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Rainforests of the ocean

March 12, 2019 - The Ring

Kelp forests are a rich ecosystem critical to many species such as herring and salmon, but researchers know that kelp is decreasing in some areas of the Pacific Northwest. Detailed maps of kelp beds developed by the British Navy in the 19th century are helping modern scientists chart habitat change in coastal BC.

Read more: Rainforests of the ocean

Maycira Costa: Historical Kelp Forest Map

Dr. Maycira Costa and her research team have created the first historical digital map of BC’s coastal kelp forests to investigate the loss of kelp. The new reference map will help address questions related to the habitats of salmon, herring and many other species that rely on kelp for protection and food. Read more: New digital map of kelp forests

Duffus in NYT: PCB threat to whales is shocking, but not surprising

Dr. Dave Duffus, founder and Director of UVic's Whale Research Lab, commented on the dire threats facing killer whales in a recent article featured in the New York Times. Duffus has been researching whales over a lengthy field-based and professorial career, looking at whale ecology in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the growing visibility of the consequences of whale-human interactions.

In memory of David Chuenyan Lai, C.M., Ph.D.

David Chuenyan Lai, C.M., Ph.D., was one of the Geography department's longest-serving faculty. Included in his numerous achievements and titles are his status as Professor Emeritus of Geography, Adjunct Professor of Pacific and Asian Studies Department, and Research Affiliate of the Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria. He was an Advisory Professor at East China Normal University, Shanghai, and Southeast Asian Research Institute of Hainan University, Haikou, China. Dr. Lai left an amazing scholarly legacy over his 35 years with UVic.

Nathan Bennett, PhD Alumnus, wins Conservation Award

UVic Geography Alumnus and PhD, Nathan Bennett, has been recognized with a 2018 Early Career Conservationist award, presented by the Society for Conservation Biology. As stated by the Society, Bennet's research “had provided critical insights into the role of indigenous people in conservation in Canada, the relationship between small-scale fishers and marine protected areas in Thailand and the Mediterranean Sea, and the effective and equitable governance of marine protected areas globally”.

Dan Smith's 500th and final issue of GeogNews

Longtime Faculty member and former president of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Dan Smith, has released the final and 500th issue of Geog News, the news digest of the CAG. The Department would like to take this opportunity to recognize Dan for the outstanding role he has played for the CAG, and for geography in Canada generally. This is a remarkable accomplishment, and a fitting legacy.

Chris Darimont named Raincoast Research Chair in Applied Conservation Science

UVic conservation scientist and geography associate professor, Chris Darimont, uses applied research to confront problems and opportunities in sustainability in the Great Bear Rainforest on BC’s central coast. On May 30, Darimont was named the Raincoast Research Chair in Applied Conservation Science at the University of Victoria.

UVic study: Increased Arctic access could harm whales

The Canadian Press interviewed Geography's Lauren McWhinnie regarding a new study she co-led on the impacts of increased vessel traffic on marine mammals in the Arctic as a result of melting sea ice. The research, to be published in Ocean and Coastal Management next month, reviewed vessel management tools for viable use in an Arctic environment and recommends two tools: a voluntary exclusion zone and a voluntary speed reduction zone.

Lauren McWhinnie: In defence of the Salish Sea

Lauren McWhinnie was interviewed by the Times Colonist about the deployment of hydrophones along BC's coast to monitor the impact of human activity on the area's marine ecosystem. The project, known as the Salish Sea Acoustic Monitoring and Educational Outreach Project, is a partnership between Ocean Networks Canada and the Vancouver Aquarium.

David Atkinson talks forecasting science and traditional lifeways

David Atkinson, associate professor of Geography, spoke to CBC North about new research on how detailed weather forecasts could be more useful for traditional ways of life. Dr. Atkinson and his team are trying to come up with a better way to predict weather in northern communities. Community knowledge is key to the research being conducted by Atkinson's team, since community members "have a culture of observing." The University of Victoria project is focusing on the NWT communities of Sachs Harbor, Tuktoyaktuk, and Ulukhaktok.

Jackie Ziegler Talks Wildlife Tourism in Hakai Magazine

Uvic Geography PhD candidate Jackie Ziegler was recently interviewed by Hakai Magazine about a new study Ziegler led on the ethics of whale shark tourism in Oslob, Philippines. Ziegler notes that daily hand-feeding, conducted by tourism companies to sell whale-shark-watching experiences, could have serious implications for their natural mobility and migratory patterns.

Rosaline Canessa interviewed about new federal support for whale research

Geography's Rosaline Canessa was interviwed by CTV-VI, CBC Radio and CFAX about an exciting funding announcement by the federal government. Fisheries and Oceans Canada Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced the funding recently in Vancouver as part of $3.1 million for research focused on the issue of underwater noise. The funding supports the work of three UVic researchers: Canessa, who will lead the vessel disturbance study; Francis Juanes the lead investigator for the chinook salmon research; and Stan Dosso, who will lead the echolocation research.

Darimont et al.'s new article: "Hallmarks of science" missing from wildlife management

UVic Geography's Chris Darimont and fellow authors make the case that the "hallmarks of science" are missing from North American wildlife management policy. Contrary to the claims of resource management companies who often defend controversial policies as adhering to science-based approaches, Darimont et al. found that less than half of the management systems in the US and Canada meet indicator criteria.

For archive news older than September 2013, see the Geography News Archives.