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UBC Reports Apr 2, 2009

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VOL   55   I   NO   4   I   APRIL   2,   2009
Behind the words
Brain science
5      Head tax stories
6      Digital literacy
Too many Canadians
without safe water: $5.2M to help
For six million Canadians,
quenching their thirst isn't a
matter of simply turning on the
kitchen faucet.
"Water quality in 1,700
small and rural communities
across Canada - some as close
as half an hour drive from
a major metropolitan area
such as Vancouver - can be
as bad or worse than that in
developing countries," says
Madjid Mohseni, an associate
professor in chemical and
biological engineering. "For
example, nearly 100 First
Nations communities live
under permanent boil water
Now with the help of a
$5.2-million Strategic Network
Grant from the Natural
Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada
(NSERC), Mohseni, as principal
investigator, is joining forces
with 14 researchers from seven
universities to make technology
available that ensures clean
water for all Canadians. The
grant establishes a national
network of scientists called
RES'EAU-WaterNet to address
the social, economic and
technological challenges faced by
small and rural communities.
"When we talk about poor
water quality we think of major
cases such as North Battleford,
the Kashechewan First Nations
Reserve, and Walkerton, Ont.,
where seven people died and
more than 2,000 residents got ill
Prof. Madjid Mohseni says unsafe drinking water is the cause of an estimated 90,000 illnesses every year.
as a result of an E. coli outbreak
that contaminated the town's
water supply in May 2000," says
Mohseni, an expert in water
purification systems. "The truth
is, Health Canada estimates
that unsafe drinking water is
the cause of 90,000 illnesses
and 90 deaths every year. That's
the equivalent of 13 Walkerton
In 2001, a compromised water
system in North Battleford,
Sask., led to the infection of
more than 6,000 people with
cryptosporidiosis. In 2005, 800
members of the Kashechewan
First Nation in Northern
Ontario were evacuated after E.
coli bacteria were discovered in
their water supply system.
Vancouverites only need to go
as far back as November 2006
to recall the health concerns and
inconvenience of a temporary
boil water advisory. Severe
storms raised the turbidity
level of the water supply. As
a precaution, residents of the
Lower Mainland were advised to
boil their drinking water for two
"The city of Vancouver has
one of the highest-quality water
supplies in Canada because
its North Shore watersheds
belong to the Greater Vancouver
Regional District and the city
has a system that includes
skilled operators who monitor
the treatment and distribution
systems 24-7," says Mohseni.
"For many smaller communities,
where water supply routes
span several jurisdictions
and infrastructure funding is
lacking, safeguarding water
quality becomes much more
Eighteen research projects will
be carried out over the next five
years and involve 33 industry
and government partners
to ensure new knowledge is
immediately applied. Since
more than 75 per cent of
water treatment facilities in
Canada are located in small and
rural communities, advances
made by RES'EAU-WaterNet
collaborations could not only
continued on page 6
Chicago uses UBC technology to plan city's future
How do you want your city to
look in 100 years?
A technology created at the
University of British Columbia
is giving communities around
the globe a peek at how today's
decisions can rewrite tomorrow's
Like a Web 2.0 crystal ball,
the software dramatically
illustrates the future impacts of
city planning proposals, helping
to steer stakeholders away from
pitfalls such as urban sprawl,
gridlock and decay.
MetroQuest - the Vancouver
company and its eponymous
software - has worked with
dozens of communities from
Beijing to Denver. Its ability
to get everyday people excited
about planning and help citizens
rally around plans for healthy,
sustainable cities is getting
The Chicago Metropolitan
Agency for Planning (CMAP) has
chosen MetroQuest (formerly
Quest) to help northeastern
Illinois accommodate an
anticipated additional 2.8
million residents over the next
three decades. The plan will
cover 273 municipalities and
a population that is expected
to jump from eight million to
nearly 11 million by 2040.
