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Array THE  UNIVERSITY   OF   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
VOL   55   I   NO   3   I   MARCH   5,   2009
UBC REPORTS
3     Aboriginal engagement
Domestic abuse
5     The joy of teaching
6      Fulbright profile
By BASIL WAUGH
What do polar bears and
violins have in common? If you
ask renowned concert violinist
Eugenia Choi, she'll tell you they
are both endangered species.
Choi, a UBC assistant
professor of music, recently
traveled to the Arctic with
scientists, CEOs and politicians
- including members of the new
Obama administration - to see
the impacts of global warming.
There, she saw first-hand the
plight of polar bears.
But closer to home, you don't
have to look far for concrete
examples of climate change,
she says. Take her 300-year old,
handcrafted Stradivarius violin.
It's not that they don't make
them like they used to, it's that
they can't.
"For musicians, our
instruments connect us to
a natural world very much
threatened by climate change,"
Choi says. "People wonder why
a fine violin can cost more than a
house. Largely, it's because global
warming has changed how trees
grow. You can no longer create
new violins of the same quality.
There just aren't the same types
of wood or density."
"I feel a moral duty to protect
these wonderful instruments
so I use them to teach students
about our relationship with
environment," says Choi, who
received her doctorate in music
from the Juilliard School in
Eugenia Choi's violin connects her to ecosystems in
2007. "As someone who cares
passionately about music and
nature, it is a great concern to
me. That's why I do what I do."
And has she ever. Over
the past four years, Choi has
helped environmental nonprofit organizations such as the
U.S.-based Nature Conservancy
raise nearly $1-million
dollars for conservation
through fundraisers, benefit
concerts, grants and corporate
development.
This spring, she will also
perform a number of high-profile
green benefit concerts, including
the 2009 Aspen Environment
Forum in late March and a New
York City fundraiser for the
Nature Conservancy in May,
where she will play Vivaldi's
Four Seasons.
"Music can be a powerful
vehicle for change," says Choi,
who joined UBC's School
of Music - one of Canada's
leading post-secondary music
departments - in 2004. "It
is a wonderful way to bring
awareness to things that matter
to you."
She says it is often difficult
for musicians to control every
aspect of a busy international
touring schedule, but she
purchases carbon offsets to
lighten her ecological footprint.
In Vancouver, she uses public
transit, supports green and
socially responsible restaurants
and businesses and maintains a
portfolio of ethical investments.
Asked how musicians can
advance dialogue around climate
change, Choi points to her life-
changing 10-day voyage to the
Norwegian Arctic aboard the
National Geographic vessel the
Endeavor.
Invited by the National
Geographic Society to represent
the arts and youth, she rubbed
shoulders with luminaries from
the world of science, politics,
business and culture - including
continued on page 6
Celebrate Research: Weeklong activities
showcase global and human perspectives
By CATHERINE LOIACONO
The entrepreneur, personalized
genomics and work and
family life balance are some
of the topics to be explored in
Celebrate Research Week March
7-14 at UBC's Point Grey and
Robson Square campuses, as well
as partner hospital sites.
"The impact of university
research extends far beyond
the campus, affecting the lives
of British Columbians in many
ways," says John Hepburn, vice-
president research at UBC. "We
warmly welcome members of
the public at Celebrate Research
Week events, which are hosted
by UBC researchers working
to cure disease, investigate
the mysteries of space and
matter, promote sustainability
through technological and social
solutions, and more."
You are Here, Navigating An
Uncertain World - the theme for
this year's series - celebrates the
anniversary of several historical
events, including the 200th
anniversary of Charles Darwin's
birth, the 150th anniversary of
The Origin of Species, and the
400th anniversary of Galileo's
first use of a telescope to study
the skies.
"The theme of this year's
events reflects our commitment
to understanding humanity's role
as stewards of our planet, its life
and resources," says Sid Katz,
executive director, Community
Affairs and Celebrate Research
founder. "We want to engage
the next generation of great
researchers right here in British
Columbia."
Emerging research themes
in psychiatry will be explored
by some of Canada's most
promising young psychiatric
researchers, including Tun-Feng
Wang, John Ogrodniczuk,
Christian G. Schiitz and David
Bond on March 7 at 800 Robson
Square.
Larry Rosen, chairman and
CEO of Harry Rosen will look
Inside the Entrepreneur on
March 9 at Four Season's Hotel.
The Gairdner Foundation 50th
Anniversary Symposium: Science
and Future of Medicine is an
all-day academic symposium
featuring eight presenters,
including Nobel laureates Harold
Varmus, Roger Tsien, Carl
Wieman and Sydney Brenner on
March 11 at the Chan Centre for
Performing Arts.
