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British Columbia in a Global Context

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Cover image montage: Pitt River Bridge View by James Wheeler used under Creative Commons license, Natives making a canoe from a tree trunk at Mission, British Columbia, circa 1900 by BiblioArchives used under Creative Commons license, Heisholt Lake by David Stanley used under CC-BY 2.0 license, and Skybridge, British Columbia by Troy Wason and used under CC-BY 2.0 license

Description: This first year Geography textbook takes a holistic approach to Geography by incorporating elements of physical, human and regional geography, as well as bringing in methods and perspectives from spatial information science.. This textbook applies a fundamental geographical approach to understanding our globally changing world by looking at local processes which are linked to larger global processes and events. For example mining and its effects are a global issue and we can see how these unfold in BC. A further example is the recent apology to First Nation peoples on the residential school treatment, as similar events occur in the US, Ireland and Australia. Processes of urbanization, a phenomenon which people all over the globe are experiencing, can be seen in Vancouver with our discussion of the city’s development. Geography students, indeed all first year students, need to be able to critically assess their own contexts and environments in order to properly engage with our continually globalizing world.

Author: Arthur Green, Okanagan College, Siobhan McPhee, University of British Columbia, Aviv Ettya, University of the Fraser Valley, Britta Ricker, Simon Fraser University, Cristina Temenos, Simon Fraser University

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British Columbia in a Global Context by Arthur Green, Okanagan College, Siobhan McPhee, University of British Columbia, Aviv Ettya, University of the Fraser Valley, Britta Ricker, Simon Fraser University, Cristina Temenos, Simon Fraser University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Review this book

Reviews for 'British Columbia in a Global Context'

Number of reviews: 2
Average Rating: 4 out of 5

1. Reviewed by: Markus Heinrichs
  • Institution: Okanagan College
  • Title/Position: professor
  • Overall Rating: 3.4 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

Ch1 This chapter seems rather light on definition and description of urbanism, mentioning only one possible definition, but not explaining how it could be interpreted differently or be ‘realised’ in cities differently.

Only two metropolitan areas within BC as mentioned as ‘cities’, Vancouver and Victoria. In truth, cities such as Penticton are also cities and have undergone a different process of urbanization than either Vancouver or Victoria. Adding another city, perhaps smaller and in the interior of BC may be valuable. Also, the largest/fastest growing city in the lower mainland of BC, Surrey, isn’t mentioned. Since this city is undergoing urbanism, it would be useful if current trends could be compared against pre-1990 trends in development, with a possible prediction of future growth.

The claim that First Nations were practicing ‘urbanism’ is questionable, as no explanation of how the definition applies for comparison purposes is present. References to this claim, as well as claims to the role highways played in the development of cities needs to be added.


Ch2. My impression of this chapter is that it leaves me wondering what exactly socio-economics are. Are they a group of factors for quality of life - access to employment? Just housing only? What is quality of life? I think more information could be provided to complete the concept of what a socio-economic picture is.


Ch.3. An excellent presentation of current standings with aboriginal issues from a legal perspective. Missing, but alluded to, are Metis and Inuit issues in BC, or do they have none?


Ch 4. In the introduction, second paragraph, hydroelectric potential is also a resource and should be included. The name of the chapter should be changed to reflect its content, if it will be limited to extraction resources.

This chapter’s consideration of mining in BC is superficial at best, biased and unfounded at worst. For example, Case Study 1 is missing ALL mention of environmental costs. This aspect is introduced in the ‘social and environmental costs’ section before but is absent in discussion within the case study.

There is no mention of Acid Mine Drainage, a significant concern with hard rock mining. In fact, little environmental information is presented at all in this chapter. There are numerous concerns and possible issues to discuss- mining in the Flathead valley, for example, as an example of habitat fracturing. A discussion on ecosystem restoration of mining damage would also be useful.

Other extraction includes the natural gas industry, absent in this chapter, and LNG. Given that the province is putting all its economic hopes on LNG, it would be beneficial to recognize this is also an extraction resource.


Ch 5. This chapter provides a reasonable view of agriculture in BC. It would be nice if some reference to wheat and other cereal crops grown in the Peace region could be made, likewise to specialty crops that may be an emerging trend (eg. Barley grown in Armstrong used by Tree Brewing to brew beer).