In an attempt to give
Chicagoans an unprecedented
amount of input into the
direction of their region,
MetroQuest will be rolling out
interactive kiosks as the city
celebrates the 100th anniversary
of Chicago's iconic Burnham
Plan in July. Created in 1909 by
Daniel Burnham and Edward
Bennett, it is among the world's
most famous city plans.
"MetroQuest is like a real-life
version of SimCity," says Dave
Biggs, a former UBC researcher
who created the technology with
UBC Prof. John Robinson and
UBC alumnus Mike Walsh at
UBC's Sustainable Development
Research Institute in 1997. Biggs'
comparison to the video game
is apt; SimCity's creators were
early advisors to the project.
"When we first saw SimCity,
we thought: 'If we could portray
real cities with real data, this
could be a powerful tool for
making complex decisions,'" says
Biggs. "It allows communities
to play games with their own
MetroQuest functions like a real-life version ofthe video game SimCity.
future, see the consequences and
choose - collectively - what is
most important to them."
In the first phase of a project,
MetroQuest works with cities to
upload regional data. "Ninety-five
continued on page 5 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     APRIL    2,    2009
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in March 2009.  compiled by sean sullivan
Rashid Sumaila ofthe UBC Fisheries Centre says the benefits of eating fish have been grossly overstated.
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Health claims 'fishy'
The health benefits of eating
fish have been over-dramatized
and have put increased
pressure on the world's rapidly
depleting stocks of wild fish, say
researchers from UBC's Fisheries
The researchers, who teamed
up with medical scientists from
St. Michael's Hospital and the
University of Toronto, as well
as acclaimed Canadian author
Farley Mowat, challenged the
popular notion that fish are
beneficial to human health.
As it turns out, the jury is
still out. Researchers found
that people who do not eat fish,
such as vegetarians, are not at
increased risk of illness.
"Governments and industry
tell consumers to eat more fish
because it is healthy," explains
Rashid Sumaila, director of the
Fisheries Economics Research
Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre
and study co-author. "But
where do we get these fish?
They are increasingly coming
from the waters around Africa
and other places where food
security is a problem."
The research was published
in the Canadian Medical
Association journal and reported
by the Times of India, The
Canadian Press, the Globe and
Mail, Ottawa Citizen, and the
Oranges may prevent gout
UBC researchers say men with
a higher intake of vitamin C
from food or supplements have
a lower risk of developing gout,
a form of arthritis from uric acid
build-up that causes inflamed
The researchers, led by Hyon
Choi, believe their study shows
that vitamin C lowers levels of
uric acid in the blood and may
provide a great way to prevent
the painful condition.
Gout can lead to permanent
joint damage and is linked to
alcohol abuse, obesity, high
blood pressure and a diet
heavy in meat and cheese. It is
increasingly common and afflicts
three million people in the
United States.
The paper, published in the
Archives of Internal Medicine,
was reported on by Reuters,
CTV, The Telegraph, the BBC,
ABC, Forbes, and others.
Here comes the sun
Technology invented by UBC
physics Prof. Lome Whitehead
could eventually allow builders
to harness the sun's rays in order
to illuminate the insides of office
Physicists at UBC have begun
rolling out a "solar canopy" that
uses mirrors to redirect sunlight
deep inside commercial office
towers, reported the Vancouver
On a sunny day, it can light up
an entire office floor without any
electric power at all.
"This is the first such system
to be practical for widespread
adoption in standard office
buildings," says Whitehead.
"The system will not only bring
natural light into workplaces
but could reduce greenhouse
gas emissions from lighting in
commercial buildings by ten to
25 per cent."
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from the source UBC    REPORTS     |     APRIL    2,    2009     |     3
What lies behind the online words?
In the digital world, it's easier
to tell a lie and get away with it.
That's good news for liars, but
not so good for anyone being
Michael Woodworth, a
forensic psychologist at UBC
Okanagan studying deception
in computer-mediated
environments, says offering
up a fib in person might make
you provide certain signals that
you're trying to deceive, but
lying online avoids the physical
cues that can give you away.
