Last Friday, my supervisor Jon Moore, former SFU PhD student and fellow biologist Dr. Brendan Connors and I headed over to Vancouver Island for the 2014 Hakai Research exchange hosted by the University of Victoria. The event was the 3rd of its kind, bringing together the many diverse researcher and collaborators involved with the Hakai program. In total there were probably 200 people at the event, spanning a range of discplines from archeology and gemorphology to oceanography, ecology, conservation, and even environmental law. In the age of declining government investment in reseach, Hakai is helping to breathe life into the research community and the many local and First Nations communities they partner with. Bringing resources and capacity to areas which not long ago were severely understudied, Hakai has created a huge amount of momentum in just a few short years.
I was honored to give a talk in the Research for Communities and Society theme. Among the other presenters in my session were Heather Bryan, postdoc in Chris Darimont’s lab at UVic, Alejandro Frid research coordinator for the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA), and three students from the UVic Environmental Law Centre who are doing amazing work to advance the legal interests of communities and ecosystems threatened by Canada’s overzealous resource extraction agenda.
All in all it was an extremely inspiring day, and it was great to see the work of so many colleagues and community partners. The conversations and connections that came out of the day will almost certainly yield worthwhile collaborations and interactions in the coming years.
We even got a little publicity out of the deal, piquing the interest of a reporter who was covering the event for desmog
You can see the proceedings from the meeting here
and you can even watch the talks here