Dr. Don Alexander (PhD University of Waterloo)  co-organized a 'Sustainability Across Curricula' workshop for faculty and students during the spring Reading Week under the sponsorship of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, of which he is co-chair. It was successful and the notes from the World Café discussion are being written up for presentation at an international conference on sustainability this January. He also helped organize the 13th Annual Urban Issues Film Festival, and a campus showing of the recent film, "Metamorphosis," on climate change. He is currently writing a book on bioregions and biosphere reserves as vehicles for sustainability and is in the process of publishing profiles of three significant activists in magazines based in the Lower Mainland.

Dr. Matthew Bowes (PhD University of Victoria) is a human geographer who has focused his recent research on recreation and leisure behaviour and human-wildlife conflict on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This Parks Canada and Clayoquot Biosphere Trust supported work was presented at the 'Tourism Naturally,' international conference in Fall 2016 at the  University of Sassari, Alghero, Italy, and the 2016 Couch Stone Symposium: Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Conference at Vancouver Island University, Spring 2016.  Matt continues to be involved with a Vancouver Island Regional Wildlife Co-Existence working group with Parks Canada and the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, with upcoming presentations and talks in coastal communities, this winter.

Jessica Craig (BSc, MSc University of Victoria) in collaboration with Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) students, for the third year in a row designed and hosted a series of workshops for GrandKidsU – an institution-wide program for grandparents and their grandchildren where students participate in two days of faculty facilitated learning workshops in a University setting. Geography was a popular “major” at GrandKidsU again. This year's Earth Explorers carried out weather observations with instrumentation, conducted a temperature experiment, went campus geocaching (shown below), designed a playground, examined rocks and minerals, made their own compass, and solved a geographic mystery in an escape room.

GrandKids U class learning to use GPS

Learning to use a GPS on the hunt for geocaches.

Dr. Bill Floyd (BSc University of Northern British Columbia; MSc. Oregon State University; PhD University of BC). In 2014 Bill began a partial secondment from the Provincial Government where he is a Research Hydrologist, to establish the Coastal Hydrology and Climate Change Research Lab (CHCCRL) at VIU, and be the Lead for the Hydrology and Weather Node of the Watersheds Theme at the Hakai Institute. In his time at VIU Bill has integrated Provincial research projects into the CHCRRL, hiring students and technicians to work on projects funded by the Provincial and Federal Governments, and the Hakai Institute. Bill’s research focuses on the hydrology of coastal BC and how land management and climate change have and will affect water resources, with an emphasis on snow and ice. For more information, please check out the CHCCRL lab website.

Ape Lake High Elevation Weather Station

The crew from the CHCCRL installing the high elevation weather station at Ape Lake near Bella Coola, BC.

Dr. Alan Gilchrist is currently on a one year assisted research leave to calculate a water budget for Vancouver Island, and is working with Tim Sivak who is completing a Master of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications. The project is developing a GIS-based model to quantify the water budget as a series of components; precipitation (rain and snow), evapotranspiration, surface (stream/river) and sub-surface (groundwater) water flows. The model is going to be applied to several watersheds in contrasting settings around the Island where there is water data to calibrate and validate the model. The completed model will then be applied to all Island watersheds, giving quantitative estimates of groundwater and stream flow water sources that can be used for human use. This will help the BC Government to make decisions in granting water licenses. This is important as the recent Water Sustainability Act (2016) now requires for the first time that groundwater use be licensed for non-domestic use in BC, while surface water continues to be licensed. Finally, the model will be used to show how water resources are likely to change in response to global warming by anthropogenic causes through the twenty-first century.

Dr. Jeff Lewis (BSc, MSc and PhD University of Victoria) continues as a Faculty Advisor for ACER, "Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research", funded by NSERC, SSHRC and VIU Gather Grant. ACER is a public outreach initiative led by an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty at Vancouver Island University, which is dedicated to increasing the public's understanding of the science and implications of climate change through presentations, hands-on demonstrations and interactive activities. ACER held a successful 2017 Climate Change Symposium on Climate and Human Health and is currently organizing the 2019 symposium, which will focus on Climate Change and Local Solutions. In 2018, Jeff gave a number of climate change presentations including to the Strathcona Emergency Planning Committee in Campbell River.

