Thanksgiving Peril UBC Public Affairs University of British Columbia by alicejenny


									                                                                                                                                            UBC REPORTS | OCTOBER 5, 2006 | 

THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA                                                                         VOLUME 52 | NUMBER 10 | OCTOBER 5, 2006

                         UBC REPORTS
   2 UBC IN THE NEWS                   3 WINE DEFECTS                 4 SIM MAN               5 GINAS, THUGS AND GANGSTAS                         7 RETIREES AND POVERTY

                                                    Thanksgiving Peril
                                           Researchers Talk Turkey About Your Food Choices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   P H OTO : T R I S TA N P OY S E R
This Thanksgiving, UBC food experts explore the pros and cons of organic and conventionally farmed turkeys.

Anyone who has ever feasted a little too heartily at Thanksgiving knows some of the           Prof. Art Bomke of UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems (FLFS) says the choices we
uncomfortable implications of the food choices we make.                                     make at the checkout relate to everything from global warming to avian flu and livestock
  But UBC researchers say the digestive perils of one too many drumsticks pale in           welfare. “There are global implications to the decisions we make with our food dollars,”
comparison to the consequences of the food choices consumers make in the grocery aisle.     he says.
                                                                                                                                                                    continued on page 3

          Household Items May Pose Danger During Pregnancy
BY HILARY THOMSON                                                                                                                                                            controls metabolism and keeps
                                                                                                                                                                             basic functions such as body
What do popcorn bags, frying                                                                                                                                                 temperature, blood pressure and
pans and mattresses have in                                                                                                                                                  energy levels working properly.
common?                                                                                                                                                                         It is known that thyroid
   Chemicals contained in these                                                                                                                                              disruption in early pregnancy
and other common household                                                                                                                                                   can result in neurological
items may affect maternal                                                                                                                                                    damage in babies, but the
thyroid function and may                                                                                                                                                     mechanism — including any
lead to impaired fetal brain                                                                                                                                                 negative environmental factors
development, according to PhD                                                                                                                                                — is not known. Although there
candidate Glenys Webster, of                                                                                                                                                 are no known human health
UBC’s School of Occupational                                                                                                                                                 risks from common levels of
and Environmental Hygiene.                                                                                                                                                   PBDEs and PFCs, very few
   Webster is leading an                                                                                                                                                     studies have been conducted in
investigation into the effects                                                                                                                                               humans, says Webster, so at this
of polybrominated diphenyl                                                                                                                                                   point nothing is conclusive.
ethers (PBDEs), chemicals that                                                                                                                                                  She suspects the chemicals
are used as flame-retardants,                                                                                                                                                may put additional stress on
and perfluroinated compounds                                                                                                                                                 the thyroid system. Animal and
(PFCs), used as stain or water                                                                                                                                               laboratory studies have shown
repellents. The chemicals                                                                                                                                                    that certain PBDEs can mimic
are found at low levels in all                                                                                                                                               thyroid hormones and bind to a
Canadians. They leach out of                                                                                                                                                 transport protein that sends the
many products, can last for a                                                                                                                                                damaging “imposter” hormone
                                                                                                                                                  P H OTO : MA R T IN D EE

long time in both indoor and                                                                                                                                                 from the mother to the fetus,
outdoor environments, and                                                                                                                                                    possibly directly to the brain.
accumulate in both animals and                                                                                                                                                   “Until recently, we didn’t have
humans via dust, foods and air.                                                                                                                                              the analytical methods we need
   Called the Chemical, Health       Chemicals found in household items such as non-stick cookware and flame-retardant furnishings may affect                                to measure low levels of these
and Pregnancy study (CHirP),         fetal brain development.                                                                                                                chemicals and study effects on
Webster believes it is one of                                                                                                                                                human health,” says Webster,
the first such studies in the        Women’s Hospital & Health               Animal studies have shown          fetal development. A butterfly-                              whose previous research focused
world. She is collaborating          Centre, Health Canada, and the        that certain PBDEs interfere with    shaped gland in the lower front                              on environmental toxicology
with investigators from BC           University of Alberta.                the thyroid system, critical to      part of the neck, the thyroid                                and looking at how chemicals
                                                                                                                                                                                           continued on page 7
2danielson E ad_final.qxdT O 9/28/05 2 0 2:50
  | UBC R PORTS | OC         BER 5,      06                 PM        Page 1

                                RETIRING WITHIN                                                                                             IN THE NEWS
                                FIVE YEARS?                                                                Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in September 2006. COMPILED BY BASIL WAUGH
                                Want to plan ahead?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fishing boats now have to pursue
                                • Retirement and estate planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  smaller prey, often lower on the
                                • UBC pension expertise                                                                                                                                                           food chain.
                                • Complimentary consultations for                                                                                                                                                    “We are eating bait and
                                  UBC faculty & staff                                                                                                                                                             moving on to jellyfish and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  plankton,” says Pauly.
           Don Proteau          “Frank and Don made me feel very comfortable
           BComm, CFP           with their advice and long-range planning. Their
           Senior Financial                                                                                                                                                                                       UBC United Way Looks
                                knowledge of the faculty pension plan is also a plus
           Planner                                                                                                                                                                                                to Grow
           Assante Financial    for UBC professors.”

