The Ring

Engineering co-op students build tree-planting robot to help fight deforestation

Thu, 2015-10-08 11:36

Birch and Rhodes with a tree-planting prototype.
Birch and Rhodes with a tree-planting prototype.

Many students spend their summers tromping through slash-piles and battling blackflies to replant Canada’s forests. Two UVic engineering undergrads took a different approach: they designed and built a tree-planting robot with the idea of supplementing the humans’ hard work. 

“TreeRover” is the brainchild of third-year electrical engineering students Nick Birch and Tyler Rhodes. Through an entrepreneurial co-op work term, they formed their own company—Iota Enterprises—to build their robot prototype in Rhodes’ Saanich backyard.


Going places in an era of global connectivity

Tue, 2015-10-06 09:21

New funding rolled out by President Jamie Cassels has increased support for UVic students to engage in rich and meaningful learning experiences well beyond the campus.


Study of Syrian artifacts offer different viewpoints on a troubled region

Thu, 2015-10-01 16:53

Milwright in Special Collections with shards and manuscripts. Credit: John Thre
Milwright in Special Collections with shards and manuscripts. Credit: John Threlfall

Protecting and learning from Middle Eastern antiquities

When news broke in August that Syrian archaeologist Khaleed al-Asaad had been killed by ISIS for trying to protect his country’s cultural legacy from destruction and looting, it sent a chill through the heart of Art History and Visual Studies professor Marcus Milwright. An archaeologist and professor of Islamic art and architecture, Milwright has worked extensively in Syria—including the ancient city of Palmyra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site for which Khaleed al-Asaad was the head of antiquities.


Field lessons in Scandanavian sustainability

Thu, 2015-10-01 10:08

HafenCity development in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: HafenCity.com
HafenCity development in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: HafenCity.com

Northern Europe is famous for sustainability—from cycling in Copenhagen, Iceland’s geothermal riches, and offshore wind farms in the North Sea to Germany’s investments in mass solar power. This spring, 28 UVic geography students headed to Europe to study those sustainability efforts and more. Their month-long field school took them to Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands brought them together with community leaders, planners, developers, scholars and others to examine Scandanavian efforts to address the daunting ecological and social challenges facing contemporary societies.


New hospital simulation centre enhances health students' learning

Thu, 2015-09-17 14:01

Students and staff from the School of Nursing at the new centre.
Students and staff from the School of Nursing at the new centre.

The tension in the operating room was palpable as the patient’s heart rate skyrocketed unexpectedly during surgery on her fractured ankle. Julie, the 19-year-old soccer player under local anaesthetic, worriedly asked what was wrong. The medical and nursing team reassured her as they quickly assessed and took action to stabilize her condition.

Despite its location in the Royal Jubilee Hospital, this was not a typical operating room. Nor was Julie a typical patient; she’s actually a life-like mannequin. Both are part of the new $2.9-million Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning, a partnership between UVic’s School of Nursing, UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and Island Health.


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.


UVic student heads to Australia on first Indigenous co-op exchange

Tue, 2015-09-08 15:42

Elder May Sam providing guidance to Hanton. Credit: UVic photo services
Elder May Sam providing guidance to Hanton. Credit: UVic photo services

When UVic student Kimberly Hanton packed her bags for her work term in Australia last month, she carried words of encouragement from the local Indigenous Elders. Hanton recently embarked on the university’s first Indigenous co-op exchange after attending a departure ceremony at First Peoples House in her honour.

This unique co-op exchange saw Hanton travel to the University of Newcastle in Australia in August, while UVic will welcome Australian Indigenous student Cristal Walters to campus this fall. 


Holocaust education in a time of transition

Thu, 2015-09-03 11:58

l-r: Schallié, Thorson, van Noord. Credit: Photo Services.

What will the Holocaust mean to new generations in the 21st century? This summer, the world saw shocking film footage of Edward VIII in 1933 teaching the Nazi salute to the Queen as a young girl in the same year Hitler came to power in Germany, with subsequent international media coverage putting pressure on the royal family to open its archives and also raising important questions about a real risk of losing the educational legacies of the 1940s.

As home to the I-witness Holocaust Field School (the first of its kind for undergraduate students at a Canadian university) and the UVic Holocaust Archive, UVic hosted a global gathering early this month to explore Holocaust education as a means to tackle contemporary issues of hatred, racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, ethnic conflict and genocide.


Reclaiming a banned Saanich fishery

Tue, 2015-08-04 14:33

A scene from the 2014 sailing
A scene from the 2014 sailing

Almost a decade ago, XEMŦOLTW̱ Nick Claxton told his family he wanted to revitalize the reef net fishery, a fishing practice unique to the Straits Salish people and banned by the colonial government 100 years ago.

His uncle advised: “You can’t just go fishing. You must first build a ceremonial net.” And so began the spiritual, cultural and educational journey that Claxton considers his life’s work. It also became his PhD dissertation in curriculum and instruction at the University of Victoria—a research study designed to revitalize the knowledge, ceremony and practice that was nearly lost.


Taking academia underwater

Mon, 2015-06-08 14:15

Irvine. Credit: UVic Photo Services.
Irvine. Credit: UVic Photo Services.

Education grad Mike Irvine took academia beneath the waves for his scuba-diving master's defence

When education grad student Mike Irvine first posed his master’s project research question to his advisor, the idea struck Jason Price as a humourous oxymoron. Irvine wanted to explore how technology could be used as a tool to reconnect kids to nature.