VIU hosts BC Protected Areas Research Forum

Hannah Dudney smiling at the camera

VIU Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management student Hannah Dudney presented at the forum.

January 3, 2023 - 3:45pm

A total of 170 delegates attended the multi-day event.

Vancouver Island University (VIU), in partnership with  BC Parks and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), recently hosted the 2022 BC Protected Areas Research Forum.

The event took place from December 12- 14, with 170 delegates in attendance and featured two plenary sessions and more than 60 presentations in 14 concurrent sessions.

VIU Elder-in-Residence Uncle Randy Fred and keynote speaker Naomi Owens-Beek of the Saulteau First Nation, opened the conference with a strong message about the importance of Indigenous leadership and involvement in conservation.

VIU faculty and Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management student Hannah Dudney presented at the forum. Dudney, who also facilitated a pre-conference workshop, was awarded the Pam Wright student award for social science research excellence. PhD candidate Cassandra Elphinstone (UBC) received the Tori Stevens student award for biological science excellence. 

Dudney noted that the value of attending was "connecting with practitioners and academics who were willing to share and willing to listen."

VIU World Leisure Centre of Excellence Director Dr. Aggie Weighill said hosting the event "provided an opportunity for VIU researchers and students to share knowledge and engage with other scholars and practitioners. It also attracted more than 150 visitors to Nanaimo in early December."

Community support for the conference was provided by the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, the Coast Bastion Hotel and Tourism Nanaimo. 

"Tourism Nanaimo is working hard to encourage visitation year-round, and BC PARF highlights the opportunity to host successful events in the off-season,” said Jenn Houtby, Interim Executive Director. 

BC PARF is hosted every two years at different universities throughout BC. The 2022 Forum was the seventh gathering and the first one since 2018. BC Parks and Y2Y are long-standing partners. 

More info and details on the program are available here.

Tags: Research

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