Articles tagged with: Michael Ripmeester

  • Book celebrates work of late Brock cartographer

    Alun Hughes, a longtime member of Brock’s Department of Geography, had an enormous appetite for local history.

    Between 2003 and his untimely death in 2013, the trained cartographer wrote extensively about the geography and history of the Niagara region.

    Hoping to honour his passion, Hughes’ former colleagues have come together to release a book of his essays, History Made in Niagara, and will host a launch for the publication on Wednesday, May 29.

    The book was compiled by Hughes’ former colleagues from the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, Professors Mike Ripmeester and David Butz and retired cartographer Loris Gasparotto.

    Everyone is welcome to attend the free event, to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Brock’s Pond Inlet.

    History Made in Niagara can be purchased at the launch for $35 (cash only).

    More information about the event can be found on ExperienceBU or by calling 905-688-5550 x3484.

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  • First year Geography students participate in Blanket Exercise

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to thank Archdeacon and Haudenosaunee Elder, Valerie Kerr, who came in to facilitate a Blanket Exercise Workshop with our students in GEOG 1F90 (Intro to Human Geography class) on March 20, 2019.

    The KAIROS Blanket Exercise program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Learn more at https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/.

     

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  • Department welcomes visiting scholar from Huaqiao University, China

    Professors shaking hands

    Dr. Michael Ripmeester welcomes Dr. Leon Lian Dong to Brock.

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Leon Lian Dong to Brock. Dr. Dong will be with our Department as a visiting scholar from February – August 2019.

    Dr. Dong is a professor of Landscape Architecture, and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Landscape Research, School of Architecture, Huaqiao University, China. Dr. Dong obtained his PhD in Building Science, from Chongqing University, China, in 1992, and then did his post-doctoral research at Purdue University, Iowa State University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Dr. Dong has thirty years of teaching and research experience, multi-disciplinary background. He has completed more than 30 research projects and 40 consulting projects, published 6 books, and nearly 100 research papers.

    Dr. Dong’s current research areas include:

    1. Sustainable site planning and landscape design for tourist destinations
    2. Landscape microclimate design
    3. Human-environment interactions

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  • Geography student wins award for best graduate course paper

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our current MA Geography student, Jennica Giesbrecht, on being chosen as the 2018 Faculty of Social Sciences Best Graduate Course Paper award. Jennica’s paper, which was submitted to Dr. Michael Ripmeester for GEOG 5P40 (Historical Geographies of Culture  and Power), is titled “Reclaiming Death Care and Negotiations of Culture, Power, and Authenticity.”

    Congratulations Jennica!

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  • Geography and Tourism students put skills to the test in central Ontario

    A crisp fall breeze and the smell of pine recently welcomed Daniel Marshall into a different type of learning environment.

    The fourth-year Geography student can normally be found deep in the Mackenzie Chown Complex learning about physical geography. But, during this year’s fall Reading Week, an experiential education trip took him out of his comfort zone and into the field.

    Along with 34 other participants from the Geography and Tourism Department’s Physical Geography and Human Geography and Tourism Studies field courses, Marshall took part in a weeklong experiential learning exercise in central Ontario. The annual trip is designed to connect in-class learning with practical on-site research skills that are necessary for all geographers.

    “Sometimes in the classroom you lose focus on what you are actually studying,” Marshall said. “To be in the field and make the observations myself and get my feet muddy allowed everything to come full circle.”

    While the human geographers and tourism students went into Peterborough to gather data, Marshall and his fellow physical geographers went further afield to places such as Lochlin, Ont., where they collected soil and water samples.

    “We brought a specialized tool and took a sample from about four metres down,” he said. “We got a core that, if interpreted in a lab, could have given us 10,000 years worth of data about the area.”

    The ability to conduct applied research and maintain detailed field notes is a skill Geography and Tourism Studies Department Chair Michael Pisaric considers invaluable.

    “The field courses provide our students with hands-on experience that allows them to put their training and academic studies into practice by connecting first-hand the classroom learning they have done to the real world,” he said.

    Longstanding teaching assistant Darren Platakis, who has worked with countless students in his 10 years helping with the trip, echoed the sentiment.