                                                                                                                                                                                     P H OTO : M A R TI N D E E
           Management Ltd.                                                                                                                                                                                        The UBC United Way Committee
                                                                    Dr. J.H. McNeill,
                                 Professor Emeritus, Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC                                                                                                                                 has set an aggressive target
            Frank Danielson                                                                                                                                                                                       this year, seeking to improving
            BEd, CFP                                                                                                                                                                                              campus-wide participation with
            Senior Financial    Call or email today for a complimentary                                UBC fisheries expert Daniel Pauly says overfishing is causing global                                       at least 100 new donors and
            Assante Financial   retirement analysis!                                                   fishers to target prey lower down the food chain.                                                          increasing UBC’s United Way
            Management Ltd.                                                                                                                                                                                       dollars by seven per cent over
                                                                                                       UBC Prof. Exposes U.S.                    and the Halifax Daily News,                                      last year.
  (604) 638-0335 • •                                       Congress ‘Misinformation’                 reported that UBC Zoology                                           The United Way Committee
                                                                                                       Research by UBC political                 Prof. Sarah Otto has determined                                  and all its volunteers weclome
                                             The Assante symbol and Assante Wealth Management
                                                                                                       scientist Paul Quirk has U.S.             scientifically what most people                                  Andrew Parr, Director of UBC
                                           are trademarks of Assante Corporation, used under license
                                                                                                       media outlets questioning                 have discovered through trial                                    Food Services, as the 2006
                                                                                                       the truthfulness of some U.S.             and error – that by and large sex                                United Way Campaign Chair.
                                                                                                       Congress members.                         is good for us.                                                  Andrew, along with dozens of
                                                                                                          Associated Press, Washington              Previous evolutionary                                         other dedicated volunteers, will
                                                                                                       Post, Chicago Tribune, and the            theories – typically based on                                    be putting in many extra hours
                                                                                                       DesMoines Register all cited              the assumption of an infinite                                    this fall as they help UBC reach
                                                                                                       Quirk’s new book Deliberative             population – have failed to                                      its campaign goal.
                                                                                                       Choices: Debating Public Policy           find a clear role for sexual                                        “We want to continue to
                                                                                                       in Congress, which says U.S.              reproduction in evolution.                                       grow UBC’s campaign this year
                                                                                                       Congress members tell the truth              In a research paper published                                 through increasing campus-wide
                                                                                                       only about a quarter of the time          in the journal Nature, Otto and                                  participation and awareness,”
                                                                                                       when debating major legislation           a co-author from the University                                  says Parr. “We are planning to
                                                                                                       in the House and Senate.                  of Edinburgh explain that in real                                do this through growing our
                                                                                                          Using debate transcripts,              populations – which are never                                    already successful special events
                                                                                                       Quirk and a Temple University             infinitely large – reproduction                                  and presentations in some very
                                                                                                       colleague found claims made               through sex breaks apart                                         supportive environments. Even
                                                                                                       in only 11 of 43 major debates            harmful mutations and creates                                    though this campaign is already
                                                                                                       between 1995-2000 were                    new gene combinations, giving                                    one of the largest in the Lower
                                                                                                       largely substantiated by facts.           species better adaptability.                                     Mainland, our potential for
                                                                                                       They characterized 16 claims as                                                                            exponential growth is really
                                                                                                       unsubstantiated, and another              Jellyfish Sandwiches?                                            exciting.”
                                                                                                       16 as an artful mix of fact and           Daniel Pauly, a UBC professor                                       As an organization committed
                                                                                                       fiction.                                  and one of the world’s                                           to the community, the United
                                                                                                          “Dumb or dishonest?” one               leading fisheries conservation                                   Way embodies the values of
                                                                                                       editorial board wrote in response         researchers, comments in an                                      community involvement and
                                                                                                       to Quirk’s findings. “Either way,         article in the L.A. Times and the                                social responsibility that Trek
                                                                                                       it’s unsettling that Congress             Edmonton Journal on the state                                    2010 promotes, says Eilis
                                                                                                       apparently runs the country on            of global fish stocks.                                           Courtney, Senior Coordinator
                                                                                                       misinformation.”                             Pauly’s research shows that                                   for UBC United Way.
                                                                                                                                                 annual global fish catches have                                     For more information about
                                                                                                       Sex is Good for Evolution: UBC            been declining since the late                                    this year’s campaign, contact
                                                                                                       Researcher                                1980s, and the number of big                                     Kate Petrusa, Campaign
                                                                                                       Most major Canadian dailies,              fish, such as tuna, swordfish and                                Coordinator at 604 822-8929
                                                                                                       including the National Post,              cod, has dropped 90 per cent                                     or or visit
                                                                                                       Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald             over the last 50 years. He says                        