The 2009 Michael Smith
Memorial Nobel Forum
Personalized Genomics: Hope or
Hype? is a free public forum on
March 11 at the Chan Centre for
Performing Arts. The forum will
discuss the science, ethics and
issues around personal genetic
testing with a panel of award-
winning medical geneticists
including Nobel laureate Harold
Varmus, Cynthia Kenyon and
Muin Khoury and moderated
by former NBC correspondent,
Charles Sabine.
continued on page 6
YOU ARE HERE
NAVIGATING AN UNCERTAIN WORLD 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009
INTHE NEWS
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in February 2009.  compiled by sean sullivan
Juliet Zhu, assistant professor of
marketing at the Sauder School of
Business.
A colour-coded guide to
thinking
Distracted at work? The
colour of your walls may be to
blame.
A UBC study published in the
journal Science finds that the
colour red is the most effective at
enhancing our attention to detail,
while blue is best at boosting our
ability to think creatively.
"If you're talking about
wanting enhanced memory for
something like proofreading
skills, then a red colour should
be used," Juliet Zhu, an assistant
professor of marketing at the
Sauder School of Business, told
the New York Times.
Zhu conducted the study with
Ravi Mehta, a doctoral student.
The findings were also
reported by The Associated
Press, Agence France-Press, The
Independent, the Globe and
Mail, Canwest News Service and
the CBC.
Fish on the move
Climate change will cause a
massive dislocation of ocean life
by mid-century, says a UBC-led
study.
William Cheung, who led the
project while a post-doctoral
fellow with UBC Fisheries
Centre, announced the findings
at the AAAS Conference in
Chicago. "We'll see a major
redistribution of many species
because of climate change," he
told Reuters.
Fishers in the tropics may
take the brunt of these changes,
especially since many are from
developing countries and are
ill-equipped to deal with the loss
in catch. Nordic countries like
Norway, on the other hand, may
see a gain in potential catch.
The BBC, CNN, Agence
France-Press and The Canadian
Press were among the
international media outlets that
reported the study. Scientists
have made projections of climate
change impact on land species
but this is the first such study on
marine species ever published.
UN call to cut overfishing is
ignored
Thirteen years after the world
rallied to curb overfishing, most
nations are failing to abide by
the United Nations' code of
conduct for managing fisheries,
the Associated Press reported.
Time magazine, The Canadian
Press, New Scientist, the CBC
and FOX News also covered
the international study led by
Prof. Tony Pitcher of the UBC
Fisheries Centre.
"The overall conclusion is
really a bit depressing. Even the
countries that score at the top
of our range are not doing very
well," said Pitcher.
Canada, the United States,
Norway, Australia, Iceland and
Namibia are the only nations
that scored above 60 per cent on
a code of conduct compliance
rate - the equivalent of a "D."
UBC Reports' team
of writers won a Silver
Award in the "Writing,
Periodical Team"
category of this year's
District VIII Council for
the Advancement and
Support of Education
(CASE) communications
awards.
UBC also earned Gold
for the visual design of
its 2008 annual report
entitled "Not Me. We."
and a Silver for its new
UBC Events website
(www.events.ubc.ca).
For advertising
in UBC REPORTS
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UBC REPORTS
Executive Director S<    tt Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Editor  Randy Schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Designer  P ig Ki Chan ping.chan@ubc.ca
Principal Photography Martin Dee martin.dee@ubc.ca
Web Designer Michael Ko michael.ko@ubc.ca
Contributors  Brian Lin brian.lin@ubc.ca
Catherine Loiacono Catherine.loiacono@ubc.ca
Sean Sullivan sean.sullivan@ubc.ca
Basil Waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
Advertising  Pearlie Davison pearlie.davison@ubc.ca
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UBC Reports is printed by Teldon Print Media which is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified. FSC Certification is a code of practices developed by
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Line Kesler has taken the reins as Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning.
A vision for Aboriginal engagement
By SEAN SULLIVAN
As UBC dedicates
unprecedented resources to boost
the recruitment of Aboriginal
students, faculty and staff, it's
also leading a charge to recast
Aboriginal involvement and
engagement at all levels of
education.
One of the people leading that
charge is Line Kesler, who in
January was named Director of
the UBC First Nations House of
Learning and Senior Advisor to
UBC President Stephen Toope on
Aboriginal Affairs.
His goals are ambitious:
Attract new scholars to
redevelop curricula that
incorporate Aboriginal history.
Engage Aboriginal people in
the production and definition
of knowledge. Maintain early
contact with Aboriginal learners,
helping to bridge gaps that have
traditionally kept large numbers
from university classrooms.
Born in Chicago, Kesler's
mother was Oglala-Lakota
from the Pine Ridge reservation
in South Dakota, his father a
German-American from rural
North Carolina. Following
studies at Yale and the University
of Toronto, Kesler taught for 20
years at Oregon State University,
where he led a team that
established an Ethnic Studies
Department and an Indian
Education Office.
