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UBC Reports Aug 7, 2003

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VOLUME  49      NUMBER  8      AUGUST  7,2003
2 UBC in the News
Prof Invents New Camera
S Recruiting Aboriginal Students
5 Fair Recall
3 For a Song
Catching rays at UBC's lap pool is a popular activity, but not without risks that most people are aware of but still choose to ignore even after lesions appear.
Skin Cancer Patients Know the Risks but Fail to Act
Delay by doctors makes it worse, by Hilary Thomson
B.C. patients who suspect they have skin cancer don't seek
medical attention for an average of almost five months - even
when the lesion is invasive - according to a study done by a
UBC graduate student.
Ingrid Tyler, a Master's of Health Science student, gave 175
patients in the Lower Mainland a 24-item questionnaire about
their experience in seeking attention for skin lesions showing
the cancerous changes known as malignant melanoma.
The study is the first in Canada to help assess how
malignant melanoma is detected in B.C. and provides a better
understanding of how patient education and other factors
affect delays in diagnosis.
Between October 2002 and April 2003, Tyler, along with
co-investigators Asst. Prof. Jean Shoveller of the Dept.
of Health Care and Epidemiology and Jason Rivers,
a professor of dermatology, examined the delay times between
when the patient first noticed the lesion to when it
was removed.
"We suspected that more significant and suspicious lesions
might prompt people to get to their doctor quickly, but that
wasn't the case," says Tyler, who is now pursuing a residency
in community medicine.
She found that patients delayed a visit to their doctor no
matter what the size or thickness of the skin lesion. Almost
one-quarter of patients were unaware that skin cancer could
develop from a mole. Patients surveyed had good
understanding of melanoma in general, however, and
understood its relationship to sun exposure. Almost 90 per
cent of patients knew the value of early detection.
Melanomas usually start in pigment-producing cells and
may start in an existing mole. They are the most aggressive
and dangerous of all skin cancers, making early detection
critical. Affecting about one in 100 Canadians, most
melanomas are secondary to sun exposure.
Approximately 800 Canadians died of malignant melanoma
in 1999, according to the B.C. Cancer Agency's Web site. The
cure rate for all treated melanomas is about 80 per cent.
"There was no significant correlation between knowledge
and delays - including knowledge about risks and early
detection," says Tyler, adding that the findings were an all-too-
common scenario in the field of public health education. "It's
not enough that people know about risks, we need to find a
way to help them change behaviour."
Common reasons for delay included thinking the lesion was
not serious or that it would go away on its own.
A disturbing result, she says, was 25 per cent ofthe respondents went to their doctor only when the symptoms were
advanced and the lesion was bleeding and crusting.
The study also found physician delays were almost four
months on average, making the total delay in getting treatment
for malignant melanoma nine and a half months among those
surveyed. Doctor delays were most often due to administrative
backlog, misdiagnosis by a general practitioner or multiple
visits to physicians.
Tyler characterizes the delay in treatment of malignant
melanoma as relatively short compared to other similar
studies in Europe and the U.S. that have shown delays up to
14 months.
For more information about skin cancer risks, visit
www.bccancer.bc.ca and click on information for patients. □
New Law Dean Committed to Lifelong Legal Education
Mary Anne Bobinski predicts a strong future for UBC law. by erica smishek
UBC's new Law Dean Mary Anne Bobinski brings a strong record of achievement.
Like the Texas state she has until
recently called home, Mary Anne
Bobinski's vision for the UBC
Faculty of Law is bold, varied
and grand.
A few minutes in her dynamic,
determined company and the new
Dean of Law leaves little doubt she
and her team have what it takes to
shape the future of legal education
and research at UBC.
"UBC is one of the best schools
in North America if you look at
the research productivity of the
faculty and their outstanding
teaching, if you look at the student
body based on their grade point
average,   their   LSAT   scores   and
also at the background and experience that they bring here and what
they do once they're here,"
Bobinski, 40, said in an interview
with UBC Reports.
"A third of the students go out
and participate in exchange
programs. Many of them go into
foreign countries and spend a
semester away. Schools across
North America aspire to be global
law schools. UBC really is."
Bobinski comes to UBC from
New York via Texas, where she
spent 14 years at the University of
Houston Law Center as a professor (with research interests in
health care financing, legal aspects
of HIV infection and reproductive
health issues), associate dean for
Academic Affairs and, most recently, director of its Health Law and
Policy Institute.
Under her leadership, the
Institute, which consistently
receives the top ranking by U.S.
News and World Report for health
law programs in the nation, broadened its curriculum, enhanced its
human resources and gained
additional funding sources to
finance new program initiatives.
Bobinski  was   also   noted   for
building links with the community
- something she has already started
continued on page 4 REPORTS       |      AUGUST     /,     2003
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Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in July 2003. compiled bybrian lin
Oldest planet found
A group of U.S. and Canadian
astronomers have found the oldest
known planet. The huge gaseous
object is almost three times as old
as Earth and nearly as old as the
universe itself.
UBC astronomy professor
Harvey Richer told The New York
Times it was "tremendously
encouraging that planets are probably abundant in globular star clusters."
"We have been talking about a
single planet from a single globular
cluster," said Richer, who is a member of the team that made the discovery. "We ought not to extrapolate from a sample of one, and first
look more closely to see if there are
planets in other clusters."
Double-Cohort Paranoia
Thanks to "double-cohort paranoia", UBC received twice as many
applications from Ontario this
year, UBC assistant registrar
Rosalie Phillips told the Toronto
"The double cohort had kids
scared, so on Mom and Dad's
advice they sent out a lot of 'insurance applications' in case they didn't get into any Ontario university, " said Phillips.
As it turns out, 46 per cent of
Ontario students did get their first
choice within the province, so UBC
expects to register only 50 to 75
per cent more than usual.
UBC astronomy professor Harvey Richer searches the cosmos.