Ch 6. Link forestry with fresh water, please (fish need trees too?), which is missing in objectives. Any meaningful discussion of wildlife habitat in granting tenures is also missing.


Ch 7. The introduction suggests that the author will actually discuss the determinats:
Income levels and social status
• Social support networks
• Education
• Employment/working conditions
• Social environments
• Physical environments
• Personal health practices and coping skills
• Healthy child development
• Gender
• Culture

However, the chapter contains none of the above. Instead, it looks at transportation and location of hospitals and urban heat. This chapter should also consider these points within the rest of the chapter.

Ch.8. This chapter does not feel comprehensive whatsoever, it hits a few areas but doesn’t provide a clear understanding of geomorphology, let alone ecology, nutrient cycling, weather, etc., which are all a part of physical geography.


Endbits: fine

Comprehensiveness Rating: 1 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

ch.1 The use of the work “luckily” when stating that the highway vision of Vancouver was not built shows significant bias in the text.


ch.2. Case study 1 is significantly incomplete, and despite the claim that it is about homelessness, it only describes this information for Victoria. It doesn’t mention homelessness in Williams Lake. For comparison purposes, similar pieces of information should also be presented, e.g. the proportion of First Nations in Victoria, the rates of change in First Nation residency, incomes in Victoria, and percentage of ownership/tenancy with comparison of proportion of income, all of which are provided for William’s Lake. Why else would one compare two cities? Or limit the description to William’s Lake, provide more background on tourism (apparently the only thing the city is known for, according to text and photo?? Whatever happened to forestry, ranching???) and the jobs it provides tying this to homelessness.


Ch3.Appears to be unbiased.


ch4
p. 70 fracking is not done on tar sands but on shale rock to extract natural gas.

p. 71. Gold was a HUGE mining industry. Red Mountain in Rossland produced so much gold that Canada had to create a new stock exchange to handle the gold, thus the origin of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Gold continues to be mined here in BC in significant quantities.


ch5. fine


ch6

Fig 6.1 Softwood trees in BC (top) Elder (center) Maple (bottom)Birch
This appears incorrect. The top photo shows what looks like a stand of softwood conifer trees. These do not appear to be elders, since the blueberry elder (Sambucus glauca), the only Canadian elder to reach tree size, has a maximum trunk diameter of about 10”. The photo shows something completely different. The centre photo appears to be a maple and maples are hardwoods, as are birches. It is difficult to tell in the bottom photo if that is indeed a birch stand. It appears to resemble a stand of poplars. Given that the first two photos are suspect, I suspect this one to be incorrect as well?


Figure 6.2 Fig 6.2 Hardwood trees in BC (top left) Pinus Contorta (top centre) Spruce (top right) Fir (bottom left) Cedar (bottom right) Western Hemlock
this figure caption is incorrect- first, these are softwood trees, second, the text has inconsistent naming, please use either only common or scientific names. Third, the top left photo is a softwood resembling a spruce but it is not a pine. The centre photo shows the shore pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta) is a less common variety of the lodgepole pine, and it would be useful to have a photo of the common variety that gives its name. The top right photo is difficult to make out that it is a fir- the large fan-shaped branches are too close to each other to resemble the typical shape of grand fir branches (and is definitely not a subalpine fir). The bottom left could be a variety of cedar, but this does not fit your text as ‘straight-grained suitable for roofing or siding’. A typical western red cedar has a very straight trunk without the forks shown in the photo. The bottom does appear to be a hemlock.

Given that the photos were taken from the internet, the author should be concerned that the photographers have identified the trees correctly and that the species shown are actually grown in BC. Perhaps obtaining photos of the trees could be arranged through an individual that has access to BC trees? The attribute for the “fir” tree is from England, of an ornamental variety not native to BC.


Please verify for accuracy p. 130 (large-format photograph hardcopy prints (23-cm²)) this seems very small format?