In 2003 Kesler joined UBC as
the first director of the nascent
First Nations Studies Program.
Under his leadership, the
program has grown to offer a
major and minor in First Nations
Studies, with three full-time and
one part-time faculty.
The growth preceded UBC's
new Aboriginal Strategic Plan,
which outlines the university's
engagement with Aboriginal
peoples and communities, and
its inclusions and representations
of Aboriginal histories, cultures,
and understandings. Kesler co-
chaired the working group that
developed the document.
Following extensive
consultations across campus,
a draft plan was finished in
December 2008 and submitted
to Toope for review.
The challenge now, Kesler
said, is to put those good ideas
into practice.
"Native people are very
accustomed to seeing plans and
initiatives announced with great
fanfare, but not always seeing
positive results follow," he said.
"Our goal is to make it real."
As the strategic plan begins to
take on a life of its own, Kesler
says the university stands to
make its greatest progress this
year in the recruitment of more
Aboriginal faculty and staff,
and other faculty experts in
Aboriginal areas.
"They can bring attention to
areas in which we have real gaps
in our understanding and what
the university is able to offer,"
he said.
An example, he says, is the
teaching of Canadian history.
The standard curriculum has
lacked a meaningful discussion
of the relationship between First
Nations and others in Canadian
history.
"That's very significant
in terms of what kind of
understanding Canadians have
of issues such as land claims
disputes, and their role in
Canadians' own history," he said.
"We have to make up for
the absence of some very basic
knowledge at the university level,
and that's unfortunate. It makes
it more difficult for students to
progress to advanced work. "
There's also a vast, embedded
set of assumptions about
Aboriginal learners that need
to be confronted, he said, most
of which stem from social
circumstances and a history of
prejudice and marginalization.
But building a solid curriculum
that incorporates First Nations
practices is not the only answer.
"We can build a really good
curriculum at the university level,
but as scholars we must also
engage with Aboriginal students
at a younger age. For many
reasons, too few Aboriginal
students complete high school
with university prerequisites"
There's a shared understanding
among academics that there's a
bottleneck, he said.
"If the students aren't
coming through secondary
education, and even earlier on
aren't identifying university
as something within their
reach, they're less likely to stay
connected with the curriculum
and the choices that would get
them to university, he explained.
"It's up to UBC to
communicate with Aboriginal
students much earlier in
their careers to create greater
awareness of what university is,
and what it can do for them." 13
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iTi^ruirk	 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009
Domestic abuse victims face cultural
barriers: A role for physicians
By CATHERINE LOIACONO
Illuminating the barriers
surrounding domestic abuse
among South Asian women is
part of Dr. Amritpal Arora's goal
to help women in his community.
"Domestic abuse is an ever-
present issue that casts a dark
shadow over all communities
and cultures," says Arora.
"Over the past two years the
issue of domestic abuse among
South Asian women of the
Lower Mainland has received a
significant amount of attention.
I wanted to delve deeper into the
issue."
Freshly graduated from
UBC's Faculty of Medicine and
working as a family physician,
Arora's recent study, published
in the journal The Canadian
Family Physician, explores
the impact of domestic abuse
on South Asian women in the
Lower Mainland to develop a
better understanding of their
experiences, coping strategies
and barriers to seeking support
to help family physicians provide
better care.
"Although the impact
of domestic abuse on a
woman's health has been well
documented, the impact on
South Asian women has not been
thoroughly investigated," says
Arora. "Existing studies have
found that domestic violence
is one of the leading causes of
suicide attempts by South Asian
women. They are also more
likely to suffer from depression
and anxiety and report sexual
health concerns more frequently."
Arora approached various
women's agencies and gained
the cooperation of 11 South
Asian women between the ages
of 24-54 who were either still
in an abusive relationship or
who had left. Participants were
interviewed on the barriers
Study points to a role for family physicians to help South Asian victims of domestic abuse.
preventing access to social
services as well as the role family
physicians could play in helping
them obtain necessary support.
"The question South Asian
victims of domestic abuse
undoubtedly face is why they
choose to stay in an abusive
relationship," says Arora. "A
perceived lack of understanding
by the broader community is
what deters participants from
seeking help."
According to the study,
cultural expectations, family
honour, isolation and the stigma
of divorce are some of the major
barriers South Asian women
face.
Cultural expectations
emphasize the importance of
a patriarchal family and the
submissiveness and dependence
of a woman on her husband.
"When women face difficulties
in their marriage, tradition
dictates that these problems are
kept within the family," says
Arora. "The ideals for a good
wife often begin in childhood
and can include the sacrifice of
personal autonomy."
Along with fulfilling the
cultural ideals of being a good
wife, maintaining family honour
was found to be a major barrier
for woman.
