The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to congratulate Geography Master of Arts student, Rebekah Casey (BA Tourism and Environment ’19), who was recently awarded a Faculty of Social Sciences Master of Arts Student Research Award for her research, tentatively titled “There’s No Place Like (Rural) Home: Why People Choose Rural Despite Decline.” Congratulations also to Rebekah’s MA supervisor, Dr. Christopher Fullerton.
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to congratulate Geography MA alumna, Katelyn Pierce (’20), who was recently awarded the 2020 Faculty of Social Sciences Best Graduate MA Thesis Award for her thesis titled “Detached from Our Bodies: Representing Women‘s Mental Health and Well-being with Graphic Memoirs.” Congratulations also to Katelyn’s MA supervisor, Dr. Ebru Ustandag.
After almost a year of travel restrictions and stay-at-home mandates, many Canadians are looking toward a future when they might visit distant locales once again.
Atsuko Hashimoto, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, hopes that before hopping on a plane, people might first consider how travel may impinge on the rights of others.
To help readers understand the implications of tourism across a range of topics related to human rights, Hashimoto published Human Rights Issues in Tourismat the end of December, following a historical year for both the tourism industry and human rights worldwide.
“When we started writing this book, no one could have foreseen all the changes that 2020 brought,” says Hashimoto. “We have seen many pro-democracy demonstrations and the rise of rights activism around the world, the number of asylum seekers increasing exponentially and a global pandemic that has, for the most part, stopped non-essential travel, or ‘taking a holiday,’ resulting in many people’s rights to work being severely compromised.”
Co-authored with colleagues Elif Härkönen of Linkoping University in Sweden and Brock Political Science alumnus Edward Nkyi (MA ’11), the book covers a background of human rights issues related to tourism, from sustainable development goals to politics, before taking deeper dives into specific issues such as human security, displacement, discrimination, privacy, free movement, labour conditions, sex tourism, the environment and Indigenous rights.
“I like the idea that tourism is a window to what is happening in society,” says Hashimoto. “Readers may be surprised to realize how our own behaviours are, without us noticing, hurting other people.”
Hashimoto, whose research has long focused on the empowerment of women in rural communities and other disadvantaged groups, says it’s important to acknowledge the part tourists may play in the relationships that exist between globalization, tourism and human rights.
“Can you imagine as an international tourist that the resort hotel you are staying in used to be a local fishing village?” she says. “The villagers were removed from the area so that the hotel could be built and local access to the beach is now denied. Almost everything in the resort hotel is imported from other countries, so local suppliers benefit very little — even the traditional Indigenous souvenirs sold in the hotel have been mass produced in another country and imported.”
Hashimoto encourages potential tourists to think of any trip they plan as a visit to someone else’s home, determining if and how their visit will benefit local people and how their mode of transportation may contribute to climate change, another serious human rights issue examined in the book.
“You are taking a vacation for relaxation and fun, but your enjoyment should not be a burden to others,” Hashimoto says.
STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS
Dr. Dave Brown joined researchers across Brock University’s Faculty of Social Sciences on February 4th, 2021 for a virtual symposium where he shared about his research project, “Collaborative research proposal with Niagara Falls Museum and Library: Geolocation and Interpretation of Digital Historical and Heritage Assets in Niagara”. This project was one of many funded by the Special COVID-19-Related Dean’s Discretionary Fund.
In spring, 2020, as the disruptive potential of the pandemic became clear, the Dean’s Office sought to support ongoing and innovative initiatives by members of the Faculty of Social Sciences. As activities across FOSS were reimagined and realigned to comply with the new COVID-19 context, the Special COVID-19-Related Dean’s Discretionary Fund was created. The online symposium showcased and discussed several of the projects that were supported through this fund, including Dr. Brown’s research.
Residents of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow, Yukon are living on the frontline of climate change, witnessing dramatic landscape changes in the Arctic due to rising temperatures.
Under the leadership of Dana Tizya-Tramm, Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, Yukon was the first Indigenous community to draft a climate change emergency declaration, Yeendoo Diinehdoo Ji’heezrit Nits’oo Ts’o’ Nan He’aa (or After Our Time, How Will the World Be?) in 2019.