Ch7.
p. 142 thermal properties include ‘reflective properties ‘or albedo

p. 142. Figure doesn’t have ‘unit’- are these degrees Celcius? If so, the variation is within one degree, not the 10 degrees stated in the text.



ch8. I have serious objections to the interpretation of figure 8.5. These are Canadian normals, so one cannot just assume they are even for all parts of Canada such as BC. BC might be seeing the opposite trend, but other areas may over-compensate (p 152).

p. 152:mentions ‘examples of drought’ but these are not discussed in the chapter

p.155 ‘faults are where plates meet’- is this true? Are faults only where plates meet, or can faults occur where rock fractures?

p. 155 “isostatic rebound’ example of Rocky Mountains is irrelevant here and incomplete

p. 159 “a second landslide”- what was the first? An avalanche? This is not a landslide…

p. 166: air, water, fish, game are REPLACEABLE (renewable)



endbits

p. 173 remote sensing should also include airborne sensors, not just satelites

p. 184- the focus on ‘marks’ is wrong- the shift to ‘proper’ or ‘convention’ should be the motivation, not student grades.

Content Accuracy Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

ch1 Yes, the content seems both current and relevant to today without risk of being obsolete.


ch2 Given that housing markets in the lower mainland are unlikely to change in the short term, this chapter will not be obsolete any time soon. However, it doesn’t complete the picture for BC. The town of Liloette is experiencing the opposite trend. House prices are falling despite proximity to Whistler and a growing wine/tourism industry. An analysis describing regional variation may be necessary to ensure this chapter is relevant for more than just Victoria and Vancouver.


ch3 May be obsolete with the recent court ruling with respect to failure to consult, etc. with development.


ch 4 Without mention of LNG or natural gas (extraction resources), this chapter is woefully obsolete and incomplete.


ch5 fine

ch6 fine

ch7 fine

ch8 fine

endbits fine

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

ch1 Yes, many specific terms are defined

ch 2 fine

ch3 fine

ch4 sentinal species is undefined, though is a very specific term


ch 5. No- text has excess verbiage eg. Intro: Analytically deploy concepts like

p. 91 “terraine deposition’ should probably be ‘terrane acretion’
p. 92 While the geography of soil fertility is severely constrained in BC
should probably be ‘while soils vary in fertility across BC,’
p. 101 has pushed the edge of agriculture unless it’s talking about plow shares, what is the edge referred to?
p. 103 was more water (88,890 hectares) than should probably read ‘more inland open water surface area’




ch 6.
p. 120 Such a decline would heavily impact the BC economy and is
politically contested by environmental activists this doesn’t sound correct. Wouldn’t environmentalists support a decrease in AAC?

p. 122 ‘linear pattern of logging’ is not explained in the text. With what was it replaced? The text assumes familiarity with logging technology. The spar pole and line logging is still used today, and is not entirely replaced with feller bunchers, especially on high relief sites. Perhaps a paragraph or two on technology would be useful?

p. 123 green chain (an assembly line of fresh-cut timber). the technology referred to is not explained- a green chain is done at the logging site? Clarification / explanation is required




ch 7. fine


ch8
‘Physiography’ should be defined (p. 148/168)
p. 151 ecoregions should be footnoted, not BC, unless the term is “ecoregions in BC’, then the entire text needs to be ‘blue’
p. 151 ‘topo-climatic’ should be defined on p 168
p. 152 ‘the increase in negative
variation in spring indicates risk of variation events rather than simply the risk of less evapotranspiration and precipitation
over time’ needs to be re-written
p. 152 “interface forests’ needs to be defined on p. 168
p. 154 ‘harvest’ implies renewability like crops. ‘exploitation’ would be a more accurate term

p. 154. Avoid single sentence paragraphs. Perhaps describe the differing mineral composition in the various layers? The last paragraph does not contain related information in the first four sentences (please edit).

p. 155 awkard use of different twice in one sentence- “different layers of the Earth and deposit them in different”

p.156: pieces of sediment

p. 160 “limiting equilibrium” should be defined on p. 168
p. 160 ‘rock avalanches’- you differentiate landslide from avalanche, so what is a rock avalanche and how is it different from a landslide? This is inconsistent.




endbits: fine

Clarity Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

ch 1 fine

ch 2 fine

ch 3 fine

ch 4

p. 71 inconsistent logic with coal mining: The mining of coal, metals and minerals began with the gold rush in the 1850s and continues today.
Some significant factors to note about the mining of metals in BC include:
• Coal and gold were both mined before the gold rush started

Figure 4.4 “D” appears twice. Rossland is missing entirely?


Case study 2, the second heading is less specific than the first- it should decrease in generality
Further, there appears to be some wandering between the Endako mine specifically (the point of a case study) and mines, First Nations, and other areas.

