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Keynote Speakers


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Crocodiles & Ice: Deep Ecology In This Commotion We Call Western Civilization


Dee and Kaitlin

Jon Turk is an author, public lecturer, and adventurer. Hailing originally from Connecticut, he was awarded his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Colorado, and now resides in Fernie, BC. In 1971, in honour of Earth Day 1, he co-authored the first environmental science text in the US and spearheaded the development of environmental science curricula in North America. Hounded by restless spirits, Jon has spent decades wandering the globe encountering remarkable people and places – visiting a shaman in Siberia, kayaking across the North Pacific and around Cape Horn, mountain biking through the Gobi Desert, making first climbing ascents of big walls on Baffin Island and first ski descents in the mountains of Kyrgzia. In his writing and speaking engagements, Jon communicates the vital importance of our relationship with natural environments in this oil-soaked, Internet-crazed civilization.

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Banquet Speaker


Dee and Kaitlin

Jean Andrey is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and the current President of the Canadian Association of Geographers. Jean's research is concerned with the implications of climate change for transportation infrastructure and operations. She is a highly regarded teacher and mentor for undergraduate and graduate students alike. We are honoured that Jean will address the banquet on Saturday night

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Oral Presentations


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Using Remote Sensing and Aerial Archaeology to Detect Pit House Features in Satellite Imagery


Dee and Kaitlin

It is well known that archaeological sites are important sources for understanding past human activity. However, those sites yet to be identified and investigated are under a great risk of being lost or damaged before their archaeological significance can be fully recognized. The aim of this research was to analyze the potential use of remote sensing and aerial archaeology techniques integrated within a geographic information system (GIS) for the purpose of remotely studying pit house archaeology. As pit house archaeological sites in North America have rarely been studied with a focus in remote sensing, this study intended to create a method of identifying these features by processing very high resolution satellite imagery and assessing how accurately the identified features could be automatically mapped with the use of a GIS. A Worldview-2 satellite image of the Bridge River pit house village in Lillooet, south-central British Columbia, was processed within ArcGIS 10 (ESRI), ERDAS Imagine 2011 (Intergraph) and eCognition Developer 8 (Trimble) to identify spatial and spectral queues representing the pit house features. The study outlined three different feature extraction methods (GIS-based, pixel-based and object-based) and evaluated which method presented the best results. Though all three methods produced similar results, the potential for performing object-based feature extraction for research in aerial archaeology proved to be more advantageous than the other two extraction methods tested.

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Central Coast Flood Events in the Bella Coola River Valley During 2010 and 2011


Dee and Kaitlin

Central Coast Special SessionIn September 2010, a rainfall event exceeded all previous recorded precipitation and resulted in large-scale flooding within the Central Coast. This regional event affected a watershed of 5150 square km. Rainfall warning and flood advisories were issued in advance and updated regularly. This sub-tropical low pressure system was predicted to deliver heavy rainfall. Then, in late September of 2011, another similar storm system caused another flood.These dates relate to large flooding events in the Bella Coola Valley of the Central Coast area of British Columbia and surpass the largest documented flood. The 2010 peak flow was estimated at 1000 cms, well within the range of the 100-year to 200-year return period flood. Meteorological and hydrometric data was reviewed to document the impacts caused to infrastructure. Existing flood control structures were unable to safely control the high water levels partly due to high stored sediment levels within tributaries and main stem channel systems.Highway 20, the main access route to the valley, was damaged in several places. The airport was flooded preventing fixed-wing access leaving the communities isolated.Lessons learned include protecting infrastructure and updating flood control structures for future events. An analysis of the 2010 flood will provide valuable information to professional engineers who will be rethinking and designing future diking to protect the Bella Coola valley using a risk-based approach.