Brock University Associate Professor in Geography and Tourism Studies Kevin Turner is very familiar with the dramatic response of the landscape to climate change on the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
Researching the area of Old Crow, Yukon, for over a decade, he continues to monitor landscape changes including landslides, vegetation change, lake drainage and fire. His research integrates chemical analyses of water and sediment to evaluate impacts of changing landscape features on lakes and rivers.
Turner, who is Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington, will be sitting down with Chief Tizya-Tramm for a “fireside chat” hosted by the World Affairs Council at a virtual public lecture Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 8 p.m.
Turner and Tizya-Tramm will discuss emerging issues and priorities identified by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in the face of global challenges.
Diverse topics will include efforts to conserve the Porcupine Caribou Herd, adjustments during a pandemic, and pathways for unifying traditional insight of changing climate and landscapes with ongoing science-based monitoring approaches.
“I’m looking forward to it, and in particular discussions of bringing together science-based research and traditional knowledge for the benefits of those most influenced by climate change,” says Turner.
For more information and to register, click here.
FROM THE BROCK NEWS
Brock University was an important part of Josephine Meeker’s life for far longer than the three decades that she worked here.
Believed to be the first woman ever hired as a Brock faculty member, Meeker started as an Assistant Professor of Geography on July 1, 1965 and retired 30 years later on June 30, 1996. In between those two dates, Meeker played a significant role in the development of the Department of Geography and the University as a whole. She was the first Director of Continuing Education, the first president of the Brock University Faculty Association and had tenures as a member of both the Board of Trustees and Senate, for which she served a term as Chair. She was also influential in the creation of the Women’s Studies program, and in 1995 received the Rosalind Blauer Award for improving the position of women at Brock.
Meeker, born in Hamilton in 1930, passed away Monday, Jan. 11 in St. Catharines at the age of 90.
“Josephine brought a commitment to Brock, never ceasing to put Brock first,” said John Menzies, Professor of Earth Sciences and Geography. “Her commitment to students was incredible, not only in helping them in their studies, but also in their whole life here and afterward.”
After graduating from McMaster University in 1953, she began a teaching career in Hamilton, where she was responsible for the United Nations Club, which led her to oversee multiple trips to Washington and New York. That led her to graduate studies at Indiana University and Columbia University in New York City, where she met her future husband Donald, and started working with the United Nations.
After completing her graduate studies, she returned to Canada to start her academic career at Brock.
Meeker’s niece, Wendy Nelson, said Brock held a very import place in her aunt’s heart.
“My Aunt Jo cherished her role as ‘Professor Meeker’ and the chance to teach and mentor students at Brock University,” Nelson said. “She was so proud of the University and its development over time. Throughout her lifetime, her highest praise of individuals was reserved for graduates of Brock. In her eyes, a degree at Brock was Josephine’s ‘seal of approval.’”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in memory of Meeker to either Brock University or McMaster University. A virtual celebration of life for students, colleagues, friends and family will take place Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. To participate, contact the family via Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org
An online book of condolences can be found at turnerfamilyfuneralhome.ca
STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS
New book chapter explores the historical micro-geography of liberal urbanism in Toronto’s Brunswick Avenue neighbourhood
Dr. Phillip Mackintosh has published a new chapter in the book Micro-Geographies of the City, 1750-1900 titled “Liberalism underfoot: A micro-geography of street paving and social dissolution – Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 1898–99”.
This chapter defines liberal urbanism in the context of Toronto’s paving problem and the universally unpopular local improvements by-law, devised to rehabilitate and ultimately capitalise the modern city. It focuses on the particular case of Brunswick Avenue and how Brunswickers’ perturbations of choice dismantled community good will. The four blocks of Brunswick Avenue between College and Bloor underwent two phases of pavement installation from 1880 to 1900. The first stretch, from College to Ulster, laid a cedar block roadway in 1882, which had an expiry date of 1892. Property owners tolerated their spent cedar roadway for four years and then purchased an asphalt surface in 1896, built by contractor David Chalmers in October 1896. Curiously given the snooty reputation of the homeowners in that section of Brunswick the same neighbourhood wanted only a plank sidewalk on the west side of their new asphalt pavement despite the city engineer recommending brick.
