Kamloops, Canada
Kamloops, Canada

Thompson Rivers University is a university located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The enabling legislation is the Thompson Rivers University Act. While the main campus is located in Kamloops, there is a second campus in Williams Lake and the university's Open Learning Division distance learning service maintains an examination and resource facility in downtown Vancouver. Wally Oppal is the Chancellor of TRU. Wikipedia.

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News Article | February 4, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Scientists in the past used to go on foot to study invasive species. In the 11th annual forum called Invasives 2016, scientists share how they plan to use innovative strategies like using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, dogs and DNA analysis to study invasive species. Representatives from various governments and organizations discuss new ways to prevent and curb invasive species that have been affecting the economy, environment and society. The presentations include the use of innovative techniques like using dogs, drones and DNA testing. One of the topics that stood out among the rest is the use of drones in doing daunting tasks of scientists to capture images that show the extent of invasive species. An ecologist Catherine Tarasoff tried using the drone to detect invasive species in a British Columbia wildlife area. She recommends using unmanned aerial vehicles and remote-controlled devices to perform difficult tasks that they used to do in the past. "With a drone we're looking at pixel sizes that are teeny tiny. The resolution is amazing. You can literally zoom in and see all the petals on that flower," Tarasoff, an adjunct professor at Thompson Rivers University, said. Invasive species are any biological material like seeds, eggs, and spores that are capable of spreading to areas where they are not native to. In the long run, these species may lead to economic and environmental harm as well as threat to human health. The experiment is one of the new innovative advancements that can help battle against invasive species. This sheds light on the role of technology in providing scientists with the needed data for planning and managing of ways to stem these species that has taken a toll on the economy and the environment. Invasive species caused about $1.4 trillion worth of environmental and economic losses. In Canada, it led to losses amounting to between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion. Invasive species, if left uncontrolled, can limit land use and in the near future. Meanwhile, the United States suffers from $1.1 to 120 billion each year in terms of economic losses. Even threatened and endangered species are at risk.

Latif E.,Thompson Rivers University
Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics | Year: 2013

Background: Like most of other developed countries, Canada experienced baby boom in the 20 years after World War II. With the eldest baby turned 65 in 2011, it is expected that a considerable number of people will retire in coming years and consequently, retired people will soon constitute a significant part of Canadian population. In this context, an interesting question would be how retirement impacts mental health. This question is related to the well-being of the retired population as well as to over all health care expenditures. Aims: The major objective of this study is to examine the impact of retirement on mental health as measured by the Short Form Depression Scale. This study further conducts separate analyses to examine whether the impact of retirement on mental health differs between males and females, and among different education and income groups. Methods: This study uses large scale Canadian National Population Heath Survey (Longitudinal Component) data and adopts fixed effect method and fixed effect instrumental variable method to deal with possible endogeneity problem. Results: After controlling for unobserved individual specific heterogeneity, the study found that retirement has an insignificant impact on depression. As a robustness check, the study utilizes logit, conditional fixed effect logit, and fixed effect instrumental variable regression on a dichotomous variable representing depression and found that retirement has an insignificant impact on depression. The study further examined this issue using different subgroups based on gender, education and marital status, and again found that impacts of retirement on depression are not statistically significant. Implications for Policy: Though the coefficients are statistically insignificant, however, most of the results are economically meaningful since the magnitudes are relatively large, implying very large effects. The effects of retirement on mental health appear to be complex and multidimensional; however, based on the FE-IV models, most of the effects seem to suggest that there may be some increase in depression symptoms. The findings of this study will have important policy implications. If retirement worsens mental health, then policy encouraging retirement may actually increase health care expenditures. On the other hand, if retirement improves mental health, then such policy will likely to decrease health care expenditure. Studies based on data from Canada and other OECD countries suggest that the provisions of social security programs themselves often provide strong incentive to leave the labor force early. The finding of this study that retirement has negative impact on mental health in Canada will imply that current Canadian policy of encouraging early retirement is likely to increase mental health care expenditure. Implications for Further Research: There are a number of ways to extend this study. Depending on the availability of data, future studies can focus on sub populations: voluntary retiree/ involuntary retirement, early retiree/ late retiree and complete retiree/ partial retiree. Future study can also conduct more detailed analysis by including variables such as previous job characteristics, voluntary activity during retirement and family characteristics. Copyright © 2013 ICMPE.

Friesen N.,Thompson Rivers University | Lowe S.,Thompson Rivers University
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning | Year: 2012

Facebook and other social media have been hailed as delivering the promise of new, socially engaged educational experiences for students in undergraduate, self-directed, and other educational sectors. A theoretical and historical analysis of these media in the light of earlier media transformations, however, helps to situate and qualify this promise. Specifically, the analysis of dominant social media presented here questions whether social media platforms satisfy a crucial component of learning - fostering the capacity for debate and disagreement. By using the analytical frame of media theorist Raymond Williams, with its emphasis on the influence of advertising in the content and form of television, we weigh the conditions of dominant social networking sites as constraints for debate and therefore learning. Accordingly, we propose an update to Williams' erudite work that is in keeping with our findings. Williams' critique focuses on the structural characteristics of sequence, rhythm, and flow of television as a cultural form. Our critique proposes the terms information design, architecture, and above all algorithm, as structural characteristics that similarly apply to the related but contemporary cultural form of social networking services. Illustrating the ongoing salience of media theory and history for research in e-learning, the article updates Williams' work while leveraging it in a critical discussion of the suitability of commercial social media for education. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