"When people are interacting
face to face, there is something
called the 'motivational
impairment effect,' where your
body will give off some cues as
you become more nervous and
there's more at stake with your
lie," says Woodworth. "In a
computer-mediated environment,
the exact opposite occurs."
The motivational enhancement
effect - a term coined by
Woodworth and colleague
Jeff Hancock from Cornell
University - describes how
people motivated to lie in a
computer-mediated environment
are not only less likely to be
detected, they are also actually
better at being deceptive than
people who are less motivated.
When telling a lie face-to-face,
the higher the stakes of your
deception, the more cues you
may give out that you're lying.
So, what isn't in a text message
may have advantages for a
would-be deceiver: text doesn't
transmit non-verbal cues such
as vocal properties, physical
gestures, and facial expressions.
Woodworth's research,
supported by a grant of $87,055
from the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council,
is very timely as technology and
deceptive practices converge.
"Deception is one of the
most significant and pervasive
social phenomena of our age,"
says Woodworth. "On average,
people tell one to two lies a
day, and these lies range from
the trivial to the more serious.
Deception lies in communication
between friends, family,
colleagues and in power and
Woodworth began his
exploration by looking at
how to detect deception in
face-to-face environments.
But he soon recognized the
invasion of information and
communication technologies into
nearly all aspects of our lives
was an opportunity to study
how technology affects "digital
deception" - defined as any type
of technologically mediated
message transmitted to create a
false belief in the receiver of the
"Given the prevalence of both
deception and communication
technology in our personal
and professional lives, an
important set of concerns have
emerged about how technology
affects digital deception," says
Woodworth. He points out a
growing number of individuals
are falling prey to deceptive
practices and information
received through computer
mediated contexts such as the
"By learning more about how
various factors affect detecting
deceit in online communication,
our research will certainly
have important implications in
Michael Woodworth, associate professor of psychology at UBC Okanagan, is developing new ideas about why
people are better at lying online than telling a lie face-to-face.
organizational contexts, both
legal and illegal, in the political
domain, and in family life as
more and more children go
online." 13
Killer language
Michael Woodworth's research at UBC Okanagan goes beyond deception.
He also studies the personality disorder of psychopathy, looking at what secrets
can be gleaned from the language used by psychopaths who have killed.
After interviewing dozens of psychopaths and non-psychopaths convicted
of murder, Woodworth and colleagues used electronic linguistics analysis
to automatically process the interview transcripts, paying attention to the
appearance of certain words, parts of speech (verbs, adjectives, nouns), and
semantics - for example, looking at how often certain topics came up.
The results were revealing.
"In the transcripts of psychopathic offenders, we found twice as many terms
related to eating, and 58 per cent more references to money," says Woodworth.
"And the psychopaths were significantly more likely to discuss both clothing
and drinking while discussing their homicide, compared to non-psychopathic
Woodworth has now teamed with noted forensic psychologist and deception
researcher Stephen Porter, who joined UBC Okanagan from Dalhousie University
last summer, and fellow forensic psychologist Jan Cioe to build a multi-
disciplinary forensic science graduate program and research centre at UBC
Bringing together prominent forensic psychologists will benefit both the
academic and wider communities, says Woodworth.
"In the back of my mind I'm always thinking 'how is this going to potentially
have some applied value?' whether it be the community in general, or specifically
for law enforcement, or by furthering our knowledge within a certain area,"
he says. "All of these applications ultimately assist with both assessment and
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iTi^ruirk	 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     APRIL
Can brain science manipulate consumers?
Ever question the ethics or
science behind advertising? Well,
Prof. Judy Illes does.
In fact, Illes, Director of the
National Core of Neuroethics
at UBC, is exploring the ethical
issues around neuromarketing,
an emerging field of marketing
that uses neuroscience to get you
hooked on the latest fad.