Still Time to Save Fisheries
In an editorial in the Taipei Times,
UBC fisheries professor Daniel
Pauly says the decline of global
marine catches will be difficult to
"The rapid depletion of fish
stocks is the inevitable outcome of
sophisticated industrial technology
being thrown at dwindling marine
populations as demand rises,
fueled by growth in human population and incomes," said Pauly.
"There is still time to save our
fisheries, but only if they are reinvented not as the source of an endlessly growing supply of fish for an
endlessly growing human population, but as a provider of a healthy
complement to grain-based diets."
Stonehenge Mystery
UBC researcher Anthony Perks
told the UK Observer that
he has uncovered Stonehenge's
true meaning: it is a giant fertility symbol, constructed in
the shape of the female sexual
"There was a concept in
Neolithic times of a great
goddess or Earth Mother," said
Perks. "Stonehenge could
represent the opening by which
the Earth Mother gave birth to
the plants and animals on which
ancient people so depended."
Perks's analysis was published
in the Journal of the Royal
Society of Medicine. □
UBC Host Program Encourages Faculty
and Staff to Attract Conferences
Program provides novices with expert support, by brian lin
Every year, thousands of conference delegates descend
on UBC to discuss topics that could range from
Organometallic Chemistry to Mountain Logging. These
highly mobile academics and professionals bring in
millions of dollars to the local economy and return
home with a lasting impression of their Canadian host.
"Conference delegates become unofficial ambassadors of UBC," says Trish Brown, sales and marketing
director of Conferences and Accommodation. "Not to
mention the revenue generated to UBC, which goes to
improve student residences and keeping rent
Conference specialists assist local hosts in bid
preparations, promotions, and registration and exhibit
management, so even a novice can put together a
successful conference.
More than 85,000 square feet of meeting space and
the ability to accommodate up to 3,000 guests make
UBC one of the largest campus conference facilities in
Canada. Its natural beauty coupled with its central loca
tion to the Asia-Pacific and North America also makes
it a favourite for international conference organizers.
Brown says the Conference Services and Meeting
Planning Division has been working with local hosts -
UBC faculty and staff who are conference organizers -
to successfully bring conferences to UBC and reap the
benefits of this multi-million dollar industry.
Building on the success of its conference planning
services, Conferences and Accommodation will officially launch the Local UBC Host program this fall, headed
by sales manager Teresa Rempel, who was instrumental
in Tourism Vancouver's "Be A Host" program.
"We already have a very strong repeat client base, and
many of our new clients are referred to us by past
hosts," says Rempel. "By launching the Local Host
program, a program designed to assist local hosts with
the process of securing meetings and events for
Vancouver, we hope to make more people aware of the
services we provide and encourage more local hosts to
bring conferences to UBC." □
Director, Public Affairs
Scott Macrae  scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Paul Patterson  paul.patterson@ubc.ca
Design Director
Chris Dahl  chris.dahl@ubc.ca
Sharmini Thiagarajah  sharmini@exchange.ubc.ca
Michelle Cook michelle.cook@ubc.ca
Brian Lin  brian.lin@ubc.ca
Erica Smishek erica.smishek@ubc.ca
Hilary Thomson  hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
Cristina Calboreanu  mccalbor@exchange.ubc.ca
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Computer Science Professor Invents New Digital Camera
Old technology was the key. by michelle cook
In a world of pocket-sized digital
cameras and colour printers capable of turning any kitchen table
into a high-tech photo lab, the UBC
ScanCam seems an unlikely harbinger of the next wave of computer
graphics technology.
With its bulky wooden frame
and accordion-pleat bellows, the
ScanCam could be an antique from
another photographic era. But look
a little closer and you'll see that the
8 x 10-inch film plate usually
found at the back of vintage cameras has been replaced by a sleek
flatbed scanner.
The odd-looking contraption
can generate an 8.5 x 10-inch
image and scan it at 1,200 dpi
(dots per inch) to produce a digital
graphic with a resolution of 122
million pixels. The image can then
be enlarged into a 34 x 40-inch
poster-sized print with a 300 dpi
resolution. And it's all done with
about $2,000 in equipment, says
the ScanCam's creator Wolfgang
Heidrich, an assistant professor
of computer science, began pairing
old and new photographic technologies last summer in an attempt
to find a cheaper way to capture
high-quality computer images.
"In this area of research, we
always want higher resolution
images in order to get more
detailed graphics and we want it to
be inexpensive," Heidrich says.
"With this camera, for the first
time we have been able to produce
digital photography that approaches large-format analogue photography in terms of resolution and
The ScanCam is a bargain compared to the mass-market digital
cameras currently available.
Although less expensive, they only
produce six-million-pixel images.
Even a professional digital camera
with a price tag of $30 - $40,000
only produces 20-million-pixel
Heidrich's only costs were the
vintage-style camera kit, which he
ordered online, a Canon Lide30
scanner, which he modified slightly,
and a few other parts. He and
graduate student Shuzhen Wang
then    developed    the    software
necessary to operate the ScanCam.
The camera's ability to capture
extremely high-resolution images
and enlarge them inexpensively
makes it an excellent tool for product photography and commercial
art. It could also be used to electronically archive museum collections and, with an infrared function, to scan fruit to check for
things like core rot.
Sound like a photographer's
dream? The ScanCam's biggest
drawback is that, with five minutes
of scan time needed for each image,
it can't be used to snap shots of living subjects or moving objects. So
far, the only subjects patient
enough to pose for Heidrich and
Wang have been toys.
Even so, Heidrich has approach
ed a few Vancouver camera shops
to field the ScanCam's commercial
potential and they are interested.
But don't consider trading in your
Nikon Coolpix just yet.
