Research up close

Research up close

Research up close

Photo of iceberg

Scientist examines what fuels the climate change skeptics, October 30, 2015

Last weekend, the strongest hurricane ever recorded slammed the coast of Mexico. So far in 2015, seven out of nine months have broken global heat records. Ancient glaciers are vanishing in the Rockies. Most of California hasn’t had rain in years.

Even as the list of serious climate change impacts keeps growing, scientists still encounter people who refuse to consider that it is at least partly caused by human emission of greenhouse gases.

Brock University biologist and psychologist Gary Pickering set out to gauge skepticism among English Canadians when it comes to climate change. His pilot study, “Head in the (oil) sand? Climate skepticism in Canada”, was published this month in the Journal of Environmental and Social Sciences.

Pickering, a member of Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, conducted an online survey in which 229 Canadian households agreed or disagreed with a range of statements on whether or not climate change is real, if it is related to human activity, if reports about it are exaggerated and if people feel a personal obligation to do something about it.

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Researcher and child.

Children in JK and SK at different stages of development: Brock researcher, August 14, 2015

Most four-year-olds in Ontario will be starting a journey that hopefully will continue for many years to come: full-time school.

Full-day kindergarten is still relatively new, a concept that Brock developmental psychologist Caitlin Mahy says has many benefits but also needs careful practice. Traditionally, children began their schooling with kindergarten at the age of five years.

At the core of Mahy’s research observations is that one year makes a monumental difference.

“There’s this huge transition between four-year-olds and five-year-olds in things like memory, social understanding, and self-regulation,” says Mahy. “Four-year-olds are going to struggle with a lot of skills that five-year-olds aren’t going to struggle with.”

And that is something teachers and parents, who might be tempted to view all kindergarteners as being similar, need to understand and adjust for, she says.

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Shot of minister and client.

Brock programs helping keep Niagara’s seniors healthy and independent, August 11, 2015

Many studies have shown that physical activity is critically important for maintaining health during aging, but gym membership may be intimidating for some seniors.

With Niagara’s aging population, the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being, located on Lockhart Drive in St. Catharines, plays a key role in helping those over 55 to stay healthy, active, and independent, and may contribute to reduced health care costs.

On Monday, The Honorable Mario Sergio, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, as well as St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, toured the Brock University facility, which houses a number of exercise programs for Niagara seniors.

The team at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being pursues innovative, multi-disciplinary research and provides community programs to improve health and quality-of-life for seniors including those with cardiac issues, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and amputees.

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