VIU News & Experts: May 1

Wildfire with silhouettes of trees

May 1, 2024 - 7:15pm

Experts on harm reduction, wildfires and politics 🗣️

In this issue of VIU news & experts: 

  • Substance use in public places: Harm reduction advocate and Nursing Professor Sarah Lovegrove
  • Slowing the spread of wildfires: Dr. Sean Sloan, VIU Canada Research Chair in the Human Dimensions of Sustainability and Resilience
  • Political scientists from across BC at VIU for conference

Featured experts

Substance use in public spaces

The BC government has chosen to recriminalize the use of drugs in public spaces after weeks of news coverage about drug use in hospitals, parks and elsewhere. Sarah Lovegrove, a Nursing Professor and harm reduction advocate, thinks this move is a knee-jerk political reaction to public outcry/opinion rather than considering solutions from an evidence-based public health perspective. She’s available to expand further on potential impacts of this decision.

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

VIU news

Slowing the spread of wildfires

It may be hard for many Canadians to believe, but in some parts of the world, wildfire severity may actually be decreasing. Dr. Sean Sloan, VIU’s Canada Research Chair in the Human Dimensions of Sustainability and Resilience, is researching how human intervention is reducing a decades-old trend in Indonesia. His findings may support the efficacy of fire suppression and prevention programs, suggesting that human behaviour can make a difference in wildfire intensity, even in the most fire-afflicted regions. 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.

Generosity of donors supports student success

Last year, the Vancouver Island University Foundation gave out more than 3,000 awards to students who needed a financial boost to continue their studies. The total value raised came out at more than $3.7 million and students across all programs benefitted.
“It put me in a comfortable place, allowing me to focus on school,” said Sarah McClelland, a Bachelor of Education student. “It makes you feel really good about yourself and about the world, that there are still people willing to help and to make it so other people can strive to be the best they are.”
McClelland’s story and others are detailed in the VIU Foundation’s Giving in Action report, which shares the stories of students who received awards as well as a story from legacy donor Les Dickason, who aims “to make a small difference in terms of assisting Education students in need as they continue their programs without going bankrupt or taking out too many loans.” Read more.

VIU in the news

Thanks to a partnership between Nanwakolas Council and Vancouver Island University, there are 16 more Indigenous Guardians who are now trained and equipped with skills to better protect their coastal lands and waters! Read the story.
The BC Conservation Foundation and Vancouver Island University are investigating the prevalence of 6PPD-quinone, a chemical used in tires that is fatal to salmon in small amounts, in eastern Vancouver Island’s freshwater waterways. So far, the chemical was detected in about 660 samples, or 33 per cent. Read more in the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
The Pacific Salmon Foundation helps fund several scholarships to foster salmon leaders. Two promising students in the Fisheries & Aquaculture Diploma Program at VIU recently accepted PSF-supported awards. Congratulations! Meet the recipients.
Congratulations to VIU Creative Writing and Journalism alum Tyson Whitney, editor of the North Island Gazette, who won gold at the British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspaper Association (BCYCNA) Ma Murray awards show on April 20! Read more about the series he won for.
Vancouver Island University’s sports teams won games all season long at the VIU gym, and the players and coaches gathered there once more this month for some more winning. Read the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s wrap-up article.
How can you use AI to help you in the job search process – and how shouldn’t you use it? Jonah Ferguson, VIU’s Employer & Student Engagement Specialist, shares some tips as part of Global BC and CKNW 980’s Future of Work series.
People around the world know the name Nanaimo because of the dessert bar that bears the city’s name, but two VIU History classes have put the area’s culinary scene under a microscope to determine the rest of what makes the area’s food scene special. Read more about Beyond the Bar in the Victoria Buzz.

Happening at VIU

Political scientists at VIU this week

An annual conference focusing on trust and leadership is coming to Vancouver Island University this week. The BC Political Studies Association (BCPSA) Conference will take place at the Nanaimo campus on May 2 and 3. Hosted by VIU’s Political Studies department, the conference will include multi-disciplinary research papers and posters by faculty and students on trust and leadership across time and space, climate change and public policy and other related topics. Dr. Michael MacKenzie, VIU’s Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership, encourages anyone interested in these topics to attend. 

“This is a conference about public issues that people know and care a lot about, and the people who are presenting at this conference spend their time studying these things and we have a lot of interesting things to say about them,” he said.

Read more.

Omni VIU Graphic Design Show

The VIU Graphic Design department is hosting its grad show, Omni, on May 2 from 6 to 8 pm in the Malaspina Theatre lobby. Features keynote speaker VIU alum Clair Forshaw.

Tags: In the Community

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