Articles by author: sackles

  • Brock researchers to introduce coastal research project to Lincoln residents and stakeholders

    A research project examining how coastal communities can deal with the impacts of climate change will formally launch in the Town of Lincoln this week.

    The town suffered around $1 million in damage as a result of back-to-back spring storms in 2017 that caused massive flooding from Lake Ontario. Announced in May, Brock University Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur is leading a three-year research study that will focus on Lincoln as the Ontario component of a wider project by Université du Québec à Rimouski.

    The local research is being funded through a $280,000 grant from the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) with additional support from the Town of Lincoln and Brock.

    The Lincoln research will officially be launched on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Fleming Centre in Beamsville. Interested residents and land owners will be able to meet Vasseur and her research team and learn more about how they can participate in the project. There will also be a short discussion to learn more about the experiences of those in attendance around climate change and extreme weather events in the town.

    “Our strong partnership with Brock enables these types of on-the-ground research opportunities, informing and providing evidence-based decisions for our community,” said Town of Lincoln CAO Michael Kirkopoulos.

    Vasseur said she hopes the end result of the research will be sustainable options for the future such as how to help slow down and prevent shoreline erosion or any other impacts on the town.

    “With this project, we want to help the community and the town contribute to solutions and strategies to adapt to climate change,” she said.

    What: MEOPAR Town of Lincoln Research Project Launch

    When: Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

    Where: Fleming Centre, Room A, 5020 Serena Dr., Beamsville

    Who: Open to all

     

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    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • Poetry contest celebrates International Year of Indigenous Languages

    21 November 2018
    R00206


    Language plays a critical role in the daily lives, histories and identities of people around the world.

    Despite the important connections tied to the words we speak, UNESCO has identified more than 2,000 languages spoken by Indigenous peoples around the world that are in serious danger of disappearing.

    In an effort to recognize the important contribution these languages play in our cultural diversity, Brock’s UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability has declared the theme of its annual Sustainability Poetry Contest to be aligned with the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

    Every year, the contest calls for writers from the local community to submit unpublished poems and artwork on themes related to sustainability.

    The contest is open to all residents of Niagara (inclusive of members of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and Six Nations), and will operate in co-operation with Indigenous groups and stakeholders across the region.

    UNESCO Chair Liette Vasseur said the contest will raise awareness about the need to preserve, revitalize and promote Indigenous languages and knowledge around the world.

    “I believe this is one small step that contributes to the sharing of knowledge with and about Indigenous peoples of Canada,” she said. “Their knowledge and languages are essential to understanding where we come from as a society and the sustainability of the environment around us.”

    The contest also seeks to promote the steps being taken by UNESCO, other United Nations agencies and stakeholders around the world to support, access and promote Indigenous languages in co-operation with the people who speak them.

    In Canada, every effort should be made to contribute to the Truth and Reconciliation Call for Action, Vasseur said — and little steps count.

    UNESCO has been celebrating March 21 as World Poetry Day since 1999. The contest uses poetry as a tool to bring awareness to social issues, give a voice to the community, promote linguistic diversity and change the way people view their place in the world.

    Vasseur said this year’s poetry contest has an especially important role to play in the promotion and preservation of linguistic diversity, culture and identity for vulnerable Indigenous communities in Canada.

    Poems can be submitted online until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 by visiting the UNESCO Chair’s website.

    Prizes such as books and gift cards will be awarded in each of four categories: elementary student; high school student; college/university student; and general public.

    Winners will be announced at the UNESCO World Poetry Day celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines. The event is free and open to the public, but registration will be required as space is limited.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Vasseur gives words of encouragement on Brock’s Fall Convocation day, is awarded 2018 Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity

    From: The Brock News, Friday, Oct. 12
    By: 


    Learn something new every day. Volunteer. Don’t let discouragement stop you. Follow your dreams.

    These are some of the life lessons arising from Liette Vasseur’s three decades of study and leadership in the area of environmental sustainability.

    The Brock University Professor of Biology delivered the afternoon address Friday, Oct. 12 as more than 1,000 students graduated during Fall Convocation. She advised the crowd to volunteer in places that may be of interest and learn at least one new thing every day.