Illes and her colleagues
believe that companies using
neuromarketing techniques
should adopt a code of ethics
to ensure beneficent use of the
"The field of neuroscience
is evolving at a rapid rate,"
says Illes, who is also a
Canada Research Chair in
Neuroethics. "Advances in
scientific technologies can give
us intimate details about the
inner workings of our brain.
Neuroethics considers the social,
cultural, personal and religious
implications of these advances in
Neuromarketing uses
neuroscience to study the brain's
responses to marketing stimuli. It
aims to understand a consumer's
decision and the part of the brain
that influences that decision.
Researchers use technologies
such as functional Medical
Resonance Imaging (fMRI) or
EEG to measure the changes
Prof. Judy Illes believes that a code of ethics should be adopted for neuromarketing techniques.
f|£|§p) Faculty of Medicine
' Through knowledge, creating health
Associate Dean | Admissions
Applications/nominations are invited for the position of Associate Dean,
Admissions for the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. This is a part-time
appointment in the Dean's Office, Faculty of Medicine which is expected to
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the province. Admission to the program is highly competitive with usually
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those who wish to review it.
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Application letters, accompanied
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province-wide delivery model.
The Faculty teaches students
at the undergraduate, graduate
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in activity in various parts of
the brain based on a subject's
response to specific products,
packaging, advertising, and
"Neuromarketing is a still a
relatively new field," says Illes,
who is also a member of the
Brain Research Centre at UBC
and Vancouver Coastal Health
Research Institute. "The premise
is that directly peering into a
consumer's brain while viewing
products or brands is a much
better predictor of consumer
The brain responses to fMRI
and EEG may be more revealing
than traditional marketing
studies such as surveys or
focus groups because measured
reactions come directly from
brain signals.
"Neuroscience can be used
as a powerful tool to advance
commercial interests," says Illes.
"But the use of technology that
probes the inner workings of the
human brain, especially beyond
what one might knowingly
divulge in traditional behavioral
testing, raises substantial ethical
"There are three major ethical
issues for consideration," says
Illes. "First, we must protect
parties who may be harmed or
exploited by neuromarketing.
Second, we must protect
consumer autonomy if
neuromarketing reaches a
critical level of effectiveness and
third, we must protect scientific
According to Illes,
neuromarketing has the
potential to harm vulnerable
persons including persons
with neurological disease,
psychological disorders and
children. An example would
Inside buyers' brains
In a recent book
called Buyology, Brand
Consultant Martin
Lindstrom presented the
findings from his four-
year neuromarketing
study that peered inside
the brains of 2,000
volunteers from around
the world as they viewed
commercials, brands and
The study revealed
that images of dominant
brands, such as the iPod,
stimulated the same part
of the brain activated by
religious symbols. It also
found that warning labels
on cigarette packages
stimulate activity in a
brain area associated with
craving - despite the fact
that subjects said they
thought the warnings
were effective. The study
also found that product
placement in movies and
television rarely worked
and the Nokia tune turns
people off.
be marketing fatty foods to
morbidly obese people, drugs for
educationally challenged youth,
cigarettes to smokers or alcohol
to alcoholics. She suggests a
special ethics review should
be a minimum standard for
neuromarketing research.
In academic and medical
research centres, subjects
volunteering to participate in
neuroimaging-based studies
are protected by Institutional
Review Board guidelines, which
can include strict experimental
guidelines. However, when
moved into private enterprise,
such subject protections may not
be present.
"The particularly loose
restrictions surrounding
studies for marketing purposes
outside the academic sector
are especially worrying,"
says Illes. "Moreover, if new
technologies are developed
that fall outside the purview of
regulatory authorities, even these
protections may be lost. Subject
protections should be equal to
those required by academic and
medical research centres."
The most vexing of the
issues for Illes is in the realm of
autonomy. Of most concern is
whether future neuromarketing
tools will provide sufficient
insight to allow manipulation
of brain function of which the
consumer is unaware, and results
in a desired behaviour.
