VIU News & Experts: December 1, 2023

Three women smile, one holding a bunch of balloons, another holding a heart balloon near her face

December 1, 2023 - 2:00pm

What can COP28 realistically achieve? 🌍

We had a soul-filling week at VIU. The VIU Foundation's Giving Tuesday campaign raised more than $350,000 for students in need and engaged with a record number of new donors. We celebrated by giving students cookies, smiles and heart balloons. Every dollar raised goes to student scholarships, awards, bursaries and special education initiatives. Learn more.

VIU experts

COP28 experts

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference starts today in Dubai. It is the 28th conference of the parties – COP28 – who signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The signatories are taking stock of previous commitments and hammering out new pledges.

  • Political Studies Professor Dr. Lauren Touchant is attending the conference virtually and plans to write an article for The Conversation. Read her articles from previous COP conferences. She can do a few interviews during negotiations.
  • Dr. Erik Krogh, Co-Director of the Applied Environmental Research Laboratories and a Chemistry Professor, is available to speak about the causes and effects of climate change and greenhouse gases.
  • Climate change and sustainability expert Dr. Jeff Lewis is following the discussion about what countries have done to meet their Paris Accord commitments, which Canada is not on track to do. He is available to chat about the importance of COP28 and what he hopes the event will achieve.

2 Truths and an AI

Can you tell the difference between a play written by a person and an AI? That’s the question audience members are asked during Two Truths and an A.I. Creative Writing students wrote two plays and an AI wrote the third. Theatre students will perform all three and challenge the audience to guess which was written by the AI. The show runs December 6 to 8, 12 to 1 pm. Mike Taugher Studio (Building 330, Room 109). Chat with VIU Theatre Professor Leon Potter about how the idea came about and how these tools are changing the learning experience. Creative Writing Professor Craig Taylor will be available to talk to people following the performances as well. Learn more.

Want to hear more? Connect with VIU Experts

VIU news

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign began on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and runs until December 10 – World Human Rights Day. The VIU Faculty Association’s Women’s and Gender Equity Committee has partnered with other VIU groups to host a vigil on December 6 – the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – at 12 pm in the Malaspina Theatre lobby. There will also be a film screening that night. Read more.

Refugee finds fit with new VIU program

VIU's new Trades Pathways for Newcomers program is already having a life-changing impact on students like Ezat Haidary. Haidary is a refugee from Afghanistan who fled his home country after receiving direct threats to his family following the Taliban’s return to power in 2021. After living in Pakistan for a year, they all arrived in Nanaimo this past spring. After taking the Trades Pathways program this fall, Ezat starts VIU's Carpentry program in January. Ezat's story

VIU in the news

Protecting the spotted frog and Pacific oyster

VIU’s Dr. Andrew Loudon is working to protect the Columbia spotted frog from a deadly disease and breed a more disease-resistant and resilient Pacific oyster. He received a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for this work. His research was recently profiled in the Nanaimo News Bulletin and Coast FM

VIU events

Milner Christmas Magic

Make memories with family and friends this holiday season during Milner Christmas Magic, presented by VIU’s Milner Gardens & Woodland. This year the festive light display runs from December 1 to 3, 8 to 10, and 15 to 20 from 5 to 8 pm, with viewing up until 8:30 pm. Admission is by a suggested donation of $8 for adults, $4 for children and $20 for a household. Learn more.

Tags: Community Engagement | VIU Foundation | Research

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