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Alpamayo's Journey: Imaginative Geographies that Shape the Alpaca World


Dee and Kaitlin

Through the framework of a commodity chain, this paper examines the life history of one alpaca as he journeyed from a co-operative farm in Peru to a small family ranch in Pemberton, British Columbia. Along the way it highlights the differing imaginative geographies that surround alpacas both in Peru and in Canada. These different cultural perceptions are the primary drivers responsible for determining the value that alpacas and their products have, and serve to perpetuate the large socioeconomic inequalities between alpaca farmers in Canada and those in Peru. The extreme commodity fetishism that surrounds alpacas is ultimately harmful to the commercial industry in both Canada and Peru, but the inequality that exists between Canadian farmers and alpaqueros means that it is the Peruvian herders who suffer the most.

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Utilization of Kriging and Bathymetry to Analyze Sediment Contamination in the Lower Great Lakes


Dee and Kaitlin

This research presents mercury and lead sediment contamination estimates for the Lower Laurentian Great Lakes. Environment Canada provided historical data from 1968 (Lake Ontario) and 1971 (Lake Erie) that were compared with more recent data that were collected during 1997/98 lake-wide sediment surveys. Pollutant concentrations from the top three centimetres of sediment sample cores were examined. The ordinary kriging geospatial analysis technique (as implemented in ArcGIS) was applied to generate contamination surfaces which were then draped over bathymetry data. Changes in the distribution of the contaminants were observed. These differences were analyzed through the evaluation of relationships among bathymetry, annualized lake currents and pollution sources. The results indicate that mercury and lead contamination in the Lower Great Lakes has generally decreased, however problem areas still exist. Higher concentrations were commonly found in proximity to traditional industrial areas and in deep lake basins where contaminants tend to migrate over time. Bathymetry data significantly enhanced the visualization of contaminant distribution relationships and the understanding of observed pollution patterns.

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The Water Balance of a Small Coastal Headwater Lake


Dee and Kaitlin

Small coastal lakes in the Pacific Northwest represent an important habitat for birds, mammals and fish as well as provide recreational and water resource opportunities for local communities. However, few water balance studies has been conducted in small lakes and this lack of data has implications for ecosystem, lake and fish management. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the monthly water balance of Rice Lake, a small (7.87 ha), shallow (max depth ~7 m), coastal headwater lake and determine the role of groundwater in the overall water balance. Hydrologic inputs and outputs were measured during ice-free periods in 2009 and 2010 and net groundwater flow was determined as the residual of the water balance. Net groundwater flow was negative for all months, indicating net seepage from the lake, accounting for at least 23-95% of the monthly outflow even though the lake was situated in compact glacial till. Surface runoff was the dominant input to the lake but showed strong seasonal variation. Initial results suggest that Rice Lake may two hydrologic regimes. Rice Lake may be classified as a drainage lake during wet months when surface flows dominate the water balance. During dry months, Rice Lake may be classified as a seepage lake when surface flows are minimal and groundwater seepage dominates the water balance. These distinct regimes likely play an important role in controlling the seasonal water chemistry of coastal lakes.

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Geography of Danger: Reykjavik


Dee and Kaitlin

Reykjavík is the capital city of Iceland, and is the most northern capital city in the world. Found in a country named Iceland, frigid air and ice cover are actually not of huge concern. Iceland was formed, and continues to be formed by magma as it effuses out of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the divergent tectonic plate boundary Iceland now sits atop. This geographical position is what drives a variety of hazards to occur on the island such as earthquakes, eruptions, the locally named jökulhlaups, tephra fallout and pollution, hydrological events, avalanches and many more. Given the number of hazards that can occur in the small country, many would think it is truly a wonder that people even choose to call Reykjavík home. But as we will demonstrate, Reykjavík is precariously placed within the geography of Iceland, to actually remain relatively safe when hazards occur elsewhere on the island. Thus, we will spatially locate, and describe the extent to which hazards are present in Iceland, while demonstrating how Reykjavík is either protected from the hazard, or has taken steps to mitigate against it.

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Re-Locating the Orchards of Victoria, BC: A 20 Yards Diet!


