Humans and the Environment

May 25, 2022

Humans have interacted and exploited their environment in beneficial ways, including food, water, medicines and building materials, but in so doing, have also caused environmental damage, with significant impact on all human activities, including health and socio-economic development.  

Humans and the Environment, a 3-day exploratory workshop on Galiano Island, BC, that took place in April 2022 was co-organized by PWIAS Distinguished Professor Brett Finlay (Microbiology & Immunology) and 2015 Wall Scholar and CRC in Language, Culture and the Environment, Shaylih Muehlmann (Anthropology).

The main objectives of the meeting were to brainstorm about how humans interact with their environment in a truly interdisciplinary way and to identify areas of potential continued interactions, facilitate potential research collaborations, and continued knowledge exchanges.

Utilizing the natural features of Galiano from Bodega Ridge to Swan Cove, participants presented in environments that related to their areas of expertise and research topics. 

“The retreat was magical.  It was so wonderful to have deep interdisciplinary discussions with such an outstanding and diverse group of scholars. We all agreed that this was being an academic at its best.”

Brett Finlay, PWIAS Distinguished Professor

Invited participants included:

  • Doug Altshuler (Zoology)
  • T’ai Smith (Art History, Visual Art and Theory)
  • Mary O’Connor (Zoology)
  • Daisy Rosenblum (First Nations Endangered Languages)
  • Kathryn Gretsinger (Journalism)
  • George Beliveau (Language and Literacy Education)
  • Curtis Suttle (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; Microbiology and Immunology; Botany; Institute of Oceans and Fisheries)
  • Lara Boyd (Physical Therapy)
  • Derek Gladwin (Language and Literacy Education; Sustainability Fellow at Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability)
  • Shannon Walsh (Theatre and Film)
  • Sidney Fels (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Lisa Osborne (Microbiology and Immunology)

The workshop was sponsored by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research