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Campus Life  

Okanagan College instructor shares her passion for leadership

Okanagan College Media Release

Carolyn Gibson Aug 2017When Carolyn Gibson first moved to Revelstoke in early 2014, she had no inkling that she would soon find an outlet for combining two of her biggest passions: teaching and leadership. Over the past three years, she has listened to and worked with the region’s business owners to develop and share strategies they need to support their teams and grow their businesses – a collaborative process she’ll continue this fall thanks to a unique and ever-changing course at the College.

Gibson is currently teaching the Leadership Essential Series, a five-part series consisting of one-day seminars focused on specific leadership skills required in today’s workplace.

It’s a course that continues to grow and develop with each semester, as Gibson continues to integrate the latest trends and challenges she encounters from her students, who range from CEOs to those entirely new to leadership.

“The series is ideal not only for seasoned workplace veterans, but also for those leaders looking to identify and develop new leadership skills,” says Gibson, who holds an MBA from Queen’s University and has a Certificate in Conflict Management from Conrad Grebel/University of Waterloo.

Gibson’s students benefit from her wealth of educational and practical experience, acquired over a 20-plus-year career in business, which has seen her start up her own business and consulting firm. She is also an advisor on the MBA program at Queen’s University.

“I love teaching in general as it’s so exciting to see people start to look at things differently,” says Gibson. “It’s great to watch them think about and apply different ways of handling a situation, different ways of looking at their jobs, different ways of communicating.”

Gibson’s path to Okanagan College was fortuitous.

A glance at an Okanagan College Continuing Studies brochure ultimately led her to becoming an Instructor for the College. In the brochure she saw an ad indicating Okanagan College would be open to discussions from professionals in the community regarding potential new course offerings. The rest is history as she celebrates three years and counting as a College instructor, sharing her love for leadership across the College’s campuses from Revelstoke to Penticton.

As a business owner herself, Gibson is quick to point out the value of creating a solid foundation of leadership skills and constantly building on that foundation as trends change – a point echoed by one of her students.

David Murray, Corporate Safety and Environment Manager at Gorman Group, also has the role of coordinating leadership training for his company with Okanagan College and Gibson.

“I can say that Carolyn has been exactly what we were looking for and needed to have regarding an outside trainer for our company,” says Murray. “In order for our management team’s education in leadership essentials to be effective, the instructor not only needs to have expertise in current business and performance management theories and tools, but also needs to be able to tailor the delivery with the challenges that our group faces, and content specific to our high-value wood products manufacturing business. Carolyn and the Okanagan College team did this competently and with the necessary flexibility to our needs.”

The Leadership Essentials Series is just one of the hundreds of Continuing Studies courses and certificates that is offered at Okanagan College campuses. To find out more about the series, or to discover a new career path, check out Okanagan College’s newly released fall 2017 Continuing Studies Brochure. www.okanagan.bc.ca/cs

 



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Indigenous education advancement: learning from the Maori success

Okanagan College Media Release

An international scholar and global leader at the forefront of transforming Maori and Indigenous education will be in Kelowna this week to share insights into how communities can benefit from fostering meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Graham Hingangaroa Smith will share his expertise during a free public presentation on Friday, Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. in room H115 at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.Dr. Graham Smith

Dr. Smith’s life work has been dedicated to building up the emergence of Maori Education Studies through the development of immersion schools (elementary to post-secondary level). He has played a key role in negotiations and settlements with the Maori and New Zealand government and has worked to ensure that Maori knowledge and presence is pervasive throughout New Zealand.

“Dr. Smith's commitment is not only to Maori interests but to the transforming potential of Indigenous knowledge and praxis globally,” says Dr. Bill Cohen, Indigenous Studies professor and Okanagan-Syilx educator at Okanagan College. “He has resolutely, and respectfully, worked to ensure that actual positive change was, and is, occurring.”

The Okanagan visit is a return one for Dr. Smith: in 2005 he received an honorary Doctor of Literature from Okanagan University College (OUC).   

Okanagan College proudly operates on the traditional territories of the Syilx and Secwepemc peoples. An Indigenization Task Force was created to fulfill the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan’s vision of the institution’s ongoing commitment to working with, and learning from, the Indigenous Community.