Dee and Kaitlin

In these days of food security and the 100 mile diet, here in Victoria, BC, we have the opportunity of a 20 yards diet. Victoria has had fruit orchards and trees throughout the region since the early 20th century. Using 1920s historic aerial photos, these orchards can be re-located. Some remnant orchards and trees still exist. Local organisations such as LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project harvest fruit from residents yards. Maps and data from this study can assist. I also argue, agreeing with Yi-Fu Tuan from his highly influential Place: An Experiential Perspective in Geographical Review that place is the past and the present...Place is created by human beings for human purposes. Every row of trees is important. Being aware of the recent past landscape of Victoria connects us to the land and we are more likely to care and plan better in its use. In addition, knowing land use change also encourages use to be mindful when we plan for the future. This study will feature a number of visualizations of Victoria past landscape including historic photos, aerial photos and notably a webmap because the public must know the past in order to be connected to it. Place is sustained by the quality of human awareness.

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The City Shares: The Role of Local Government in the Sharing Economy


Dee and Kaitlin

The concept of shared economy networks has become prevalent within the city of Vancouver and other urban centres, with an increased abundance of programs that allow us to share and exchange pre-used or unused tangible (products, tools, etc) or intangible (time, space, or skills) commodities directly with those with similar needs. Programs such as Car-2-Go, ZipCar, the Hive and community tool and bike co-ops have increased in popularity within Vancouver. Slow-moving economies combined with increasing public awareness of the impact individualistic consumerism can have upon the environment may be encouraging people to consider participating in “collaborative consumption” programs that promote sharing schemes for cars, bikes, tools, even sharing clothes and landuse. Such programs have emerged especially due to the development of mobile technologies that allow social networking and online payment systems as means to make a transaction. As such, smartphone apps and websites, combined with physical central locations can be utilized to create a governance model for the sharing economy, and perhaps allow for city-wide support of and participation with collaborative consumption. Given these factors, I look to address how the City of Vancouver might best support and facilitate local sharing. By addressing what factors of the collaborative consumption economy are attracting participants or diverting them from choosing to participate, I look to address what governance role a municipal government can play in supporting and promoting engagement in the sharing economy.

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Regional Differences in the Commodification of Rural Space in Terms of Recreation and Tourism in Central Japan


Dee and Kaitlin

Rural space in Japan is characterized by the increased role of consumption rather than the traditional activity of production. This situation may be understood as the commodification of rural space. Rural commodities in Japan can be classified into four types: (1) the supply of agricultural products, (2) the consumption of rural space by counter-urbanization, (3) rural consumption for recreation and tourism, and (4) activities that improve quality of life by conserving and managing landscapes and natural environment and by developing an understanding of traditional rural society and culture. Among them recreation and tourism are the most popular and conspicuous. This presentaion examines the regional differences in central Japan from the standPoint of the commodification of rural space for recreation and tourism mainly based on our interviews of prefectural government officials, landscape observations, and the analysis of statistics and various tourist brochures. The provison of walking is typical of urban areas, allotment gardens are dominant in suburban areas, farm produce stands or shops are typical on farms located on plains. In the same way, we can find you-pick in fruit growing basins, hiking in hills and low mountains, the availability of rural experiences in remote basins between mountains, escaping the summer heat in highland resort areas, skiing in snow mountains, climing in high mountains, and marine leisure activities in coastal and island areas. The differences of natural conditions, the existence of current tourist sites, and the proximity to metropolitan areas affect rural space in central Japan.

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Shorebirds, Wolves, Dogs and Beaches: Human-Wildlife Conflict in Pacific Rim National Park


Dee and Kaitlin

In the wildland/urban interface of parks and protected areas, links between people, domesticated dogs, wildlife, prey, foraging habitat, and landscape dynamics can contribute to an increase in human/dog-wildlife conflict as human populations blend, overlap and place pressure and stress on local wildlife populations. Parks and protected area dual mandates of ecological integrity and visitor experience become paramount when subsequent human/dog wildlife encounters displace species, disturb sensitive habitat and habituate animals if visitor behaviour is inappropriate. As parks increasingly become critical wildlife habitat, protected area landscapes require people and their pets to "learn how to live with wildlife." Dogs running free in the Long Beach Unit (LBU) of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, have been found to be one of the largest sources of disturbance and displacement of sensitive habitat for migratory shorebirds. The LBU and its beaches are also home for a steadily increasing population of Vancouver Island wolves, a history of human-carnivore conflict and an increased trend of wolves behaving indifferently by following and approaching people and attacking dogs. Managing human/dog–wildlife conflict is about the management of human behavior and more about providing a cognitive basis to encourage appropriate behaviour than it is about control. Behaviour depends on our intentions to behave in certain ways. By understanding beliefs, motivations and how visitors with dogs conceptualize protected area spaces, we are better able to understand and influence how others behave in a given situation.