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TURKEYS continued from page 1
                                                                           approach,” says Sipos. “On one
   To those looking to prepare a     like pesticides, antibiotics, and
                                                                           hand, governments and local
people- and planet-friendly feast    hormones.”
                                                                           producers must do a better job
this Thanksgiving, Bomke and            Another reason, she says, is
                                                                           to communicate the benefits of
FLFS graduate students Liska         the “ethical” question of access
                                                                           buying locally. But people also
Richer and Yona Sipos offer two      to the outdoors. Organic turkeys
                                                                           need to make it a priority to             The UniversiTy of BriTish ColUmBia and The UBC alUmni affairs presenT
key questions, plus some                           are much more                                                     12th AnnuAl uBC Alumni AChievement AwArds
                                                                           know where their food is from,
philosophical advice.                                  likely to be free
                                                                           which means reading signs and
    “There are two                                        range — given
                                                                           labels, and if they are not clear,
simple questions                                            access to
                                                                           asking clerks.”
everyone should                                              outdoor
be asking of their                                           pastures —    Back Yard Successes
                                                             than their
                                                                                                                                 Join us for an evening of illumination...
food: where does                                                           Sipos names the growing 100-                  Celebrate the achievements of outstanding alumni in our community
it come from, and                                                          Mile Diet movement, where                                                       •
                                                           conventional                                             Experience UBC’s new award winning research facility, the Life Sciences Centre
how was it grown?”                                                         participants live on food and                                                   •
says Richer. “After                                       counterparts,    drink from within 100 miles
                                                                                                                                 Meet new UBC president, Professor Stephen Toope
that, it is a matter of                                 which typically    of their home, as evidence that                             Help raise funds for student scholarships
choosing the products that                          live indoors.          Canadians are thinking more                                       thursdAy, novemBer 2, 2006
reflect your personal values,                   Bomke says shopping        about eating locally. The diet’s                                      life sCienCes Centre
which hopefully are connected to     organically does come with a          co-creator, Vancouverite James                                  2350 Health Sciences Mall, UBC Campus
the communities you live in.”        tradeoff, however. “The cost to                                                                                 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM
                                                                           MacKinnon, recently came to
                                     the consumer tends to be higher,                                                                         host for the evening
                                                                           UBC to share his experiences                              Randene Neill, BA’91, Anchor, Reporter, Global BC
Organic Vs. Conventionally           mainly because organic farms          with Sipos and her fellow FLFS
Farmed Turkeys                       lack the scale and efficiencies       students.
While many consider turkey           of conventional farms. So there          Bomke and Richer also
dinner the ultimate comfort          is a price to shopping this           applaud the UBC Food System
food, Bomke says there is            way — although it will vary                                                     tiCkets: $150, table of ten $1,500      Early bird by October 6: $135, table of ten $1,350
                                                                           Project as an example of an
much about conventional              from grocery store to farmers’                                                                               order tiCkets / rsvp
                                                                           institutional commitment to
turkey farming to make people        market.”                                                                    ONliNE: EMAil: PHONE: 604.822.1407 800.883.3088
                                                                           sustainable food decisions.
                                                                           Now in its sixth year, the
   A major concern about these       The Food Miles Factor                                                                         UBC Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research
                                                                           initiative brings together UBC
farms is the use of antibiotics      In most major Canadian cities,
                                                                           students, faculty, and staff to
in feed, which Bomke says has        Richer says, shoppers will
                                                                           brainstorm ways of increasing
significant implications for the     find traditional Thanksgiving
health of poultry flocks and         fixings from both local and
                                                                           the sustainability of UBC’s food                  MUR Program                                      MUR Conference
                                                                           system, from production to            MURP is a voluntary, non-credit program
surrounding farmlands.               international sources. “In                                                  designed to support undergraduate students                       March 2007
                                                                           waste management.
   “The intention is to keep         Vancouver, you can find Fraser                                              in research. In order to participate, you must             Location: SUB Ballroom
                                                                              Richer says that during the        be working on an original research project
the birds healthy, but with          Valley vegetables from less than                                            under the guidance of a faculty supervisor         Make your project count for more than just
                                                                           project, UBC Food Services has
systematic antibiotic use            150 km away, side-by-side with                                              during the regularly scheduled academic            a grade... present it at the next Multidisci-
                                                                           introduced free-range eggs, local     year. The research may be a directed studies,      plinary Undergraduate Research Confer-
there is concern that — like         goods from Idaho, California,                                               honours thesis, workstudy, co-op or volunteer
                                                                           UBC Farm organic salad greens                                                            ence and make it count toward your future.
in humans — pathogens will           Mexico — places that are 1,000,                                             project.
                                                                           and herbs, and most recently fair                                                        The Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Re-
mutate and become resistant to       2,500 km away.”                                                             Through focused workshops on library research;     search Conference celebrates the contribu-
                                                                           trade coffee; the Alma Mater          hypothesis and research question development;
medications,” says Bomke. “The          Her advice in this situation                                                                                                tions of undergraduate research at UBC. It
                                                                           Society has introduced an ethical     study design; and scholarly writing and presen-
spread of avian diseases is, of                                                                                                                                     provides an opportunity for students from
                                     is simple: “Go local.” She says                                             tation, you will learn more about how to conduct
                                                                           purchasing policy and purchases       research.                                          across campus to present a research project
course, the big fear.”               locally grown food is fresher                                                                                                  they have been working on while engag-
                                                                           UBC farm products whenever            Additional benefits include developing a           ing in scholarly debate amongst each other.
   The build-up of turkey            than imports, better for the
                                                                           possible; and UBC Waste               continuing relationship with a faculty mem-
antibiotics in manure is another     local economy, and — with less                                              ber, having the opportunity to present your        Participation in the conference is on a voluntary
                                                                           Management has implemented            work at UBC’s annual Multidisciplinary             basis. It is open to all undergraduates interested
major concern with this practice,    distance to travel — has the
                                                                           a Get Caught Composting               Undergraduate Research Conference, and             in presenting their research. Presentations and
says Bromke, who recently            major environmental advantage                                               enhancing your professional and academic           posters will be judged by a panel of graduate
                                                                           Campaign, where volunteers            credentials.                                       students, and prizes will be presented at the end
initiated a research project on      of reduced fuel use and thus
                                                                           stake out campus compost                                                                 of the conference.
the issue. “What happens when        fewer global warming-causing                                                Applications are due by October 10th, 2006.
                                                                           bins and reward people caught         The orientation session for registered MURP
this manure is used to grow          carbon-emissions.                                                           students will take place on October 19th, 2006,     MURC - Where Great Minds Meet.
                                                                           composting regularly.                 from 4:30 to 6:30pm.
other crops?” How long do               Richer says most North
                                                                              Another major opportunity                      www.                    
antibiotics last? These questions    Americans would be shocked to
                                                                           to spread the word about eating                                
need to be asked.”                   learn that the average products’
                                                                           locally and organically is the                                Sonja Embree, Coordinator
   Sipos says the desire for         food miles — the total distance
                                                                           UBC Sustainability Fair on            Office of the Vice President Research ~ Rm. 101, 6190 Agronomy Road
non-medicated food is a chief        from farm to plate — is now                                                 Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z3           Tel: 604-822-4919    Fax: 604-827-5356
                                                                           Oct. 18, says Richer. Hosted by
reason people gravitate towards      between 2,500 and 4,000
                                                                           faculty, staff, students, and other
organic fare. “There are some        kilometres, according to the
                                                                           organizations, she says the event
questions about what organic         World Watch Institute, a 25
                                                                           will help to raise awareness
means, but mainly people who         percent increase from 1980.
                                                                           and participation in campus
chose organics are motivated            Reversing this trend requires
                                                                           sustainability initiatives.
by the desire to avoid things        a “top-down, bottom-up