Although Heidrich envisions a
much more streamlined version of
the camera commercially available
10 years from now, he says there's
more research to be done on working with such high resolution
images. Among the challenges still
to tackle are developing an
interface for the ScanCam
software, addressing problems
with distortion correction and digital zoom, and finding compression techniques for dealing with
large digital images.
After that the ScanCam should
be, as they say, picture perfect. □
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Wolfgang Heidrich with the ScanCam.
Shortened Hospital
Stays not Always a
Researchers look for a better way
Returning home after a hospital stay should be a
For many patients, however, it can be a frustrating
struggle to prepare special diets, juggle pain medications or even shower with bandages on.
The transition from hospital to home is one that
Joan Anderson, a professor in the School of Nursing,
is determined to improve.
"Many people just don't anticipate what it will be
like when they get home," says Anderson. "They are
told but often can't comprehend the full picture."
Anderson, and researchers from UBC's School of
Nursing and the School of Rehabilitation Sciences,
Trinity Western University and four Lower Mainland
hospitals, have launched a three-year study to evaluate
the experience of 90 patients from three different eth-
nocultural groups: first generation Indo- and Chinese-
Canadians and Anglo-Canadians born in Canada.
The team, which includes hospital policy-makers
and clinicians, has examined the impact of health-care
reform - such as shortened hospital stays - on hospital patients and staff. They are also looking at the discharge planning process and difficulties patients may
face on their return home.
"People in obvious need are easily assessed, but
many people fall through the cracks," says Anderson,
who is one of this year's Distinguished Scholars in
Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced
Study at UBC.
Key issues include patients' ability to communicate
with health-care professionals. Many non-English
speakers don't realize hospitals provide interpreter
"I was able to ask only the ones [questions] I knew
how to ask.... but there were some words that I didn't
know how to say, so I couldn't ask those questions,"
said one Cantonese-speaking patient.
Information overload is another problem.
"The information that the dietician gave me... was
overwhelming. I broke into tears... The stuff she told
me was right, there was nothing wrong with that. It's
just that you need to know where to start when you go
home," said one patient.
Patients have suggested a phone line service would
help them to consult easily with health professionals
once they get home. They need detailed instructions
and advice that the generic discharge pamphlet cannot
People can also underestimate the length of time off
work and the resulting financial strain. Especially difficult for self-employed workers, income loss is made
worse by costs of medications or equipment.
Anderson emphasizes that information from the
study is helping to improve practice already.
"The staff in hospitals are committed people and
they are anxious to know what we are finding so that
they can make necessary changes. We're finding that
some of the things that are most distressing to people
when they get home can be addressed in a cost-effective way and might indeed prevent them from ending
up in the hospital again," she says.
When the study is completed, researchers will work
with provincial policy makers to implement the
research findings. □
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REPORTS      |      AUGUST     /,      2003
Campus Recruiters Step up Efforts to Attract
First Nations Students
What do a summer camp, a soccer tournament, a business program
and a Web site have in common?
They are all examples of UBC's renewed commitment to increase
aboriginal student enrolment and to support aboriginal students at
In 1996, Dan Birch, then-VP Academic, urged the Senate to pass the
now famous "one thousand by 2000" motion, which stipulated that
UBC was to recruit 1,000 First Nations students by the year 2000.
"Whatever methods were employed, we fell far short of the target,"
says Herbert Rosengarten, executive director, Office of the President,
and official keeper of the Trek 2000 vision.
There are currently approximately 500 self-identified First Nations
students at UBC.
"Over the last couple of years, the university has recognized that we
need to adopt very different methods if we hope to be more successful
at recruiting First Nations students," says Rosengarten.
"We have to identify the community's goals and aspirations and be
able to show aboriginal youth that higher education is as much their
right as everyone else's.
"We need to work in the schools and assist potential students to
achieve the necessary standards to meet entry requirements. We need to
provide positive encouragement to non-traditional learners and to form
an alliance among the native bands, government, and the universities to
find - and fund - long-term solutions."
The following are highlights of some ofthe initiatives launched in the
past year.
Musqueam Soccer Tournament
More than 1,000 First Nations kids and their families spent a recent
weekend kicking back on UBC campus, and kicking some ball, too.
The Musqueam Indian Band All Native Youth Soccer Tournament,
held June 27-29, 2003, was part of UBC Community Affairs' Bridge
Through Sport program. The joint effort with the Musqueam Indian
Band brought 39 teams of aboriginal youth, aged four to 16, onto
campus, representing 15 Indian Bands across the Lower Mainland and
Vancouver Island.
In her opening remarks, greeting the players, UBC President Martha
Piper said that many bursaries and scholarships allocated for aboriginal students at UBC went unused last year and encouraged aboriginal
Dr. Shannon Waters ofthe Chemainus First Nation graduated from UBC
medical school last year.
youth to set their sights on UBC.
"UBC is here for everyone and it will always have a special place for
B.C.'s first peoples," said Piper.
"We want to show First Nations youth what UBC has to offer and
make them feel welcome at UBC," says Community Affairs Executive
Director Sid Katz. "We want them to have fun here on campus, but
more importantly, we want them to come back, to study here."
Musqueam band manager Daryl Hargitt says the feedback from First
Nations communities has been overwhelmingly positive.
"It was a great opportunity for us to share in the camaraderie," says
Hargitt. "To host the tournament on traditional Musqueam territory
was very significant for the participants."
Katz says planning for next year's event is already underway.
Aboriginal Co-ordinators
The recent creation of aboriginal coordinator positions in a number of
faculties has infused new energy into aboriginal student enrolment and
support at the faculty level. The Faculty of Science, the Faculty of
Agricultural Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine are the latest to
follow this trend.
Tim Michel works with both the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and
the Faculty of Science to turn the tide of minimal aboriginal student
"Historically, there has been one aboriginal student entering the
Faculty of Science per decade," says Michel. "On average there is only
a 37 per cent high school graduation rate, and of these aboriginal
students few continue on to university or college."
