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.


India field school spotlights intergenerational theatre

Wed, 2014-09-24 15:31

Gusul (centre) during a field trip to the region last year.

The buildings may have been repaired, but two key segments of the population in the southeastern coastal region of India are still struggling to overcome the effects of the 2006 tsunami: seniors and rural youth. Now, a new UVic field school hopes to bring a sense of joy to these marginalized people by creating India’s first intergenerational theatre company. 


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.


UVic ECOSat team's winning satellite design could be the next big thing in space travel

Fri, 2014-07-04 16:48

Cass Hussmann and Devin Pelletier make refinements to their satellite
Cass Hussmann and Devin Pelletier make refinements to their satellite

It looks like a tiny black office tower with an antenna, but when this unassuming shoebox-sized nano-satellite is launched 800 kilometres into space, the University of Victoria engineering students who built and designed it will be experimenting with what might just be the next big thing in space travel: diamagnetic propulsion.


Education grad shows leadership on the learning curve

Wed, 2014-06-04 17:21

Pardiwala at the Natural History Museum in NYC, building inspiration.
Pardiwala at the Natural History Museum in NYC, building inspiration for her science classes.

Gulf Islands Secondary students knew they had a different type of science teacher when a lesson on heart function had them running around a room, pretending to be red blood cells.

Nikita Pardiwala created the outline of a huge human heart on the floor of a large multi-purpose room for her Biology 12 students. Then they became red blood cells, running through the heart to the lungs, dropping off carbon dioxide.


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.”


From drawing board to proving ground: EcoCar 2 heads to final competition

Fri, 2014-05-23 16:55

UVic’s EcoCAR 2 team of engineering students aren’t just getting hands-on experience while they study—they’re getting their hands dirty.

Since April 2011, close to 60 students in mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, and business have been hard at work—using multi-million dollar dSPACE, Siemens and MathWorks modelling and testing tools, and a mechanic’s full suite of wrenches and ratchets—re-designing and retrofitting a GM-donated 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco into a next generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.


UVic launches Colonial Legacies Field School, in time for South African national election

Wed, 2014-04-23 16:21

Vongani Lucky Machethe and Stephanie Tiede prepare for CBC radio interview May 7, 2014. Photos: Dr. E. Vibert.

In May 2014, a group of UVic students and two faculty members spent three weeks in South Africa for UVic’s first-ever Colonial Legacies Field School.


Tye Landels awarded one of 10 prestigious 3M student fellowships

Tue, 2014-04-08 13:02

3M National Student Fellow Tye Landels, 3rd-yr Honours Student, Dept. of English
Landels. Photo Credit: Suzanne Ahearne.

Tye Landels (English) is one of 10 undergraduate students across Canada receiving a 3M National Student Fellowship this year. On June 18, the third-year UVic honours student will journey to Kingston, ON to receive the prestigious award -- modelled after the long-standing 3M National Teaching Fellowships for university professors -- at an official ceremony at Queen's University as part of an annual national teaching-and-learning conference. 


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.”