Reaching Out on Climate Change: PICS Offers Online Climate Change Course / Tendre la main en matière de changements climatiques: PICS offre un cours en ligne sur les changements climatiques

Dale Anderson (RIR – University of Victoria)

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) recently announced the launch of an innovative series of online climate change short courses for civil servants and British Columbians. Throwing the old-fashioned textbook approach out the window, “Climate Insights 101” uses a combination of animation, interviews and click-thrus to engage people on the basic concepts and findings of climate science research.

Le Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) a récemment annoncé le lancement d’une série de brefs cours en ligne portant sur les changements climatiques. Innovante, cette série est conçue à l’attention des travailleurs du secteur public ainsi que des Britano-Colombiens. À mille lieues des traditionnels manuels, « Faits saillants sur le climat 101 » combine à la fois animation, interviews et annonces afin d’interagir avec les participants au sujet des concepts fondamentaux et des découvertes issus de la recherche en sciences du climat.

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) recently announced the launch of an innovative series of online climate change short courses for civil servants and British Columbians. Throwing the old-fashioned textbook approach out the window, “Climate Insights 101” uses a combination of animation, interviews and click-thrus to engage people on the basic concepts and findings of climate science research. The first of four planned modules in the series is available online at www.pics.uvic.ca/insights. These courses, targeted for civil servants but available to anyone online, are the first of their kind.

PICS Executive Director Dr. Tom Pedersen says the courses provide a vital bridge between the scientific community and BC’s 26,000 civil servants who help inform and shape the province’s policies and planning. “People who don’t work in science are often intimidated by it, so these courses will go a long way towards demystifying the physics of the climate change we are seeing. It makes traditionally tough subject matter accessible as well as entertaining.”

Module One’s content has been provided by climate change experts Pedersen and Dr. Francis Zwiers, director of UVic’s Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributor. Environment Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment have also provided input.

Pedersen says the courses have a strong BC context but the global scope of the science makes it relevant to a wide audience. “I anticipate that schools, media and general society, as well as the target audience of people working in local government or ministries, will find the series invaluable for clarifying what is too often seen as a difficult or complicated issue.” Module Two (regional climate change and its impacts), Module Three (adaptation) and Module Rour (mitigation) are currently in production and are planned for release next year by PICS.

PICS is hosted and led by the University of Victoria in partnership with BC’s other research-intensive universities.

For more information and to take the course yourself, please see www.pics.uvic.ca/.

New Grad Course at UVic “goes social” with Local NGO Content

The UVic KM Unit is excited to announce that UVic Graduate Studies will be offering a new Interdisciplinary Research Practicum course for graduate students that will give students an opportunity to work with NGO’s in Victoria, BC on research questions identified by front-line social service providers.

Modeled after the very successful GS 500 Interdisciplinary Graduate Courses that have been offered in collaboration with various BC Government Ministries and Health Authorities, this course will be themed around “Social Services”, and aims to provide graduate students with practical experience working on applied research in a non-profit setting. The Knowledge Mobilization Unit and Office of Community Based Research is in the process of consulting with several Victoria NGO’s in the development of the course content and research questions. This proves to be an exciting partnership between UVic and the non-profit community, and the Office of Community Based Research and Knowledge Mobilization Unit is thrilled to be working in a brokering role in the facilitation for this innovative initiative.

The course is set to begin in January 2010. The KM Unit anticipates interest from students in various disciplines who may be interested in applying their skills and expertise to research identified by an NGO.

For more information about this course, please contact kts@uvic.ca

Everything is ready to go for another GS 500 Interdisciplinary Graduate course at the University of Victoria!

BC Ministry of Housing and Social DevelopmentThese courses match interdisciplinary graduate students up with real life research questions coming from a partnering agency in the community. For the fall 2009 course the Community partner is the BC Ministry of Housing and Social Development. Questions coming from the Ministry will focus on topics such as: homelessness in our community; rental market and market housing; housing needs in Aboriginal communities; sustainable and green housing, and much more.

The course will be co-taught by Dr. Bernie Pauly from the UVic faculty of nursing, and Dr. Cecile Lacombe, director of housing research for the BC Government. The Knowledge Mobilization Unit will facilitate the matching of graduate students to research questions appropriate for their area of study. The students will then work one on one with a research partner from the BC Ministry of Housing and Social Development, with a focus on action and recommendations to the Ministry. The end of the term will be marked by student presentations at a knowledge dissemination event that will open to all people who are interested in the topic.