This fall, five aboriginal students will enter the Faculty of Science,
bringing the total to 21. The only aboriginal student currently enrolled
Traditional methods just aren't working, by brian lin
in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences will be joined by three to five
newcomers this September, thanks to Michel's tireless work.
In addition to organizing outreach events with the Musqueam Indian
Band and other B.C. aboriginal communities, Michel has organized a
panel on aboriginal science issues, encouraging dialogue among aboriginals in urban and rural areas, government agencies and alumni.
The Faculty of Science is also launching a new Web site -
aboriginal.science.ubc.ca - in September.
"We'll be posting information useful to aboriginal science students at
UBC and potential science students in the K-12 system, as well as teachers and school counsellors," says Michel. "The goal is to make science
at UBC more accessible and approachable to aboriginal students."
The Faculty of Medicine hired its aboriginal programs coordinator
in July 2002. James Andrew, who was previously the community
liaison coordinator for UBC's Institute for Aboriginal Health, says his
appointment coincided with a number of admission policy changes that
encourage aboriginal students to join the Faculty of Medicine.
"For years our faculty has witnessed a severe under-representation of
aboriginal students," says Andrew. "Last year we decided to target five
per cent of the annual complement of funded seats for qualified
aboriginal students."
As a result, the faculty received seven aboriginal applicants in 2002
and 12 in 2003. Five aboriginal students will begin medical school
this fall.
Unlike other Canadian medical schools that also actively recruit
aboriginal students, Andrew says the creation of his position ensures
that students receive support after they enter medical school and
that issues such as cultural knowledge and traditional practice
are addressed.
Aboriginal Residency Program
Launched last spring, the Aboriginal Residency Program in the Dept. of
Family Practice is a unique program that allows medical graduates to
focus special attention on aboriginal health-care issues.
"Aboriginal people in B.C. and throughout Canada have the poorest
health status of any identifiable group in Canada," says Dr. Isaac
Sobol, director of the Division of Aboriginal People's Health and the
Aboriginal Residency Program. "Until now, no Canadian medical
schools provided specific training for physicians who plan to work with
aboriginal individuals or communities."
In addition to specialized fields such as substance and physical abuse,
the program offers electives in aboriginal cultures, history, and
spirituality to prepare physicians to deal with complicated issues that
affect aboriginal people's health status.
"Many factors have contributed to the state of aboriginal people's
health today," says Sobol. "Physicians intending to work in aboriginal
communities need to be aware of issues such as epidemics of infectious
disease brought over by Europeans, the residue of the residential
schools, and the relocation of aboriginal peoples to reserves in order to
provide care that is truly sensitive to their needs."
Dr. Shannon Waters, who graduated from UBC medical school in
2002, was one of two candidates chosen from across Canada to enter
the program last year. So far, she has worked with peri-natal women
struggling with addictions and is planning a trip to New Zealand to
learn about indigenous health in Maori communities.
"I've met with aboriginal physicians from across Canada and elders
from reserves around B.C.," says Waters, of the Chemainus First
Nation. "The program gives us the flexibility to address many aspects
of health-care delivery in aboriginal communities."
The Institute of Aboriginal Health will receive $1.5 million over three
years to establish the B.C. Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental
Research Environment (ACADRE).
Led by UBC, the provincial initiative joins a network of ACADREs
across Canada aimed at improving the health of aboriginal people. It is
unique in its emphasis on the development of a community-driven
research agenda.
The four main themes of the research project include: supporting
community-determined research, promoting health research training
for aboriginal people, supporting ethical research practices inclusive of
aboriginal traditional knowledge, and promoting holistic wellness in
mental health and addictions.
To date, eight research awards have been allocated, including two
undergraduate students, three masters students and three PhD students.
Six of the awards were won by UBC students.
Chinook Business Program
A new aboriginal business program will provide aboriginal entrepreneurs with the know-how to jump-start their careers in business.
Named after the ancient language of trade, the Chinook Aboriginal
Education initiative was launched by the Sauder School of Business and
the First Nations House of Learning on May 9, 2003.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by UBC President Martha
Piper, presidents and deans from partner colleges and leaders in the
aboriginal business community.
The program places great emphasis on aboriginal business issues and
makes business education more accessible to aboriginal students
through partnerships with six colleges across B.C.
Students can work towards a two-year Chinook Business Diploma at
Camosun College, Capilano College, College of New Caledonia, the
Institute of Indigenous Government, Langara College or Northwest
Community College, and continue on to obtain the Bachelor of
Commerce Degree, Chinook major, at UBC.
Sauder School of Business Dean Dan Muzyka says the foundation
has been laid to bring the program to fruition and to serve the next
For more information, visit www.chinook.ubc.ca. □
New Law Dean
continued from page 1
to do within UBC and with the
external legal community.
Following her address to 250
members of the legal profession at
a welcoming lunch co-hosted by
the UBC Law Alumni Association
in June, Howard Berge, QC, president of the Law Society of B.C.,
says he and other benchers were
impressed by Bobinski's willingness to work with the bench and
the bar and her commitment to
lifelong legal education.
"There used to be a different
emphasis on legal education,"
Berge says. "The law school worried about their curriculum and
we looked after post-LL.B. training. There was certainly an interchange but it hasn't been seamless
where there was some kind of
overriding program that starts at
law school and continues through
a career.
"Mary Anne seems focused on
getting students into a general
education stream as soon as possible so they do know what it's like
down the road and what's available when they are in the profession. Hopefully this will lead to a
smoother transition from law
school through bar training and
the practice of law."
Bobinski, the first Law dean
appointed who did not have a
prior connection to UBC, has consulted widely with members of the
faculty and legal community to
help shape her vision for the
school and sees a strong match
between her experiences and the
opportunities that exist at UBC.
