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newsFortisBC recognizes energy-efficient Fipke Centre at UBC Okanagan
From left: Al Poettcker, UBC Properties Trust President and CEO, and Doug Owram, UBC Okanagan's Deputy Vice Chancellor, accept a rebate cheque of $127,369.10 from John Walker, President of FortisBC, for energy saved by the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research at UBC Okanagan.

FortisBC recognizes energy-efficient Fipke Centre at UBC Okanagan
A UBC Okanagan building that earned an unprecedented five Green Globes for sustainable design has now earned a FortisBC PowerSense Partners in Efficiency rebate that recognizes the building's energy efficiency. FortisBC presented a rebate cheque for more than $127,000 to UBC Okanagan this afternoon.

The Fipke Centre for Innovative Research, which opened last fall, is the first new academic building to be completed as part of UBC Okanagan's $350-million campus construction initiative. With heating and cooling from groundwater, and other energy-saving features such as a wind tower for ventilation, the Fipke Centre is one of Canada's most sustainable university lab buildings.


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Wild Amur tigers in genetic trouble, new study finds
Sungari, an Amur tiger, with one of her cubs at the Buffalo Zoo. The world’s captive Amur tiger population may be an important reservoir of gene variants that have been lost in the wild population. (Photo by Dave Pape)

Wild Amur tigers in genetic trouble, new study finds
They're big cats with a very small population. Although about 500 Amur (Siberian) tigers live in the wild, the dwindling genetic diversity of this critically endangered species -- the largest of all cats -- means genetically the population behaves as if it were just 27 to 35 tigers.

This tiny effective population size is one of the findings published this week in the journal Molecular Ecology by an international research team led by UBC Okanagan conservation geneticists Michael Russello and Philippe Henry.

"In general, effective population size is lower than census population size in natural populations due to a variety of potential reasons including but not limited to unequal sex ratios, breeding structure or fluctuations in population size," says Russello, the study's principal investigator and acting director of the Centre for Species at Risk and Habitat Studies at UBC Okanagan. "However, what is remarkable about the Amur tiger is how much lower the effective population size is than the census size."


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UBC Okanagan nursing students recognized with national awards
Two graduate nursing students at UBC Okanagan have received national awards recognizing and supporting their research contributions to the nursing profession.

Kaley York, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) student, has received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Award for her thesis "Parents' lived experience of having a child with Asperger Syndrome."

MSN student Lorrianne Topf has received a Psychosocial Oncology Research Training (PORT) fellowship in March to support her thesis research project, "When a desired home death does not occur: family caregiver experiences."


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Save the date: Sept. 1
Annual DVC town hall, orientation and faculty and staff barbecue

Tuesday, Sept. 1, is shaping up to be a day full of fun, awards, new faces and lots to do as UBC Okanagan heads into its fifth year of operation.

Starting the day off is the second Deputy Vice-Chancellor's Town Hall of 2009, which will feature an address by DVC Doug Owram and this year's Staff Awards of Excellence presentation. The town hall is followed by the orientation fair for new faculty and staff and the annual UBC Okanagan faculty and staff barbecue.

This year's barbecue will feature door prizes and live music by The Malarkeys.
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor's Town Hall
    9 to 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Student Service Centre lecture theatre, room SSC026
  • Orientation Fair For New Faculty and Staff
    11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Location: Campus courtyard
  • UBC Okanagan Faculty and Staff Barbecue
    11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Location: Campus courtyard

Email invitations to these events will be distributed to all faculty and staff members later in July.

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Busy summer of gatherings at UBC Okanagan
Conference planners Jen Neilands and Peggy Walker and the rest of UBC Okanagan's Conferences and Accommodation team are hosting some of the largest summer conferences and gatherings ever to take place on the rapidly growing university campus.

"Kelowna and the Okanagan are very popular, and we have some of the most affordable accommodations in the area," says Neilands. "We're seeing a lot of sports and youth groups, and religious groups choosing to come here. They tend to be looking for affordable accommodation with a variety of meeting spaces."

Now through July 22, the campus is hosting 200 prospective Team BC athletes for Volleyball BC's Baden Cup. Top coaches and athletes from across the province are participating in this progressive large-scale training experience, staying on campus in student residences while using the UBC Okanagan Gym facilities for training sessions. Following the training, teams from across Canada will participate in the National Team Challenge Cup Volleyball Tournament from July 22 to 27.


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Hackers win annual 'Hack and Whack' tournament
More than 50 people participated in UBC Okanagan's annual Hack & Whack golf tournament last Friday (June 10). The tournament -- now in its third year -- took place at Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Course and featured participants from across the campus community. The tournament ended in a narrow tiebreaker victory for the ITServices Hackers, made up of Steve Cundy, Andy Fehr, Sky Mooney and Steve Rosco. Bishop's Blasters -- made up of Greg Bishop, Suzanne Nazareno, Brian George and Alan Yamaoka -- battled hard for second place.

Tournament organizers would like to thank UBC Okanagan Campus Life, Campus Recreation, Varsity Athletics, Career Services, the UBC Okanagan Bookstore and Ian Cull, AVP Students, for their generous prize donations that helped make this year's event the most successful yet.

