The Ring

Mapping the Earth’s hidden groundwater

Mon, 2015-11-16 11:24

Groundwater: it’s one of the planet’s most exploited, most precious natural resources. It ranges in age from months to millions of years old. Around the world, there’s increasing demand to know how much we have and how long before it’s tapped out.


Changes coming to office recycling

Mon, 2015-11-16 11:03

Central recycling stations.
Central recycling stations.

Facilities Management, in collaboration with the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, is pleased to announce the implementation of a sorting-at-source recycling and waste station system in all office areas on campus, starting in January 2016. 


PICS after six: a Q&A with Tom Pedersen

Wed, 2015-11-04 17:19

Pedersen holds a car charger plug located outside Campus Security.
Pedersen holds a car charger plug located outside Campus Security.

After six years as executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), which is hosted and led by the University of Victoria, climate scientist Tom Pedersen is moving on to other opportunities. “It’s been challenging at times but it’s always been fun,” says Pedersen. “I took this job because I wanted to build something, to make a difference in an area I feel passionate about. I think we’ve made some progress.”


Leading environmental scientist to head climate solutions institute

Wed, 2015-11-04 17:12

Seitzinger. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Seitzinger

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.


Energy retrofit plan could benefit BC

Thu, 2015-10-22 12:10

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.


A chance to be the change we want to see

Thu, 2015-10-08 11:47

Beliveau, Winn and Manouchehrinia in Switzerland.
Beliveau, Winn and Manouchehrinia in Switzerland.

In an early preview of the challenges world leaders face when negotiating international agreements on climate change (such as this December’s UN meeting in Paris), two UVic students and a business professor got to embark on an opportunity of a lifetime—travelling to Switzerland to attend the Model United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. This annual international event is hosted by leading business graduate students and professors across Europe and provides the opportunity for scholars studying climate change to engage in mock climate negotiations. These mock negotiations were an opportunity to engage in debate, to strategize towards fulfilling an assigned country’s interests and, as a collective, to negotiate a best-draft resolution to climate challenges facing the global community.


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.


Sustainability Week highlights cycling as a travel option

Tue, 2015-10-06 11:01

Shari Winter, campus cyclist.
Shari Winter, campus cyclist.

The deep-green hues of UVic—from research leadership in ocean and climate studies, to sustainability studies in nearly every academic field—also colours our pride in our natural spaces  and sustainable on-campus operations. But we can’t pat ourselves on the back too quickly, either. Unless we’re prepared to turn off the lights and heat on campus, cycling and transit will continue to play key roles in reducing our carbon footprint, individually and as a concerned community.

We’ve already made good strides: nearly 8,000 members of UVic’s campus community use public transit, pedal power and shoe leather in getting to and from campus every day. And despite significant enrolment growth on campus, there are fewer cars in our parking lots than there were 15 years ago. 


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.


The beast within: how humans evolved into super predators

Thu, 2015-08-20 10:31

Rope trawl for midwater trawling. Photo: crew and officers of NOAA ship Miller F
Rope trawl for midwater trawling. Photo: crew and officers of NOAA ship Miller Freeman

You need not look far to find the world’s “super predator,” a term used by UVic scientists to describe how human dominance has bred an unrelenting predacious global culture that threatens nature’s balance.

Research published in the Aug. 21 edition of the journal Science by a team led by Dr. Chris Darimont, the Hakai-Raincoast professor of geography at the University of Victoria, shows how extreme human predatory behavior is responsible for widespread wildlife extinctions, shrinking fish sizes and disruptions to global food chains.