Researchers Sniff Out Causes of Wine Aroma Defects
Is there wine on the table this Thanksgiving?
Winemakers agonize over their vintages, patiently
tending them along the path to perfection. Now they
are enlisting the help of science to bolster their craft.
BY BUD MORTENSON                     Park fire provided ample
                                     opportunity for additional
Chemistry researchers at UBC         ‘seasoning’ of the grapes,”
Okanagan – in the heart of B.C.’s    says Nigel Eggers, Associate
wine country – have embarked         Professor of Chemistry with
on North America’s first large-      the Irving K. Barber School of
scale examination of how             Arts and Sciences. “Forest fires
contaminants such as unwanted        are known to produce phenols
yeasts and forest fire smoke can     and guaiacols from the burning
affect the aroma of wines.           of lignins in trees, and these
   Each year about 98 per cent       chemicals can impart a smokey,
of British Columbia’s 17,000         burnt smell to nearby fruit.”
tonnes of wine grapes are               Eggers and post-doctoral
grown in the sunny, vineyard-        research fellow Sierra Rayne
rich Okanagan Valley. With           have synthesized versions of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         P H OTO : B U D MO R T E NS O N

more than 60 wineries taking         the compounds known to
advantage of such abundance,         occur in smoke. Along with
the region is an ideal place to      some innovative lab and field-
study issues that affect grape and   based ‘burning’ experiments
wine production.                     on fir, pine, and other native
   “Certainly the 2003 season        Okanagan trees and grasses,           UBC Okanagan researchers Sierra Rayne, left, and Nigel Eggers sampled from oak barrels at 10 Okanagan
with the Okanagan Mountain           they are using new instruments        Valley wineries this summer as part of their research into yeast and smoke-induced wine aromas.
                                                   continued on page 7

Nursing                                                                                                                                                                                patient simulation.

for                                                                                                                                                                                       “This is a powerful learning
                                                                                                                                                                                       tool because it is so dynamic
                                                                                                                                                                                       and interactive,” says Garrett.

Dummies                                                                                                                                                                                “What students learn from the
                                                                                                                                                                                       mannequin stays with them – it’s
                                                                                                                                                                                       an immersive experience.”
BY HILARY THOMSON                                                                                                                                                                         Previously, students have
                                                                                                                                                                                       practiced using immobile, rigid
A high-class dummy has moved                                                                                                                                                           mannequins and instructors
into the School of Nursing and                                                                                                                                                         would describe patients’
he’s proving to be Mr. Popularity.                                                                                                                                                     responses to their actions or
   He is SimMan™, a life-sized                                                                                                                                                         what the students should hear
computerized patient simulator                                                                                                                                                         through their stethoscopes or feel
that breathes, talks, and has a                                                                                                                                                        when taking a pulse.
pulse and blood pressure. School                                                                                                                                                          “You can watch patients
of Nursing Asst. Prof. Bernie                                                                                                                                                          suffering from pneumonia,
Garrett spearheaded efforts to                                                                                                                                                         arrhythmia or cardiac arrest on
purchase two of the $50,000                                                                                                                                                            TV, or listen to your professor
simulators, now dubbed Gordon                                                                                                                                                          lecture in class, but the
and Harry.                                                                                                                                                                             opportunity to practice my skills
   “Our goal is to improve the                                                                                                                                                         on a “patient” exhibiting those

