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  • Valerie A Sheppard, PhD Thesis Defence, SAR Faculty of Environment
    10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
    May 7, 2015
    Thesis title: Factors nurturing resilience in resort destination governance. Dr. Peter Williams (Sr. Supervisor) Dr. Alison Gill (Supervisor) Dr. Mark Wexler (Supervisor) Dr. Sean Markey (Internal Examiner) Dr. Pietro Beritelli (External Examiner). Resilience is a concept of growing interest amongst scholars who seek to understand how communities may better adapt to change. From a tourism perspective, the dynamic nature of the industry appears to provide it with an ability to cope with a range of system changes; however, tourism communities are at risk and vulnerable to a variety of shocks (e.g. disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks, tsunamis,) and stressors (e.g. prolonged economic recessions, climate change, changing demographics, et cetera). This research draws upon and applies the socio-ecological resilience (SER) framework developed by Ruiz-Ballesteros (2011) to understand the factors that nurture resilience in sustainability-focused governance systems. It presents the findings from a case study undertaken in the mountain resort community of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. The findings are drawn from 45 key informant interviews, participant observation, and document analysis. This study corroborates past research, which described four sets of socio-ecological systems-based factors that enable or enhance resilience at the community level. However, it extends these findings and offers: 1) new insights related to a set of individually based factors that also appear to shape a resort community’s resilience. This study proposes an extended SER framework reflective of this finding; 2) insights related to how a variety of shocks and stressors affected a resort destination’s sustainability-focused governance system; and, 3) insights into the role of governance actors in enhancing governance and resort community resilience. Overall, the research contributes to the theoretical and applied dimensions of resilience, resort destination governance, shocks and stressors, and sustainable tourism knowledge.
  • Tasnim Alam, MASc Thesis Defense, Mechatronic Systems Engineering
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    May 8, 2015
    Title: Estimation of Chemical Oxygen Demand in Waste Water using UV-VIS Spectroscopy Examining Committee: Dr. Woo Soo Kim (Chair), Dr. Behraad Bahreyni (Senior Supervisor), Dr. Krishna Vijayaraghavan (Supervisor), Dr. Babak Rezania (External Examiner) Location: SFU Surrey Campus, Rm. 5380 Abstract This research aims for a portable system to perform real-time analysis of waste water samples that would significantly improve existing waste water treatment technology. In waste water treatment plant, an important parameter, chemical oxygen demand is needed to be measured. The amount of chemical oxygen demand determines the degree of water pollution by organic material. The conventional method for measuring chemical oxygen demand requires sample preparation and pre-treatment using chemicals. These conventional techniques are time consuming and manual labour oriented. To overcome these problems, a system is developed in this work that offers significant advantages over conventional methods. The system employs ultraviolet and visible spectrometer in order to correlate the absorbance of light after it passes through a waste water sample with the conception of the target chemical. The spectrometer limits the use and disposal of chemicals for the measurement of chemical oxygen demand. In addition, a software system is developed to control the spectrometer and to detect the most sensitive spectral region and wavelength for chemical oxygen demand content. Moreover, an algorithm is introduced by performing linear regression analysis on acquired concentration and light absorbance from the acquired spectra. The development and validation of this spectroscopic tool and software system are described in this thesis.
  • Kathleen Foreman, MA Defence, Sociology & Anthropology
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    May 11, 2015
    Title: Navigating Income Assistance: An Ethnography of PWD (Persons With Disabilities) and PPMB (Persons With Persistent multiple Barriers) Applications. Abstract: This participatory ethnography examines the experiences of four women and one of their male partners living in British Columbia who have navigated applications for Income Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (PWD). I was inspired to do this research after hearing of the complexities of PWD applications while working in social justice organizations. Research methods included co-created ethnographic conversations, participant observation, and document analysis. Influenced by partial, positioned feminist epistemologies and the research participants’ analyses, findings are connected to literature from anthropology and critical disability studies. Research participants endured and critiqued the dominating neoliberal ideology of Income Assistance through skilled agentive negotiations of ableist bureaucratic processes; however, these experiences also impacted their sense of self and their relationships to their disabilities and other people in consequential ways. This thesis closes by discussing participants’ suggestions for providing service not dominated by neoliberal ideology and that could be more effectively navigated by claimants. Examining Committee: Senior Supervisor: Dr. Dara Culhane Supervisor: Dr. Parin Dossa External Examiner: Dr. Nicole Berry, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU Locat ion: AQ 5067 Ellen Gee Common Room Burnaby Campus
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  • SFU Private Awards 2015 May 01, 2015
    Due in large part to the generosity of our donors, Simon Fraser University can offer a number of private or endowed awards totalling over $1 million to our graduate students.

  • Graduate Students Fundraising for Nepal April 29, 2015
    Our graduate students have been personally touched by the huge earthquake in Nepal.