Geography department partners with Fraser River Discovery Centre
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Seven Douglas College geography students have partnered with the Fraser River Discovery Centre, located down the road from the New Westminster campus, to educate the population on the reality of pollutants, storm-runoff, and industry on the 1,375-km river. The students, most of whom are first year, will have their research papers adopted for Discovery Centre’s training materials, giving outreach volunteers the most up-to-date information on the longest river in the province.
“It’s fine to read about these things in textbooks or hear about them in lectures, but now the students are actually seeing how they work, and they have the chance to help prepare educational materials,” says Mike McPhee, geography department chair. “It’s also a chance for students to give back to the community, as opposed to just turning in a term paper.”
The discovery centre boasts a kid-friendly pollution model toy which allows guests to observe effects that pollution has on the scaled map of Metro Vancouver.
“It is fun to play with the toys and water at the pollution model,” says Shannon King, education coordinator at the Fraser River Discovery Centre. “But our enviro-savvy visitors also want to know what the real deal is, and I am grateful that these students are helping update our training resources.”
“It’s only recently I learned that fresh water could be in such high demand in the future that wars could be fought over it,” says student Leon Yee says. “If we don’t make changes soon, this valuable resource could become so scarce that not only people living in arid conditions would have to worry about how to get it, but those of us living close to large bodies of water would have to as well.”
The Fraser River Discovery Centre will be hosting an Earth Day celebration on April 21, coinciding with the start of its volunteer appreciation week.