Contents | Grading Technology
| Space Studies |
by Larry Reeves (BSc 88)
Space. It evokes images of starships cruising distant galaxies, futuristic warriors caught in the endless struggle of good versus evil, or, closer to home, of astronauts on shuttle missions or exploring the moon. These images prompted me to attend the Master of Space Studies program at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.
The ISU promotes peaceful development and use of outer space, to foster international and intercultural understanding and co-operation, and to prepare the future leaders of space industry. Spacethe final frontierplays an increasingly important role in our lives on earth. No longer solely the realm of the engineers, rocket scientists, and fighter-pilots-turned-astronauts, todays space industry requires the expertise and co-operation of a diverse set of professionals from around the world.
The Master of Space Studies program, now in its third year, is an intensive 11-month immersion into spacecraft, rocket, and satellite design; medical, physical, psychological, and sociological impact of human space flight; international business, management, legal, and policy issues; and the application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity, such as for environmental research, monitoring, and protection.
In my class, the 34 students were from 23 countries, and their academic backgrounds were as varied as the courses: engineering, physics, law and policy, computer science, medicine, secondary and university teaching, economics, and architecture. Lectures were presented by an international core faculty, along with numerous distinguished guest scientists, industry and space agency leaders, and astronauts.
The MSS program focuses not only on the individual topics, but the interdependence among them. In addition to lectures, workshops, assignments, and a class team project, the program offers a three month placement during which students undertake an in-depth individual research project at a chosen company or institution (I studied satellite remote sensing at the European Space Agency centre in The Netherlands). Since 1987, ISU has also offered a condensed 10-week summer session held in a different city each year.
Since ISUs inception, Canadian students have excelled academically, contributing highly-respected professionalism, leadership, enthusiasm, and camaraderie to the programs. Several Canadians have served as faculty members, lecturers, and directors. The current president of ISU, Dr. Roland Dore, is a former president of the Canadian Space Agency.
Canada has had many significant accomplishments in space research and development, including telecommunications satellites and studies of space phenomena. For example, the aurora borealis (northern lights), in addition to staging spectacular colourful displays, can disrupt radio communications, overload power grids, and disable Canadas Anik-E satellite. Continued research might provide solutions to mitigate its damaging effects.
Despite the low budget and profile of many of Canadas space programs, their benefits are significant. An independent study concluded that every dollar invested in space research and development in Canada has an economic return of over three-to-one.
Like me, most (but not all) of the
class members have dreams and aspirations of one day
travelling into space, whether in orbit around the Earth
or beyond. This dream, unattainable less than a
generation ago, now approaches our grasp. Robert Goddard,
an American rocket pioneer, stated: "It is difficult
to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is
the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." Many
of us may never become astronauts, but the MSS program
has enriched our interest and knowledge in space, and
brought us one step closer to our dreams.
Larry Reeves graduated from the International Space University this summer with a Master of Space Studies. He intends to work in space robotics, remote sensing or satellite imaging.
Doney at FRBC helm
UVic graduate Lee Doney has been appointed CEO of Forest Renewal BC, the Crown corporation overseeing reforestation, enhanced silviculture, watershed restoration, resource inventory and related training projects in the province. A career civil servant, Doney has held a series of senior public sector positions over the past decade including: deputy minister of labour and consumer services, executive director of the provincial round table on the environment, CEO of the BC Labour Force Development Board, and chair of the Workers Compensation Board.
Four Members of Parliament with connections to UVic were elected by Canadian voters on June 2. Fisheries Minister David Anderson (Victoria) attended Victoria College and taught law at UVics School of Public Administration. Liberal MP Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North) holds a Master of Public Administration from UVic. Reform MP Paul Forseth (New Westminster-Burnaby) has a UVic Certificate in Public Administration. Reform MP Gary Lunn (Saanich-Gulf Islands) earned his law degree from UVic in 1995.
Women who kill
Female murderers in Vancouver are far more likely to be involved in illegal activities than women who commit murders in Toronto according to research conducted by UVic sociology graduate student Andrea Crum-Ewing. For her masters thesis, Women Who Kill: An Analysis of Ninety Years of Female-Perpetuated Homicide, Crum-Ewing studied nine decades of police records from the two cities and turned up 297 murders committed by women. She found 40 per cent of Vancouver murderers were Aboriginal offenders compared to five per cent in Toronto, but that Toronto women were more likely to commit child and spousal homicide than women on the west coast.
"I wanted to create a profile of women who kill since most criminology theory is built on profiles of male killers," says Crum-Ewing who found men tend to kill to gain or control power or as part of a legal or illegal business transaction while women usually kill in self-defence or out of a feeling of hopelessness.
Contents | Grading Technology
| Space Studies |