    “Seeing the growth in their confidence, whether it’s conducting face-to-face interviews or using a new piece of equipment, is very satisfying,” he said.

    Gaining practical experience with tools of the trade provides students with a leg up for when their studies are completed.

    “Nobody wants to hire an advisor who has no field experience,” Marshall said. “An exercise like this makes you more marketable as a person.”

    With days of working to develop useful skills came a sense of unity among participants on the department-wide trip.

    “At the end of the day, we were all reunited as a large group and it was nice to be together,” he said. “We had a few large outdoor gatherings around the fire pits and shared stories of our day. It gave us the opportunity to become a close-knit group and contributed to the closeness of the department as a whole.”

    The work of the students in the area has also led to lasting conservation efforts in the local community.

    “Because of the work of previous classes from Brock, the Lochlin Esker and Wetlands site we visited has achieved Provincially Significant Wetland and Area of Natural and Scientific Interest status,” he said.

    For Marshall, the most eye-opening portion of the week was seeing the way the concepts learned in the classroom actually existed in the environment.

    “You can read as much as you want on a topic, but until you’re actually looking at that feature or talking to those people, there is a huge divide between what the textbooks say and the actual observations you make in the field,” he said. “It really worked for me to help close that gap and approach things in a more well-rounded way.”

    As he prepares to use his newfound experience to take on a thesis and apply for master’s programs, Marshall hopes that others will consider studying Geography as well.

    “Geography is everything and how it’s related,” he said. “Anyone who likes nature, the environment or being outside already loves geography. So, why not study it as well?”

    Visit the department’s website to learn more about Brock University’s Geography and Tourism experiential opportunities.

    Reposted from The Brock News.

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  • Learning from Vancouver landscapes

    Story from The Brock News

    Vancouver field course
    Brock student Anthony Montagano visited Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge during a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course in the city.

    Many students spend the spring and summer months completing extra courses or taking a well-deserved trip. Anthony Montagano did both — at the same time.

    The 20-year-old Niagara Falls native recently returned from a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course (GEOG/TOUR 3Q93) in Vancouver, B.C. The experiential learning opportunity brought a class of Brock University students to the city to learn about the historical geography of the region, as well as its social and cultural processes.

    For Montagano, the diversity of Vancouver’s landscape could not have been fully grasped in a classroom.

    “It’s good to hear about certain destinations, but to see things first-hand is really helpful,” said the second-year Tourism Management student. “It’s easier to identify common trends, like gentrification and high-density housing, and you can use your own observations rather than just lecture notes to help form an opinion.”

    Vancouver field course

    Brock student Anthony Montagano stopped at Vancouver’s Olympic cauldron
    during a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course in the city.

    This lesson was made clear when the group, which included students from each of Brock’s Faculties, encountered the diversity that Vancouver offers in its many neighbourhoods.

    “We travelled around to the different areas of Vancouver and determined what would cause the price of home ownership to go up or down, while also evaluating what services were available in each area,” Montagano said. “It was cool to see the urban core, Olympic sports venues and small fishing docks all within the same city.”

    While exploring Canada’s third-largest city, Montagano and his classmates were encouraged to learn about the social history of the region as well.

    “I was unaware of the tragic historical exploitation of the Asian communities in Vancouver,” he said. “I now understand a little more in history that many people may still be ignorant to.”

    Though the group was only together in Vancouver for eight days, Montagano learned that it was easier to bond with his classmates while outside of the lecture hall.

    “When you are in a new setting, you tend to make bonds right away,” he said. “I met some great friends and everyone got along really well.”

    In addition to the new friendships and cultural discovery that came with the trip, Montagano was also appreciative of other aspects of participating in a spring experiential field course.

    “I gained some great experience for my resumé and you can save some time by having to take less courses during the year,” he said.

    Now home, Montagano has finished a 12-page paper about his experiences to complete the course’s final assignment. The reflective exercise has helped him to share why others should participate in similar classes going forward.

    “I would really encourage people to consider these experiential field courses,” he said. “I know the trips might cost a bit more than a normal course, but now is the opportunity to travel and gain valuable experience at the same time. These courses will set you apart at Brock and help prepare you for your career.”

    Story from The Brock News
    June 15, 2018

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