Fall 2023 Val Mudryk

Saturday Speakers Series - Fall 2023

Taking Individual Action On Climate Change


Admission Fee:
 $25 per presentation
Time: 10:00 am to Noon
Online Location: Zoom
In-person Location: VIU Parksville Campus (Maximum capacity 50)

Registration is open on Eventbrite!

Environmental Psychology, Climate Change, and the Benefits of Nature

September 9, 2023 from 10:00am to Noon

A discussion of how psychology can address and examine climate change, climate anxiety, and the benefits of nature. 

Eventbrite Registration - ONLINE



Dr. Lindsay McCunn, Professor of psychology at Vancouver Island University

About The Talk:

Over the past two years, the environmental psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has produced resources for the public to understand better how psychology can help to address climate change. Recently, a task force of section members composed a position paper for the CPA to communicate key studies and make recommendations to governments as they include psychology in decision-making. The section also published a Fact Sheet for the CPA to inform the public about climate anxiety. This talk will offer an overview of these two documents before describing a compelling psychological construct that associates with both climate anxiety and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour: sense of place. Dr. McCunn will also discuss some of the latest research found in the body of environmental psychology literature concerning how beneficial nature can be for human mental health.


Dr. Lindsay McCunn is a Professor of psychology at Vancouver Island University and the Director of VIU’s Environmental Psychology Research Lab. She is also the Principal of McCunn & Associates Consulting. Dr. McCunn received her BA, MSc, and PhD at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and earned an additional MSc in applied neuroscience from King’s College London in the UK. Lindsay’s research is published in a number of interdisciplinary journals that merge social science with engineering, sustainability, community planning, health care design, and facilities management. She is the Chair of the environmental psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Chair of the Environmental Design Research Association. She is also the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

How To Avoid More Extreme Climate Change

October 21, 2023 from 10:00am to Noon

Find out the many things that we can do about climate change, individually and as active citizens electing and supporting strong leaders.

Eventbrite Registration - ONLINE



Dr. Jeff Lewis, PhD

About The Talk:

There are many things that we can do about climate change. Individually, we can reduce how much energy we use, make climate friendly decisions about the items we purchase and be conscious about the climate impacts of the food we eat. We can also be active citizens by raising public awareness and electing and supporting strong leaders to implement appropriate actions and policies to avoid more extreme climate change. This presentation will delve deeper into many of the ways that we can take action against climate change, both in our day to day lives and as part of a larger community.


Dr. Jeff Lewis 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.

Climate Action Initiatives: Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

November 18th, 2023 from 10:00am to Noon

Join us to learn about local climate action initiatives happening in the UNESCO-designated Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region.

Eventbrite Registration - ONLINE

Eventbrite Registration - INPERSON



Graham Sakaki

About The Talk:

The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region was designated by UNESCO as a biosphere region in 2000. In this region, there are several local climate action initiatives underway, including coastal plant phenology monitoring and long-range alpine studies. Join Graham as he explores these and other initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving this unique and valuable ecosystem.


After moving from Vancouver to Nanaimo in 2011 to further his education at VIU, Graham has been involved with MABRRI since it was established in 2014. Graham oversees the management of the research institute including partner engagement and project development. Graham is also responsible for securing and administering research funding, financial administration of research grants and service contracts, supervision of staff, resource management, planning, reporting, and knowledge mobilization. His educational background includes a master’s degree in Community Planning, a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Geography and diploma’s in both Forestry and Hospitality.

VIU ElderCollege Update

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