Fall Researchers - MABRRI


The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) Fall Researchers assist Liberal Studies faculty to coordinate The Compass Rose journal, The Liberal Studies fall Conference and VIU Law Network events. They are also involved researching employment trends for Liberal Arts.

Position Requirements

Three Work Op students are needed to continue with initiatives started by Work Op students in 2017. Two years ago, Vancouver Island University signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Parksville to advance understanding and research within the Mt. Arrowsmith Biosphere Region. Two Biosphere Region Researchers are required to advance the work of the Biosphere, building on the work completed by previous student researchers.

There are more than 600 Biospheres designated by UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme and each have its own unique story. In every location, however, the story begins in the same place: individuals in their communities recognize that where they live is a special place worthy of recognition.

Biosphere Reserves and the functions and activities they support are a noble way to achieve, promote and share pride and stewardship in these extraordinary places. The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) is located on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC). UNESCO designated MABR in 2000 as one of 18 biosphere reserves in Canada. From the top of Mount Arrowsmith (1,817 m) in the Beaufort Mountain range the Biosphere Reserve extends down to the waterfront and includes the islands of the Ballenas/Winchelsea Islands archipelago and a marine area to about 300 m below sea level. The total land area is approximately 800 square kilometres and the total marine area is about 400 square kilometres.

Nanoose/Snaw-Naw-As First Nation and Qualicum First Nation include parts of the MABR within their traditional territories, and the Snuneymuxw First Nation and K'omoks First Nation edge the MABR's boundaries. Local governments within the MABR include the City of Parksville, Town of Qualicum Beach and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).

One of Vancouver Island University's regional campuses is located in Parksville; the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University all have research interests in the MABR. These governments and institutions are joined by more than 125 registered non-profit organizations that are located within the MABR that provide services to address social, educational, environmental, employment, cultural, and political concerns. Along with these groups, the mid-Island area is characterized by an active citizenry that is known for volunteerism and involvement in local issues.

The students will be working on three initiatives:

1. Lake Monitoring in the MABR

The MABR is home to many spectacular lakes, and several are used as drinking water sources. Others are part of major water networks that support fish and wildlife habitats. The students will participate in a long term monitoring project that helps to inform the current status of these lakes and actions that need to be taken in the future.

2. Wetland mapping in the MABR

A new partnership has been formed with the Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program that examines the interrelationship among wetlands, groundwater, and surface water. The long term study examines water recharge, natural filtration, and other naturally occurring processes.

3. Bioblitz

The MABR conducted a wildly successful Bioblitz at Milner Gardens in May and June 2017. Planning for a future event (or events) may be part of the students' responsibilities.

Sign-up Directions

To learn more, visit MABRRI Research Projects.

For information on the application process, please email Pam Shaw, Director, Master of Community Planning Program.