ElderCollege Courses


For personalized registration call 1-866-734-6252.
*registration online and in person are not available at this time

VIU ElderCollege will be offering our fall courses online in response to the ongoing pandemic. Our courses will be offered through Zoom, an online communications tool. This will involve a change in our typical learning environment which could be a daunting thought to many seniors, but is easily doable. In preparation for learning online, we encourage VIU ElderCollege members sign up for your free Zoom account.

All courses will be offered online using the Zoom platform, it is FREE to sign-up.

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Eldercollege Spring 2021

January Session


March Session


May Session

One Day Sessions

Membership Required

Saturday Speakers


Become a VIU ElderCollege member and register for these free presentations while spots are available.

All presentations will be offered online for Spring 2021 via Zoom. 


Call 1-866-734-6252 to register and purchase your membership. Limited spots available so register today!

February 27, 2021FEB 27 SSS

Scientific Basis For Climate Change And Its Causes 

10am to Noon (On Zoom)

ELDJ 004 S21X01

Highlighting recent climate changes and explaining how we know that we are the main cause of present-day climate change.

Presenter: Dr. Jeff Lewis, PhD, MSc, BSc, VIU Professor

About the talk: 

Dr Lewis will provide an overview of the main driving forces that act to change the Earth’s climate and review the latest evidence of present-day climate change, specifically: global surface temperature, sea-level rise, marine acidification, and extreme events, as well as local impacts. Hopefully this will clarify how we know that climate change is occurring and that humans are the main cause of present-day climate change. With that knowledge we are better able to make evidence-based decisions and support appropriate actions and policies to avoid more extreme climate change.

About the presenter: 

Jeff Lewis, PhD, is a faculty member in the geography department at Vancouver Island University (VIU) where he teaches earth and atmospheric sciences. Jeff has expertise working with large scale climate models used to predict past and future climatic trends. He is also a faculty mentor for the awareness of climate change through education and research (ACER) project, a university-based initiative to promote a greater understanding of the science and social implications of climate change to students and the general public throughout Vancouver Island and coastal BC.

March 27, 2021MAR 27 SSS

Climate Change And BC Forestry

10am to Noon (On Zoom)

ELDJ 005 S21Q01

A summary of potential impacts of climate change on BC's forest ecosystems and forestry and a discussion of adaptation strategies.

Presenter: Bill Beese, MF, BS, RPF, VIU Professor

About the talk: 

This presentation will summarize some of the potential impacts of climate change on BC's forest ecosystems and forestry and discuss strategies for adaptation to changes and mitigation of impacts.

About the presenter: 

Bill Beese, MF, RPF, joined the VIU faculty of forestry in 2010. Prior to that Bill spent over 30 years on the BC coast doing research, environmental consulting and policy development in the forest industry. His research interests include silvicultural systems, prescribed burning, forest regeneration and biodiversity.

May 1, 2021MAY 1 SSS

The Effects of Climate Change On Vancouver Island Freshwater Resources

10am to Noon (On Zoom)

ELDJ 006 i21X01

A review of the current state of freshwater resources on Vancouver Island and an examination of how climate change will impact the availability of freshwater in the future.

Presenter: Dr. Alan Gilchrist, PhD, BSc (Hon), PGeo, VIU Professor

About the talk: 

The science of climate change is well known and is now a concern for many Canadians. This presentation will review the current state of freshwater resources on Vancouver Island. Many regions are starting to show signs of stress during the dry months of a typical summer when the natural supply of water is low and human demand is high. Climate change is predicted to influence the dynamics of water flow through the environment and how it replenishes storages that humans use to access freshwater. This will challenge our ability to manage water resources in the future. 

About the presenter: 

ALAN GILCHRIST, PhD, PGeo, is a professor in the Geography Department of Vancouver Island University. He has a BSc (Hons) in geology (1988) from St. Andrews University in the UK and a PhD in earth sciences (1991) from the University of Liverpool in the UK. He immigrated to Canada in 1992, arriving in Halifax, NS, where he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University. He moved west in 1994 to Terrace, BC to teach geography at Northwest Community College and arrived on the Island in 2000. Since then he has taught environmental geography, hydrology, geomorphology and GIS at VIU. 

Alan has also worked as an environmental consultant and is registered as a Professional Geoscientist with Engineers and Geoscientists BC, focusing on terrain assessment in the forest sector and groundwater management.

Alan’s research interests have evolved over his almost 30-year career, but a constant theme has been the study of water, both as an agent of erosion and a resource that needs careful management. His early work studied the erosion of mountain ranges in contrasting plate tectonic settings on passive continental margins and convergent plate margins. He has studied mountains in southern Africa, eastern Australia, Antarctica, the European Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes. As a consultant he has turned his attention to more applied research assessing slope and floodplain stability in coastal BC that has been influenced by forest harvesting. During his time at VIU he has developed an active research program assessing freshwater resources on Vancouver Island and developing tools to help in their management. He was the academic lead on the “Vancouver Island Water Resources Vulnerability Mapping Project” that developed intrinsic groundwater vulnerability maps for all of Vancouver Island. These are being used for water-centric planning to help protect groundwater resources. More recently he has examined the influence of climate change on agricultural crop water requirements in summer supplied by irrigation. His latest project uses GIS and numerical modelling techniques to develop water budgets for several key watersheds around the Island and predict how climate change will impact the water budget in the future.

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