Keiran's World World by word by word

Tag Archives: University Of Victoria

PKols sign-Mt Doug, Victoria, BC

Names contain identity, culture, history and geography

When University of Victoria anthropology and computer science students joined forces in 2011 with the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group out of Ladysmith and local Elders to develop a video game, they were furthering the concept that names confer power and presence. In the game, players embark on a virtual journey through Read more →

Stranded velella, relatives of sea jellies. Photo © Dan (Newslighter), via flickr and Creative Commons

Real-world event mirrors B-grade film alien horror

Nature Boy spent a few minutes dabbling his toes in the water at Willows Beach last week. “I don’t feel it,” he reported. “They say a great blob of warm ocean water has moved up to the northern coast. It appears to not have arrived at Willows.” “Maybe it’s something Read more →

Coffee cups—reusable is more environmentally friendly if you use them often and for a long time. Photo © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, via creative commons and flickr

Analyses show no easy environmental answers for
consumer choices

Back when I was young, a University of Victoria researcher published a paper that shifted the ground under my idealistic, environmentally conscious, fairtrade sock-clad feet. The year was 1994. Scientists had published the first big studies documenting rapid, modern climate change. Alberta’s tar-sands companies had publicly accepted government bail-outs. Earth Read more →

Victoria residents recently demonstrated again how keen many of them are about birding. Preliminary results from this year’s Christmas Bird Count show more than 200 volunteers turned out in mid-December to watch for birds throughout the Capital Region. The birders recorded 144 species this year. Data collected by birders during the count are used to assess and monitor bird population numbers and health in communities across North America. Community organizers select one day from December 14 until January 5, and send their volunteers out to scour a 24-kilometre-diameter area that stays the same from year to year. Ninety-five communities in B.C. have taken part in the annual event this year. The final numbers of species sighted won’t be tallied until the event officially finishes tomorrow. Started by the Audubon Society in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count now provides 114 years of regularly collected data about bird population numbers across the continent. It helps bird scientists and ecologists assess and monitor species health in regions and individual communities. For example, scientists have used information gathered by community birders during the count to get the Western Screech-Owl, Rusty Blackbird, and Newfoundland Red Crossbill added to Canada’s Species at Risk lists. It also provides opportunity for regular people to engage in and contribute to science. In fact, the Christmas Bird Count is one of the longest-running and better-known citizen-science programs going. The concept of citizen science has grown in scope, popularity and opportunity during the last decade. Thanks in large part to advances in web technology, folk like you and me, who don’t have Ph.D.s and lack access to science labs, can make our own small marks in the scientific process—and learn more about things that interest us.

From birds to stars:
Opportunities to add to how we understand the world

Victoria residents recently demonstrated again how keen many of them are about birding. Preliminary results from this year’s Christmas Bird Count show more than 200 volunteers turned out in mid-December to watch for birds throughout the Capital Region. The birders recorded 144 species this year. Data collected by birders during Read more →

bald eagle, by Mark Stephenson

Careful: We really do become what we eat

Victoria Times Colonist, December 8, 2012—We’re in Courtenay at the end of this year’s salmon run. We’ve already seen two eagles fly over the Comox Air Force Museum like B-52 bombers with full payloads. From where we stand today on the banks of the Puntledge River, we spot three more Read more →