“The College has a demonstrated strong track-record of engaging with the Aboriginal community and of supporting our Indigenous students with their educational goals,” says Cohen, who leads the task force. “But we can do more. That’s where the task force comes in. Our goal is to take a good look at the College’s offerings and how we can develop meaningful knowledge relationships across departments, programs and courses.”

 



UBC researcher looks to the future of bone replacements

Hossein Montazerian, research assistant with UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering, demonstrates the artificial bone design that can be made with a 3D printer.

Hossein Montazerian, research assistant with UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering, demonstrates the artificial bone design that can be made with a 3D printer.

Research examines potential of artificial bones made with 3D printer

A UBC Okanagan researcher has discovered a new artificial bone design that can be customized and made with a 3D printer for stronger, safer and more effective bone replacements.

Hossein Montazerian, research assistant with UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering, has identified a way to model and create artificial bone grafts that can be custom printed. Montazerian says human bones are incredibly resilient, but when things go wrong, replacing them can be a painful process, requiring multiple surgeries.

“When designing artificial bone scaffolds it’s a fine balance between something that is porous enough to mix with natural bone and connective tissue, but at the same time strong enough for patients to lead a normal life,” says Montazerian. “We’ve identified a design that strikes that balance and can be custom built using a 3D printer.”

Traditional bone grafting is used in medicine to treat anything from traumatic fractures to defects, and requires moving bone from one part of the body to another. But Montazerian says his artificial bone grafts could be custom printed to potentially fit any patient and wouldn’t require transplanting existing bone fragments.

In his research, Montazerian analyzed 240 different bone graft designs and focused on just the ones that were both porous and strong. He printed those that performed the best using a 3D printer and then ran physical tests to determine how effective they would be under load in the real world.

“A few of the structures really stood out,” Montazerian adds. “The best designs were up to 10 times stronger than the others and since they have properties that are much more similar to natural bone, they’re less likely to cause problems over the long term.”

Montazerian and his collaborators are already working on the next generation of designs that will use a mix of two or more structures.

“We hope to produce bone grafts that will be ultra-porous, where the bone and connective tissues meet and are extra-strong at the points under the most stress. The ultimate goal is to produce a replacement that almost perfectly mimics real bone.”

While his bone graft designs are well on their way, Montazerian says the technology still needs some advances before it can be used clinically. For example, he says other researchers in the field are starting to refine biomaterials that won’t be rejected by the body and that can be printed with the very fine 3D details that his designs require.

“This solution has enormous potential and the next step will be to test how our designs behave in real biological systems,” he says. “I hope to see this kind of technology clinically implemented for real patients in the near future.”

Montazerian’s research was recently published in Science Direct's Materials & Design.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca

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Trying to resist the urge to splurge? Ditch your smartphone

Trying to resist the urge to splurge? Ditch your smartphone

UBC research shows consumers more likely to purchase hedonic products with touchscreen technology

You are more likely to indulge in guilty pleasures when shopping online with a touchscreen versus a desktop computer, according to research from UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Studies conducted by Faculty of Management assistant professor Ying Zhu are shedding new light into consumer behaviour when it comes to touchscreen technology, a rapidly increasing sales technology.

“Touchscreen technology has rapidly penetrated the consumer market and embedded itself into our daily lives. Given its fast growth and popularity, we know surprisingly little about its effect on consumers,” explains Zhu. “With more than two billion smartphone users, the use of tactile technologies for online shopping alone is set to represent nearly half of all e-commerce by next year.”

To extend our knowledge on the touchscreen, Zhu and her co-author, Jeffrey Meyer, conducted a series of experiments with university students to measure thinking styles and purchase intentions using devices like touchscreens and desktop computers.

The study aimed to investigate whether online purchase intentions change when it comes to two different types of products: hedonic (purchases that give the consumer pleasure such as chocolate or massages) and utilitarian, products that are practical, like bread or printers.

“The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers’ favour of hedonic products, while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses consumers’ preference for utilitarian products,” explains Zhu.

Zhu’s study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on experiential thinking than those using desktop computers. However, those on desktops scored significantly higher on rational thinking.