Her goals include broadening
an already comprehensive curriculum to balance traditional
subject areas at the core of legal
practice with developing practice
areas like intellectual property
and health law: expanding the
integration of new technologies:
skills training in advocacy, legal
research and writing, problem
solving and ethics with traditional
teaching methods: empowering
law graduates to succeed in a rapidly changing world by exposing
them to critical perspectives about
law and the role of law in the resolution of important social issues:
attracting and retaining the best
teaching and research faculty: and
marshalling the necessary
resources for these initiatives.
Bobinski acknowledges the difference between the Canadian and
American legal systems - one of
her first tasks is to become more
familiar with Canadian legal practice and culture - but says both
countries share similar issues in
legal education, such as applying
more learner-centred teaching
methods and financing faculty
"With the old Socratic teaching
method, you could have one brilliant person in a room full of
many students and it's a relatively
inexpensive way of educating
future lawyers," says Bobinski.
"But as soon as you start talking
about doing things that are skills-
based or involve problem-based
learning, legal education becomes
much more expensive and there is
a question about how to respond
to the need to change legal education. "
Born in upstate New York,
Bobinski comes by the academic
life honestly - her father was dean
of the School of Information and
Library Studies at State University
of New York (SUNY), Buffalo
and a brother is the associate dean
of the School of Management at
SUNY, Binghamton - though she
initially contemplated a career in
medicine or legal practice after
getting   her   B.A.   in   Psychology
continued on page 5 REPORTS      |      AUGUST     /,      2003      |      5
Reaching out to Aboriginal
High School Students
Forestry camp is a first for UBC. by brian lin
Aboriginal high school students
from across B.C. are at UBC this
week for the first-ever aboriginal
youth forestry camp.
Aimed at demystifying the role
of natural resource managers and
professional foresters, the
Summer Forestry Camp for First
Nations Youth, taking place
August 4-10, brings 25 First
Nations youth in Grades 8 and 9
to the Point Grey campus.
Participants will also spend
three days at UBC's Malcolm
Knapp Research Forest in Maple
Ridge to learn about the practical
application of math and science in
forestry and natural resource
"This summer camp is an
innovative way for us to reach out
to aboriginal high school students
who are considering post-
secondary education," says
Gordon Prest, First Nations
coordinator at the Faculty of
Forestry. "There has been a
serious shortage of First Nations
people in our faculty."
Prior to 1994, only three
aboriginal students are known to
have graduated from the faculty.
Since then, 20 aboriginal students
have received Forestry degrees.
There are currently 18 undergraduate and two PhD students of
aboriginal ancestry in the faculty.
Prest says part of the problem
is that few aboriginal students
are graduating from high school
with the necessary academic
prerequisites   to   enter   science-
related programs.
"Traditionally school counsellors tend to steer First Nations
students towards arts and
teaching," says Prest. "In recent
years, more students are venturing
into social work and law, but
there is still a shortage of First
Nations students in sciences."
Prest says forestry presents
many new opportunities for First
Nations people, despite the
common misconception that it is a
sunset industry.
"We are tackling these
problems at the root by offering a
fun way for students to learn both
about forestry and the importance
of math and science to it."
The faculty will monitor participants' progress through high
school and will work closely with
student recruitment to offer any
additional support needed
through the admission process. It
will also address issues such as
bursary and future career options.
There is strong demand for
forestry professionals with an
aboriginal background, says Trish
Osterberg, project coordinator
for the summer camp and a recent
graduate of the faculty.
"There is a trend to combine
traditional aboriginal forestry
practices and modern technology, " says Osterberg, a member of
the Sto:lo Nation. "Aboriginal
forestry graduates have their
work cut out for them in areas
such as forestry policy changes
and treaty negotiations." □
Gordon Prest, First Nations Coordinator at the Faculty of Forestry, drives the
recruitment program for more aboriginal students.
New Law Dean
continued from page 4
and a J.D. She was working on a
PhD in policy studies with a focus
on health policy before switching
to Harvard for her LL.M.
"Maybe as part of the Genome
project they'll identify the academic gene and save all of this
trauma as we try and figure out
what we're going to do in life,"
she laughs.
Bobinski says she is driven by a
love of teaching and "creating an
environment where students can
learn what they need to know to
prepare them for the profession
and for the other places that law
can take them outside the traditional practice of law."
She will not teach during her
first year as dean - but is already
anxious to get back in the classroom.
"It's sort of like being a chef
but not being able to taste the
food," she says. "Who'd want
In addition to professional
challenges, Bobinski faces interesting times on the home front as
she and her partner, Holly
Harlow, also a lawyer, recently
adopted an infant daughter from
She looks forward to their new
life in Vancouver, a city Bobinski
was familiar with thanks to a
decade of frequent travel to western Canada.
"It is definitely a world-class
city in every respect that I've
encountered. I see in Vancouver
this striving, entrepreneurial energy and also openness to people
from different cultures and an
excitement about ideas. I just
can't think of any better place to
be in the world." □
Deans New and Renewed
Law isn't the only faculty to get a new dean this year. The
Faculties of Medicine and Science have also appointed
new heads.
Dr. Gavin Stuart, an oncologist and noted cancer researcher,
will take over as Dean of Medicine in September while Prof.
John Hepburn, the current head of UBC's Chemistry
Dept., will take up his duties as Dean of Science effective
November 1.
Stuart currently heads the Dept. of Oncology at the
University of Calgary, is vice-president of the Alberta Cancer
Board and directs the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. In
addition to a broad understanding of academic administration,
he is noted for his clinical skills and is highly visible on
the national research scene for his work in cervical and
ovarian cancers.
As dean, Stuart will lead initiatives such as the building of
the Life Sciences Centre at Point Grey that joins medical and
life sciences laboratories and the new distributed medical
education program that will double the number of B.C.'s
medical school graduates by 2010.