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh (2021) Liberalism Underfoot: Paving and Social Paradox—Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 1898. In Alida Clemente, Jon Stobbart & Dag Lindstrom eds, Micro-Geographies of the City, 1750-1900. Research in Historical Geography Series, London: Routledge.
A new paper authored by Geography and Tourism Studies Associate Professor, Dr. Kevin Turner, and Geography alumni Michelle Pearce and Daniel Hughes titled “Detailed Characterization and Monitoring of a Retrogressive Thaw Slump from Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Identifying Associated Influence on Carbon and Nitrogen Export” has been published in Remote Sensing. This paper is open-access and available to download here.
Ice-rich permafrost landscapes are sensitive to ongoing changes in climate. Permafrost retrogressive thaw slumps (RTSs) represent one of the more abrupt and prolonged disturbances, which occur along Arctic river and lake shorelines. These features impact local travel and infrastructure, and there are many questions regarding associated impacts on biogeochemical cycling. Predicting the duration and magnitude of impacts requires that we enhance our knowledge of RTS geomorphological drivers and rates of change. Here we demonstrate the utility of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for documenting the volumetric change, associated drivers and potential impacts of the largest active RTS along the Old Crow River in Old Crow Flats, Yukon, Canada. RPAS surveys revealed that 29,174 m3 of sediment was exported during the initial evacuation in June 2016 and an additional 18,845 m3 continued to be exported until June 2019. More sediment export occurred during the warmer 2017 summer that experienced less cumulative rainfall than summer 2018. However, several rain events during 2017 were of higher intensity than during 2018. Overall mean soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) within sampled thaw slump sediment was 1.36% and 0.11%, respectively. A combination of multispectral, thermal and irradiance (derived from the RPAS digital surface model) data provided detailed classification of thaw slump floor terrain types including raised dry clay lobes, shaded and relatively stable, and low-lying evacuation-prone sediments. Notably, the path of evacuation-prone sediments extended to a series of ice wedges in the northern headwall, where total irradiance was highest. Using thaw slump floor mean SOC and TN values in conjunction with sediment bulk density and thaw slump fill volume, we estimated that 713 t SOC and 58 t TN were exported to the Old Crow River during the three-year study. Findings showcase the utility of high-resolution RPAS datasets for refining our knowledge of thaw slump geomorphology and associated impacts.
Turner K.W., Pearce M.D., and Hughes D.D. (2021). Detailed Characterization and Monitoring of a Retrogressive Thaw Slump from Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Identifying Associated Influence on Carbon and Nitrogen Export. Remote Sensing, 13(2):171. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020171
Dr. Michael Pisaric has published a new chapter in the book Arctic Ecology titled “Arctic Ecology – A Paleoenvironmental Perspective”.
In the absence of measured climate and ecological data records, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology provide unique opportunities to examine ecological and climatic conditions across long timescales and provide much needed long‐term context. Across the Arctic there are numerous ecological problems affecting the biota and landscapes of this environmentally sensitive region. Climate change is chief amongst these. This chapter examines the changing ecology of the Arctic from a paleoenvironmental perspective. Using examples from studies throughout the circumpolar Arctic, the changing ecology of the Arctic is examined across longer timescales than typically considered in ecological studies. While instrumental records of climatic change in the Arctic are generally short, dendrochronology can provide key insights into climate variability during the past several centuries to millennia. There are many types of natural archives of ecological and environmental change from marine terrestrial environments in the Arctic.
Pisaric, M., & Smol, J.P. (2021). Arctic Ecology – A Paleoenvironmental Perspective. Pages 23-55 in D.N. Thomas (Ed.) Arctic Ecology. Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118846582.ch2
The Department of Geography and tourism Studies would like to congratulate Dr. Michael Ripmeester on being recognized for his 25 years of service to Brock University today at the President’s Holiday Celebration. We are thankful for the countless contributions he has made to our Department, and to Brock as a whole.