars

Thu, 2015-06-04 13:56

Lantz
Lantz

Ecologist and ethnobiologist Dr. Trevor Lantz (environmental studies) has been named a Fulbright Scholar by the Fulbright Arctic Initiative for his Arctic ecosystems research. Lantz studies the rate and causes of Arctic environmental change and its consequences for northern communities. Using a combination of field studies, remote sensing, and collaboration with knowledgeable hunters and trappers, he will examine the vulnerability of Arctic coastlands to storm surges. His fieldwork will be conducted in the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories while collaboration with other Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholars will be in Nunavut and Finland.