                                                                                                                                                          P H OTO : M A R TI N D E E
student experience so they are                                                                                                                                                         symptoms is valuable and rare,”
better prepared for practice,”                                                                                                                                                         says third-year Nursing student
says Garrett, who joined the                                                                                                                                                           Jenny Szeto.
School of Nursing in 2003 and                                                                                                                                                             Despite his popularity,
has a research background in           Third-year Nursing student, Kelvin Bei, checks vital signs on a computerized patient simulator.                                                 SimMan™ will not replace
educational technology. “The                                                                                                                                                           actual clinical experience, says
mannequin also allows for                                                                                                                                                              Garrett.
consistency in the instruction         male and female genitalia              lifelike enough to respond to          as anaphylactic shock or a                                           “Even though simulations
and a standardized learning            for catheterization training;          physical cues. For example, the        punctured lung – that students                                    boost skills and confidence,
experience.”                           an airway system that can              mannequin can stop breathing or        may not have encountered                                          students have to work with
   There is growing interest           mimic complications such as            exhibit a weak pulse – with vital      working with real patients.                                       real patients to experience the
in using high-fidelity teaching        tongue swelling or spasm of            signs displayed on an adjacent         Videotaping students’ work and                                    unpredictability of dealing with
mannequins, says Garrett, who          the larynx; and pliable skin           computer monitor. When                 being able to precisely reproduce                                 a person, their reaction to care,
believes the School of Nursing is      for injection practice. It can         students resuscitate the patient,      teaching scenarios allows                                         the input of family members or
at the forefront among Canadian        describe its symptoms through          the mannequin starts breathing         instructors and students to better                                unforeseen crises,” he says.
schools for interactive learning       pre-programmed vocalizations or        normally, pulse gets stronger and      analyze and improve skill levels.                                    Garrett will be evaluating the
technologies.                          instructors can record their own       improvements are displayed on          In addition, teaching sessions can                                simulators this year with both
   The mannequin is almost             script.                                the monitor.                           be filmed and streamed to the                                     undergraduate and graduate
creepy in its lifelike qualities: it     An entire multi-faceted clinical        The simulator can also be           Internet for further review, and                                  students.
can moan, wheeze and simulate          scenario can be programmed             programmed to reproduce                instructors can employ problem-
vomiting; has interchangeable          into the simulator, and it is          emergency conditions – such            based learning strategies using

                                                                                                         Ov e r 7 0 % S ol d
                                                                                                         Stirling House is the newest addition to Chancellor Place on
                                                                                                         the grounds of UBC – and there are few better places to live. It’s
                                                                                                         not just the views, which are stunning, but it’s also that you are
                                                                                                         in proximity to world-class schools, restaurants, and shopping.

                                                                                                         Stirling House is surrounded by hundreds of hectares of parkland,

                                                                                                         and yet is just a few minutes drive to downtown.

                                                                                                         2 Bedroom Apartment Homes from $654,900
                                                                                                         3 Bedroom Cityhomes from $819,900
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Prices correct at press time. E. & O.E

                                                                                                         1716 Theology Mall (at Chancellor Blvd)

                                                                                                         Open Daily Noon – 5pm (Except Fridays)
                                                                                                                                            UBC REPORTS | OCTOBER 5, 2006 | 5

                                                                                                                                                                                            P H OTO : M A R TI N D E E
Jo-Anne Dillabough handed out disposable cameras and asked students to document their neighborhood — an inner-city housing project.