"Insights from advanced
technology in the neurosciences
might allow corporations,
governments and others to
influence decisions and actions
regarding brand preference
without the individual being
aware of the subterfuge,"
says Illes. "Such stealth
neuromarketing is not possible
with current technology, but if
developed would represent a
major incursion on individual
Scientific integrity can also be
compromised because current
neuromarketing research is not
subject to the high standards of
peer-reviewed journals.
Illes sites an example in an oped piece in the New York Times
where a group of academics
and neuromarketers presented a
small body of unpublished data
on the results of an fMRI study
of political preferences of swing
voters. The study mentioned
in the op-ed did not contain
the qualifications that would
accompany a scholarly article
in a peer-reviewed journal. For
several days after its publication,
the article topped the rankings
of those most frequently emailed
by readers. Academic colleagues
responded with considerable
outrage in letters to the editor
because of over-interpretation of
fMRI data.
"Such misrepresentation
can do considerable damage
to the public trust of science,"
says Illes. "Not only would
adoption of a code of ethics
generated in collaboration with
the neuroscience community,
neuroethicists and marketing
companies be justified on moral
grounds but it would also
serve to insulate this young
and dynamic industry from
accusations of irresponsible
behavior." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     APRIL    2,    2009     |    5
Generations come together
to tell head tax stories
A new UBC initiative will
bring generations together to tell
the oft-untold stories of Chinese-
Canadians who endured some of
this country's darker days.
The federal government's
Community Historical
Recognition Program (CHRP)
is giving $50,000 to support
a UBC project that involves
students interviewing elders from
B.C. communities. The idea is to
preserve and archive Chinese-
Canadian experiences from 1885
to 1947, during the times of the
restrictive Chinese Head Tax and
Chinese Immigration Act.
"This project is extremely
important for understanding the
history of Chinese-Canadians
as well as Canadian national
history," says Angela Wong,
a 24-year-old UBC student
participating in the effort.
"Growing up in an education
system that often portrayed
Chinese-Canadians as simply
railway workers in Canadian
history, I felt there was an
imbalance in our historical
Wong will help coordinate
and run interviews for the
project, and teach other research
assistants about the art of
effective interviewing. She
completed the history honours
program last year, and begins
her master of Arts in Asia Pacific
Policy Studies next September,
also at UBC.
Sid Chow Tan, the grandson
of a head tax payer who is
helping select interviewees for
the project, echoes Wong's views.
"I recall that my high school and
university courses in the history
of Canada had little or nothing
on the Chinese contribution
to the building of Canada," he
says. "It will be good for all
Canadians, particularly students
and those of Chinese descent,
to know about the foundation
laid by the lo wah kiu - the old
overseas Chinese."
The three-year project is the
brainchild of Henry Yu, an
associate professor in UBC's
Department of History. "I think
this is utterly important because
we need to begin to produce an
archive for the future," says Yu,
also the Director of the Initiative
for Student Teaching and
Research in Chinese-Canadian
studies (INSTRCC).That group,
launched by UBC in 2007, is
part of an effort focusing on
the Asian-Canadian role in the
development of Pacific Canada
(more can be found at www.
The CHRP-funded project
gets underway this month
and will involve three to five
students annually, selected by
Yu and Allan Cho, Program
Services Librarian at the Irving
K. Barber Learning Centre. The
students will receive training in
community-based research and
then embark on interviews in
the Lower Mainland, Victoria,
Nanaimo and the Okanagan.
Completed interviews will be
archived online, thanks to server
space and technical support
from UBC Library. In addition,
follow-up workshops, lectures
and public events will be held at
the Learning Centre.
Yu and Peter Ward - the
university librarian pro tern
and a history scholar and
professor - recently completed
a comprehensive digitization
project that features more than
96,000 entries to the Chinese
Head Tax Register. Students will
UBC student Angela Wong holds a genuine head tax certificate hailing
from the Chung Collection, located in the Irving K. Barber Learning
Centre (Rare Books and Special Collections).