“Overall, what we learned is that using a touchscreen evokes consumers’ experiential thinking, which resonates with the playful nature of hedonic products. These results may well be a game-changer for sectors like the retail industry,” says Zhu. “But my advice for consumers who want to save a bit of money is to put away the smartphone when you have the urge to spend on a guilty pleasure.”

The study was published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services with financial support from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant.

UBC Faculty of Management assistant professor Ying Zhu says consumers are more likely to purchase 'guilty pleasures' while shopping with touchscreen technology compared to a desk top computer.

UBC Faculty of Management assistant professor Ying Zhu says consumers are more likely to purchase 'guilty pleasures' while shopping with touchscreen technology compared to a desk top computer.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca

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UBC research suggests higher density communities can save water

Single family dwellers consume considerably more water than others

UBC researcher Gyan Chhipi Shrestha says high density communities can make better use of the Okanagan's limited water supply.

UBC researcher Gyan Chhipi Shrestha says high-density communities can make better use of the Okanagan's limited water supply.

The beauty of a lush green lawn may be more costly than just the use of water, according to researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Gyan Kumar Chhipi Shrestha, a PhD candidate with the School of Engineering, has recently published several research papers about water use, water distribution systems, and the energy consumed supplying water to homes. Not only did he examine the cost of supplying water to homes, but also investigated the long-term, or life cycle costs, of water distribution systems to several communities.

And the ecological footprint is staggering, he says, when the energy used to distribute water is considered.

“The Okanagan Valley is a semi-arid region and even though we have lots of lakes, the valley also has the lowest amount of freshwater available in Canada,” says Chhipi Shrestha. “At the same time, we have one of the highest per capita use of domestic water in the country.”

Chhipi Shrestha says there is a huge disconnect between the amount of water available in the Okanagan and the amount used. At its peak in the summer, the rate of consumption in the Okanagan is about a 1,000 litres per person per day—compared to the Canadian average of more than 340 litres a day. This overuse, he says, is primarily due to residential lawn irrigation.

Working with UBC Okanagan’s Associate Dean of Engineering Rehan Sadiq, co-supervisor of the study, Chhipi Shrestha’s research specifically examines water distribution systems in various residential densities, how much these systems cost to operate, and how reductions can be implemented.

“Water, energy, and carbon emissions are important elements of urban water sustainability; these elements are interconnected,” says Sadiq. “And neighbourhood densification is a strategy primarily applied to reduce per capita infrastructure and land requirement and densification also affect residential landscaping and water systems.”

Chhipi Shrestha completed an integrated study of the water-energy-carbon or ‘watergy’ dynamics of water distribution and residential landscaping under neighbourhood densification. He then proposed a conceptual framework to study the impacts of urban residential density on the water-energy-carbon nexus of water distribution and residential landscaping system.

Along with supervisor Prof. Kasun Hewage, Chhipi Shrestha used a planned neighbourhood under development in Peachland as a case study and compared 11 neighbourhood design options of single and multi-family homes and various population densities. Hewage says the cost of water distribution systems can be lower in high-density residences, mostly because single family homes tend to have landscaped areas that require maintenance.

“The densities of neighbourhoods affect water demand, and we’re looking for an optimal density,”
he explains. “We wanted to a find a balance between increased density and decreased water consumption. When we look at single-family homes, generally 40 to 60 per cent of a property area is landscaped and will require water to maintain them.”

The key finding from his research is that the residential density significantly affects per capita water-energy-carbon nexus and life cycle cost of water distribution systems. Higher the residential density, a lower would be per capita water demand, energy use, net carbon sequestration, and life cycle cost of water distribution systems. The findings suggest community developers should consider the importance of constructing medium to high-density buildings in urban neighbourhoods to achieve optimal ‘watergy.’

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca

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UBC engineers use tech to tackle rental shortage

Cailan Libby is CEO of Happipad.com, a new venture focused on helping renters and landlords connect, founded in the Central Okanagan with its low-vacancy rental housing market.

Cailan Libby is CEO of Happipad.com, a new venture focused on helping renters and landlords connect, founded in the Central Okanagan with its low-vacancy rental housing market.