"A woman is expected to
uphold the honour of her
husband's family and that of her
parents," says Arora. "A woman
who is experiencing abuse
is often extremely reluctant
to reach out for fear of the
consequences on her family's
honour."
Divorce also carries a large
stigma.
"Separation or divorce may
give a woman's parents the
reputation of raising unstable
or unruly girls and affect the
marriage prospects of younger
siblings," says Arora. "Women
themselves are often concerned
about their own daughters'
eligibility for marriage should
they decide to leave."
"New immigrant women are
also often financially, socially
and psychologically dependent
on their husbands," says Arora.
"Many are discouraged from
working and if they do work
their finances are controlled
solely by their husbands.
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Consequently, when these
women are faced with abuse,
fear of not being able to survive
independently serves as a
significant barrier."
According to the study, the
family physician can play an
integral role in identifying
victims of abuse and helping
them obtain support that is
both culturally sensitive and
congruent with the desires
of both the patient and the
physician.
"Family physicians were seen
as potentially important allies
by participants," says Arora.
"However, participants felt that
physicians failed to recognize
or ask about their abusive
situations. Participants in the
study were frustrated by the
tendency of their physicians to
swiftly prescribe medications
without discussing their
chronic complaints. When the
participants did confide in their
family physicians, the women
were frustrated at divorce being
presented as the only option."
Arora plans to become an
advocate for change in his
community and within his
practice. He hopes the results
of his study will help family
physicians better identify, care
for and support at-risk South
Asian women.
"In the past, the community
denied the issue, but now the
community is trying to take
steps to address the issue," says
Arora. "My key message is that
domestic abuse exists and is not
acceptable and that there are
support systems and resources
available to women."
"My generation can help
break the cultural cycle," says
Arora. "We can educate and
raise our children differently as
well as promote change in our
generation and the one prior to
us." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009     |    5
The joy of teaching: EOS profs find new ways
to enrich the classroom experience
By BRIAN LIN
"Fun" may not be the first
word faculty always choose to
describe teaching. It is, however,
for Sara Harris and Roger
Francois from the Dept. of Earth
and Ocean Sciences (EOS).
The two oceanographers
co-taught a first-year course
for non-science students last
term when Francois, a research
scientist who only began
teaching large survey courses
when he joined UBC four years
ago, used clickers for the first
time.
Clickers are remote controllike devices that allow students
to anonymously answer multiple-
Peer Teach ing Network
Faculty of Science
instructors who want
all of the benefits but
none of the stress of a
peer review now have
a new option: the Peer
Teaching Network (PTN)
launched recently by the
faculty's Science Centre
for Learning and Teaching
(Skylight).
"The PTN is designed
to support faculty
in developing their
instructional skills in a
collegial and informal
setting," says Jack Lee, a
research associate with
Skylight who modeled the
new initiative in Canada
after similar programs in
the Europe and Australia.
Faculty members
who join the network
are matched with a
colleague from a different
department in Science.
The pair meet first to
discuss their expectations
and issues they'd like to
address, followed by a
visit to each other's class.
They then exchange
feedback in a debrief
meeting.
"It's easy to get caught
up in the standard
teaching practices of
our own discipline and
forget to look and see
what's new in other areas
that we could adapt to
our own," says Rachel
Pottinger, a computer
science assistant professor
who participated in the
pilot program before PTN
was formally launched.
"I had the opportunity
to see a fascinating class
that some day I hope
our department could
emulate. I also got a
chance to talk to someone
about my teaching who
was not already biased -
for good or bad - by the
norms of teaching in our
discipline."
For more information
or to join PTN, visit
www.skylight.science.ubc.
ca/PTN
choice questions at the click of a
button. The results can be tallied
and shown immediately to the
class.
"The obvious and basic use
of the clickers is as a quiz tool,"
says Harris, who has used
clickers since 2006 and has been
working with the Carl Wieman
Science Education Initiative
(CWSEI) to incorporate clickers
and other proven teaching
methods into EOS courses.
"But when you pose
thoughtful questions, they
become a powerful facilitator
of discussions," says Harris.
Harris says using
clickers was a learning
experience for her but
recent surveys have
shown that students
are finding the
clicker exercises
challenging and
they provoke
students to
discuss
materia
both
before
and
either as lead instructors in one
of 12 currently targeted courses,
as members of corresponding
workgroups, or by receiving
specific support from the STLFs,"
says Jones. "We estimate that out
of the more than 6,200 students
who enrolled in EOS courses last
year, 70 per cent were affected by
these efforts."
For example, STLF Erin Lane
has been carefully
measuring the
degree to
after
they
register an answer.
That increased student
engagement is what made
teaching fun for Francois. "There
is definitely more interaction
between the students and myself
compared to before. Essentially
you see students becoming more
interested and more involved,"
says the professor and Canada
Research Chair in Marine
Geochemistry, who adds that
he often gets bombarded with
questions after class by students
invigorated by the discussions.