Without follow up discussion of both case studies, their relevance is somewhat lost.




ch 5. fine



ch 6
p. 120 tree farm license should have the abbreviation (TFL) included like (PSYUs)?



ch 7 fine


ch 8 The lack of association of ‘natural hazards’ which identify faults in BC, with the three case studies of hazards, is of concern.



endbits: fine

Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

ch 1. The case studies are neatly separated from the intro, and can be included as an instructor chooses.


ch 2. fine

ch 3 fine

ch 4 Headings do not appear to increase in specificity or provide direction of hierarchy.


ch 5 fine

ch 6 fine

ch7 fine

ch8 Okay, but since the chapter is not comprehensive, this could benefit from additional sections and content.

endbits fine

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

ch 1 fine

ch 2 The section on Quality of Life is woefully lacking. Since this measure is complex and composed of numerous facets, it would be useful to know what they are, and provide examples beyond that of housing/homelessness. BC is known for a high quality of life, though the text suggests this is unobtainable for the majority. Clearly, there is a disparity presented. The quality of life measures hinted/alluded to (schools, health care) need to be discussed/presented, along with recreation, environmental quality, culture, etc.



ch 3. fine


ch 4
p. 70 ‘natural resources need to be differentiated’ this paragraph does not explain what/why natural resources are differentiated. The paragraph goes on to ask rhetorical questions about Saudi and Quatar, without mentioning that these countries have lots of oil as natural resource. This paragraph should not be discussing values/ethics of producing, but instead differentiate natural resources.



ch 5. fine


ch 6. A discussion of technology separate from history would be beneficial.


ch 7. fine

ch 8 given that much of the chapter is 'missing', and what is presented isn't complete, little of this chapter is logical or clear.



end bits fine

Organization Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

ch 1 figure 1.7 text is too small to read.

ch 2 I tend not to enjoy reading single sentence paragraphs, of which the Introduction is entirely composed. Perhaps use a bulleted list format?


ch 3. Fine, though it would be nice to have the maps in the text, rather than navigating to an on-line source.

Table 3.1 would benefit from a date in the caption



ch 4. Figure 4.7 illegible


ch 5. Figure 5.5 illegible


ch 6. Figure 6.7 should have at least a screen-shot of the data, otherwise this is meaningless and should simply be a link to data


ch 7. Figure 7 requires the colours used to be explained in the legend.


ch 8.
p. 152 the “figure 2” is incorrect, should read ‘figure 8.5’, also note the figures 8.3 and 8.2 are in the wrong order and neither describes rain amounts as indicated on page 152. This needs to be fixed.


endbits fine

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

ch 1 fine


ch 2
P. 36 run-on sentence paragraph two
p. 41 has typo ‘GDP)’
p. 41 has error ‘Demographia (2014), says’

Second paragraph, page 36 starts by examining disparity in income for Global N vs. S., however the paragraph does not finish this thought. It instead goes to show that schools and healthcare are quality of life indicators, but doesn’t clearly show how these are linked to income. (also note odd grammar). Paragraphs generally complete one single idea.



ch 3.
p. 55 ‘it’s fur-trading’ should be its
some inconsistency in using a comma before ‘and’.



ch 4.
p. 70 number 2. ‘when it benefits technology and a society’ is an awkward sentence
p. 74. ‘In each.’ The period should be a comma
p. 74 every miner had to fist travel ‘FIRST'

Boundary Country is a specific region, should be capitalized
Sculpin should be identified at least to family, if not genera. The prickly sculpin should be identified to species, since it is used as an indicator species?





ch 5.
P 98 secon- highest Should be second highest
p. 102 ‘rights-of-way’
p. 106 and or or harvesting
p. 106 nutritionalvalue,was

p 106 for sale on in the marketplace
p. 107 were born to spawn salmon are not born but hatched?




ch 6. p. 121 attibutes: Hardwood tress should read ‘trees’
p. 127 hard black exoskeleton should have a comma between hard and black
p. 127 which is where which is WHEN
p. 132 trees to for domestic



ch 7.
P 142 summer months because of the changes in climate because significantly higher temperatures in the summer increase health... two 'becauses' in one sentence?



