Articles tagged with: tourism

  • 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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  • Opportunities abroad to be highlighted at International Mobility Fair

    A world of possibilities awaits students of Brock University.

    To highlight the learning opportunities available across the globe through the University’s partnerships, Brock International Services is hosting its annual International Mobility Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 24. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Market Hall.

    “Students will learn about how they can travel abroad while earning academic credits, discover new cultures and gain skills relevant for today’s workforce,” said Sandra Gruosso, Associate Director of Brock International Services.

    Fourth-year Sport Management student Emma Chamberland first participated in the Exchange program last fall, attending Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden.

    “I chose to study abroad mainly because of my desire for adventure,” she said. “I wanted to enrich my university experience by doing something unique and outside of my comfort zone.”

    While shorter opportunities as little as one week are available, Chamberland loved the idea of living in a different country for an extended period of time and immersed herself in the local culture for a full term.

    “You learn about all the little things that make those places special,” she said.

    Having her courses taught in English also helped her to adapt without feeling overwhelmed.

    Chamberland loved the experience so much that she participated in another exchange just months later in early 2018, attending the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

    While Brock University students have access to more than 100 international partner institutions offering semester or full-year exchanges, short-term or summer programs, and internships, a dedicated team within Brock International Services guides students through the process to ensure they’re making the right decision.

    When Jonah Graham, a fourth-year BA Tourism and the Environment student, researched international mobility opportunities, his goal was to gain more relevant work experience.

    From May to December 2017, Graham participated in a six-month academic exchange and internship program offered through the University of Florida and Walt Disney World Resort.

    “The opportunity to learn about my field from a new perspective and experience working for a recognized member of my industry was invaluable,” he said.

    Graham was able to take courses in lodging operations and management, as well as an internship in leisure services, resort and destination development, and corporate communications.

    His Florida internship helped him see that his degree cannot be defined just by his time in the classroom, but as a compilation of his experiences throughout his studies.

    Both Chamberland and Graham agreed that studying abroad is a life-changing opportunity that broadened their horizons personally, academically and professionally.

    Reposted from The Brock News.

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  • New research looks into the social world of female fly anglers

    New research by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. David Fennell, and Tourism and Environment alumna, Meaghan Birbeck (’14), was published last month in the Journal of Gender Studies. Read more below.

    Abstract
    Bourdieu’s theory of habitus was used to determine if a comprehensive identity exists amongst female fly anglers. Past research has emphasised a need to address ‘doing gender’ and ‘gender performativity’ in sport and recreation to understand ideology surrounding male superiority and the marginalisation of women. Fly fishing is a traditional male-dominated and masculine sport, where women are slowly emerging as prominent figures. Fly fishing presents a setting to then understand the performance of gender and the influence of social norms. A snowball sample of female fly anglers (n = 63) was obtained from an online survey, which was administered between December 2015 and January 2016. Descriptive statistical analysis of a structured closed-category online survey was used to determine if a distinct symmetry and set of practices exist in defining the identity of female fly anglers. Results indicate that a separate habitus is emerging for these women built around adventure, being in nature, identity, freedom, lack of guilt, commitment, empowerment, independence, anti-control and anti-domination, and the maintenance of stereotypical feminine characteristics through participation in this activity.

    Reference
    Fennell, D. A., and Birbeck, M. (2018). Broads with rods: The social world of female fly anglers. Journal of Gender Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2018.1515068

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  • New research by Tourism and Environment alumna published in Ecological Restoration

    New research by Tourism and Environment alumna, Katrina Krievins (’12), was published last month in Ecological Restoration. Read more below.

    Abstract

    Ecological restoration is a means of addressing the ongoing and pervasive degradation of ecological systems. Although the aim of ecological restoration is ecosystem recovery, efforts based on an oversimplified understanding of how complex adaptive systems behave often fail to produce intended outcomes. We explore how advancements made in understanding properties of complex adaptive systems, specifically social-ecological systems, may be incorporated into ecological restoration. We present a conceptual framework informed by tracing the evolution of perspectives in ecological restoration and synthesizing developments in social-ecological resilience. We then employ the framework in the context of freshwater systems to assess Trout Unlimited Canada’s stream rehabilitation training program and evaluate associated restoration initiatives in terms of social-ecological resilience. Findings from this case study indicate that the approach to restoration taught in the training program, along with the initiatives informed by the program, reflect principles for building resilience and were found to be positive. These findings provide encouraging evidence in support of a new approach to restoration informed by social-ecological resilience and initial confirmation of the usefulness of the framework. Valuable insights on the extent to which social-ecological resilience is currently reflected in restoration practices more broadly will come from future research exploring the application of the conceptual framework in a variety of restoration contexts and at a larger scale.

    Reference:
    Krievins, K., Plummer, R., and Baird, J. (2018). Building resilience in ecological restoration processes: A social-ecological perspective. Ecological Restoration, 36(3): 195-207. DOI: 10.3368/er.36.3.195

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  • Event offers students insider tips on tourism industry

    In addition to getting their LinkedIn photos taken and hearing from industry professionals, students had the opportunity to try both roundtable and open networking at the Tourism Networking Event held at Brock University on April 10.