Dr. Brad Maguire (PhD University of British Columbia) and co-author Brian Klinkenberg of UBC recently had an overview of Brad’s Ph.D. thesis published in Applied Geography. Their paper, “Visualization of Place Attachment” discusses how GIS can be used to create maps showing the place attachment of individuals and groups using maps. The research for this paper was conducted in Colliery Dam Park, located just south of the VIU Nanaimo Campus.

In conjunction with Dr. Jerome Lesemann of the VIU Earth Sciences Department, Brad has begun work on Remote Predictive Mapping of the Keewatin region of Nunavut. Supported by a $35,000 grant from the NRCAN Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program, Jerome and Brad will develop methods to automatically search for eskers and other glacial landforms on digital elevation models. This project is supported by two student researchers, Yiqing Luo (VIU Master of GIS Applications program) and Anju Suresh (VIU Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications).

Brad Maguire (left) and Jerome Lesemann (right) Keewatin esker

Brad Maguire and Jerome Lesemann (left); Keewatin esker (right, photo credit: Jerome Lesemann)

Michele Patterson has been a regular faculty member in VIU’s Geography Department since mid-2016.  She teaches a variety of human geography courses at all levels of the undergraduate program. She is currently writing madly in order to complete her PhD dissertation within the next one and a half years.  Michele has been involved in a variety of other academic and contract research at VIU involving aquaculture, seafood and seafood communities and seafood genomics.  Prior to coming to VIU, she had a 25 year professional career ending up as Vice-President, Pacific Region, for WWF-Canada.

Dr. Pamela Shaw PhD MCIP RPP FRCGS (BA and MA University of Alberta, PhD University of Victoria) is delighted to report that the Master of Community Planning Program is in its 4th year, and the alumni continue to be wildly successful in the world of planning.  There are many other current highlights: students participated in the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Program in New Zealand, worked on the VIU Cannabis Project, and continue to work with K’omoks First Nation on detailed site concept planning. Pam is also the Research Director of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI), and is presenting at the upcoming EuroMaB conference in Dublin, Ireland.   The Institute continues to publish the International Journal of Biosphere Reserve Research, which is a digital, open access publication (see biosphere journal.org). MABRRI has benefitted from its largest research season to date for summer 2018 with 23 students employed in a variety of research projects relating to human/nature interactions in fragile environments.  Pam also was successful in her application to a federal Network of Centres of Excellence and was selected along with Geraldine Manson (Elder in Residence and Professor), Sylvie Lafreniere (Sociology), and Lindsay McCunn (Psychology) to participate in the Canadian Mountain Network. 

Dr. Pam Shaw discusses small coastal city urban design – Parksville, BC
 Dr. Pam Shaw discusses small coastal city urban design – Parksville, BC

Dr. Michael Tripp (PhD University of Victoria )  His regional geography expertise on Russia was given the chance to shine this past year in our 400-level special topics course, which was “Russia and the Near Abroad.” This fall Michael is back from retirement to teach a section of GEOG 100.

In October he gave a Philosopher Café ' presentation sponsored by the VIU Philosophy Department and Vancouver Island Regional Library on "When International Crisis Strikes:  Is It Always Good to Help Out?"  Also in October, he submitted a paper "Russian National Parks: Evolution, Devolution and Continuity" followed by a presentation for an International Conference, "1917 and Today: Putin, Russia and the Legacy of Revolution" held at the University of Victoria. 

Dr. Hannah Wilson (PhD University of Waterloo) is continuing on in her role as Chair until winter, at which time the torch will be passed to Dave Cake. When not busy with administration and teaching, Hannah continues her collaborative research with VIU Earth Science faculty member Jerome Lesemann on remote predictive mapping techniques for mineral exploration in Canada’s North. She has also partnered GEOG 101 students with Nanaimo Area Land Trust and the Land Conservancy of BC to participate in a long-term covenant monitoring process in Mount Benson Regional Park – near the 1019m summit. This ecological monitoring teamwork in action was profiled by our local MP Sheila Malcolmson by inclusion in the constituency calendar (shown below).

constituency calendar profile

ecological monitoring teamwork in action was profiled by our local MP Sheila Malcolmson
by inclusion in the constituency calendar

Jim Windsor, who taught full-time until recently at UNBC and is a long-time WDCAG stalwart, has taught three sections of GEOG 100: World Regional Geography for us this past year. This spring, Jim will be teaching our GEOG 433: Special Topics course, covering the geography of water resources.