"You feel that you're doing a
better job. It's gratifying."
"I think it's pretty fun when
students collectively have this
Ah-ha' moment," says Harris.
"As an instructor, I often work
with an individual student who'd
come to my office confused.
We'd go through a concept
together and when they get it,
it's great. But that's one student
- when it happens with 150
students, that's pretty satisfying."
This infectious sense of
satisfaction may be why 69 per
cent of tenure track EOS faculty
members are currently engaged
in some form of pedagogical
reform, according to recent
statistics compiled by Brett
Gilley and Francis Jones, two of
the four CWSEI Science Teaching
and Learning Fellows (STLFs)
working in EOS.
"Faculty members are involved
which
students
are
paying
attention and
participating
in Francois's
class and
documented what
sorts of teaching
activities achieve the
most engagement. This
feedback has allowed
Francois to fine-tune his
teaching.
In addition to activities
supported by CWSEI, EOS
was the first of the science
departments to receive funding
for a five-year transformative
plan - the department is also
undergoing a curriculum review
to ensure its 11 bachelor degree
streams are made up of courses
that progress logically and meet
the needs of its students.
"At the best of times,
curriculum reform is like pushing
water uphill with a garden rake,"
says EOS Department Head Paul
Smith. "This is because it takes
considerable time and energy,
both of which are in short supply
in the busy lives of faculty.
"The combined efforts of
CWSEI and the universal
curriculum review have
contributed to a high level
of enthusiasm within the
department."
Prof. Douw Steyn has also
sensed greater interest in
teaching among his colleagues.
He teaches second- and
third-year courses in the
environmental science program
and uses a variety of activities,
including mock town hall
meetings, to keep his students
deeply engaged.
"As instructors, our role is to
facilitate student learning rather
than capturing them by way of
lecturing or making them read
a particular set of texts for a
course," says Steyn. "And we've
got to instill in them a sense
of responsibility in their own
learning."
To do this, Steyn guides his
students to conduct a mock
town hall meeting on a topical
environmental issue such as
fish farming. Students role-play
different perspectives on the
issue: as scientists presenting
findings on the environmental
impact, as government officials
promoting economic growth,
or as journalists covering the
meetings.
"The students have to research
not only the technical side
of fish farming but all of the
opposing and proposing views,"
says Steyn. "Then they have to
communicate it."
What CWSEI has added to
this teaching style, says Steyn,
is the scientific investigation
of the impact these different
approaches have on student
learning. With the help of STLFs,
the department is evaluating
student understanding of key
concepts, class participation, and
their overall attitude towards
their field of study before and
after specific courses or modules
within a course.
The CWSEPs strong emphasis
on learning outcomes (what
the faculty want the students to
take away and retain long after
they've finished the course) and
on using pedagogy that is based
on what is known about how
people learn are also making
both the instructors and students
more aware of what is being
taught, why, and how best to
learn it, say Steyn and Jones.
As for Francois, he's co-
teaching the course he shared
with Harris with another
instructor, who is now using
clickers for the first time.
For more information, visit
www.cwsei.ubc.ca or www.eos.
ubc.ca/research/cwsei 13
West Coast Suites
at The University of British Columbia
Your Home
Away from Home
Whether your next visit to the UBC campus
in Vancouver is for business or pleasure, we invite you
to experience our warm and welcoming suites with all
the conveniences at home. All new. Right here.
book online www.ubcconferences.com
TOLL FREE 888 822 IO3O     RESERVATIONS 604 822 IOOO I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009
GREEN VIRTUOSO
continued from page 1
former President Jimmy Carter,
Chevy Chase, Colorado Gov. Bill
Ritter and the CEOs of Google,
DuPont and eBay.
For her, the turning point
of the trip was when the
unexpected happened: her hosts
asked her to play outside.
"Classical musicians are
indoor creatures, you have
to remember," she says of her
impromptu performance on an
Arctic rock ledge. "We perform
in climate-controlled concerts
halls on sensitive instruments,
trying to get that perfect sound."
But against the dramatic
backdrop of an ecosystem in
danger, she played a stirring Bach
solo violin sonata to an audience
of world leaders and media.
"After days of talking, this
was finally a moment for people
to really reflect," says Choi,
noting that the music and setting
packed an emotional wallop,
moving many to tears. "It
was completely outside of my
comfort zone, but I know it was
the highlight of the trip for me
and others."
"If we're going to tackle
something like climate change,
you really have to speak to both
peoples' hearts and minds," Choi
says. "Talking, that really works
for the mind. But you need music
to speak to the heart."
Last year, UB C earned the top
grade among Canadian post-
secondary institutions and third
overall in the annual College
Sustainability Report Card, a
survey of 300 North American
universities and colleges'
sustainability activities.
