U of W hosts environmental fair on Feb. 5

2020 Vision showcases research by faculty, students

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the University of Winnipeg (U of W) will host 2020 Vision, an environmental research fair. This event, taking place between 12:30 and 1 p.m. in the Richardson College for the Environment’s (RCFE) Power Corporation Atrium, aims to showcase environmental research at the U of W.

According to the event’s description, this fair hopes to display environmental research being done by various “departments, researchers (and) student groups, as well as campus centres, labs and organizations.” The U of W’s Dr. Jino Distasio, vice-president of research and innovation, will deliver remarks. Other discussions and presentations will also occur throughout the event.

Michael Kvern, a fourth-year geography student at the U of W, believes that “exploring and providing research opportunities on campus is super important for students.”

“As an undergrad-focused university, U of W can give students a leg up with more research experience in their first degree,” he says.

Kvern, who conducts research on northern energy systems in Canada and how communities can reshape definitions of energy security, speaks highly of his research experience at the U of W and the “community of students and profs.”

“Undergrads don’t get to do this elsewhere,” he says, adding that he thinks “geography and environment have some of the best funding and opportunities for research in a wide range of areas.”

Alan Diduck, professor of environmental studies and science at the U of W, says that “a particular joy of being a researcher in environmental and sustainability issues at the U of W is getting the chance to work with brilliant and inspirational undergraduate thesis students and research assistants.”

This research fair is organized by the university’s Campus Sustainability Office and the RCFE. In fact, the Campus Sustainability Office has a mandate to make the U of W more “environmentally and socially responsible.”

In addition to organizing events such as these, they co-ordinate efforts to promote sustainability across areas like food, transportation and waste management. According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the U of W was ranked as the most sustainable postsecondary institution in North America (out of 337) for food and dining.

Sustainability is a priority for the U of W. In president and vice-chancellor Dr. Annette Trimbee’s State of the University Address on Sept. 9, 2019, she said “sustainability and accountability are important considerations in our work” and went on to mention environmental goals targeted by the university.

The RCFE, where the event is being held, is home to research activity in biology, chemistry, environmental studies and social sciences. Furthermore, this building houses four Canada Research Chairs: Science Education in Cultural Contexts, Inner City Issues and Community Learning and Engagement, Quantum Materials Discovery and Environmental Toxicology. These are prestigious positions which “aim to achieve research excellence,” according to the program’s website.

For more information on this event, visit uwinnipeg.ca/sustainability, call 204-988-7618 or email sustainability@uwinnipeg.ca to reserve a table for the event or register as an attendee.

Published in Volume 74, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 30, 2020)

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