    “It is amazing how you will learn, make new contacts and open new doors through these actions. You never know where your path will bring you,” she said.

    Vasseur said passion for “discovery of life” and a desire to help people are what give her the energy to balance her various roles and commitments. She urged the graduates to “embrace life, continue discovering and don’t forget that you are the leaders of tomorrow.”

    Vasseur’s research on ecosystems, biodiversity, sustainable development and community sustainability has taken her from small villages in Ecuador to large-scale farms in China and leadership roles in global institutions. She is the President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability: from Local to Global, and Vice-Chair (North America) and Chair (Ecosystem Governance) of the Commission on Ecosystem Management, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

    “The award is not just mine, but shared with a team of students here in Canada as well as in China and Ecuador,” said Vasseur.Along the way, she has published more than 100 papers, presented at more than 200 events, supervised several dozen students and won many awards. Her latest honour came Friday when she was awarded the 2018 Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity.

    In addition to Vasseur’s honour, also being awarded Friday was Psychology Professor Tim Murphy, who was the recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award. As an active mentor to young academics, he has worked with numerous teaching apprentices and has had six teaching assistants who have gone on to work as instructors at the university level after graduating from Brock. Murphy also won the OUSA Teaching Excellence Award in 2010 and the Faculty of Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017.

     


    Read the original article in the Brock News here.

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    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • Brock biologist named President of Canadian Commission for UNESCO

    11 June 2018
    R00122


    Liette Vasseur’s passion for the environment knows no borders, whether she’s examining crops in Ecuador, helping an Ontario town deal with shoreline flooding or co-writing the first international guidelines on ecosystems governance.

    The Brock University biologist has headed up dozens of conservation and research projects throughout the years, working with farmers, government ministers, students, presidents of global organizations and many others while doing so.

    Now her leadership in the field has been taken to a new level, with Vasseur being named President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO).

    “Dr. Vasseur’s broad knowledge and experience in such areas as the environment, culture, women and communities here and around the world will be a priceless asset to the Commission, an organization dedicated to building a society of peace, equity and shared knowledge,” Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, said June 6 while announcing the two-year appointment.

    CCUNESCO, operating under the Canada Council for the Arts, seeks to connect Canadians to the broader work of the Paris-based UNESCO, whose work “contributes to a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.”

    UNESCO’s more notable initiatives include designating World Heritage Sites, Geoparks and Biosphere Reserves, engaging with youth, encouraging women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and promoting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

    “I’m quite humbled,” Vasseur said of her appointment. “It is a genuine honour to have been chosen as the new President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. The Commission does remarkable work in ensuring that UNESCO’s activities have a real impact in Canada and abroad.”

    Vasseur is no stranger to this international stage. In 2014, she was awarded a UNESCO chair for Community Sustainability: From Local to Global, which was renewed this year. 

    Last year, CCUNESCO appointed Vasseur to head up its Sectoral Commission on Natural, Social and Human Sciences, an 11-member group of Canadian scientists, academics and others providing knowledge and expertise on a range of issues. 

    The group is producing reflection papers on topics important to creating a long-range vision of how Canadians and the federal government can implement various actions related to sustainability. These include social and environmental impacts of climate change; conservation of natural heritage and water resources; inclusion of newcomers and vulnerable groups; reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; youth engagement; and measures to fight discrimination, racism, violence, bullying and radicalization. 

    In her new role as President, a major focus will be the enhancement of Indigenous culture and knowledge in many of CCUNESCO’s activities. Other priorities include advocating for women’s involvement in STEM and engaging youth in UNESCO’s various projects and networks, she said.

    “This appointment demonstrates the high regard in which Professor Vasseur’s research and strong leadership are held, nationally and internationally,” said Brock’s Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.

    “It is also emblematic of the commitment of Brock University’s researchers to have their expertise make a powerful difference in the world. Scholars, evidence-based policy makers, and citizens from around the globe are fortunate to have Professor Vasseur serving in this influential role under the auspices of the United Nations.”

