The Ring

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


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. 

A natural path to resilience, outdoors

Thu, 2015-06-04 13:23


Brittney Sharma’s vision—an outdoor program to help children who had experienced family trauma—generated lots of buzz this year after being chosen as a showcase idea for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) conference. Sharma graduates this month with a bachelor’s in anthropology, and says her time at UVic was filled with academics and club activities, as well as developing her vision to help children of battered women.

Outspoken conservationist recognized by BC faculty association

Wed, 2015-04-08 16:42

Darimont leaning against a tree.
Darimont. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

UVic wildlife expert Dr. Chris Darimont—a research pioneer on BC’s coastal wolves and bears, and a passionate advocate for science-based conservation policy—is this year’s winner of the Distinguished Academics Early in Career award from the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA-BC). spins success across the globe

Thu, 2015-02-05 11:34

Nelson and her research team distribute water bottles to raise awareness.
Nelson and her research team distribute water bottles to raise awareness about the site.

Victoria is a cycling city with more people taking to the bike paths each day—good news for the environment and for, a project lead by UVic geography professor Dr. Trisalyn Nelson and a team of researchers in UVic geography.

“My initial idea was to build a website where cyclists could humorously vent about bad interactions with vehicles, other bikes, pedestrians and, yes, urban deer,” says Nelson. “I started planning the project and I quickly realized it wasn’t funny. The available data on cycling safety is abysmal.”

Saying "I do" to a PhD in marriage proposals

Thu, 2015-02-05 11:08

Hoplock in the foreground with a happy couple in the background
Hoplock. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, many couples are busy buying the right gift and booking reservations for romantic dinners. And PhD student Lisa Hoplock is delving into the psychology behind successful and failed marriage proposals.

FOXY peer leader thrilled by Arctic Inspiration award

Thu, 2015-01-15 12:29

FOXY participants accepting the Arctic Inspiration Award.
FOXY participants accepting the Arctic Inspiration Award. Photo: Fred Cattroll/Arctic Net

Makenzie Zouboules, third-year UVic honours political science and writing co-op student, is something of a celebrity in her hometown of Yellowknife, NWT. Last month, along with FOXY co-founders Candice Lys and Nancy MacNeill, Zouboules accepted a $1-million Arctic Inspiration Prize for their work with northern youth. Originally part of Lys’ PhD dissertation on public health promotion, FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) is a participatory research project aimed at talking with young people about sexual health, sexuality and relationships across the three northern Canadian territories.

Rain garden makes a splash for local school

Fri, 2014-12-12 11:56

Woman at water tap with elementary school kids.
Catherine Orr and Oak and Orca schoolchildren make a splash with rain garden project. Photo: Photo Services.

Landscape architect and environmental studies master’s student Catherine Orr saw her graduate project as a way to connect with a local school and a community about water and the importance of rainwater management.