    When Becky White (BA ’15, MS ’16) returned to her alma mater last week, she came prepared with industry insight and key tips to pass along to the next generation of tourism professionals.

    The sales and membership co-ordinator at Niagara Falls Tourism was a guest speaker at Brock’s inaugural Tourism Networking Event, held April 10 in Pond Inlet.

    Hosted by the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, in partnership with Co-op, Careers and Experiential Education, the event offered students the chance to mingle with and learn from industry professionals, several of whom were Brock alumni.

    Alumna Becky White shared her combined expertise from her time as a student and a campus career advisor as well as her current work in the tourism industry.

    For White, the day was an opportunity to open the eyes of students to the careers that exist within tourism.

    “I hope that people will see that tourism isn’t just tour guides and travel agents,” she said. “It is a vibrant and engaging industry.”

    The event’s guests and sponsors helped to affirm that sentiment as they spent time speaking with the roughly 30 students in attendance.

    Representatives from the City of St. Catharines, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Venture Niagara, Vineland Estates Winery, CERF Niagara, Cycle-Logical Rentals, Destination Ontario Travel Information Centres, the Skylon Tower, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Mortgage Intelligence, and Hostelling International’s Niagara Falls Hostel showed the breadth and scope of the field, in addition to offering a showcase of some of Niagara’s top tourism employers.

    Chris Fullerton, Chair of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, was pleased to see the event come together so well, and to receive positive feedback from both tourism industry professionals and students.

    “Since this was our first time doing this, we really weren’t sure what to expect. But by all accounts, the evening was a great success,” he said.

    “Our students got to meet with numerous tourism employers to talk about career opportunities and to get some useful career planning advice, while the employers got to learn a lot more about our programs, our experiential learning opportunities and the broad range of knowledge and skills that our students obtain while studying here at Brock.”

    The April 10 event was the first of many that the department hopes to offer.

    “For our students, making connections in the industry, learning from alumni and gaining networking experience are important factors for their successful transition into life after university,” said Samantha Morris, the department’s Academic Advisor and Communications Co-ordinator, and one of the evening’s organizers. “We look forward to working with industry partners to continue to develop opportunities to help our students and alumni thrive.”

    White’s presentation, “My Life in Ten Minutes,” offered students an example of how their education and on-campus experiences can help them succeed.

    She first came to Brock as a mature student studying Tourism and Environment, but then stayed to complete a master’s degree in Sustainability. She also worked as a career assistant and credits the on-campus job with having an enormous impact on her career.

    White’s talk was part of a concerted effort on the part of organizers to help students and industry professionals connect the dots between the theory and practice of tourism, one of Niagara’s leading industries.

    “We wanted to create an interactive experience for students to engage in meaningful career conversations with industry professionals, and to provide a venue to assist students with their career decision-making,” says Kara Renaud, Supervisor of Career Education.

    “The setup of the event gave students a chance to ask their career questions, make connections and leverage the expertise of those who were once students themselves.”

    Story from The Brock News.

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  • Tourism event at Brock brings together students, researchers and industry

    As Niagara prepares to welcome the bulk of its 14 million visitors over the coming months, Brock University’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, in collaboration with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, is preparing to host its first Tourism Networking Event for students and the industry.

    The networking event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, when 20 industry sponsors, more than 50 students as well as Brock faculty and staff, will get together to discuss employment and research opportunities within the tourism industry, and identify local experiential education potential.

    The evening will feature roundtable networking, vendor booths and a presentation by Becky White (BA ’15, MSc ’17), a graduate of the Tourism and Environment program at Brock, who now works at Niagara Falls Tourism. Students will also have the opportunity to chat with industry experts and get professional portraits taken for their LinkedIn profiles.

    “The Tourism Networking Event will provide students with an opportunity to learn more about potential careers in the tourism industry and make important contacts that can help them to find internship or co-op placements this summer or sometime later in their studies,” says Christopher Fullerton, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies.

    Fullerton said the event will also help industry partners “learn more about the high-quality education that our students receive, the important tourism research that our faculty members conduct and the many different ways they can work with our Department and Brock in general.”

    The Department of Geography merged with Tourism and Environment Studies in 2016 and offers programs in Tourism Management, Tourism and Environment, as well as Human Geography and Physical Geography.

    Industry guests at the Tourism Networking Event include representatives from the City of St. Catharines’ Tourism Services, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Venture Niagara, Destination Ontario Travel Information Centres and several Niagara-based tourism businesses.

    What: Tourism Networking Event
    Who: Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, along with industry partners
    When: Tuesday, April 10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
    Where: Pond Inlet, Mackenzie Chown J-Block, Brock University
    Note: Student and sponsor registration for this event is now closed.

    Reposted from The Brock News

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