Hepburn is internationally renowned for his research in laser
spectroscopy and laser chemistry. He came to UBC in 2001
from the University of Waterloo. As head of the Chemistry
Dept., Hepburn has been a tireless promoter of excellence in
research and teaching. He earned his BSc from the University
of Waterloo in 1976. He continued his education at the
University of Toronto where he obtained his PhD in 1980. He
began his academic career at the University of Waterloo in
1982 as an assistant professor of Chemistry and Physics,
becoming chair ofthe Chemistry Dept. in 1998.
Prof. Moura Quayle of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
and Prof. Michael Isaacson of the Faculty of Applied Science
have both been re-appointed for second terms. The two were
first appointed in 1997.
During her first term, Quayle oversaw the transformation of
the undergraduate curriculum into four new degrees -
Bachelors of Science in Agroecology, Food, Nutrition and
Health, and Global Resource Systems, and Bachelor of
Environmental Design  (in collaboration with the Faculty of
Chemistry Dept. head John Hepburn is UBC's new Dean of Science.
Applied Science School of Architecture), and the establishment
of several new centres - the Wine Research Centre, the Centre
for Aquaculture and Environment, the Centre for Plant
Research, the Centre for Landscape Research, the Food and
Resource Economics Research Group, and the UBC Farm.
Major accomplishments during Isaacson's first term include
the development of several new programs including the
Commerce Minor, the IT Minor, the combined BA/BASc
degree, the Integrated Engineering Program, and the joint
UBC/UNBC degree in Environmental Engineering, and the
opening of the Clean Energy Research Centre. □ 6     I
REPORTS      |      AUGUST     /,      2003
and Learning
into Our
Canadian universities
seek stable funding
UBC has joined forces with nine
other Canadian universities to seek
funding support for community service learning (CSL) initiatives.
Representatives from the universities of Alberta, Toronto, Western
Ontario, McMaster, Guelph,
Queens, St. Francis Xavier, Simon
Fraser, and Memorial came to UBC
in late June to discuss ways to build
momentum for CSL across Canada.
The result was the formation of a
national coalition of universities and
an action plan to help raise the profile of CSL in Canada. A key component of the plan is the creation of a
long-term funding infrastructure to
support service learning programs
and pilot projects.
CSL is a pedagogical model that
combines community volunteer
activities with academic course work
to give students the opportunity to
make connections between theory
and practice, engage in critical reflection and see how their studies can be
applied. While the model has been
popular in the U.S. for some time,
Canadian universities have only
recently begun to adopt it.
"In the U.S., a huge amount of
money and support have gone into
CSL initiatives," says Margo Fryer,
director of UBC's Learning Exchange
and the meeting's host. "We want to
have enough money available nationally so that the CSL movement can
grow on Canadian campuses and be
sustainable in the long term."
One of the coalition's goals is to
have a mechanism for stable funding
in place by 2004 when a $1 million
private grant that supports St.
Francis Xavier University's CSL program runs out. The Nova Scotia university is considered the pioneer of
the service learning movement in
"We need to find a way to sustain
the St. Francis Xavier program and
the others that have followed," says
Fryer. "The idea is to have a pool of
funding from different sources
available to all Canadian universities
in a year's time. We see government
support playing a crucial role in our
ability to integrate this important
approach to experiential learning
into the fabric of Canadian
Fryer says the importance of CSL
goes beyond enriching students'
academic experiences.
"With CSL, we're strengthening
civil society by bringing students'
energy and enthusiasm to community organizations and by encouraging
students to think critically about
social issues and to become active
and engaged members of their communities. "
UBC has been involved in CSL
since 1999 when the Learning
Exchange Trek Program began placing student volunteers in community
organizations. Two years ago, the
program began incorporating CSL
into course work. This year, 300 students from a wide range of disciplines have worked in 30 organizations that include inner-city schools,
community centres, community gardens, homeless shelters and hospices.
Funding for the UBC Learning
Exchange currently comes from the
university and private donors, but
the ability to respond to the increasing interest in CSL among students
and community organizations
depends on additional funding,
Fryer adds.
In addition to developing stable
funding sources, the coalition's action
plan includes a commitment to share
resources and curriculum ideas,
encourage student involvement and
empowerment in all aspects of CSL
programming, and continue meeting
Although the members have formalized their partnership, there are
still many details to be worked out.
But Fryer is optimistic that the group
will reach its goals.
"The coalition schools are
committed to growing CSL into a
widespread movement in Canada
because of its potential to strengthen
our society. We believe it is possible
to create a national infrastructure to
support CSL much like research is
currently supported in Canada
through both public and private
For more information on the
Learning Exchange's CSL
initiatives visit www.learningex-
change.ubc.ca □
The Way We
Study reveals selective
memories of Expo '86
2010 Olympic organizers take note
despite your best efforts, people may
remember conversations in line-ups
or the state of washrooms more than
the international displays, competitions and lavish ceremonies.
David Anderson, a museum learning specialist and science educator at
UBC, has completed a study of long-
term memories of world expositions.
It shows that visitors to Vancouver's
Expo '86 and Brisbane's Expo '88 are
more likely to remember sharing a
meal with a boyfriend or steering
children through the crowd than any
of the international displays.
"By and large, people can't remember what was displayed in the pavilions," says Anderson, an assistant
professor in the Faculty of
Education's Dept. of Curriculum
"Their memories are centred
around their social experiences, culture and identity. Little kids, for
example, remember going to
McDonald's, fighting with their
brothers and sisters, and climbing on
the expositions' outdoor sculptures.
Young moms remember what the
bathrooms were like, shepherding
kids around, setting up blankets for a
picnic lunch, and conversations with
other moms in the queue."
Anderson says the findings speak
to the ways people filter their experiences as a function of who they were
at the time of these experiences.
"They are only able to perceive a
very thin set of memories," he says.
