BRANDON, MB – A prominent whale researcher will be the keynote speaker when geographers from across western Canada and North Dakota meet this weekend in Riding Mountain National Park.
Brandon University (BU) is playing host to the annual conference of the Prairie Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (PCAG), with about 100 representatives from BU, University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Lakehead University, and the University of North Dakota.
“We made it a point to hold the conference in smaller communities because it’s a great opportunity for us as geographers to experience new regions, and create positive spinoff for the communities,” says Dr. Derrek Eberts, Associate Professor in BU’s Department of Geography and PCAG President.
While many people think of geographers as map makers, the area of study is much wider. Geographers study details of both the natural environment and human society, and the relationship between the two. “Every year, our group produces research that has a direct connection to local communities and residents,” says Dr. Eberts, “including climate change, fish migration and the sustainability of peat-land.”
Conference keynote speaker, Dr. Dave Duffus, has been in the public eye regarding the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity. Dr. Duffus, an associate professor at the University of Victoria and international expert on whale management, was an expert witness in the 2011 court case following the death of a SeaWorld trainer who was dragged underwater and drowned by a killer whale, and he appears in the resulting 2013 documentary Blackfish.
Elkhorn Resort at Riding Mountain National Park is the site for the PCAG 2014 Conference, being held from September 26-28.
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