For more information on
Eugenia Choi visit:
www.eugeniachoi.com
Jimmy Carter's trip report:
www.cartercenter.org/news/trip_
reports/arctic_July2008.html
UBC School of Music:
www.music.ubc.ca
UBC Sustainability:
www.sustain.ubc.ca 13
CELEBRATE RESEARCH
continued from page 1
UBC's Department of
Occupational Science and
Occupational Therapy presents
The Unhurried Family on
March 10 at Juliet's Cafe, 1905
Cornwall Ave. This cafe offers
three short talks on research
into stress and coping in infants,
couples and families as well as
strategies to enhance life balance,
health and well-being.
On March 11, UBC Prof.
Carlos Ventura will explore and
their effects on buildings, bridges
and other structures. The talk,
Learning from Earthquakes
to Prepare for Earthquakes,
discusses seismic risk in B.C., and
will explain the research at UBC's
Earthquake Engineering Research
Facility, 2235 East Mall.
A Wealth of Knowledge
and Experience: Research
Partnerships in the Downtown
Eastside is a session that
showcases health research
being conducted in partnership
between university researchers,
community members and service
providers. This event will be held
on Monday March 9 at Ray
Cam Co-operative Centre.
On March 14, Robert Evans,
UBC Mechanical Engineering
Prof., director of the Clean
Energy Research Centre and
author of Fuelling Our Future:
An Introduction to Sustainable
Energy, will explore the topic
Sustainable Transportation: How
B.C. Can be a Showcase for the
New "Electricity Economy."
This event is presented by
the Vancouver Institute and
will be held at the Woodward
Instructional Resources Centre.
A highlight of the week is the
March 12 Celebrate Research
Gala, where UBC honours
its outstanding investigators.
The accomplishments of more
than 200 UBC research award
winners will be celebrated with
video vignettes and performances
by members of the UBC School
of Music.
For a complete listing of
Celebrate Research Week events,
visit www.research.ubc.ca and
click on the information box. 13
You're invited to the
English Language Institute
Open House
March 13, 2:30-4:30pm
2121 West Mall, UBC Point Grey
Come find out about our programs. Join a building tour, observe classes,
check out sample student work and meet instructors and students.
Light refreshments. Enter a draw for two nights in Whistler!
Jennifer Selgrath learned her own resilience after a serious accident last year.
Fulbright profile:
What makes oceans, and
researchers, resilient?
SH Continuing Studies
/   English Language Institute
By BRI AN LIN
Jennifer Selgrath's quest to
study and restore the resilience
of ocean habitats in the
Philippines took a detour last
year when she and her bike were
struck by a car and thrown into
oncoming traffic.
On the road to recovery,
however, she learned her own
strength and resilience - and
found a renewed passion for
research.
Growing up in Southern
California on the beach where
Baywatch was filmed, the PhD
candidate with the UBC Fisheries
Centre's Project Seahorse
dreamed of becoming a dancer.
But her dreams expanded - she
is still a dance artist - when
she traveled to Southeast Asia
as an undergrad and realized
that answers to the most severe
environmental problems weren't
as straightforward as she'd
thought.
"In my Los Angeles-based
worldview, sustainability was a
goal that seemed achievable by
moderately shifting my lifestyle,"
says Selgrath. "It was through
my interactions with the local
communities that I understood
why people sacrifice long-term
sustainability for short-sighted
gains, especially when basic
survival is on the line."
The experience was
"uncomfortable but inspiring,"
according to Selgrath, who
began devoting her energy to
environmental education, policy
and research - and eventually
landing at UBC.
"Project Seahorse is highly
unusual in a university setting,
because we advance marine
conservation by blending
academic rigour with applied
management and policy
work," says Selgrath. The
groundbreaking project, headed
by Prof. Amanda Vincent, works
with partner organizations
around the world to conduct
marine biology research and
apply the findings immediately to
improve the lives of communities
that rely on fisheries resources,
while helping conserve and
rehabilitate ocean environments
at the same time.
As part of her PhD work,
Selgrath examines viable
strategies for rehabilitating
coastal ecosystems in the
Philippines, which are among
the most diverse marine
environments in the world.
Decades of exploitative fisheries
practices, including blast-fishing
and trawling, have left the area
severely damaged and the local
fishers' livelihoods in peril.
"The area is experiencing very
different pressures from what
most people here in Canada
are familiar with when it comes
to fisheries conservation," says
Selgrath. "Fishers there largely
draw on the marine resources
for food and to supply tropical
aquarium and traditional
Chinese medicine trades.
"While the methods and
scale of the fishing practices
are different, the consequences
of and damage to the marine
environment are similar to that
of large-scale fishing fleets -
destroying marine habitats such
as coral reefs and seagrass, and
reducing biodiversity."
The good news, says Selgrath,
is that her research is indicating
that damaged marine habitats
could bounce back. "What I'm
attempting to find out is what
contributes to this resilience," she
explains.
