|Snowy Canada suffers drought, heat, fires as Earth gets warmer|
A Bloomberg article on climate change focuses on the effect of higher temperatures, shrinking snowpack and lower water levels on B.C. Industries from oilsands companies to winemakers are feeling the stress. In Vancouver, residents more used to frequent rainfall may need to get used to what could be the new norm.
The article quotes UBC professor Kevin Hanna, who said: “It’s surprising how many communities are unprepared for climate change. We’re setting ourselves up for more interesting weather.”
Similar articles appeared in the National Post and Calgary Herald.
|Strains of marijuana consistently mislabelled|
A Canadian study co-led by UBC botanist Jon Page highlights the importance of a more accurate system of classifying various strains of marijuana. The researchers studied 81 marijuana and 43 hemp samples and found that the three strains of marijuana were often mislabeled by growers. This is important because different strains have different properties.
Similar articles appeared in International Business Times UK and Vancouver Sun.
|Why does so much science turn out to be wrong?|
Science seems to change its mind every day. What’s considered a superfood on Monday can be reviled by Friday. But it’s not because there’s more bad science being done, according to UBC microbiologist Rosie Redfield; it’s partly because the Internet now makes it possible to find errors faster.
Redfield was one of the principal debunkers of a controversial scientific paper published by NASA and the journal Science in 2010.
|Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien: Can the Jets only keep one?|
An article on NHL contracts wonders whether the Winnipeg Jets should resign their captain or their forward.
The article mentions a UBC study that shows defensemen will be producing at a 90 percent rate by the time they are 34.
|The pope’s new climate change doctrine|
Kahlil Baker, a doctoral candidate in the forestry faculty at UBC, lauds Pope Francis’s call for climate change response to incorporate measures to repair damaged lives. Baker believes that the technology exists to implement the Pope’s “triple fix,” a proposal that calls for removing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, restoring ecosystems and helping the people who stand to suffer most from climate change, such as subsistence farmers.
|Coding ‘boot camps’ a hot draw|
Intensive coding programs are attracting students with the promise of lucrative tech careers, but they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Analysts such as Gregor Kiczales, a computer science professor at UBC, worry that short-term programs don’t provide sufficient training.
“You can take an eight-week program and get a job,” Kiczales said. “[But] there may be a lot of other people who took four years of school or eight years of school and they’re going to know some stuff that you might want to learn one day.”
|Talking in class could have benefits|
A new study by UBC psychology instructor Catherine Rawn and graduate student Gillian Sandstrom found that chatting in class has an upside. Students who talked to their peers had more positive attitudes towards the class and consequently were more likely to graduate.
This research should encourage instructors faced by chattering students, Rawn said.
“It’s a symptom that there are friendships in my classroom,” Rawn said. “If I can harness that conversation and push it in a direction of being on-topic and learning, then I think that chatter that’s going to happen anyway will have the extra benefit of contributing to learning.”
|B.C. drought just part of ‘extreme weather’ story|
UBC water expert Hans Schreier studied Vancouver and Abbotsford airport data from 1937 through the present day and found rain recorded at Vancouver airport from April through July was 30mm less than the previous low in 1975, while in Abbotsford it was 25mm lower than the record in 1950.
Shreier also linked massive rainstorms to climate change, noting that record amounts of rain caused flooding in a part of the Kootenays in 2005, 2012 and 2013.
|Internet parental blocks make it worse: UBC prof|
|24 Hours Vancouver|
Jenna Shapka, a UBC professor of developmental psychology, cautions parents against micro-managing their child’s Internet use and says it’s tantamount to banning their kids from socialising with their friends.
Shapka says parents try to limit their children’s online activities due to worries over online bullying and predators, and sometimes because they themselves don’t feel comfortable in the digital world. But it’s better to encourage open dialogue regarding online activities so that if issues arise, their child will be more willing to talk about it.
|How much would Green housing promises cost?|
Giving every low-income person a guaranteed livable income so that they can afford housing is unlikely to work, according to UBC adjunct planning professor Ann McAfee. The proposal is part of the Greens’ housing strategy, announced recently.
According to McAfee, some jurisdictions in the U.S. tried this out in the ’70s, but it failed to help tenants. Landlords just charged more rent because they knew their tenants had more money.
|UBC to incorporate mental health courses into teaching degree|
Starting this fall, UBC bachelor of education students will be required to take courses on mental health and human behaviour, which will help them understand mental health disorders like depression.
An estimated 3.2 million young Canadians ages 12 to 19 are at risk of depression, according to studies.
|Should broadcasters be sharing POV footage of the Virginia shooting?|
UBC journalism professor Alfred Hermida believes the media made the right editorial call in not showing point-of-view footage of the Virginia shootings, while telling their viewers that they know the video exists.
“The media has a responsibility to consider the visceral and emotional and distressing impact that actually showing these videos can have on their audience,” Hermida said.
|Savvy site helps you pick a college|
UBC graduate Katie Fang is the coding brain and entrepreneur behind SchooLinks, which helps students–for a fee–with the college application process.
Like a college application consultant or high school counsellor, the service can advise on what high school activities to participate in, which universities to apply to and other topics relevant to future university applicants.
|Arts and human-rights advocate Frances Wasserlein dies|
Frances Jane Wasserlein, a UBC alumna who fought for women’s and LGBTQ rights for many years and was a well-known Vancouver arts administrator, passed away August 23.