April 5, 2018 - 12:15pm
Members of the public invited to attend research events
Research projects big and small are changing the world as we know it, either by expanding knowledge into unknown realms, offering creative solutions for regional issues or building on existing theories.
Vancouver Island University (VIU) faculty and students are showcasing their projects during the University’s First Annual Research Week, which runs April 9-16. It’s being held alongside the sixth annual CREATE Conference, an event that allows undergraduate and graduate students to share their scholastic, research and creative projects April 11-12.
Orla Osborne, a Master of Geographic Information Systems Applications student, is one of many VIU students presenting their research during the CREATE Conference.
She’s studying the movements of Black-legged Kittiwakes, a seabird that inhabits Middleton Island in Alaska. Osborne is using GPS data to identify their feeding habits using a new analysis model called the Residence in Space and Time method created by Leigh Torres, Rachael Orben, Irina Tolkova and David Thompson. She’s hopeful her research will pinpoint exactly where the sea-birds are feeding, which has the potential to inform conservation methods. Although the Black-legged Kittiwake isn’t endangered, Osborne said if this method is successful it could be applied to similar species.
What motivates Osborne’s research? She hopes her work could be a resource for other scientists to further research around conservation.
“Nobody wants a decline in biodiversity. Yet, it’s happening and we can’t protect what we know nothing about,” said Osborne. “This research is important to society because it will hopefully offer a method for delineating locations important to survival of this seabird, and possibly other threatened or endangered animals, and provide previously unknown information on the movement patterns of this population on Middleton Island.”
Dr. Guy Le Masurier, a VIU Sport, Health and Physical Education Professor, is one of the faculty members judging student presentations during CREATE. He said Research Week and the CREATE Conference allows students and faculty to present their scholarship in a variety of ways that engages the VIU community and mid-Island community at large.
“The CREATE event inspires student learning and engagement. Participants and spectators get energized seeing all the activity and their peers engaged in the weeklong events,” said Le Masurier. “Students get a chance to support each other, be supported, and learn about all of the interesting and impactful activities happening at VIU.”
Community members are invited to attend Research Week and the CREATE Conference to discover more about major research projects at VIU. Activities include a VIU Faculty Research and Creative Activity Symposium, a student scholarship slam and during the CREATE Conference students will showcase their projects through displays, posters, artwork, performances and presentations.
Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University