"Protecting habitats is the
most effective way to conserve
biodiversity. But do we protect
habitats that are most robust and
therefore have a better chance
of rebounding, or do we protect
habitats that are more sensitive
so they don't get to the point of
being beyond recovery?"
To understand the intricate
factors affecting the marine
ecosystem, Selgrath is turning to
both new technology and good
old-fashioned footwork. She
has convinced Planet Action,
a French satellite imaging
company, to donate decades of
satellite images of the region -
worth approximately $150,000
- so she can analyze and identify
areas most threatened by habitat
degradation.
Starting this fall, she'll use her
Fulbright Scholarship to visit the
Philippines and interview fishers
in these communities to learn
where they fish, what practices
they've used historically and
what methods they now use
to adapt to the decline in fish
abundance.
"I'll then tie the fishing
pressure and coral survival data
together to evaluate how habitats
respond to human activities, and
suggest what the communities
can do to conserve the longevity
of their livelihood while
continuing to prosper in the
meantime," says Selgrath, who'll
collaborate with colleagues from
the Philippines-based Project
Seahorse Foundation.
"The toughest part of any
conservation effort is convincing
people to change their
behaviour," she acknowledges.
"As a marine biologist, my job is
to provide communities that rely
on the ocean for survival with
information that they can use to
determine their own approach to
long term sustainability."
From the brink of death and
after months of rehabilitation,
Selgrath has chosen research as
her lifelong career.
"I wouldn't have done any
of the things I did before the
accident - teaching, dancing and
research - if I didn't love them,"
says Selgrath, who could barely
follow one train of thought at
a time following the injuries
suffered in the accident. "But
out of everything I love, research
affords me the opportunity to
transform the future of the ocean
and to sustain the wellbeing
of the people who rely on it. It
gives me the tools to make a real
difference in the world." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009     |     7
Paralympic
showdown
atUBr
Canadian Paralympians
were the star attraction at
UBC Thunderbird Arena,
a 2010 competition venue,
last week.
Team Canada, reigning
World Champions, took
on Germany, U.S.A and
Japan at the Hockey
Canada Cup Ice Sledge
Hockey Tournament,
Feb. 24 - March I. The
gold medal tilt, broadcast
byTSN, occurred after
UBC Reports' press
deadline.
In addition to UBC
Thunderbird Arena,
UBC Robson Square
will serve as the centre
for approximately 5,000
non-sponsor media from
around the world in 2010.
To learn more about
UBC's 2010 research,
learning and facilities, visit
www.ubc.ca/2010.
Lionel E. McLeod
Health Research
Scholarship Winner
The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
(AHFMR) is pleased to announce that Johanna Schuetz
has received a 2008 Lionel E. McLeod Health Research
Scholarship. The award honours Dr. Lionel McLeod, the
founding president of AHFMR.
Ms. Schuetz is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of
Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British
Columbia. She has received numerous awards and scholarships during
her academic career, from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of
Canada (NSERC), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research,
and the University of British Columbia. Ms. Schuetz's research focuses
on the genetics of susceptibility to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of
cancer with the fifth highest incidence in Canada. More knowledge in
this area could help better predict and treat this deadly cancer.
The Lionel E. McLeod Health Research Scholarship is given annually
to an outstanding student at the University of Alberta, University of
Calgary, or University of British Columbia for research related to human
health. Olivier Julien at the University of Alberta and Michael Galic at
the University of Calgary also received awards this year.
Dr. McLeod was the Head of Endocrinology at the University of
Alberta, Dean of Medicine at the University of Calgary, President of
AHFMR from 1981 -1990, and President and Chief Executive Officer
ofthe University Hospital, Vancouver.
AHFMR
..►■"1
ALBERTA HERITAGE FOUNDATION
FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH
www.ahfmr.ab.ca
Your voice
matters
UBC faculty and staff are invited
to participate in UBC's first
Workplace Experiences
Survey
Take the opportunity to tell us
what's important in creating
a better workplace.
Share your viewpoint at
www.focusonpeople.ubc.ca
February 23 - March 18,2009.
The Workplace Experiences Survey is an initiative
of Focus on People: Workplaces at UBC
UBC
W
UBC'S    CELEBRATE    RESEARCH    WEEK
YOU ARE HERE
NAVIGATING AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
Each year in March, UBC faculties, departments, schools, research hospitals and partner
institutions are invited to host discussion forums, lectures, seminars, open houses and
symposia on topical and timely issues related to their research.
From Fine Arts to Chemistry everyone is invited to participate in this week-long event.