“Ginas,” “Thugs” and “Gangstas”:
Two-Year Study of Vancouver, Toronto Youth Subcultures                                                         to develop critical analysis
                                                                                                               through visual projects that
                                                                                                                                                     more difficult to rise above cycles
                                                                                                                                                     of poverty and social despair.
                                                                                                               include: media and film analysis;        “One in five families live below
BY LORRAINE CHAN                     race and class protection.”          or would have had more secure        photography; self-portraits; and      the poverty line in large Canadian
                                        A sociologist, Dillabough         employment options.”                 future employment images and          cities,” she says. “Immigrant
Everyone at this inner-city          studies the impact of                   She says there’s an urgent        time-lines.                           and asylum-seeking youth are
Toronto high school knows them       globalization on youth               need for post-industrial societies      “This provides a forum for         often the ones who face the most
as the “Gangstas” for their taste    subcultures. Her recently            like Canada to provide viable        young people to address topics        difficult economic challenges.”
in baggy trousers, rap music,        published paper, “Ginas,”            education and support to young       like citizenship, immigration,           As well, Dillabough says there’s
chains and tattoos – distinct        “Thugs,” and “Gangstas”:             people who are buffeted by the       security, identity and belonging,”    a strong move worldwide to
from “Ginos,” who prefer tight       Young People’s Struggles to          forces of a globalized economy       explains Dillabough, “and             focus on education standards
clothes, dance music and hair gel.   Become Somebody in Working-          that favours the middle class,       to stop blaming themselves            through literacy tests and school
   Over on Vancouver’s Eastside,     Class Urban Canada, details the      particularly knowledge-based         as failures when we’re really         assessments. “With so many
a similar but different scene        2001-03 ethnographic findings        workers.                             looking at systemic failure.”         cuts to the support structure of
plays out at a high school           of her research with Grade 9 and        By gaining an inside view of         In one assignment, she             schools, many marginalized, low-
where one of the main groups is      10 students in Vancouver and         these subcultures, Dillabough        handed out disposable cameras         income students can’t compete
sometimes called the “Hardcore       Toronto.                             says teachers and policy makers      so students could document            equally with their middle class
Asians.” Despite their name,            Dillabough has won further        can tackle the streaming that        their neighborhood – a Toronto        peers.”
the members nonetheless allow        funding from Canada’s Social         occurs now where certain             housing project.
some non-Asians to join their        Sciences and Humanities              students or even entire schools         “Some young people said they
ranks and have a reputation for      Research Council to expand           get labelled low- or non-            couldn’t see themselves living
defending kids against racist        her study to include inner-city      achieving. As well, she says it’s    anywhere else because at least
bullying.                            schools in Melbourne, Australia      vital to address the forms of peer   they wouldn’t feel out of place
   “These kids are creating these    and Hackney, London’s poorest        conflict students face in urban      like they might in a middle-class
identities and groups as a way       borough.                             inner-city schools around flash      neighbourhood. Others talked
to survive,” says Assoc. Prof. Jo-      “The more educators can           points of race, class, sexuality,    about the shame they felt about
Anne Dillabough in the Faculty       respect and understand why           gender and global change.            living in public projects, or the
of Education.                        these youth subcultures and             “One way to reduce tensions       fact that police would never
   She observes that subcultures     social rituals exist, the more       among youth subcultures is           answer an emergency call.”
are present in all economic          they’re likely to make school        by providing students a means           She says 20 years of cuts to
classes, but the conflict and        relevant and meaningful to           to incorporate their lived           educational and social programs
tensions are more substantially      young people’s lives.”               experiences in our strategies to     in Ontario – with similar belt
felt among youth living in lower-       Dillabough says when              engage them,” she says. “Even        tightening in B.C. over the past
income neighborhoods.                she interviewed the Toronto          more importantly, provincial         10 years – have taken their toll.
   “Some girls feel pressure to      students, few were certain           and federal governments need         There are fewer dollars going
take on an identity of toughness     they would see high school           to respond in concrete ways to       toward family support, social
to accrue power because they         graduation. “That’s worrisome        the rising poverty among young       assistance and programs such as
feel they don’t have any. In some    because a few generations ago,       people.”                             subsidized housing. Many school
cases, if a young person takes on    in an industrial labour market,         As part of the study,             and community programs to
a ‘gangsta’ persona, it may be for   these young people would have        Dillabough invites students          support youth have disappeared,
reasons concerning the need for      very likely found labouring jobs     to express themselves and            while their families are finding it

       UBC Annual General Meeting – 01 November 2006 12:00 -1pm. Featuring guest speaker Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman

       WITHOUT                                                                                                 BORDERS
       The AGM will be webcast live at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. For more information and locations please visit:

  ubcr.agm-ad22sep06.indd 2                                                                                                                                            9/27/06 9:50:53 AM

                                                                         Retirees Risk Falling into Poverty

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          18 years of Excellence        
          1950 West Broadway                          604-731-7868
                                                                        Economist Kevin Milligan looks at how aging people make financial decisions upon their transition from work
          Open 7 Days      Mon-Fri 8am-9pm          Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
                                                                        to retirement.

                                                                        BY NICK MELLING                        The research will also probe        inconvenience, but are not fatal
                                                                                                             how health-related shocks, such       or seriously debilitating.
                                                                        Economic theories frequently         as an immobilizing illness or the        The second part of the project
                                                                        refer to the “rational man,” or      death of a spouse, will influence     will analyze the general patterns
                                                                        homo economicus.                     the way people manage their           of income and consumption
                                                                          But what happens when this         wealth and assets.                    among people who are about to
                                                                        rational man or woman gets             The project may help to             retire or have recently done so.
                                                                        old, retires and begins to draw a    shed light on two competing              Milligan says, people in this
                                                                        pension? As his or her income,       theories about how people             category run the risk of falling
                                                                        health and lifestyle change, how     make economic decisions: the          into poverty once they stop
                                                                        will he or she adjust saving and     so-called “Lifecycle Model,”          working. This is particularly true
                                                                        spending habits?                     which takes the view that             for those who retire before the
                                                                          And, for that matter, is this      people are essentially rational       age of 65 and are not yet eligible
                                                                        man or woman even so rational        and forward-looking, and the          to receive their government
                                                                        to begin with?                       “Behavioural Model,” which            pensions.
                                                                          These are the questions that       argues that people are more              But even establishing the rate
                                                                        Asst. Prof. Kevin Milligan is        heavily influenced by immediate       of poverty in these circumstances
                                                                        aiming to answer. Armed with         concerns.                             is not a clear-cut process,
                                                                        a grant of $58,309 from the            Milligan’s data for both            given that there are at least
                                                                        Social Sciences and Humanities       projects will be drawn from a         two ways of measuring it. The

