VIU News & Experts: August 28, 2023

Girl with arms spread wide, tents behind her

August 28, 2023 - 11:45am

Wildfires, drought and climate anxiety experts 🌍

From August 29 to September 1, VIU is hosting its annual RockVIU new student orientation, a series of events designed to get students connected with services, each other and faculty. VIU is expecting more than 800 students to join in the fun. A great photo op time is Thursday, August 31 with the Connect Fair Carnival taking over parking lot G on campus from 12 to 4 pm. Learn more

Featured experts

Getting wildfire ready

Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, a VIU Recreation and Tourism Professor and delegate with the Canadian Red Cross, shares some thoughts about the current wildfire situation in BC and what the average citizen should be doing right now to prepare. Read her advice on the VIU News page. She also spoke with Jason D'Souza, host of CBC's All Points West, about how the tourism industry should manage cancellations due to wildfires. Listen to the interview

What is climate anxiety? 

Right now, there is an increased focus on negative feelings about climate-related events and the future of the Earth. Dr. Lindsay McCunn, a VIU Psychology Professor and chair of the environmental psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association, shares a climate anxiety explainer. She also recently spoke with CBC on this topic.

Water conservation during a drought

Drought levels in many areas of BC are at the most severe end of the provincial five-point scale and have been since mid-July. We asked VIU Geography Professor Dr. Alan Gilchrist to share a few water conservation tips.

How are heat waves affecting marine animals? 

Our ocean temperatures are the hottest they've ever been in recorded history. VIU researchers are leading an investigation on the effects of heat waves on marine animals. Dr. Timothy Green and Dr. Dan Baker, VIU Fisheries and Aquaculture Professors, are available to speak about their research

Wildfire behaviour

Wildfires are becoming larger and more intense. Dr. Sean Sloan, VIU’s Canada Research Chair in the Human Dimensions of Sustainability and Resilience, examines forest renewal and burning across diverse landscapes, including British Columbia, the Pacific Rim and the Global South. He can speak about how wildfires bring into focus the precarious imbalance between humans, the environment and climate. He can also discuss how temperature extremes are affecting forests.

VIU stories

Investigating clues to the origin and behaviour of cancer

Dr. Kyle Duncan, a VIU Chemistry Professor, is part of an innovative cancer research team that received $2.4 million from the Terry Fox Research Institute. The Spatial Metabolome Hubble Project will give clues to the origin and behaviour of cancer. Duncan will use imaging technology to understand why certain immune cells, specifically tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, are more or less active in some parts of a tumour. Read more.

Supporting newcomers to Canada enter trades careers

Newcomers to Canada who want to pursue a career in the trades will get some extra help starting this September, thanks to a new program at Vancouver Island University. Read more.

VIU alum finds forever chemicals in sixgill shark

Misha Zvekic’s research shows that forever chemicals are turning up in marine life. Zvekic examined a sixgill shark from the Salish Sea that was pregnant with pups. They investigated if chemicals were accumulating in the shark and whether the shark passed these contaminants to its offspring. Zvekic determined the shark was offloading chemicals to its young. This research can lead to a better understanding of what could potentially be happening to us. Read Zvekic’s story.

VIU in the news

How are extreme weather events affecting tourism in Canada? 

As Canadians grapple with floods and wildfire smoke amidst the height of the summer travel season, VIU Recreation and Tourism Professor Dr. Aggie Weighill spoke on CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup about how extreme weather events are affecting tourism across Canada this year. 

Environmental impacts of wildfire smoke

VIU Chemistry Professor Dr. Erik Krogh went on CBC’s On the Island morning show on Monday morning to talk about the environmental impacts of wildfire smoke. 

Rooms for students

CBC’s Kathryn Marlow spoke with Michael Witcomb, VIU’s Off-Campus Housing Coordinator, about the university’s campaign to get community members to open up spare rooms in their homes for students. Listen here.  

Tags: Community Engagement | Research | Announcements

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