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Roads to Research Presentations 2010-11

All of these presentations have been archived and are available for viewing here.

Short presentations:

Presented by Doctor of Social Sciences students:

  • Deborah Linehan, Imparting Understanding: Voice and Power to Visible Minorities in Canada.
  • Nicolle Bourget, Saving First Nations Culture and Language Using First Voices
  • Edgar Schmidt, Public Education, Civil Society Organizations, and the Story from the Margins
  • Barbara Waruszynski, Cultural Implications of Values-Based Leadership

Longer presentations:

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been: Adventures with Canadian Food

Lenore Newman - School of Environment & Sustainability

In the three years of research for my SSHRC standard grant, I have crossed the country visiting urban farmers' markets, the suppliers who sell at them, and the chefs who shop at them. The result is an emerging picture of Canadian national cuisine, which perhaps more than anywhere else in the world is rooted in the surrounding environment and a narrative of a frontier nation. In this presentation I will share some highlights from my field research and discuss how food contributes to our regional and national identities, and discuss how Canadian foodways are threatened by land use changes and environmental change. In the interest of practical application of knowledge, some samples will be available to nibble upon.

Assessing Local Perspectives on Environment and Development using “Photovoice” in Lao PDR

Brian Belcher - Centre for Livelihoods & Ecology

We tested “Photovoice” as a method to document and assess local values and aspirations as part of a project to develop a livelihoods monitoring tool. Participatory monitoring aims to encourage the use of low-cost, efficient information about livelihoods and conservation status and change, to incorporate local values and expectations in development and conservation activities, and to facilitate learning and adaptive management. Effective tools are needed to engage local people in the process. We developed and tested an approach using participatory photography (Photovoice) to enable people to record, reflect and discuss their ideas about community issues, strengths and concerns. We conducted Photovoice workshops with a total of 89 participants in six villages in Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR. The presentation will describe the approach, summarize the results and report lessons and recommendations on the method itself.

Special Economic Zones in Asian Market Economies

Connie Carter - School of Business

That's the title of a book co-edited by Connie Carter and published by Routledge in 2011. China’s special economic zones (SEZs) form the major thrust of the book. After all, SEZs are the backbone of China's rapid economic development. However, China is now transporting its SEZ success to foreign countries.  Topics discussed include: China in Africa: Rogue Donor or Economic Development Catalyst

Learning from 'locals': Lessons and ideas for further research in post-conflict peacebuilding

Rosemary Cairns - Graduate from RRU’s MA in Human Security & Peacebuilding

We know a lot about international attempts to build peace after war, and factors that create and sustain conflict in war-torn countries. We know much less about local capacities and strategies to build and sustain peace after war.  This research project has begun to address this imbalance by studying two different post-conflict situations in which local people built and sustain peace – Somaliland in the Horn of Africa, and Brcko District in the Balkans. What strategies did they use? What barriers did they overcome? What strengths were available to them? What did they learn about what works Despite differences of culture, history and international intervention, many similarities in strategies and approaches exist within these two 'islands of achievement'. This research also identified areas and questions for further exploration. The research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council under its research development grant program, and by Royal Roads University.

Children and Youth in Canada:  A Human Rights Discussion

Bernard Schissel - Doctor of Social Sciences Program

This presentation is based on a culmination of work that I have done on children, youth and human rights.  My overall research explores the often contradictory public perception of young people and focuses on the state of care of children and youth in Canadian society and within a global world.
Child rights, most of which are universally agreed upon, form the framework for this presentation.   I explore the state of children and youth in Canada by describing the social and economic nature of Canada’s young against human rights protections accorded to young people in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in the United Nations Convention on the Child, to which Canada is a signatory. These important agreements articulate the basic rights of food, clothing and shelter, freedom from ill-health, freedom from harm, freedom from legal discrimination and freedom from labour and consumer exploitation.  In the west we often hear news reports of children being exploited in troubled spots in other parts of the world and, rightly so, our hearts go out to the young people and their families.  Interestingly, this compassion for suffering children outside of our borders often masks an antipathy toward children and youth within our borders, especially disadvantaged youth.  My presentation addresses this antipathy

Balanced development to conquer fear in intercultural communication: A case study from the BC health care system with a non-Western perspective

Zhenyi Li - School of Communication & Culture

Health care professionals in British Columbia need more research attention and support for their intercultural competence development than before because of the increasingly diversified communities they are serving. When we applied assessment and intervention tools commonly used in North America we found that (a) fear was a barrier often neglected by common assessment; and (b) modern development theories based on Darwin, Marx and Freud have limitations in explaining the fact that fear increases when competence develops and in generating effective strategies to conquer fear in both interpersonal and organizational communication. Therefore, we proposed a non-Western theory, namely, balanced development, in one of our research projects. Both the theory and initial discoveries are introduced in this presentation.

Everything you wanted to know about meat-eating plants, but were afraid to ask

Jonathan Moran - School of Environment & Sustainability

Ever wondered what it's like to be eaten by a giant plant? Join Jonathan Moran and find out! Jonathan will share his research into the ecology of a group of plants that have turned the tables on the animal kingdom.

Electronic books: the present and future of the monograph at RRU and beyond

Corey Davis - RRU Library

Libraries continue to invest in paper books, but things are clearly changing. Electronic books are becoming a bigger slice of the pie, and massive digitization efforts by Google and others are creating online collections to rival the greatest libraries in the world. As the Royal Roads Library nears its 100,000th ebook, Librarian Corey Davis shares his latest research efforts exploring the changing nature of the book, how libraries are adapting, and what students think about accessing books online.

National values assessments around the world : issues, challenges, possibilities

Marilyn Taylor - School of Communication & Culture

The Todd Thomas Institute (TTI) did the first National Values Assessment for Canada in 2009. A description and the results are posted on the TTI website.

Grünen der Universität: Sustainability Perceptions and Practice at a German University

Charles Krusekopf - School of Environment & Sustainability

North Americans often perceive that governments, institutions and individuals in Europe have a very high degree of consciousness and action with regard to environmental protection and sustainability. This research explores that view by examining sustainability perceptions and practices at the University of Applied Sciences – Munich (Hochschule München or HM), a leading applied science university (Fachhochschule) in Germany where I served as a fellow in spring and summer 2010 teaching and working to enhance sustainability efforts. Overall, contrary to expectations, the HM was found to lag many North American institutions in terms of its sustainability planning and practice. While the HM has several advanced sustainability features, such as energy efficient buildings, an excellent public transportation and bike infrastructure, and several innovative courses supporting environmental entrepreneurship and leadership, sustainability is generally not identified by students, staff or administrators as a leading issue within the university. No sustainability focused student organizations exist, and the school lacks a sustainability plan, baseline data, goals, personnel, and connections to other universities in Germany and abroad. Several barriers are discussed, including budget and governance issues, teaching loads and program design, along with societal differences such as a lower emphasis on grass roots organization and involvement and an assumption that sustainability planning and initiatives are the responsibility of government. Several ideas for enhancing sustainability initiatives are presented, with a focus on the engagement of students in the development of information and ideas to enhance campus sustainability through project based courses and student practicums.