ch 8.
Figure 8.1 should read ‘regions’ (plural)
p. 149 ‘mountains’ should be ‘mountainous’
p. 154: the following is not a sentence: Next is the mantle, asthenosphere, the lithosphere and finally the crust at the top.
p. 155 “since as there are”
p. 155 “a process is known”
p. 157 “stand a better chances”
Activity 2 “c.Create”


endbits fine

Grammar Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

ch 1 fine

ch 2 fine

ch 3 Excellent, respectful treatment of cultures.


ch 4
p. 77 when FN were ‘terrorized’, it would be useful to include a reference/citation to this fact. Otherwise, it appears as a bias.



ch 5. fine

ch 6 fine

ch 7 Culture is mentioned in the intro, and First Nations are identified with more health issues. Inadequate discussion with respect to geography is made.


ch 8 fine

end bits fine

Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

ch 1
The photo of a residential school from MANITOBA needs to be replaced by one from BC. These are available free from BC Archives e.g.
http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/www2i/.visual/img_med/dir_105/b_03914.gif



ch 2. I would suggest a significant re-write of this chapter to present a whole picture for socioeconomics in BC.


ch 3. Because this is an ongoing issue, perhaps upcoming court cases could be identified so a reader can follow them?


ch 4. This chapter is rather poorly written, biased, incomplete, and uninformative. I would suggest major revision, inclusion of more references/citations, and perhaps more extraction resources


ch 5. With Case Study 1, the ALR, it may be useful to include some reference to the controversy of the 1973 Act itself. Though nobody seemingly would have an objection to the ALR in its goal, what still causes grief to many landowners was the unfair downloading of costs for preservation put on ‘farmers’. Many of these people compared their net wealth with their neighbours in 1972 who had subdivided at market value. With the adoption of the 1973 act, their net worth decreased significantly, preventing them from retiring. These individuals were by legislation, targeted to ‘pay’ for the privilege of BC protecting ‘their’ agricultural lands. No compensation was provided for the real loss of potential income. Today, the province does pay mining corporations for ‘potential loss’ (http://globalnews.ca/news/1464899/b-c-ordered-to-pay-mining-company-335000/) (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-pays-off-miner-for-loss-in-protected-flathead-river-area/article18202545/ ) and has legislation in place for these purposes (http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/19_99 ). This disparity (that some people who own their land cannot use it how they want vs those who don’t even own it get paid for potential losses) is still insulting some 40 years after the ALR legislation was first established. Individuals (without choice or permissoin) should not be singled out to be the sole guardians for agricultural land. If the province thinks preserving farmland is important, they should compensate those owners for fair (pre-ALR, non-ALR) land values and assume ownership.

Add references to the sea lice and Hell’s Gate sections in case study 2.




ch 6
Some attention to the free trade agreement and the softwood lumber controversy should be discussed. Value-added attributes should be included, if possible




ch 7. fine

ch 8. fine for Canadian context.


endbits fine

2. Reviewed by: Mungandi Nasitwitwi
  • Institution: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Title/Position: Geography Instructor
  • Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

This book includes all areas and ideas of the regional geography of BC with some areas needing a little more expansion.

Areas that could be expanded on include the nature of regional geography and geographic regions; sustainable use of natural resources; core-periphery interactions; volcanism; controls of climate

For instance, how were the various forest tenure systems addressing sustainability or lacking? What are the parallels in fishery management?

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Content is accurate

Maps should include all basic elements of mapping e.g. titles, scale and north arrow

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Content is current and updateable

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

The text is readable for all first year university students whether they have a geography background or not.

Key terms should be given more BC geographic context.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

All material has good internal consistency.

Few terminologies might require clarification e.g. “Indian”; “Aboriginal”; “First Nations”; “Indigenous”.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Modularity is adequate.

Self-reference is minimal.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The organization of the book is novel and interesting. It starts off with an urban set up, and fans out both in time and space. From a pedagogical standpoint, it is not clear how learners in the classroom will find connectivity.

Flow is not very smooth in some sections of the book. Sub topics pop without apparent connection to learning objectives or preceding sub topics.

It might help to break up the learning objectives given at the beginning of each chapter and assign them to relevant sub topics

Similarly, the cluster of questions presented at the beginning of some chapters could be posed when introducing the relevant sub topic.

Organization Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Interfaces are functioning properly.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

Grammar is good.

Delete repeated “to” on page 16.

Delete ‘says” in first line after Figure 2.5 on page 41.

Restricted meaning of “interface” key term on page 133.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The material is neutral.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

Content is well focused on BC.