The Ring

Leading environmental scientist to head climate solutions institute

Wed, 2015-11-04 16:12

Seitzinger. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Following a comprehensive international search, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions enters a new leadership era. 

A renowned scientist who is an international leader in investigating the causes of environmental change is the new executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) based at UVic.

International award salutes researcher’s science outreach activities

Fri, 2015-10-30 09:44


University of Victoria neuroscientist E. Paul Zehr remembers the precise moment when his research career shifted gears and science communications became a major part of his activities as a scholar and academic.

“It was a Friday afternoon in 2007 and I was searching Google Scholar for publication information on one of my papers,” he recalls. He was pondering how many people his work actually affected. His most cited paper at the time had about 150 citations. But what if that meant only 150 people had read it? Was that acceptable impact?

“For me, the answer was no,” he says. “I decided then and there that I wasn’t satisfied with standard measures of academic productivity and impact and instead wanted to reach larger groups more directly.”

Unique ethnohistory field school well into its second decade

Thu, 2015-10-29 15:22

Student Jesse Robertson and Matsqui elder Joan Silver (right). Photo: Tenille Campbell.

The only ethnohistory field school in Canada to offer a firsthand learning opportunity involving traditional knowledges of oral history and research of historical documents has been immersing graduate students every second spring since 1998 deep within the Stó:lō community in BC.

Visual arts award includes solo exhibition at Art Gallery of Ontario

Thu, 2015-10-29 11:02

Meigs. Photo: Nik West

Seven months after being named one of eight recipients of the Governor General’s Awards for Visual and Media Arts, Department of Visual Arts professor Sandra Meigs has been announced as the winner of the $50,000 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO for 2015. In addition to the cash award, the prize comes with a solo exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario and a further $10,000 towards a publication on Meigs’ work.

Back from the grave: Maker Lab brings spooky 19th century skull to life

Thu, 2015-10-29 10:50

Early Wearable Kit, courtesy of the Maker Lab in UVic Humanities.
Early Wearable Kit, courtesy of the Maker Lab in UVic Humanities.

Just in time for Hallowe'en, the Maker Lab in the Humanities at the University of Victoria launched its first Kit for Cultural History, which reinvents a skull stick-pin from the 1860s. The kit is a tangible example of how the Maker Lab combines cultural research with digital fabrication and also of today’s thriving maker movement which involves DIY approaches. Unveiled at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the kit features the cravat pin introduced by French engineer Gustave Trouvé at an 1867 exhibition in Paris and now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK.

Energy retrofit plan could benefit BC

Thu, 2015-10-22 11:10

Co-authors Williamson and Wan
Co-authors Williamson and Wan

A team of UVIc MBA graduates are urging the government to consider an energy retrofit plan for BC homes and buildings, that they say will result in cheaper power bills, less CO2 emissions and more than 1,000 new jobs for the province.

The new report—Cheaper Power Bills, More Jobs, Less CO2 : How On-Bill Financing Done Right can be a Quick Win for British Columbia—was released September 29 by the UVic-based Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS). The thesis research—conducted by former UVic Gustavon School of Business MBA students Seref Efe, Inam ur Raheem, Tingting Wan and Carter Williamson—analyzed 30 OBF programs in Canada, the US and the UK.

When every second counts...

Wed, 2015-10-14 12:25

Scientists the world over can’t yet reliably predict an earthquake. But they’re making technological advances to rapidly detect an earthquake just as it begins to happen.

The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has teamed up with UVic electrical engineering students to demonstrate how ONC earthquake notification technology and a student-designed alert system can provide vital seconds to help people make important decisions—before the shaking starts.

A growing appreciation for Indigenous knowledge

Thu, 2015-10-01 15:34

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 10:36

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.

UVic faculty bask in Royal Society of Canada spotlight

Mon, 2015-09-21 14:27

UVic researchers in the spotlight. Photos: UVic Photo Services.
UVic researchers in the spotlight. Photos: UVic Photo Services.

Canada’s academic stars to converge on Victoria

Hey Victoria, get ready to host almost 400 distinguished academic guests—the Royal Society of Canada is coming to town!

The Royal Society (RSC) is Canada’s national academy dedicated to promoting learning and research in three main streams: the arts and humanities; the social sciences; and the sciences.

Every year, the RSC holds its annual general meeting in a different Canadian city. This year, RSC fellows and college members from across the country will converge on the Victoria Conference Centre/Fairmont Empress Hotel on Nov. 26–28. The University of Victoria is the sponsor institution.