The maintenance of habitat connectivity is promoted as a method of biodiversity conservation in forest management. Graph based metrics have demonstrated efficacy at deriving landscape scale connectivity metrics from habitat maps. The response of a graph-based connectivity metric to changes in the size of gaps considered to fragment habitat is proposed as a method of quantifying the impacts of changes in landscape composition on connectivity across a range of spatial scales. The parameters that describe this relationship are proposed as indices to quantify changes in the amount, fragmentation and spatial dispersion of habitat in a landscape. Systematic manipulations of landscape structure demonstrated response curve sensitivity to the impacts of forestry that are predicted by the literature to affect habitat connectivity. The response to controlled manipulations of landscape structure was used to guide an examination of the efficacy of distributing habitat reserves as corridors to mitigate the impacts of forestry on landscape connectivity. I conclude that the parameters that describe the relationship between spatial scale and the probability of connectivity index values can be used to compare the impacts of alternative forest management strategies on landscape connectivity, distributing conservation areas as corridors resulted in minimal benefits to landscape connectivity, and that the benefits of corridors were further reduced when natural disturbances were included in model simulations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Hill D.J.,Thompson Rivers University
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2013

Radar-rainfall data are being used in an increasing number of real-time applications because of their wide spatial and temporal coverage. Because of uncertainties in radar measurements and the relationship between radar measurements and rainfall on the ground, radar-rainfall data are often combined with rain gauge data to improve their accuracy. However, while rain gauges can provide accurate estimates of rainfall, their data are sometimes corrupted with errors caused by the environment in which the gauges are deployed. This study develops a real-time method for identifying measurement errors in rain gauge data streams. This method employs a dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) model of the rain gauge data stream to sequentially forecast the next rain gauge measurement from both the rain gauge and weather radar data streams and a decision rule-based classifier to identify data errors. Because of the uncertainty in the relationship between the radar and rainfall measurements, this method uses a statistical learning method (expectation maximization) to determine the best parameters for this relationship, given an adaptively sized moving window of previous measurements. The performance of the error detector developed in this study is demonstrated using a precipitation sensor network composed of five telemetered tipping bucket rain gauges and a WSR-88D weather radar. Through an analysis using synthetic errors, the false alarm rate and false negative rate were calculated to be 0.90% and 1.5%, respectively. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Gu J.,Thompson Rivers University
Engineering Structures | Year: 2014

The design of a 84-m-long 6.7-m-wide one-story residence built on an island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, presented special timber engineering challenges. To use materials that can be easily transported in pieces and built on-site, panel web beams (PWBs) were developed as main structural components. Two types of PWBs were used. One is the regular PWB built with glulam members as the flanges, plywood panels as the web, and dimension lumber members as the stiffeners. The other is the shear-reinforced PWBs used in regions where design shear forces were excessive. The shear reinforcement consisted of metal sheet plates and steel plate stripes concealed inside the regular PWB. The perimeter steel plate stripes were connected to wood members using timber rivets. The use of both types of PWBs showed the possibility of designing and building wood composite members for long-span construction with small-size materials that can be easily transported to the site. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Sykes K.,Thompson Rivers University
Transnational Environmental Law | Year: 2016

Many animal and environmental activists think of international trade law as a block to the achievement of their goals and perceive the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a threat to animals. Yet, the first legal decision of an international tribunal to devote careful, sustained attention to animal welfare issues comes from the WTO, in the EC - Seal Products decision. This article argues that international trade law is currently an important, although under-acknowledged, locus for the development of global norms concerning the protection of animals, and that animal conservation and animal welfare can be seen as aspects of a single overarching principle of animal protection. International trade law contributes to animal protection in two ways. Firstly, WTO jurisprudence has recognized animal protection as a legitimate basis for invoking exceptions to trade rules (as in EC - Seal Products). Secondly, international trade negotiations enhance cooperation on the implementation and enforcement of existing conservation obligations (as in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership's Environment Chapter). © Cambridge University Press 2016.

Hill D.J.,Thompson Rivers University
GIScience and Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

This article explores spatial modeling of daily minimum and maximum air temperatures using data from both ground-based, embedded sensors and remote sensors. Eleven models of min/max air temperature were developed ranging from simple proximity-based models to more complicated models that combine spatial similarity, temporal trends, and remotely sensed observations. These models are compared based on their accuracy, using a case study comprising data from the state of New Jersey. The results show that nearest neighbor and inverse distance weighted models based solely on land-based measurements are superior to models that include remotely sensed land surface temperature even when the gauge network is very sparse. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Latif E.,Thompson Rivers University
Health Economics (United Kingdom) | Year: 2014

The paper used longitudinal Canadian data from the National Population Health Survey to estimate the impact of macroeconomic conditions measured by provincial unemployment rate on individual obesity and BMI. To control for individual-specific unobserved heterogeneity, the study utilized the conditional fixed effect logit and fixed effects models. The study found that unemployment rate had a significant positive impact on the probability of being severely obese. The study also found that unemployment rate significantly increased BMI. However, the study did not find any significant impact of unemployment rate on the probability of being overweight or obese. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

News Article | March 17, 2016
Site: www.topix.com

A decorative compass that students and others at Thompson Rivers University walk over to enter the campus' Arts and Education Building will soon start generating solar energy as a "solar roadway." This summer, the dark concrete arms of the compass are going to be replaced by pieces of solar power generating material encased in thick glass that is also salt-and-slip resistant.

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