Michael Govorov, Dave Cake, and Paul Zandbergen are entering the last year of a 5-year CIDA funded project which is continuing its work towards building capacity for GIS and spatial data infrastructure in the Ukraine with the goal of helping Ukraine’s civil servants move forward with land reform. This, in turn, will contribute to the country’s food security and economic growth. The project just published three GIS textbooks for use by Ukrainian students.

Publications (2015-2019)

Alexander, T., Paes Ferraeira, M.I., and Alexander, D. (2017). Sustainable development in Canadian context: A critical review. English edition of Boletim do Observatório Ambiental Alberto Ribeiro Lamego, 10(1), 7-22. DOI: 10.19180/2177-4560.v10n12016p7-22

Alexander, D. (2016). Urban environmental degradation: Causes and solutions. In Environmental degradation: Types, causes, and impacts, (p1-20); A. Marsh (Ed.), Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.

Alexander, D. and Stephens, C. (2016 Summer). PIBC annual conference session highlights – Planning and ecology: A good marriage? Planning West 58(3)

Alexander, D. (2016). At Main and Hastings, a radical rebuff takes shape: How Bob Williams helped make a derelict cop shop a litmus test for clashing values in Vancouver. The Tyee 5/31.

Bowes, M., Keller, P., Rollins, R. & Gifford, R. (2017). The effect of ambivalence on on-leash dog walking compliance behavior in parks and protected areas. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 35(3): 81-93.

Bowes, M., Keller, P., Gifford, R., & Rollins, R.  (2015).  Parks, dogs and beaches: Human-wildlife conflict and the politics of place. In Carr, N. (ed), Domesticated Animals & Leisure. Sydney: Palgrave.

Bowes, M.,  Keller, P., Gifford, R., & Rollins, R. (2015). Shorebirds, wolves, dogs & beaches: Human-wildlife conflict in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – Research Brief. Canadian Association of Geographers.

Oliver, A. A., Tank, S. E., Giesbrecht, I., Korver, M. C., Floyd, W. C., Sanborn, P., Bulmer, C., and Lertzman, K. P (2017). A global hotspot for dissolved organic carbon in hypermaritime watersheds of coastal British Columbia, Biogeosciences, 14, 3743-3762, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3743-2017.

Trubilowicz, J.W., Floyd, W.C., D’Amore, D.V., Bidlack, A.L. (2016). Satellite monitored snow cover in Western North America: A comparison of water year 2015 to Media Conditions. Proceedings 84th Annual Western Snow Conference “Snow Drought and Hydrological Impacts. Seattle, Washington, April 18-21, 2016.

Reid, D. A., Hassan, M. A., and Floyd, W.C. (2016). Reach-scale contributions of road-surface sediment to the Honna River, Haida Gwaii, BC. Hydrol. Process., 30: 3450–3465. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10874.

Gilchrist, A., 2016. 5.3 Aquifer Vulnerability: DRASTIC; in Russell, H.A.J., and Benoit, N., (compilers); Nanoose Bay - Deep Bay Area, Nanaimo Lowland Groundwater Study Atlas, Regional District of Nanaimo, British Columbia; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7877, 58-59, doi: 10.4095/298892. 

Maguire, B & Klinkenberg, B (2018). Visualization of place attachment. Applied Geography, 99, 77-88.

Kingzett, B., Tillapaugh, Cake, D., & Patterson, M. (2016). Shellfish Aquaculture Assessment for cultural/economic zones of North Vancouver Island Marine Plan. Prepared for Marine Planning Partnership. 25 pp + app.

Murray, G., Wolff, K., & Patterson, M. (2017). Why eat fish? Factors influencing seafood consumer choices in British Columbia, Canada. Ocean & Coastal Management, 144, 16-22.

Patterson, M., Filgueira, R., Tillapaugh, D., Grant, J., Thupaki, P., Kingzett, B., Cake, D. (2016). Carrying capacity assessment for shellfish aquaculture in Haida Gwaii (Skidegate Inlet). Prepared for Tides Canada.

Patterson, M., Lieberknecht, L., Hooper, T. & Ardron, J. (2016). Recommendations on applying Canada-BC Marine Protected Area Principles in Canada's Northern Shelf Bioregion (Principles 6 ,7, and 8). Report submitted by PacMARA to the BC Marine Protected Area Team.

Witter, A., Patterson M., & Murray, G. (2017). Improving local benefits from fisheries in the MaPP region: Exploring alternative seafood marketing as a potential implementation tool. Prepared for Tides Canada.

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