Video search helps
tell stories
The UBC project to
preserve and archive
experiences will involve
the use of interactive
video/transcript viewer
(IVT) technology,
developed as part of
UBC's First Nations
Studies Program. This
application makes it
possible to search a
video interview using
a transcription ofthe
dialogue, making the
overall process more
accessible and useful.
"It's a powerful tool
that allows researchers
to find keywords about
what they're interested
in," says Allan Cho,
Program Services
Librarian at the Irving K.
Barber Learning Centre.
also be trained in the use of this
database for the UBC project.
Ultimately, the goal is that
all participants, from young
scholars to elderly interviewees,
will gain from the experience.
"This is not about one set of
people (the researchers) doing
the learning," asserts Yu. "It's
a broad learning process for
everybody involved. 13
continued from page 1
per cent of this information is
publically available, such as
census numbers and emissions
and transportation data," says
Biggs. "Then we interview staff
and community members for the
remaining information."
Once a city is "digitized,"
citizens can alter key aspects of
their city, including population,
housing, transportation, density
and amenities, much as the
original game did. With a click
of the mouse, participants can
see the effects of their decisions
decades into the future, both
on a satellite-view map and in a
graphical display.
"For example, you can see
what a neighborhood might look
like with low, medium or high
density," says Biggs. "You can
then see how different housing
patterns impact your needs for
transportation, schools, utilities
and other amenities."
Biggs and his team lead
public engagement sessions, or
train clients on MetroQuest
technology and processes.
Sessions are projected on large
screens, town-hall style, and
participants give constant
feedback with interactive clickers.
The end result? According to
Biggs, the participatory approach
produces better decisions, an
engaged citizenry and most
importantly, built-in buy-in to the
final design. "It gives stakeholders
an understanding and sense of
ownership over the result, a huge
advantage over the conventional
'design and defend' method."
This was not lost on Chicago
planners who wanted something
that the public could learn to use
in 15 seconds, and select policies
and see outcomes immediately.
"After a review of the tools
available, it became clear that
MetroQuest was the only tool
that could support the public
involvement phase in the way
that we wanted," says Bob Dean,
Principal Regional Planner,
MetroQuest will return to the
campus where it was conceived,
with the 2011 opening of one
of the greenest buildings on
the planet, the UBC Centre
for Interactive Research on
Sustainability (CIRS). A theatre in
CIRS with MetroQuest technology
will be available to students,
researchers, politicians and
community members to illustrate
the impacts of climate change. 13
For more information on
MetroQuest's Chicago
www.goto2040.org/ or
units engaged in sustainable
community planning, visit:
School of Community and
Regional Planning:
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Juliet Tembe, a UBC Education PhD graduate, introduces computers to teachers in rural Uganda.
Ugandan students advance
digital literacy
In 2008, Sam Andema made
a difficult decision: Saying
goodbye to his wife and two
young children, he left his native
Uganda for a master's program
at UBC that he hopes will allow
him to help revolutionize digital
literacy in East Africa.
He's now part of an
ambitious project in the Faculty
of Education that's helping
spread technological training
in East Africa while developing
new strategies for Canadian
"Uganda is on the move to
development," said Andema.
"The country has articulated its
vision and mission to become
a knowledge-based society, and
one of the tools to achieve that is
modern technology."
Professors Bonny Norton
and Maureen Kendrick of the
UBC Department of Language
and Literacy Education have
undertaken research in Uganda
over the past six years.
One of the goals of their
program is to train highly
qualified people in East African
countries, leading to a new
generation with the skills to
access, understand, evaluate and
create information using digital
"We don't just parachute into
places, take a few pictures, do
a few interviews and leave,"
Norton said. "We've established
a very strong network
because people see we want
sustainability." This network
includes a virtual network, with
UBC PhD student Lauryn Oates
as webmaster, available online at
"In conversations with
teacher educators, we ask: What
challenges do they face? How
can we help them overcome
their challenges? That becomes
a foundation for our work,"
Kendrick said.
