ElderCollege Courses

Registering for Spring 2020 courses starts Monday, November 18 at 8:30am!

To register on the phone call toll free 1-866-734-6252

Using a credit card.

In person:

Using a credit card, cash or debit.

Nanaimo Campus Parksville Campus
Building 200 Parksville Civic & Technology Centre
Registration Centre 100 Jensen Ave E
900 Fifth Street 2nd floor
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5 Parksville, BC V9P 2G3

JANUARY         MARCH         MAY         ONE-DAYS     


Look for these symbols indicating where the course will be held:

Course held in Nanaimo  Nanaimo    Course held in Parksville  Parksville    Course held in Qualicum Beach  Qualicum Beach     Nanoose Bay




ONE-DAY SESSIONS (1.5 – 3 hours each)



$10 cash/person at the door
Free under 18

Nanoose Place Community Centre
2925 Northwest Bay Road, Nanoose Bay

ALL TALKS START AT 10 am and run through to noon. Everyone welcome!

March 7, 2020

Forensic Entomology In The Righting Of Wrongs 

This talk will show how forensic entomology was used to in righting three major wrongful convictions. ***Warning: graphic material

Presenter: Dr. Gail S. Anderson, MPM, PhD, D-ABFE, F-AAFS, F-CSFS, SFU Professor, Associate Director, School Criminology, Co-Director, CFR

About the talk: 

Forensic entomology is the study of insects on a dead body with a view to estimating the elapsed time since death as well as whether the body has been disturbed, or moved, presence and position of wounds, whether the victim has been poisoned, and, in living victims, the length of time of abuse or neglect. Forensic entomology is also valuable in wildlife, domestic and pet animal abuse and cruelty. It is frequently used in homicide investigations as well as SPCA cases. This presentation will illustrate how forensic entomology was key in proving the wrongful conviction of a person in three true-life cases. Warning - very graphic slides will be shown and this talk is not for the squeamish or young children. 

About the presenter: 

Dr. Gail S. Anderson is a Professor in the School of Criminology and the Co-Director of the Centre for Forensic Research at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professorship at SFU. She is a forensic entomology consultant to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Municipal Police across Canada as well as the SPCA and Wildlife Enforcement. She has been analyzing forensic entomology cases since 1988, and has testified as an expert witness in court many times. Her work has been featured in numerous television programs. Anderson was a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award and a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology, and the SFU Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award. She was listed in TIME magazine as one of the top five global innovators in the world, this century, in the field of Criminal Justice in 2001 (the only Canadian listed) and as one of the Leaders for the 21st Century by TIME Magazine in 1999. She was awarded the Derome Award in 2001; the most prestigious award the Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS) bestows -for “outstanding contributions to the field of forensic science”. She is a past President of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences, North American Forensic Entomology Association, and the BC Entomological Society as well as a past Chair of the American Board of Forensic Entomology and is presently 1st Vice President of the Entomological Society of Canada. She was listed as one of the 100 most Influential Women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun in 2010, received a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence in 2014, and in 2015 was listed as one of the 6 most influential scientists in BC by the Vancouver Sun. In 2017, she was awarded the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Pathology Biology Section Award for Achievement in the Life Sciences.

April 18, 2020

Those Lake People: Stories Of Cowichan Lake

Loggers, tycoons, cougar hunters, remittance men, rhododendron propagators--these are the people to be discussed.

Presenter: Lynne Bowen, R.N., B.Sc., M.A., lecturer and writer

About the talk: 

No one comes to Vancouver Island by accident. And no one braved the rickety trail to Cowichan Lake unless they were looking for a job, a fortune or a refuge.

Twenty-six miles of fresh water teeming with fish and surrounded by old growth forest: this was Cowichan Lake at the end of the nineteenth century. Home to trappers, hunters, sports fishermen, retired British India Army officers and a handful of remittance men, the lake was also a favourite holiday destination for dukes and duchesses, Hollywood actresses and New York tycoons.

When the giant trees began to fall to the crosscut saws of immigrant loggers from Finland, Norway, Sweden, India, Japan and China, the lake became the site of intense union activity spurred on by clandestine organizers who walked the railway rights-of-way and slipped into isolated logging camps after dark.

Cougar hunters, fledgling school teachers, legendary timber bosses, take-charge women--a wide variety of people added their stories to the history of the lake. Included in their numbers were expert gardeners who coaxed exotic rhododendrons and alpine wild flowers into bloom and sold the seeds all over the world.

From the villages, sawmills, float camps and gardens of Cowichan lake comes a wealth of personal vignettes which make this isolated body of water in the centre of Vancouver Island a treasure trove for students of Western Canadian history.

May 9, 2020

Role Of Microbiota In Health And Disease

A discussion on the microbiome, how it affects human development and aging, and what one can potentially do about it.

Presenter: Dr. B. Brett Finlay, OC, OBC, FRSC, FCAHS

About the talk: 

Recently, the microbiome (all the microbes in and on us) has been found to play a role in both health and disease. We will discuss how these microbes interact with the human body, especially in the context of aging. More importantly, we will discuss, based on current science, what one can do now to help promote healthy aging.

About the presenter: 

Dr. B. Brett Finlay is a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia.  He obtained a B.Sc. (Honors) in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where he also did his Ph.D. (1986) in Biochemistry under Dr. William Paranchych, studying F-like plasmid conjugation. His post-doctoral studies were performed with Dr. Stanley Falkow at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he studied Salmonella invasion into host cells.  In 1989, he joined UBC as an Assistant Professor in the Biotechnology Laboratory.  Dr. Finlay’s research interests are focused on host-microbe interactions, at the molecular level.  By combining cell biology with microbiology, he has been at the forefront of the field called Cellular Microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this area, and publishing over 500 papers (h index=133).  His laboratory studies several pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli, and more recently microbiota.  He is well recognized internationally for his work, and has won several prestigious awards including the E.W.R. Steacie Prize, the CSM Fisher Scientific Award, CSM Roche Award, a MRC Scientist, five Howard Hughes International Research Scholar Awards, a CIHR Distinguished Investigator, BC Biotech Innovation Award, the Michael Smith Health Research Prize, the IDSA Squibb award, the Jacob Biely Prize, the prestigious Canadian Killam Health Sciences Prize, the Flavelle Medal of the Royal Society, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Prix Galien, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, is a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology, Chair d'État, Collège de France and is the UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor.  He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia, and inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.  He is a cofounder of Inimex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Microbiome Insights, scientific cofounder of Vedanta Pharmaceuticals and CommenSe, Director of the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative, and Founding Director and Senior Fellow of CIFAR’s Microbes and Humans.  He is also the co-author of the books Let Them Eat Dirt and The Whole Body Microbiome.

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VIU policy permits refunds only if the withdrawal request is received at least 7 days prior to the start date of an ElderCollege course.  Extenuating circumstances may be considered if the request withdrawal is made later. 

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