News archives

Uncovering Post Glacial Sea Levels and Coastal Landscape Evolution with the Sands of Time

CEDD team landing on 3 mile beach on remote west coast of Calvert Island
(D. Shugar photo)

Dr. Ian J. Walker, director of the Coastal Erosion & Dune Dynamics (CEDD) Laboratory, has begun a new collaborative project to reconstruct sea-level change and coastal landscape evolution over the past 12,000 years on the central coast of BC's Great Bear Rainforest.  Early in this time period, known as the Holocene, peopling of the west coast of North America occurred following the last ice age.  The central coast region poses many unknowns (compared to the N and S coasts of BC) on how sea levels behaved following the retreat of the glaciers and, subsequently, how the landscape was configured to be favourable for human occupation.  The study involves mapping old, elevated shorelines identified by GIS analysis of high resolution, aerial laser mapping (LiDAR) and the dating of recent and prehistoric beaches and sand dunes using a method called Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating. The project involves collaboration with Dr. Olav Lian (U. Fraser Valley), one of Canada's leading geochronologists and OSL experts, and the Hakai Beach Institute on Calvert Island. 

Unexploded Bomb Halts Dune Restoration Research in Pacific Rim National Park

Spent shell casings exhumed by wind erosion in the Wickaninnish Dunes,
with glove for scale
(I. Walker photo)

Since 2009, Dr. Ian J. Walker and his students have been working with Parks Canada Agency (PCA) in Pacific Rim National Park, near Ucluelet, BC, on one of Canada's largest coastal dune restoration projects.  The project, designed to remove an invasive beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) and promote more dynamic habitat for endangered species, ground to a halt this spring when PCA and DND closed the entire Wickaninnish Dunes site after a retired PCA staff member discovered an unexploded mortar left over from WWII military activities. In their years of land surveys at the site, Dr. Walker and his team often discover military artifacts unearthed by shifting sands in the dunes, but have (fortunately) never come across an unexploded ordnance (or UXO). The closure has significant impacts for visitor safety and Dr. Walker's broader research program on beach-dune dynamics and restoration.  This hazard poses an interesting application of the science of geomorphology and Dr. Walker is working with PCA and a team from the Department of National Defence, UXO & Legacy Sites Program, to understand site hazards and explore options for UXO discovery and removal.


Check out the Cascadia Field School (Geog 388 and 391) blog here!

See here for Dr. Reuben Rose-Redwood's editorial/petition about the selling of Victoria's naming rights

UVic Geographers shine once again at 2012 WDCAG meeting in Kelowna

See the SOGS award winning video here.

Canada's environmental reputation tarnished - an editorial by Phil Dearden HERE

Hydrology Field Trip

Click here for more photos

India Field School Blog

Click here to see a selection of fascinating journal accounts and breathtaking photos from students at the India Field School. Also see video below.

ANOTHER new video from India Field School here!!

Video from India Field School

Stay "In the Know" -- Subscribe to the Geography mail list

The Department of Geography maintains an email list to let current students and alumni know about departmental activities and news. Subscribe to this mailing list by clicking UVic-Geog.


SSM construction blog

November 29, 2010

In March 2008, we moved from Cornett to the new Social Sciences and Mathematics Building.

Photo blog of our home during construction: the Social Sciences and Mathematics Building

Photos from Geog 477 Field Studies in Physical Geography, Fall 2010

In September, 2010, the students of Geography 477 went to Glacier and Revelstoke National Parks led by Drs. Dan Smith and Jim Gardner:

Click photo to view the whole album

Community maps empower grassroots change

June 13, 2010

Times Colonist writer Steve Carey speaks with UVic Geography's community mapping expert Ken Josephson:

"'A community map presents a collective view of a community, of what they value and treasure.

Traditional maps present the world view of government administrators or businesses, and community maps bridge that power structure, and give a method for communities to self-discover and self-identify,' Josephson says.

'Ideally, it becomes a tool for engagement, and empowers people to make change in their communities.'"

Full article in Times Colonist

Meet Ken and learn more about UVic Community Mapping


Geographer Dr. Phil Dearden responds to Times Colonist news

June 9, 2010

Times Colonist article prompts the director of UVic's Marine Protected Areas Research Group Dr. Phil Dearden to write a letter to the editor.

"The headline 'Marine ecosystem off Haida Gwaii protected' gives the impression that the area is well protected. In fact 97 per cent is still open to fishing," writes Dearden. Read the full letter