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Magnetic Measurements of Beach Sediments Along the Eroding Coastline of North Norfolk (UK)


Dee and Kaitlin

Recent research around the Great Lakes has established a relationship between coastal erosion and concentrations of magnetic minerals in beach sediment. However, previous work has not established a statistically significant correlation, because erosion was inferred not measured. We have examined sediment from an area of monitored coastal erosion in the UK. Sediments were sieved into grain size fractions and their magnetic susceptibility measured with a Sapphire Instruments SI2B magnetic susceptibility meter. Samples were also subjected to magnetic fields of up to 0.9T in a pulse magnetizer and measured with a Molspin spinner magnetometer to determine their saturation isothermal remanent magnetism. This paper presents our preliminary results and conclusions on the relationship between concentrations of magnetic minerals and rates of coastal erosion.

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Ten Years Later: Mitigation of Interface Fire Risk in Kelowna, British Columbia following the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire


Dee and Kaitlin

Fire risk associated with human settlement in wildland-urban interface areas is well documented in British Columbia. Communities generally have become very good at responding to interface fires during the emergency phase, but they appear to fall short in terms of designing fireproof communities to avoid an emergency in the first place. The purpose of this study is to explore alternatives for mitigating interface fire risk in Kelowna and investigating which, if any, human use modifications to reduce this risk have been implemented following the disastrous 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire. A multi-method approach is employed to evaluate interface fire risk by focusing on the extent of infrastructure at risk and its vulnerability. The infrastructure at risk is evaluated by cartographically overlaying and examining wildfire hazard areas and areas of future urban development in Kelowna. Vulnerability is evaluated by analyzing expert interviews, checking whether the key recommendations from the 2003 Filmon Commission Report have been implemented, and investigating modifications addressing fire hazard in two neighbourhoods using field photography. Results show that interface fire risk in Kelowna is increasing because of expected future increases in the frequency and intensity of wildfires and the rapid expansion of development into interface areas. Efforts to manage future risk include fuel management and the creation of defensible spaces around homes. The major focus in reducing vulnerability is clearly on the responsibility of individual homeowners rather than the role of government through measures such as building regulation and development design.

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Precipitation Patterns on the Windward Side of a Coastal Mountain Range in Southwestern British Columbia


Dee and Kaitlin

A pattern of increasing precipitation with elevation is commonly associated with mountain ranges. However, there is evidence of a disruption of this trend in some coastal ranges, where a major peak in precipitation occurs at low elevations windward of the range crest and a smaller secondary peak occurs near the topographic crest of the mountains. This study examines whether annual, winter and summer precipitation exhibits this pattern in the coastal Cascade Mountains of southwestern British Columbia. Data from weather stations operated by provincial and federal agencies were plotted to show distance windward of the range crest, elevation and precipitation, and these graphs were overlaid on a topographic profile. The results show that a maximum peak in precipitation is associated with the westernmost lower-elevation mountains encountered by weather systems moving in from the Pacific Ocean, with a sharp decrease in precipitation leeward of this and then an increase to a secondary maximum near the topographic crest of the Cascade Mountains. This pattern is evident with annual, winter and summer precipitation, with only a slight shift in the location of the main precipitation peak to a slightly higher elevation in summer, probably due to seasonal differences in air mass saturation. I conclude that initial orographic lifting, possibly combined with confinement of precipitation bearing air masses at the head of the Fraser Valley, results in a precipitation maximum a significant distance windward (west) of the topographic crest of this coastal mountain range regardless of the season.