                                                                         It’s kind of weird to say I want to spend three years studying
                                                                         ages 2, 3, and 4, but that’s exactly what I want to do.
                                                                        Research Council of Canada           Statistics Canada survey and          usual method for determining
                                                                        (SSHRC), Milligan looks to           a U.S. Health and Retirement          poverty is to look at income and
                                                                        find out what factors guide the      Study from the University of          to designate a certain revenue
                                                                        economic decisions of aging          Michigan.                             threshold as the poverty line.
                                                                        people in Canada and the United         His first task will be to study       However, some economists
                                                                        States, especially during the        the link between health and fiscal    have made the argument that
                                                                        transition to retirement from        decision-making. As Milligan          what matters most for assessing
                                                                        work.                                notes, this is a topic that has       quality of life at the end of
                                                                           “It’s kind of weird to say        been examined before and              the day is not income but
                                                                        I want to spend three years          his research will be guided by        consumption, since spending will
                                                                        studying ages 62, 63, and 64,        previous observations.                not always be proportional to
                                                                        but that’s exactly what I want          “For example, one of the           people’s incomes.
                                                                        to do,” says Milligan, who has       benchmark findings is that               Interestingly, this seems to be
                                                                        been a member of the Economics       people will very rarely sell their    exactly what is going on with
                                                                        Department since 2001.               house unless there’s a severe         60-65 year-olds in Canada,
                                                                           Milligan says he hopes his        health shock to the family,” he       according to Milligan’s previous
                                                                        research will provide economists     says.                                 research.
                                                                        and governments valuable                “We’ll look at these different        Though there is a spike in
                                                                        information about this pivotal       possible hypotheses as to why,”       income-based poverty among
                                                                        stage of life. The elderly are       he says. “Is it financial need, is    this demographic group, the
                                                                        one of the most economically         it physical need, is it emotional     consumption-based poverty rate
                                                                        vulnerable groups in society,        need?”                                stays largely constant.
                                                                        he says, largely because most           A severe shock, according             Such a trend, suggests
                                                                        of their economic decisions lie      to Milligan, generally means          Milligan, would on the surface
                                                                        behind them.                         either the death of one spouse        seem to support the forward-
                                                                           Milligan will examine how         or a sudden need for full-time        thinking “Lifecycle Model” of
                                                                        people prepare – or don’t            care. But there is also the matter    human economic behaviour:
                                                                        prepare – for retirement, in terms   of less pronounced traumas            people plan ahead, save money
                                                                        of their income and consumption      – injuries and illnesses that         and are thus able to maintain
                                                                        patterns.                            may cause discomfort and              their lifestyles even when their
                                                                                                                                                                   continued on page 7
                                                                                                                                                 UBC REPORTS | OCTOBER 5, 2006 | 7

HOUSEHOLD continued from page 1

move through the environment.         and a sample of umbilical             Vancouver mothers’ breast milk
“There is considerable new            cord blood will be collected at       increased approximately 15-fold
interest among scientists to start    delivery. Levels of both groups       from 1992-2002, but are still
looking at human health effects,      of chemicals won’t be analyzed        lower than levels found in certain
and governments, including            until all 150 subjects have been      areas of the US. Canada has this
Canada’s, are now making              recruited.                            year prohibited the importation
decisions about regulating these         In humans, accumulation rates      of certain chemicals that turn into
chemicals.”                           and toxicity relative to exposure     PFCs.
   Researchers will enroll 150        levels are not well understood. It       Should expectant mothers be
pregnant women for the study,         is known that PFCs are some of        alarmed?
which was launched last month         the most persistent compounds            “We’re not expecting to see
and will extend to September          known, and the half-life of           dramatic changes here – the
2008. Participants will be asked,     PBDEs in human tissues ranges         effects, if any, will be subtle but
during in-home surveys, about         from approximately 15 days            may still be important, and
exposures to PBDEs found in           to six years. However, fast-          show a trend that should be
mattresses, furniture foam,           degrading PBDEs don’t actually        monitored,” says Webster. “I think
plastic casing of electronic          “clear” the body after two            it’s important to start looking
equipment such as TVs and             weeks. They transform into            at connections so we can take
computers, and other household        slower degrading chemicals and        precautionary measures, if needed.
goods. The women will also            persist. A puzzling factor is that    Even if effects are subtle, because
be asked about exposure to            age doesn’t necessarily affect        virtually everyone is exposed to
PFCs via products ranging from        PBDE accumulation.                    these chemicals, any small effects
microwavable popcorn bags to             In North America, PBDE levels      may still represent a public health
non-stick cookware coatings and       in humans are approximately           concern.”
self-cleaning ovens.                  10-100 times higher than levels          For more information about the
   Levels of PBDEs and PFCs           found in Europe or Japan,             study, visit
will be measured in the air, dust     according to a review of PBDE            BC Women’s Hospital &
and dryer lint in homes. Also,        levels in humans conducted            Health Centre is an agency of
maternal blood samples will           in 2004. Health Canada                the Provincial Health Services
be collected in mid-pregnancy         data showed PBDE levels in            Authority.