UBC grad and professor create new way for renters and landlords to connect

Entrepreneur Cailan Libby is putting his engineering know-how to work for the community.

The recent UBC Okanagan graduate has partnered with Kenneth Chau, associate professor with the School of Engineering, on a new venture focused on addressing the difficulties in renting, especially in the Okanagan where some communities have seen vacancy rates as low as 0.6 per cent over the past year.

Helping people find their best matches in the rental market, Happipad.com is a novel online service that allows landlords and renters to search, advertise, screen potential matches, form rental contracts, and post reviews -- all in one place.

“I’ve been a student renter for the last five years and Happipad.com is a tool I wish I had when I first moved to Kelowna,” says Libby. “While traditional classified ads and online listings exist for renters to find places to live, they don’t do the job very well. The system is not transparent and it’s slow – it can take weeks to find and secure a place to rent.”

Libby and Chau spent the past year talking to tenants and landlords to create the Happipad vision.

“It’s not just about making the process more efficient and it’s not just a listing service,” says Libby. “Happipad wants to make renting a connection, rather than a transaction.”

Designed to support long-term rather than brief vacation rentals, Happipad guides users through the entire rental process. Renters can search for their future home and submit applications, while landlords can list their properties, screen, and accept authenticated applications. And when the right match is made, rental contracts are electronically signed and delivered by email.

Creating a start-up

It took some heavy-duty engineering to develop Happipad.com from concept to the online experience now available to the community. Libby and Chau began exploring better ways to do it while Libby was still a fourth-year engineering student in one of Chau’s classes. Now, the duo are partners and working together to tackle the practical challenges of renting while engaging the local rental community.

“We worked well together and talked about all sorts of solutions that we could build,” says Libby, recalling the early discussions about how they might collaborate on addressing a compelling community challenge.

“As engineers, we have been able to go through the visioning and development processes, and all the creative problem-solving, very quickly,” he says. “A large company might take months to do what we are able to do in a matter of hours.”

Libby also received direct support from Accelerate Okanagan’s Venture Acceleration Program, which provided access to experienced advisors including Lance Schafer, one of Accelerate Okanagan’s Executives in Residence.

“Working with Lance has been great,” says Libby. “As an Executive in Residence, he has offered ideas about what to focus on, how to stay motivated and make the best decisions. The program has given us access to all the resources at Accelerate Okanagan – help with our accounting and legal questions, advice about advertising and networking. It has been very beneficial.”

Creating a startup venture isn’t for everyone, Libby acknowledges, but he says the experience has been amazing – and something he’s very comfortable with. When he graduated with an engineering degree, he told people he was going to create a job for himself – drawing on his education, perseverance and willingness to take a chance on a big idea.

Happipad recently hired its first employee, and while still in its first month the service is growing fast, seeing a 300 per cent increase in weekly traffic. Every day, new authenticated landlords and prospective tenants are registering to become part of the Happipad community.

“I want to create something our society needs,” Libby says “I realize most people are not willing to take on the risk and struggles, that’s where I’m a bit different.  I want to change the way renting is done. Renting should be simple and stress-free. I want everyone to be able to find a ‘happy’ home quickly and easily.”

Happipad launched in Kelowna in July 2017 and has plans to expand across North America.

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Heska appointed Director of Human Resources at Okanagan College

Okanagan College Media Release

Linda Heska August 2017Okanagan College will welcome a new Director of Human Resources next month. Linda Heska, a post-secondary administrator with nearly 30 years of management and consulting experience in the public sector, will step into the role on Sept. 18.

Heska brings considerable expertise in the areas of workplace conflict resolution, collective agreement administration, collective bargaining, performance management, recruitment, onboarding and orientation. She honed this expertise while serving in a number of Human Resources leadership roles with Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) over the past 27 years, most recently as Director, Employee Relations – a role she occupied for almost 10 years.

She holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University and a Management Certificate, major in Human Resources, from BCIT. Heska has also published a book on organizational practices that contribute to employee engagement. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the Human Resources team to help create and enhance engagement across all our employee groups and every corner of the College community,” says Heska, who hails from Port Moody originally and recently moved to the Okanagan from the Lower Mainland.