The research program pairs
theoretical work in learning,
"People are learning the skills
of searching and browsing,
developing those initial talents
so as technology becomes more
accessible, the transition to that
knowledge-based economy is
easier," she said.
Another project, conducted
last month by UBC Education
PhD graduate Juliet Tembe,
will train rural teachers - some
of whom have never seen a
computer - in the basics of
using a computer and analyzing
information from online
resources. Like Andema, Tembe
is a Ugandan who studied at
UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy presents:
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The projects are part of helping
Uganda in its goal to become a
regional leader in digital literacy.
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development and education
with hands-on work in rural
communities. From the
researchers, one message is clear:
understanding technology is key
to literacy in the 21st century.
"Definitions of literacy are
rapidly changing globally,"
Kendrick said. "What it means
to be literate now has everything
to do with digital technology.
Whether you're in rural Uganda
or whether you're in Vancouver,
there's a global conversation that
people want to be a part of."
The eGranary Digital Library
is one important example. Hard
drives stocked with tens of
thousands of books, journals
and reference websites such as
Wikipedia connect to a local
area network and provide a self-
contained "Internet in a box"
in areas without web access.
It's an effort to "democraticize
learning," said Norton.
The projects are all part of
helping Uganda in its goal to
become a regional leader in
digital literacy, Andema said.
"The trickledown effect allows
the students to leave school with
the ability to access information,
to process information and to
articulate their own ideas and
knowledge," he said.
The partnerships also allow
B.C. educators to link with
classrooms in East Africa
and learn from post-graduate
students like Andema.
As the number of refugee
students from places like
Rwanda, Somalia, and
Afghanistan grows, Canadian
teachers want to learn methods
that are familiar to the students,
said Prof. Margaret Early, who
recently joined the research team.
"It's not a one-way street," she
said. "Teachers here are really
desperate to adapt their teaching
continued from page 1
improve water quality but
potentially generate economic
and humanitarian benefits.
Mohseni and four other
UBC researchers - Pierre
Berube, David Wilkinson, Elod
Gyenge and Rehan Sadiq - will
investigate the feasibility of new
and existing technologies to be
used in rural areas.
Ultraviolet light photocatalysis
- the use of UV light to eliminate
contaminants - for example, has
been explored as an effective
option for water treatment but
remains too costly for large
communities. Smaller-scale
versions that incorporate new
technologies, however, could
deliver desired results for small,
rural communities. Mohseni
and colleagues will be looking
at ways to utilize sunlight,
LEDs and special coatings for
photoreactors to overcome
some of the biggest obstacles in
advancing this technology.
"We plan to bring the
technologies past not only the
initial proof of concept, but also
the on-site validation stage,"
says Mohseni, "That is, we will
evaluate the technologies on-site
using real water and operating
conditions. This would make the
technologies ready for adoption
and implementation by industry
and small communities."
In addition to technological
challenges, small and rural
communities also face unique
social, economical and
governance barriers, Mohseni
adds. "With RES'EAU,
we're bringing together a
multidisciplinary team of experts
who have already earned a
reputation throughout the water
research community for putting
small rural communities first."
"We simply cannot afford to
allow the existing challenges
to exclude millions of our
citizens from access to a vital
requirement for their survival
and advancement," says
Mohseni. "All Canadians have
the right to easily access clean
water, regardless of where they
live." 13
strategies. We can't take Western
notions and expect them to just
work. We have to collaborate
with teachers to develop new
The East African program
is still facing many challenges:
a country's poverty, frequent
power outages and limited
Internet access can pose
problems for the most basic
training. As well, cultural and
social traditions mean teachers,
mostly women, have limited time
to pursue outside training.