    Vasseur holds a number of high-profile leadership positions, including Past-President of the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology; Vice-Chair (North America and Caribbean) of the Commission for Ecosystem Management of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; and lead of the thematic group on Ecosystem Governance. 

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Maryanne Firth, Writer/Editor, Brock University maryanne.firth@brocku.ca, 905-688- 5550 x4420 or 289-241-8288

    Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock-Lincoln Living Lab research project to examine Lake Ontario shoreline flooding

    3 May 2018
    R00094


    The flooding of coastal communities along Lake Ontario last year caused major damage and made people realize that century floods aren’t nearly as rare as the name implies.

    A new research collaboration between Brock University and the Town of Lincoln is aimed at helping the community understand how to deal with the impacts of climate and environmental changes and examining potential avenues of solutions for future development along the shore. It’s the first externally funded project as part of the Brock-Lincoln Living Lab partnership announced in October 2017.

    Brock UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur is leading the three-year research study for the Ontario component of a larger project by Université du Québec à Rimouski, which is examining how various coastal communities can deal with and share ideas on the impacts of climate and environmental changes.

    “Communities are becoming more and more exposed to different hazards,” said Vasseur, who has been involved in similar research initiatives in other communities in Atlantic Canada and Ecuador. “With climate change, these types of events are coming faster and more often.”

    The project has received $280,000 in funding from the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), with additional support from the Town of Lincoln and Brock. MEOPAR is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government as a National Centre of Excellence that supports research and trains students in the area of marine risk and resilience.

    Lincoln suffered around $1 million in damage as a result of back-to-back spring storms in 2017 that caused massive flooding from Lake Ontario. The storms led to the Town’s first-ever voluntary evacuation notice for residents living near the Lake Ontario shoreline, and caused significant damage to Charles Daley Park and sewer systems in Jordan Station and Campden.

    Vasseur said climate change scenarios over the next decade are projecting continuous sea level rise and increases in extreme weather events. This will amplify the severity and frequency of flooding in coastal communities like Lincoln, which is continually growing with more people living near the Lake Ontario waterfront.

    “People were always talking about 100-year events. Now it’s more like one every five years,” she said. “It shows that we need to be more prepared. When we’re planning things like residential developments, we need to plan in a way that we’re going to survive with these types of events.”

    For the Town of Lincoln, the research will provide crucial information about current and future risks.

    “In 2017, Lincoln experienced the real and harsh effects of severe weather on critical infrastructure in our community,” said Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopoulos. “As another benefit of the Brock-Lincoln Living Lab, this research is grassroots to our community, helping us better understand the conditions for collective ownership of adapting to climate change as an organization and community.”

    Vasseur said the research team will include a postdoctoral fellow and a master’s student, who will collect data in Lincoln, and share information and ideas with other researchers and communities along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

    “It will be a very good learning experience for the students, while helping the communities at the same time,” she said. “We’re hoping that by the end, the data we’re going to get can be used by communities all along the coastline.”

    Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton said municipalities like hers are learning that more frequent smaller floods — not just rare major flooding events — can have a big impact on resources.

    “Climate change and the impact on municipal infrastructure is top of mind for our council,” Easton said. “With the growing municipal infrastructure funding gap, municipalities have a responsibility for long-term planning and mitigation of the effects of climate change. This research is critical for council to understand how we can better identify actions toward climate change adaptation.”

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

    Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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    Categories: Media releases

  • EVENT: UNESCO Chairholder to speak at Newfoundland climate change symposium

    UNESCO chairholder Liette Vasseur will be delivering the keynote address at a symposium on climate change adaptation and coastal community, to be held in Gros Morne, Newfoundland on May 16-18th, 2018.

    The symposium will be hosted in Corner Brook and Norris Point, NL, and will examine current knowledge on the impact of a changing climate on coastal communities in Newfoundland, with a focus on Gros Morne.

    The goal is to advance our knowledge and develop tools and strategies that will assist communities as they face both challenges and opportunities associated with climate change.

    The event is organized by Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and the Gros Morne Cooperating Association.