“I believe in supporting individuals to be the very best they can be, and that their successes drive organizational success. I’m excited to get to play a role in empowering people to success in their careers at the College.”

“We’re so pleased to have Linda’s depth of knowledge and experience in human resources in the B.C. post-secondary sector without making an understatement,” says Roy Daykin, Vice President Employee and Corporate Services at Okanagan College. “On top of that, she brings a track record of inspiring enthusiasm and motivating those around her that I expect will make her a welcome addition to Okanagan College in short order."

Heska is well versed in the challenge of helping employees thrive and feel engaged across multiple campuses and regions. In her time at KPU, she helped guide policies and practices that affected instructional and support staff at the institution’s four locations in Metro Vancouver. She has also provided coaching services to individuals in the areas of career and transition, performance, leadership and legacy.

“I’m passionate about understanding the bigger picture, but I also pride myself in having the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to situations and needs at the individual level,” explains Heska.

 



Telemedicine improves patient care across vast distances

Drs. Michael Humer and Barbara Campling are part of a thoracic oncology team that treats cancer patients via telemedicine.

Drs. Michael Humer and Barbara Campling are part of a thoracic oncology team that treats cancer patients via telemedicine.

Virtual clinics provide improved access to medical services for cancer patients

New UBC research shows that telemedicine dramatically improves access to quality medical care in small and rural BC communities—while saving time, money and travel risk for patients.

The Interior Health Thoracic Surgery Group (IHTSG) of Drs. Shaun Deen, Michael Humer, Anand Jugnauth and Andrew Luoma represents a team of thoracic surgeons based at Kelowna General Hospital. Collectively, they serve a population of more than one million British Columbians dispersed across 807,000 square kilometres in the Interior and North regions of the province.

About 80 per cent of IHTSG patients have cancer, most commonly in the lung or esophagus, according to Dr. Humer, lead author of the study and clinical assistant professor with the Southern Medical Program based at UBC Okanagan. Through the use of a robust, secure Skype-like videoconference technology, Humer describes how thoracic surgeons provide patient-centred care to communities in the far reaches of the province.

“In one day, I can see patients in Kamloops, Prince George, Dawson Creek, and Oliver, review their medical images in real time and determine appropriate treatment plans,” says Humer. “It’s often better than seeing the patient ‘in-person’ as I now see them with a family member who might not have been able to travel to Kelowna.”

Between 2003 and 2015, the IHTSG conducted 15,073 telemedicine appointments from 63 different geographic locations. These same patients saved a total travel distance of 11.5 million kilometres, an average of 766 kilometres per patient.

“Our telemedicine program began in 2003 due in large part to the efforts of my late colleague Dr. Bill Nelems,” says Humer. “It has grown from 320 patients in the first full year to more than 1,700 patients annually across the Interior and Northern Health coverage areas.”

Telemedicine now represents 40 per cent of the Kelowna service’s practice, enabling surgeons to seamlessly provide consults and follow-ups with the few clicks of a button. Patients need only come to Kelowna if they require surgery. This greatly reduces the amount of travel time on BC’s mountainous highways, especially treacherous during the long winter months.

“The patient feedback we’ve received really highlights the tangible benefits of telemedicine,” says study co-author Dr. Barbara Campling, head of Medical Oncology at the BC Cancer Agency in Kelowna and clinical professor with the UBC Department of Medicine. “Patients, especially those that are elderly, are grateful to receive quality care but be spared the cost and stress of a multi-hour trip.”

Both Humer and Campling credit the commitment and support of Interior Health and the extensive collaboration with health professionals, office staff, and IT specialists across both health authorities in ensuring the timely and reliable delivery of the telemedicine service.

The research was recently published in Current Oncology Reports.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca



New research suggests compost and wood-mill waste an organic alternative to fumigation

A microscopic image of the plant-parasitic nematode which can cause replant disease in cherry trees. (photo courtesy of Tristan Watson)

A microscopic image of the plant-parasitic nematode which can cause replant disease in cherry trees. (photo courtesy of Tristan Watson)

UBC researchers say root disease may be prevented by using compost with young cherry trees

Material currently thought of as garbage may be the answer to preventing root disease in cherry orchards without the use of fumigation, according to new research from UBC Okanagan.

