The Ring

Environmental Studies at 40: learning and growing a greener campus

Thu, 2014-10-02 10:28

James Rowe leads a class at Tl’eches, Discovery Island.
James Rowe leads a class at Tl’eches, Discovery Island.

From the very first plans for the Gordon Head campus, natural features have been valued as a defining force in UVic’s learning environment. And the Environmental Studies program, starting small with a single course in 1975, has grown substantially — not just alongside, but as a driver of green initiatives that have helped transform the campus into an internationally recognized leader in sustainability.

Many of the practices that helped UVic become the only Canadian university to make the Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Honour Roll sprouted from Environmental Studies course projects, student initiatives and partnerships across the institution.


Indigenous Mapping Workshop: Q&A with Brian Thom

Tue, 2014-08-19 14:02

Stz'uminus First Nation elder Ray Harris using his phone near the ocean.
Stz'uminus First Nation elder Ray Harris has mentored youth in working with the UVic-led mapping project. Photo: Chad Hipolito.

Indigenous communities across Canada are engaged in intensively mapping their lands, waters, resources and knowledge. These maps have unparalleled importance today not only for future generations celebrating Indigenous knowledge, but in discussions over land and resource development and the recognition of Indigenous rights.


Viking Age skill-building at the Royal BC Museum

Tue, 2014-07-29 10:50

Shawn Curé plays "Hnefatafl."
Shawn Curé plays the "Hnefatafl" board game constructed by his anthropology group. Photo: Photo Services

The new "Vikings: Lives beyond the Legend" exhibition at the Royal BC Museum is providing an opportunity for some UVic anthropology students to build their knowledge of Viking culture and share in community education at the same time. Jokes about these students' "cutting edge" skills will have to wait, though. While popular culture representations of the Vikings often put axes, raiding expeditions and pointy headgear first, the wealth of the Viking culture and their complex lifeworld was much more varied. And that's just what the anthropology students are helping community audiences appreciate.


Planning on a smaller scale pays off big for grad

Wed, 2014-05-28 16:14

Buchan
Buchan

Many people associate municipal planning with large urbanized communities. For geography and environmental studies grad Richard T. Buchan, however, some of Vancouver Island’s smaller communities offered much larger opportunities. Living, studying and completing co-op work terms in Port Hardy, Campbell River, and North Cowichan gave Buchan great opportunities for hands-on learning in community planning.

“I think every student should take the co-op option and apply for work in small towns,” says Buchan, “you gain work experience and often have more responsibilities in a smaller community.”


Solar energy mapping charts path to a greener City of Victoria

Thu, 2014-04-17 13:08

Krasowski and the pyranometer atop City Hall.
Krasowski and the pyranometer atop City Hall. Photo: Melinda Jolley, City of Victoria

Rooftops in the downtown core are prime sun spots—and knowing where to plan future installation of solar panels to capture the most energy is a step in the right direction, agree municipal officials and UVic researchers.


Elders’ voices find home on Google Earth: the Stz’uminus Storied Places Digital Atlas

Wed, 2014-03-26 12:13

Becker's project on display the 2014 JCURA fair.
Becker's project on display the 2014 JCURA fair.

Long before settler culture attached the names of explorers, businessmen and political leaders to the mountains, rivers and landscape we now call Vancouver Island, the traditional names used by First Nations carried a wealth of information about those places—information that anthropology student Amy Becker has been working to preserve.

Becker, recipient of a 2013-14 Jamie Cassels Undergrad Research Award (JCURA), explains “Indigenous place names are embedded in the culture, landscape, language and identities of the people who use them.”


Africa Calling: cast-off phones collected to serve people and planet

Mon, 2014-03-24 16:14

Davis. Photo: UVic Photo Services.
Davis. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

A red “London style” phone box is now stationed in the UVic SUB—the first of hopefully many drop off locations for the Africa Calling project.

“I hope every building on campus will have a red drop box,” says project founder, Kevin Davis. “The more unwanted phones we collect the more communities we can help in Africa.”


Partnership recognized for reductions in bullying

Mon, 2013-12-09 18:02

A WITS educational program at Westmont school. Photo: UVic Photo Services
A WITS educational program at Westmont school.

As co-creator of the anti-bullying program, WITS, (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help) Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater has worked tirelessly with community partners, police officers, school staff and administrators, and parents to protect children from peer violence and victimization. On December 2, 2013 Leadbeater was presented with the CIHR Partnership Award by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of her leadership of the WITS programs.


Archeology students discover ancient clam gardens on Russell Island

Thu, 2013-08-22 11:02

Clam garden excavations
Clam garden excavations on Russell Island

A dozen university students spent part of their summer exploring ancient First Nation villages in the Southern Gulf Islands and discovering 1,000 year old clam gardens on Russell Island — and earned course credit doing it. The UVic “Archaelogy of the Salish Sea” field school provided an opportunity to learn scientific methods and techniques and learn from and listen to Coast Salish Elders.


Student StartUp Challenge 2013 – UVic Wins First Place!

Fri, 2013-06-14 12:15

José Barrios, UVic psychology undergraduate, won first place this month in the Student StartUp Challenge for his research idea, Cognilab. Barrios and others founded the Canadian company with the objective to make academic research more accessible.