    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • International Day of Women and Girls in Science

    A like-minded group of 16 women and men including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff came together on Monday, Feb. 12 to discuss ways to further inspire and engage women and girls in science. Organized in honour of International Day of Women and Girls in Science by Professor of Biological Sciences and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur, the informal gathering included Valerie Davidson, former NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph. Davidson led the group in a discussion of topics that ranged from mentorship opportunities to strategies for empowerment. At the end of the discussion, the group had a list of ideas and plans to meet in the future to continue the discussion.

    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • EVENT: Social Innovation Forum: Agrobiodiversity to Sustain Community Food Systems on March 5

    Liette Vasseur will be participating in the Social Innovation Forum at Lakehead University on March 5, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

    The Social Innovation Forum will open Lakehead University’s 2018 Research and Innovation Week, “Connections.” The Forum is designed to showcase innovative approaches to community-university partnerships and the impact such connections can have on social justice and innovation.  The day’s events will create a dialogue that will address how Lakehead University’s research capacity can be utilized to inform and address challenges confronting community organizations and our city.  This public event is expected to draw local organizations and researchers, as well as leading research experts who are passionate about the power of community-university partnerships as a vehicle for societal change.

    Learn more about the forum

    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • GATHERING TO DISCUSS GETTING MORE WOMEN AND GIRLS INTO SCIENCE on FEBRUARY 12

    The Brock community is invited to celebrate and discuss how to enhance the role of women and girls in science.

    In honour of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Professor of Biological Sciences and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability, Liette Vasseur has organized an informal gathering to be held on campus Monday, Feb. 12.

    The goal is to start a dialogue about ways to further inspire and engage women and girls in science. From mentorship opportunities to raising awareness and strategies for empowerment, all ideas are welcome.

    Held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Mackenzie Chown F Block, Room 237, the event is open to all undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff. Refreshments will be served.

    Joining the group will be Valerie Davidson, former NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph.

    The United Nations General Assembly declared Feb. 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and, in 2016, UNESCO collaborated with the L’Oreal Foundation to engage governments and stakeholders in promoting the full participation of women and girls in science.

    If you’re not able to attend Monday’s event, everyone is encouraged to join the conversation through social media by tagging posts with #GirlsInSTEM, #WomeninScience or #GirlsCrackTheCode.

    Categories: Updates of the Chair

  • Brock’s UNESCO Chair launches Sustainability Poetry Contest

    31 January 2018
    R00020


    What kind of future do you want?

    That’s the question being asked this year as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Poetry Day.

    Brock University Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur, along with Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, is putting out a call for submissions in this year’s 2018 Sustainability Poetry Contest. All Niagara residents are eligible to enter their original, unpublished poems with the theme of ‘The Future We Want’ for this year’s contest.

    UNESCO has been celebrating World Poetry Day annually since 1999. The idea is to use poetry as a social tool to bring awareness to social issues, give a voice to the community, promote linguistic diversity and change the way people view their place in the world.

    “The poetry contest is important because when we look at sustainability in communities, arts and culture are essential for human well-being,” said Vasseur. “We are aware that when we look at sustainable development, we do not only consider economic development but also social development. It is important to integrate activities that make people feel positive about their lives and help work toward our sustainable development goals.”

    The Sustainability Poetry Contest, which is under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, includes categories for elementary, high school and post-secondary students, as well as the general public. Both French and English poems are welcome.

    This year’s topic is derived from a 2015 United Nations outcome document that spurred the development of the 2030 Agenda, citing 17 sustainable development goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030.

    “The 2018 Sustainability Poetry Contest affords an opportunity for individuals to philosophically envision ‘the future we want’ and express it creatively,” said ESRC Director Ryan Plummer. “In making connections to the sustainable development goals, the poetry helps to bridge sustainability locally to a global agenda for transformative change.”

    Poems can be submitted online until 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 by visiting the UNESCO Chair’s website. Prizes such as books and gift cards, will be awarded in each of the four categories.

    Winners will be announced at the UNESCO World Poetry Day celebration on Friday, March 23 at Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines. The event is free, but registration on the Chair’s website is required as space is limited.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

    Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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    Categories: Media releases