PhD student Tristan Watson, co-supervisors adjunct professor Tom Forge and Biology Professor Louise Nelson, and colleagues at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Summerland Research and Development Centre (AAFC-SuRDC) recently published research examining how agricultural waste compost and chipped bark mulch can help improve growth of newly-planted sweet cherry trees and protect them from replant disease.

UBC student Tristan Watson conducts research on root disease in cherry orchards.

UBC student Tristan Watson conducts research on root disease in cherry orchards.

“Replant disease—the poor growth of fruit trees planted into soil previously used for tree-fruit production—presents a significant barrier to establishing productive orchards on old orchard soil,” explains Forge, who conducts research at AAFC-SuRDC. “Newly planted trees impacted by this disease often show reduced shoot growth, root necrosis, and a reduction in root biomass.”

Over time, populations of several types of soil-borne pests including plant-parasitic nematodes—microscopic roundworms—build up under established orchard trees, explains Watson. Then, when an old orchard is pulled out to replant a newer variety or different type of fruit crop, those soil pests can severely affect the young trees. Left untreated, the disease can delay fruit production, decrease quality, and reduce yield, thus preventing an orchard from reaching an acceptable level of productivity.

“In the past, chemical fumigants were often used to kill the pathogenic organisms in the soil before new trees are planted,” he says. “These fumigants are meant to kill everything in the soil, and unfortunately this includes beneficial micro-organisms.”

During his research in a former apple orchard, Watson used agricultural waste compost, and chipped bark mulch, on newly-planted cherry trees. The compost was applied to the planting row of some cherry trees as they were planted, and for other plots of trees in the study high carbon organic mulch was applied to the surface after the trees were planted.

Watson says the organic applications—both the compost and the bark mulch, but especially the combined treatment—significantly reduced infestation of the cherry roots by root lesion nematodes.

Most importantly, there were corresponding increases in early tree growth that have continued three years into the research.

“The recycling of waste is key to this research,” says Watson. “There is a definite reduction in the pest population that continued into three growing seasons. Replant disease is an issue around the world for all tree fruits and this is a great option for conventional and organic farmers.”

“Overall, using compost and bark mulch show potential as alternatives to fumigation for improving early growth of sweet cherry trees in pathogen-infested soil,” he says. “I’m hoping the research can be expanded to wine grapes and other tree fruits including peaches, pears and plums.  ”

Watson’s research was recently published in Applied Soil Ecology and was supported with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agricultural Innovations Program, the BC Fruit Growers’ Association, and the BC Cherry Association.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca

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Student health and wellbeing focus of new UBC course

First-year elective at UBC Okanagan introduces health competencies

UBC Okanagan students have a new elective course to consider this fall, as the university introduces the HEAL 100 course on health and wellbeing.

Developed over the past year by the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, HEAL 100 offers an in-depth look at health studies with an emphasis on student health – focusing on education, research and their impact on a variety of student health issues.

“The course is for first-year students, when they’re making that big transition to university,” says Sally Stewart, senior instructor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “We want to give students the tools and techniques to really thrive in a university environment. We already offer health programs – human kinetics, nursing, and facets of health and wellbeing in psychology courses, for example – but this course is more for students to develop health competencies.”

A broad-based course, HEAL 100 explores all the dimensions of wellbeing and health including physiology, nutrition, mental health and wellbeing, sleep, and mindfulness.

In 2015, post-secondary institutions from around the world gathered at UBC Okanagan to develop an international charter for health-promoting universities and colleges. Known as the Okanagan Charter, the document is a commitment to embed health in campus policies and services, to create environments which support health and personal development, and to become communities with a culture of well-being.

“This course specifically is a way of putting wellbeing as a top priority for our UBC students,” says Stewart. “We want students to be well, so they can do well in their university life. Wellbeing is linked to academic success.”

Stewart notes that no matter what type of work graduates go into, they will take with them the health competencies learned through the HEAL 100 course.

“To me, that’s another huge benefit of this course,” says Stewart. “It can have long-term health implications in our broader community for years to come.”

Other than students in the Human Kinetics program, students from any faculty at UBC Okanagan may register for HEAL 100. Details are posted in the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar.

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