"They have a sense they did a lot of
things, saw a lot of things but they
can't report many details of what they
In the Expo '86 study, adult males
aged 40 to 50 at the time of their visit
stand out from all other visitors in
terms of their abilities to report
details of their experience. Anderson
says the sample size is too small to
make assertions about gender.
"It could be that these men went
with different agendas," he says.
"They went specifically to look at
and learn from the exhibits. Perhaps
they were by themselves while their
wives went off somewhere else. Or
perhaps what was in the pavilions -
boats or trains, for example - was of
a personal interest."
Anderson interviewed a total of
50 visitors, ranging in age from 25 to
65 years (therefore eight to 48 years
at the time of their visits). Verbal
questions, visual cues and stimulated
recall were used in interviews to
probe an individual's memories.
Anderson said even people who
worked at Expo tend to recall the
experience through the cultural filters of their own professions. Police
officers, for example, recall the
duties of crowd control, crime investigation or security for VIPs, but had
difficulty recalling what was on display in pavilions despite the fact they
visited many of them on numerous
Moreover, visitors often used
Expo as a marker in time to differentiate other events and phenomena in
life. One participant, for example,
recalls driver courtesy being better
before Expo '86.
continued on page 8
Study says Expo memories centred around social experiences, culture and identity.
Experience teaches us what we want
from life and how we want to live it.
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Global Epidemic of Hip Fractures
UBC leads international research team, by Hilary Thomson
Retiring Within 5 Years?
It's a life-threatening condition
that affects 1.6 million people
around the world every year,
costs $650 million annually for
Canada to manage and carries a
mortality rate of 20 per cent in
the first year.
The statistics may look like
data on infectious disease, but in
fact, they describe hip fracture.
A health problem that scientists
are calling an epidemic, hip fractures are the focus of a new
UBCTed international research
Karim Khan, assistant professor of Family Practice and
Human Kinetics, is coordinating the project with
input from researchers in
Australia, Finland and UBC
investigators in disicplines that
include law, psychology and
bioengineering. The project is
the first to have a research team
that spans many disciplines and
is focused on prevention.
"Many people accept that
falls and hip fractures are
inevitable among older people,
but new evidence shows they
can be prevented, " says Khan,
an expert in bone health.
Hip fracture primarily affects
people 60 years and older with
lighter-boned women suffering
four times the number of fractures as men. Aging baby
boomers are predicted to create
a three-fold increase in the number of hip fractures by 2050.
Even without demographic
influence, the average individual
risk is increasing rapidly worldwide.
"We have theories as to why
the incidence is climbing over
and above the rate explained by
aging," says Khan. "However, if
the trend continues it will choke
health systems the world over."
What is known, he says, is
that about 40 per cent of all hip
fracture patients suffer from
osteoporosis, a bone-thinning
disease. The resulting skeletal
fragility combined with factors
such as impaired vision and
reaction time, faulty balance,
low blood pressure, muscle
weakness and inappropriate use
of medication all contribute to
Risk factors that the
researchers will explore include
the effects of poor nutrition
during periods of war and
economic depression as well as
increasingly sedentary lifestyles
that result in lower, more fragile
bone mass. Investigators will
also look at previously
unexplored causes such as living
arrangements and educational
status as well as legal perspectives       relating       to       safety
4103 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, B.C.
Karim Khan shows Jacine Wilkinson how weight-training can reduce
falls and fractures.
Evaluating all risk factors will
allow doctors to better predict
The research team was
created following a June international workshop at UBC's
Peter Wall Institute for
Advanced Studies that promotes
innovative interdisciplinary
research. The team is now
applying for funding for a
variety of investigations that
will span five years.
UBC team members include
Prof. Anne Martin-Matthews, of
Social Work and Family Studies,
who will lead a research group
focused on socio-cultural risk
factors and barriers to behaviour change among patients and
health-care professionals. Law
Assoc. Prof Janis Sarra will
examine health law connections
and Orthopedics Assoc. Prof.
Heather McKay will direct a
team promoting skeletal
strength at the crucial hip site.
Khan, together with Assoc.
Prof. Janice Eng, of
Rehabilitation Sciences, will
develop their earlier studies
showing that resistance weight
training and agility training can
dramatically decrease fall risk in
80-year old women who are
stroke survivors or who have
low bone mass, two groups
likely to experience hip fracture.
The international research
project will be part of the
proposed Centre for Hip
Health: A Lifespan Approach,
led by Assoc. Prof. Tom Oxland,
Canada Research Chair in
Biomedical Engineering, (see
For more information visit
health. □
New Centre
Seeks Solutions
The Centre for Hip Health: A
Lifespan Approach is a
proposed research collaboration to improve prevention
methods and treatment for hip
fracture and osteoarthritis.
Led by Assoc. Prof. Tom
Oxland, Canada Research
Chair in Biomedical
Engineering, the planned
centre will comprise three
major initiatives. The first is
an international and
interdisciplinary program of
research (see accompanying
story). Another initiative will
target earlier detection of hip
osteoarthritis (OA) and
identification of key factors
that contribute to the progression of the disease. Research
will integrate medical imaging
and genetic analysis to
determine who is at high risk
for developing hip OA as well
as biomarking, a technique
that reveals cartilage deterioration by tracking chemicals
found in patients' blood.
A third initiative will
investigate better surgical
solutions for individuals with
hip problems. Researchers will
develop and assess new
materials and surgical
strategies to improve implant
fixation, bone healing, and
reduce infection in the
treatment of both hip
fractures and OA.
Researchers are now
applying for funding from the
Canada Foundation for
Innovation to support the
proposed centre. □
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www.mediagroup.ubc.ca REPORTS      |      AUGUST     /,      2003
New Songwriting Course
a First in Canada
Creative writing workshops teach lyrics and libretti
Acclaimed songwriter Meryn Cadell.