Almost all of these events are FREE and open to the public, students, faculty, staff and
schools. For updates and a complete listing of these events visit:
WWW.CELEBRATERESEARCH.UBC.CA
MARCH
■(TURDAY
/
MARCH
MONDAY
1
Faculty of Medicine Research Day
KALEIDOSCOPE OF POPULATION & PUBLIC HEALTH
10:00AM-12:00PM 1^
How can we improve the health of our most vulnerable
and disadvantaged citizens? Join faculty members of
UBC's new School of Population and Public Health talk
about their research into a variety of topics, including
emerging health threats and rapid responses to combat
them; understanding how to prevent cancer and other
chronic diseases; how to maintain a healthy society;
how to protect and enhance our health care system;
and the latest issues in occupational and environmental
health. Contact: Brian Kladko, brian.kladko@ubc.ca.
Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
Faculty of Medicine Research Day
EMERGING RESEARCH THEMES IN PSYCHIATRY
2:00PM-4:00PM "^
A discussion of the problems being tackled - and the
breakthroughs achieved - by some of Canada's most
promising young psychiatric researchers, including: Jun-
Feng Wang, John Ogrodniczuk, Christian G. Schiitz and
David Bond. All welcome. Contact: Brian Kladko, brian.
kladko@ubc.ca.
Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
University-Industry Liaison Office
BRIDGING THE GAP:
Bringing Medicines to the Poor of the World ^^
7:00PM-8:30PM
A symposium to discuss how UBC is addressing the
obstacles to researching diseases of, and delivering
medical technologies to, the developing world. Featuring
Drs. Brett Finlay, Robert Hancock and Kishor Wasan,
with Ian Bell and Michael Gretes. Contact: Jennifer Choi,
jenniferchoi@gmail.com.
Robson Square, 800 Robson Street - room CI50
MARCH
TUESDAY
Sauder School of Business
SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL INNOVATION *^S
Reception: 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Presentation: 6:00PM -7:30PM
Professor James Tansey and research associates will
discuss the projects that have marked the beginnings
of the Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation
(CSSI). Contact: Jessie Lam, Jessie.Iam@sauder.ubc.ca.
Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
WWW.CELEBRATERESEARCH.UBC.CA
1
MARCH
WEDNESDAY
Gairdner Foundation 50lh Anniversary Symposium
SCIENCE AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE ^S
9:00AM-5:00PM
An academic symposium featuring eight esteemed
presenters, including four Nobel Laureates (Drs. Carl
Wieman, Harold Varmus, Sydney Brenner and Roger
Tsien). This all-day event is intended for life sciences
researchers and interested members ofthe public.
Tickets to this FREE event are available to the public and
must be picked up in advance from the Chan Centre
Ticket Office (Mon-Sat, 12-5:00 p.m.) The morning and
afternoon sessions are ticketed separately; For more
information: (604)875-3535.
The Chan Centre, 6265 Crescent Road
2009 Michael Smith Memorial Nobel Forum
PERSONAL GENOMICS: HOPE OR HYPE? "^
7:30PM-9:00PM
A free public forum discussing the science and issues
of personal genetic testing. Panel of renowned medical
geneticists (Cynthia Kenyon, Muin Khoury & Harold
Varmus) will be moderated by award-winning former
NBC correspondent, Charles Sabine. Hosted by Dr.
Michael Hayden. Visit www.celebrateresearch.ubc.
ca for up-to-date details. Contact: Seetha Kumaran,
skumaran@cmmt.ubc.ca. Tickets are free and must be
picked up in advance from The Chan Centre Ticket Office
(www.chancentre.ubc.ca).
The Chan Centre, 6265 Crescent Road
MARCH
College For Interdisciplinary Studies
BEYOND BINARIES & BORDERS ^S
9:00AM - 5:00PM (see also March 14)
We will be looking at the ways in which intercultural and
interdisciplinary approaches intersect using the case
study of food with an emphasis on fish. Please rsvp to
Lindsay to reserve seating at lindsay.funk@ubc.ca.
Liu Institute, Multipurpose Room, 6476 NWMarine Dr
1 MARCH
SATURDAY
4
The Vancouver Institute Presents
SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION: How B.C. Can Be a
Showcase For the New 'Electricity Economy' '^^
8:15PM-
Guest speaker Professor Robert Evans is also the author
of Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable
Energy
Lecture Hall No. 20, Woodward Instructional Resources
Centre
High School students welcome
Public welcome
1
MARCH
THURSDAY
UBC School of Audiology & Speech Sciences
CELEBRATE SPEECH AND HEARING RESEARCH:
Talk to Me, Listen to Me ^^^^
9:00AM - 12:00PM (also Monday March °if^
Learn about our current research, explore possibl
careers, and experience the energy in our new facility-
where insights into the nature of human communication
are being translated into therapeutic action. Contact
ssmall@audiospeech. ubc.ca.
3rd Floor, 2177 Wesbrook Mall I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MARCH    5,    2009
SERVING UBC FACULTY MEMBERS FOR OVER
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