Vancouver Island University

06/20/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2024 21:36

Experts on wildfire prep and water conservation 🔥

In this issue of VIU news & experts:

  • Surviving wildfire season
  • Getting children outdoors and learning on the land
  • Why talking about sex with your kids is important
  • Diagnosing brain injury in victims of intimate partner violence

Featured experts

Getting wildfire ready

The recent wildfire that prompted the evacuation of Fort Nelson and the high-to-extreme fire risk across BC due to drought conditions is a reminder that the 2024 wildfire season has started up in earnest in BC. Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, a Recreation and Tourism Management Professor who is doing her doctoral work on emergency readiness and risk communications for the tourism and hospitality industries, is available to share tips on what people can do to prepare for a wildfire impacting their own community. Read her expert Q&A from last year.

Transforming Early Childhood Education in Canada

For too long, early childhood education in Canada has favoured indoor learning environments over the outdoors and lacked recognition of Indigenous Land-based approaches. Danielle Alphonse, VIU's BC Regional Innovation Chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood Development, and Sheila Grieve, VIU Early Childhood Education and Care Professor, were part of a national working group aimed at changing this. Organized by the Lawson Foundation with support from an anonymous donor, the working group has created a framework to transform early childhood education programs across Canada. The new framework aims to get faculty, students and ultimately children outdoors and connected to nature and the Land. Read more about the framework.

Saving water this summer

Snowpack levels across the province remain low heading into the summer, and the BC government is urging people to conserve water. VIU Geography Professor Dr. Alan Gilchrist has got lots of water conservation tips to share. He's available to chat starting Friday, June 28.

Let's talk about sex

Are you afraid to talk about sex with your kids, your students or your partners? Not to worry - most folks are. In a TEDx talk, Dr. Sara Vogel, certified sexual educator and VIU's 2024 Fulbright Scholar, explores the topic. A standard approach to conversations on sex, consent and sexual violence prevention often begins with fear and potential for trauma, says Vogel. She discusses how we are getting our conversations on sex and consent all wrong and how we can fix them. Vogel offers three ways in which individuals can reimagine how they can speak about sex, consent and sexual violence prevention by focusing less on shame, stigma and fear and more on the more effective approach of offering a pleasure-based perspective on sex and sexuality.

Looking for an expert for another story? Connect with VIU Experts

VIU news

Improving quality of life for people affected by trauma and mental health issues

Several VIU researchers who have dedicated their careers to helping people recover from trauma and mental illness have come together to form the Centre for Trauma and Mental Health Research. Some examples of their research:

  • Developing methods to detect brain injury due to domestic violence,
  • Investigating how psychedelic-assisted therapy can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries,
  • Helping first responders cope with the physical and mental affects of attending traumatic incidents, and
  • Developing new solutions for foot and ankle mobility after trauma has occurred.

Read more.

Using new technologies to measure water in snowpacks

Researchers at the Hakai Cryosphere Node are revolutionizing the way we measure snow and are gaining a better understanding of how wildfires influence the melting of the province's glaciers. The Hakai Cryosphere Node is a collaboration between the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Vancouver Island University (VIU) and the Hakai Institute. Read more.

Beyond the Bar: Researching Nanaimo's culinary past

Beyond its famous, eponymous bar, Nanaimo's culinary history is not widely renowned. A new museum exhibit created by two Vancouver Island University (VIU) History classes aims to alter that perception. Read more.

VIU in the news

BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was among this year's honorary degree recipients from VIU during convocation ceremonies last week. Read more from the Times Colonist, Nanaimo Bulletin and Victoria News.
Dr. Sandy Shultz, Director of VIU's Centre for Trauma and Mental Health Research, has received two new grants for his research aimed at improving the diagnosis of brain injury in survivors of intimate partner violence. The research is also exploring possible connections to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Read UBC News and Brain Canada to learn more.
Celebration was the theme of the week across VIU's Nanaimo campus last week, as convocation ceremonies took place. Read (and watch) the coverage from CHEK News.

More than 50 Indigenous graduates attended Semélshun, VIU's Indigenous Graduation Recognition Ceremony, last Friday. Read more from the Nanaimo Bulletin.

Community members will share impactful stories from their lives during The Rainbow Project: Searching for a voice, Pride stories through the decades. Read more from the Nanaimo Bulletin.

Fourth year Recreation and Tourism Management student Lucas Gamp, who is also a whitewater rafting guide, came across and helped a beached minke whale while touring on the Shubenacadie River in Nova Scotia. Check out his experience on CBC National!
Anthropology Professor Dr. Marie Hopwood lent her ancient beer expertise to an article in the New York Times featuring an amateur brewer's attempts to re-create the brew that Ramses the Great may have enjoyed.