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New academic advisor joins UBC Okanagan
In addition to a new location in the University Centre, the Academic Advising team has more reasons to celebrate these days. Kaliopi Kollias, UBC Okanagan's newest academic advisor, joined the campus community on July 6.

Kaliopi arrived from Mount Royal College in Calgary, having developed a passion for helping students while working as a business advisor and administrative assistant. Intrigued by the campus' intimate yet growing stature and beautiful weather, she jumped at the chance to work at UBC Okanagan when it was presented. She is currently working towards a Public Relations Certificate from Mount Royal College, and is a graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia. She earned her Bachelor of Commerce in 2006 -- focusing on studies in international business and economics.

A warm UBC Okanagan welcome to Kaliopi. She can be reached by email, by calling 79239 or visiting room UC222k in the new University Centre building.

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Greg Younging is working on ways to reduce exploitation of Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expression - photo by Jody Jacob
Greg Younging is working on ways to reduce exploitation of Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expression.

Indigenous Peoples want their culture back
Indigenous knowledge and culture is legally taken and exploited, often for profit, damaging Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada and around the world, says Greg Younging, a professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan and member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.

His research in the area of traditional knowledge, Indigenous rights and intellectual property rights indicates that under the current international intellectual property rights (IPR) system up to 95 per cent of patents, trademarks and copyrights on Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expression are owned by non-Indigenous people or corporations.


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UBC Okanagan anthropologists receive Hampton Collaborative Research Award
A language revitalization project taking place in the most linguistically diverse country in the world has garnered two UBC Okanagan anthropology faculty members a Hampton Collaborative Research Award worth $30,000.

John Wagner and Christine Schreyer, faculty members in the Community, Culture and Global Studies unit of the Barber School, received the award for their project involving creating and documenting a writing system for the Kala language as well as the documentation of local ecological knowledge for use in creating curriculum materials in a new Kala language education program based in Papua New Guinea.

This project also involves collaborations with the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, the Kala Language Committee and a number of other educational institutions throughout Papua New Guinea.

Hampton Fund Research Grants are designed to fund short-term, highly meritorious and interdisciplinary research or scholarly activity. For more information visit the UBC Office of Research Services website.

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Accounting 101 and Finance overview
This course is intended for new employees and current employees who are assuming new finance responsibilities. It describes the tructure of the UBC Finance Department, offers key contact information, and introduces employees to the basics of UBC Accounting. Topics covered will include the roles of Payroll, Accounts Payable, Research and Trust Accounting, basic accounting practices, UBC account structure, and Fund accounting.

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 18
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Arts building, room ART374

To register: contact Frank Mueller, financial analyst, at 78726.

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Navigating FMS nQuery
This course is intended for anyone on campus that has access to FMS nQuery. It provides participants with an overview of the FMS nQuery menu items and program features. An on-screen demonstration will highlight key options available and how to use them. The topics covered will include how to navigate this read-only system for various purposes: voucher inquiries, payments, vendor searches, purchase orders, ledger summaries and various payroll functions.

Participants are recommended to attend the Accounting 101 and Finance Overview workshop in advance of attending this workshop.

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 25
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Arts building, room ART215

To register: contact Frank Mueller, financial analyst, at 78726.

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July 15, 2009

EventsOpen Wide a Wilderness
First book of Canadian nature poems launches with nature walk and readings in Kelowna July 25
The first book of Canadian nature poems, Open Wide a Wilderness, edited by UBC Okanagan professor Nancy Holmes, will have its Kelowna launch on Saturday, July 25.

Editor Holmes will be in attendance, along with several local nature lovers and writers who will take the attendees on a walk of the park, stopping to read a few poems from the book along the way. Readers include:

  • Dick Cannings, author and naturalist
  • Deborah Greaves, writer
  • Peg Emigh, Central Okanagan Naturalists Club
  • Sharon Thesen, poet and professor of creative writing, UBC Okanagan
  • Judie Steeves, columnist
  • Robert Lalonde, professor of biology
The event will be hosted by sculptor Lori Mairs, who is the resident caretaker of Woodhaven.

Date: Saturday, July 25
Time: 2 to 3 p.m.
Location: Woodhaven Nature Conservancy -- 4711 Raymer Road, Kelowna

This event is free and open to the campus community but only 50 guests can be in attendance. Light refreshments will be served. Contact Nancy Holmes at 79369 for more information.

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EventsUBCO.TV spotlight
The campus community's people, achievements and events are constantly being showcased on UBCO.TV. Check out what's new:

  • The New Face of Research
    A showcase of some of the the best research being conducted at UBC Okanagan, and some insight into the researchers behind the work.
  • GeoExchange BC Conference
    The 2009 GeoExchange BC conference, held at UBC Okanagan in May, looks at broadening the residential and industrial applications for geo-energy throughout the province.
  • Athletics Scholarship Breakfast
    This annual event helps generate funding for student-athletes at UBC Okanagan, raising funds that go directly into the Athletics Scholarship Endowment.

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