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Exploring Energy Security Policy and Practice in Metro Vancouver Municipalities


Dee and Kaitlin

An increasing number of researchers and industry experts have suggested that we will soon have to secure sustainable energy sources while addressing the challenges of climate change. While numerous studies on how to do so have been conducted on the regional,national, and global scale, only a few have focused on sustainable energy planning at the municipal level.Using survey data and official planning documents, I will explore how energy security is being defined at the municipal level, as well as examine the plans in place for managing energy use and generation within Metro Vancouver and its municipalities. Preliminary findings suggest that while municipalities in Metro Vancouver do not currently have a clear definition of energy security, many of them are well on their way of identifying the most pressing energy priorities in their communities; encouraged by the Government of British Columbia's Clean Energy Act, BC communities either have or are working on developing and adopting Community Energy and Emissions Plan in order to promote energy conservation and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in each municipality. This presentation will also discuss how individual municipalities are taking different steps working towards becoming more energy independent to meet the increasing demand by their residents.

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Confabulating "The Old West": Rangeland Restoration and Bison Reintroduction in the Montana High Line


Dee and Kaitlin

The idea that ecological restoration based on historical benchmarks or reference states will necessarily result in more desirable or healthier environmental conditions is common among both academicians and natural resource professionals alike. This paper challenges the validity of this assumption by examining the incompatibilities present between current ecosystems research and the environmental narratives surrounding plans to restore 3.1 million acres of rangeland in the High Line region of northeastern Montana. These plans are part of a more ambitious project currently pursued by American Prairie Reserve, a New York based non-profit environmental organization, who is actively involved in the establishment of a large-scale bison reserve. The proposed reintroduction of bison has drawn strong opposition from local residents with longstanding interests in maintaining the economic viability of a working landscape and the continuity of agrarian lifeways associated with farming and ranching. Current research suggests that the historical biogeography of the project's proposed restoration site make it inappropriate for such intended land use. These inconsistencies relate to floristic evidence which more strongly associates the biotic composition of rangelands in northeastern Montana with the Great Basin environment of our Intermountain West than with the more geographically proximate Great Plains. Disregard for such scientifically informed analyses suggests that the insipient push to restore this historicized American landscape is, to a certain degree, informed by enduring notions of an unequivocally identifiable and thus reproducible "Old West".

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Community Mapping: Collaborations on Place


Dee and Kaitlin

The University of Victoria's Community Mapping Collaboratory and Vancouver Island University will present three community mapping projects in one informative, fast-paced session. The University of Victoria's Collaboratory will present on the United Way of Greater Victoria's project that illustrates organizations and agencies on a unique, interactive, and highly informative map. The Collaboratory will also showcase the Capital Regional District's Green Map, which developed from grass-root level participatory citizen involvement methods and resulted in a new and innovative map of the green economy in the region. Vancouver Island University will present on VIU's View of the World. This project shows what can happen when a Geography class bands together with two classes of English as a Second Language students to create a mapping project that includes layers and layers of information important to the project teams, including places, legends, people, and culture. This session will involve students and project participants as well as representatives from the Geography Departments at UVic and VIU. The session will also include lessons learned and recommendations for new mapping projects.

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Families of Fort Langley - The Cromarty Family


Dee and Kaitlin

My project seeks to delve in to the human history of the Fort famlies by conducting research on the Cromarty family. By engaging in oral interviews, my research contributes a unique perspective to a significant componet of Canada's history.Much has been told about the Hudson's Bay Company, and the fur trade in Fort Langley, yet historical personal stories are often disrgarded in place of archival information. When attempting to engage in the history of our country it seems what people crave to learn about is the stories of others.By changing the lens through which we view Canada's history, there is a lot to be learned. Human history as told through oral interviews lends a mode through which we can feel the history of place. Oral history possesses sorrow, death, love, triumph, fear, and compassion through the stories descendents share about their family lineage.It is through the passing on of stories such as the Cromarty family that visitors to Fort Langley, as well as residents of Canada can experience and relate to the tangibility of our country's history.

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