Roll over Beethoven, give my regards
to Broadway, and say hello to UBC,
which could quite possibly be the next
hotbed of hit tunes and hit-makers.
Beginning this September, the creative writing program will offer introductory and advanced classes in the
writing of lyrics, libretti and songs. It's
the first time songwriting will be
taught at a Canadian university.
"The whole philosophy of the creative writing program, which makes us
unique in the world, is our belief in the
importance of training writers in multiple genres," says program chair
Peggy Thompson. "The new courses
help us continue to grow and reflect
the changes in our cultural standards."
The classes are the brainchild of creative writing professor and poet
George McWhirter, who has pushed
for years to bring songwriting into the
academy and make it accessible to a
wider audience.
Designed for prospective songwriters, musicians and libretto writers, the
workshops will address all aspects of
words as they relate to and inteqslay
with music. Each course has 12 students, from music or writing backgrounds, chosen on the strength of
their portfolios.
"We're meeting on a mutual ground
of looking at lyrics," says Meryn
Cadell, who has joined the faculty to
develop and teach the workshops.
"We'll be on a big learning curve
An acclaimed writer-performer,
musician and recording artist, Cadell
has been nominated for Juno, Genie
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and CASBY (Canadian Artist Selected
by You) awards for her recorded and
live performances. She has toured
extensively across North America and
recorded three albums - 6 Blocks,
bombazine and angel food for
thought, with its quirky hit "The
Sweater." She was the poet laureate for
Peter Gzowski's golf tournament for
literacy and has been a frequent guest
and performer on CBC Radio.
Students will examine works by
major pop, folk, country, jazz and classical artists and also draw on Cadell's
own working experience with lyrics to
explore certain aspects of writing and
The workshops will concentrate on
developing pieces in all genres of song,
lyrics or libretti composed by students,
both individually and in collaboration
with classmates. Rhythm and precision will be key points of instruction.
"It's shocking how simple good
lyrics can be," says Cadell. "You need
to look at clarity. A song needn't be
narrative. In fact it can be entirely
abstract. But you have to have clarity.
You need flow and continuity."
She says good lyricists must be willing to rewrite and edit their material,
love what they produce and be able to
get that emotion across to the listener.
"Think about how important music
is to our lives," says Cadell. "It
informs our memory just like smell.
You hear a song and you are immediately transformed back to that
moment in time when you first listened
to it."
While they will focus on creativity,
students will also learn about the business of songwriting.
"Vancouver is a centre for popular
music now in a way it wasn't 10 or 20
years ago," says Thompson.
"Vancouver has had a thriving independent music scene for years. The
new writing workshops will be a great
complement." □
The Way We Were
continued from page 6
Anderson says the study findings
would be a valuable resource for
developers of future world expositions, other international events and
museum exhibitions.
In order to make an impact, he says
developers must understand and factor
in the needs of their audience so visitors can more successfully interact
with what is being displayed. Then a
young mother may remember the
actual exhibits rather than the time she
spent looking for a facility to wash her
child's face.
"Developers have a lot of reasons
for doing what they do. Educational
impact is just one of them. You put an
exhibition or event on for political reasons, for cultural reasons, for economic reasons.
"But if you were investing all this
money with a view for impact, you
need to provide experiences rich in
social interaction while allowing for
the diversity of the people and their
agendas." □
To Provide: analysis of qualitative & quantitative data
sets, design & pilot research instruments such as
surveys & interviews
Experience Required: strong statistical analysis in social
science research, database design & management; min.
of masters degree in related field or work equivalent.
Contact: [donna.yeung@ubc.ca] tel: 604-822-0538
UBC Names New Chair
John Reid, president and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Terasen Inc., has been
named chair of UBC's Board of Governors, for
a term ending August 31, 2004.
Reid has headed Terasen Inc. (formerly BC
Gas Inc) since 1997. Prior to joining the
company, he worked for many years for Scott
Paper Ltd. in a number of executive positions
and as president and CEO.
A UBC board member since 2002, Mr. Reid
has served on several boards including
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.,
Lester B. Pearson College, B.C. Business
Council, and the Vancouver Board of Trade.
He is a past chair of the United Way campaign
for the Lower Mainland.
Reid takes over from UBC alumnus and
business executive Larry Bell who served as
UBC board chair since 2000.
There are currently two vacancies on the
board. For more information on UBC's Board
of Governors, visit www.bog.ubc.ca.
UBC Law Professor Awarded the
2003 Therese F.-Casgrain
UBC Law Prof. Claire Young, an expert on
the impact of tax policy changes on Canadian
women, has been awarded the 2003 Therese
F.-Casgrain Fellowship. Young will examine
the negative impact on women of existing tax
laws that give deductions for contributions to
Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)
and workplace pension plans.
Women's ability to save for their retirement
continues to be compromised by the fact they
more often fall in the category of low-income
earners and make up the majority of part-time
or seasonal workers, homemakers and
caregivers for their families, including their
aging parents.
John Reid, new chair of UBC's Board of Governors.
In addition to examining ways to increase
the fairness of the tax system, Young will
determine whether making changes to the pension system could help women to have more
access to retirement savings. She will study the
impact of recent changes to the pension systems in Australia and New Zealand to determine whether they might benefit Canadian
Awarded biennially, the 12-month, $40,000
fellowship advances research on the economic
and social interests of women. Administered
by the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council of Canada and sponsored by
the Therese F.-Casgrain Foundation, it honours the late senator's work in the field of
social justice. □
TIME    PIECE    1969
Back in 1969 they called this "a happening."   The students from fine arts decided to have a
bake off for their happening, creating eye-popping bread sculptures. Here student Sherry
McKay and Henry Gilbert, assistant professor of fine arts get a rise out of this fancy harvest
loaf. The cutline on the original photograph printed in UBC Reports notes that the "harvest
loaf shown above was eaten by participants in the happening."


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