WINE continued from page 3

to better understand the sources,     notes that by causing aroma           survey for Brett defects in wines,
distribution, and levels of these     defects in wine, the yeast has        and will indicate whether the
smoke-related compounds in            become a bane to winemakers in        rigorous hygiene practiced in
local grapes and wines.               many parts of the world.              Okanagan wineries is holding off
   Eggers has received nearly            “We’re collecting nearly 100       infection from this yeast. Rayne
$200,000 in funding from the          samples a month from individual       notes that experience in other
British Columbia Wine Institute,      oak barrels at 10 wineries and        winemaking regions has shown
the Investment Agriculture            analyzing them for 4-ethylphenol      that once Brett takes hold, it is
Foundation of British Columbia,       and 4-ethylguaiacol, the two          very difficult to control or get
and the Western Diversification       compounds with horsey,                rid of.
Program to conduct extensive          leathery and smokey, barnyard-           “This is research that may
field sampling at small, medium,      like odours the Brett yeast           help improve grape and wine
and large wineries and vineyards      is known to produce in high           production not only in the
in the Okanagan.                      concentrations,” Rayne explains.      Okanagan but around the
   “These grants have allowed            While collecting samples,          world,” Eggers says. The research
us to stay busy working with          Eggers and Rayne are also             will continue for two years
viticulturalists, winemakers, and     monitoring parameters such as         and cover progress of the 2005
research scientists at Agriculture    dissolved oxygen, temperature,        and 2006 vintages, as well as
Canada’s Pacific Agri-Food            humidity, and sulfur dioxide (a       the analysis of 2003 and 2004
Research Centre in Summerland,        preservative to prevent unwanted      vintages that have already spent
B.C., sampling from wine cellars      bacterial and yeast growth            years in a barrel.
and vineyards up and down the         during barrel aging and in the           “Together, the two projects are
Okanagan,” says Eggers.               bottle) -- in the hopes of better     helping to establish a world-
   A major part of their research     understanding the underlying          class wine chemistry research
is exploring the impact of            production factors that can           centre at UBC Okanagan,” says
Brettanomyces (Brett) -- an           allow Brettanomyces growth            Eggers. “By working closely with
undesirable yeast that can            in one barrel, while another          industry and government, we are
produce aroma defects in wines.       barrel right next door can go         striving to maintain and improve
Brett often exists in wine barrels,   untouched.                            the quality of our local wines.”
but can also find its way into           This work is the first
wine from the raw grapes. Rayne       comprehensive North American

RETIREES continued from page 6
                                                                                                                                          St. John’s College
incomes diminish.                     studies of poverty among the          opportunity to make practical
   However, this is far from          elderly may be critical in shaping    use of his expertise since then.
definite and Milligan hopes           government actions toward                “My mother is in her 60s,                                  Accommodation
his research will provide some        seniors.                              and it certainly gives her a great
answers.                                 “On the public policy side of      advantage to have someone
   “If we find out that the initial   things, I think it’s pretty obvious   who’s thought a lot about these                                       St. John’s College extends an
                                                                                                                                                  invitation to visitors to UBC to stay
findings hold up, that income         that for designing pension policy,    kinds of things, to give her
                                                                                                                                                  in our quiet, comfortable, and
might bounce around a whole           whether public or private, having     advice,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                  well-appointed       guest    rooms.
lot, but consumption stays really     a good idea of the economic risks        Milligan likes the idea that his
                                                                                                                                                  Available year-round, guest rooms
constant over this transition         that are faced by households as       work might lead to improved                                           are furnished with a double or
period, that gives us some            they make the transition is pretty    conditions for retirees. But as far                                   queen bed, private washroom,
more evidence in favour of the        important,” he says.                  as his current research goes, he’s                                    telephone,      television,    coffee
Lifecycle Model,” he says.               “If everyone is doing okay,        not even sure yet what he could                                       maker, bar fridge and internet
   As for the rigorous work of        then maybe we don’t need to           tell them.                                                                        connection.
number crunching and analysis,        spend the extra billion dollars          “I don’t know where this
Milligan will have the help           on seniors, but if there are some     is going to go,” says Milligan.               Dining with College residents in our
of two colleagues, Professors         real pockets of poverty out there,    “What makes me most excited                   spacious Dining Hall is an integral part
Michael Baker of the University       then maybe we should know that.”      about the project is that I don’t             of the life of the College, and meals
of Toronto and Courtney                  Milligan has been investigating    know what we’re going to find,                 are included in the guest room fees.
Coile of Wellesley College,           the economic conditions of            and so I’m intrigued by what it’s
Massachusetts.                        seniors since the late 1990s,         going to look like.”
   He says he’s not undertaking       when he researched RRSPs and
this project solely out of            retirement savings plans for          Nick Melling recently received his Bachelor
academic interest. At a time          his PhD thesis (University of         of Arts in History from the University of     For further information or to make a reservation, contact us by
when the Baby Boomer                  Toronto, 2001).                       British Columbia. He plans to begin law         phone at 604-822-6522, or by e-mail:
generation is nearing retirement,        He has had at least one            school in 2007.

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