"Many don't have time to
concentrate on professional
projects because they have to
make ends meet," Andema said.
"They have to survive."
With plans to spend the
upcoming summer at home with
family, Andema sees his graduate
studies at UBC as his chance
to help lead the development
of digital literacy in his home
"When the opportunity came,
I couldn't just let it pass by," he
said. "It was the opportunity I
had been yearning for." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     APRIL    2,    2009     |     7
Historical student yearbook collection available online
UBC student Cynthia Thomson is a doping control officer
forthe 2010 Winter Games. For more UBC 2010 stories
and experts, visit www.ubc.ca/2010.
UBC Archives, in partnership
with Alumni Affairs and the
Alma Mater Society, has digitized
and now provides online access
to approximately 11,500 pages
of the university's student
yearbook from 1916 to 1966.
Published initially as the
Annual (1915-1928) and
then Totem (1929-1966),
the yearbook provides an
important historical resource
featuring photographs and
information about graduating
students, sports teams, student
clubs and organizations, social
events, governance bodies and
fraternities and sororities.
Unfortunately, as the
university's student population
grew so too did the size of the
publication, and the associated
production costs and demand for
the yearbook decreased until it
ceased publication after the 1966
edition. Some individual faculties
continue to produce separate
student yearbooks.
Project coordinator and
university archivist Chris Hives
said, "The development of this
digital resource will support
general UBC historical research
and, more particularly, provide
a unique student perspective on
the evolution of the institution.
"These publications may also
help older UBC alumni reconnect
with the institution they
knew and the colleagues they
This project is part of the
Archives' ongoing objective
to digitize and provide access
to a variety of key sources of
historical information about the
This new electronic
resource can be accessed
at: cowichan.library.ubc.ca/
archives/?db=yearbooks 13
Faculty of Medicine
Through knowledge, creating health
Associate Dean | Equity & Professionalism
The Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia invites
applications and nominations for the position of Associate Dean, Equity
& Professionalism.  This is a part-time position expected to be filled by a
candidate internal to UBC and is available July 1, 2009.
The successful candidate will report to the Senior Associate Dean,
Faculty Affairs and the Dean of Medicine and through the Dean is
accountable to the Faculty Executive Committee, the Committee of
Department Heads and School Directors, and the Faculty.  The
successful candidate will assist in the creation of a respectful and
positive working and learning environment and will give advice and
present educational programs in an objective, impartial, empathetic and
confidential manner to undergraduate students, graduate students and
postgraduate trainees as well as to faculty in the UBC Faculty of
Medicine.  Issues include discrimination, harassment, intimidation,
uprofessional behaviour as well as gender and equity issues.
The successful candidate will serve in an advisory, policy-making,
educational and problem-solving capacity regarding gender and equity
issues.  He or she will have the opportunity to implement
recommendations from the Faculty's recent climate survey.  A
demonstrated track record in leadership in an academic health
environment is a strong asset.  Opportunities for skill development
related to the portfolio will be provided. Applications from all
health-related disciplines are welcomed.
Faculty of Medicine| Dean's Office
Application letters, accompanied by
detailed curriculum vitae and names ot
three references, should be directed by
April 30, 2009 to:
Dr. Dorothy Shaw
Senior Associate Dean,
Faculty Affairs,
c/o Joan Gray
Faculty of Medicine
University of British Columbia
Room 317,
2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Email: searches@medd.med.ubc.ca
with "AD Equity" in the subject line.
The Faculty of Medicine at UBC,
together with its partners including
B.C.'s Health Authorities, provides
innovative programs in the areas of
health and life sciences through a
province-wide delivery model. The
Faculty teaches students at the
undergraduate, graduate and
postgraduate levels and generates
more than $200 million in research
funding each year. It is home to
Canada's first distributed MD
undergraduate program.
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment
equity. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply; however,
Canadians andpermanent residents of Canada will be given priority.
www.ubc.ca & www.med.ubc.ca
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