UVicSpace | Institutional Repository


UVicSpace is the University of Victoria’s open access scholarship and learning repository. It preserves and provides access to the digital scholarly works of UVic faculty, students, staff, and partners. Items in UVicSpace are organized into collections, each belonging to a community.

For more information about depositing items, see the Submission Guidelines.


Recent Submissions

Sexism and Ts'msyen Law: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Exclusion in Holding the Name of Chief in Ts'msyen Society
(2024) Gray, Christina; Napoleon, Val; Pérez Piñán, Astrid
Sexism exists in relation to women holding the highest-ranking name of chief within Ts’msyen society (also spelled Tsimshian and Tsimpsean). There are limited historic examples of Ts’msyen women holding the chief names. Some of these examples occurred with colonialism at a time when there was greater church influence in Ts’msyen communities. Today, the sexist pattern persists within Ts’msyen society, including within legal and governance systems where women are excluded based on their gender from holding the highest-ranking names. Despite the sexist pattern, women have legal agency, and they are at the centre of the Ts’msyen matrilineal society. My legal research demonstrates that these exclusionary patterns do not result from legitimate legal reasoning and do not constitute valid Ts’msyen law. First, I engage with Indigenous theories on sources of law. Second, I suggest a path forward based on Jennifer Nedelsky’s four-step relational approach to creating transformative change which I apply to the Ts’msyen legal principle of equality for application to gender equality of chiefs’ names.
Paleolimnological study of Elk Lake: 150-500 years of inferred water quality developments
(University of Victoria, 2002) Groeneveld, Roel
Elk Lake is a relatively small (246 ha) and shallow (>18m) lake situated on Vancouver Island (BC, Canada). It turned into a eutrophic system over the last 50 years, most likely due to anthropogenic disturbances of its watershed. Because the state of the ecosystem before settlement of the area is not known, the present situation cannot be compared to the original condition of the lake. This hampers present day water quality management because there is no reference value against which current ecological information and scenarios for the lake’s future can be compared. Paleolimnological methods and techniques can enable researchers to retrieve historic data from sediment cores. This approach can be very useful for identifying the important developments in the state of the water quality of the Elk Lake ecosystem over the past 150 years, and for linking these to historic records on natural and anthropogenic disturbances that occurred in the watershed. In this project, the sediment cores were retrieved form the lake using a modified gravity corer. 210Pb-dating of sediment subsamples was done using alpha spectrometry. Concentrations of nutrients, heavy metals and other elements were determined, and for each subsample the relative abundance of the present diatom species (or genera) was assessed as well. Furthermore, water quality data on Elk Lake for the past decades was retrieved from government databases. Readily visible are the doubling and tripling of heavy metal concentrations in the lakes sediment between the first and second half of the 19th century. Sediment accumulation rates show a sharp increase from 1950 onward. The stable C:N ratio indicates that sources of organic matter present in the water column hardly changed over the past 400 years. Of the present diatoms, Aulacoseira was the most dominant genus over the past centuries. During the last decades, eutrophic genera like Stephanodiscus became increasingly abundant. This is in line with public observations that the water quality of Elk Lake has been deteriorating since the mid 1980s. The integration of the results of all analyses made it possible to identify three important events or developments affecting the lake’s condition: the 16th century megadrought; the settlement of the Greater Victoria area, and the intensified land use after World War II. Against expectations, the construction of both the Victoria Waterworks and the Patricia Bay Highway were not extractable from the results. Advanced statistical analyses may be necessary to retrieve more information from the collected data set. In that aspect, the diatom data should be verified before this set of data is reused in other (follow-up) projects. After verification, this subset can be used for detailed inferences of water quality developments in Elk Lake.
Carbon offsets and agriculture: Options, obstacles, and opinions
(Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2023) van Kooten, G Cornelis; Zanello, Rebecca
While carbon offsets in agriculture can play a role in addressing climate change, they are not a perfect substitute for direct emission reductions. As shown in this paper through various arguments and case studies, climate policies in Canada have avoided the use of offsets to be sold in carbon markets, preferring instead to incentivize adoption of best management practices (BMPs) that provide environmental benefits along with climate mitigation benefits. We argue that this is a preferred policy option due to the perils and pitfalls inherent in the measurement and monitoring required to identify offset credits. While an appropriate approach might be to penalize Canadian farmers for any emissions their activities cause, this may do more harm than good. Canadian agricultural production is highly efficient and technologically advanced; therefore, reductions in Canada's contribution to the global food supply will result in less-efficient production occurring elsewhere (i.e., leakage) that increases global greenhouse gas emissions.
Prospects for weather-indexed insurance for blueberry growers
(Agricultural Finance Review, 2022) Liu, Xuan; van Kooten, G Cornelis; Gerbrandt, Eric M.; Duan, Jun
Purpose: We investigate whether an index-based weather insurance (WII) product can complement or replace existing traditional crop-yield insurance for mitigating farmers’ financial risks, with an application to blueberry growers in British Columbia. Approach: While weather data are used to investigate supply elements, a hybrid model combining expected utility theory and prospect theory is developed to analyze farmers’ demand for WII. Findings: On the supply side, a quality index is constructed and the relationship between the quality index and key weather parameters is quantified using a partial least squares structural model. We then model weather parameters via time-series analysis and statistical distributions to provide reasonable estimates for calculating actuarially-sound insurance premiums for a rainfall indexed, insurance product. Our model indicates that decreases in the proportion of a blueberry grower’s total revenue and revenue volatility will decrease the possibility that they participate in WII. At the same time, an increase in the value loss aversion coefficient and WII’s basis risk further leads to less demand for WII. In short, a grower may decide not to participate in WII at an actuarially fair premium due to the combined effects of the above factors. Overall, while the supply analysis enables us to demonstrate that WII can potentially help in mitigating farmers’ financial risks, it turns out that, on the demand side, blueberry growers are unwilling to pay for such a product without large government subsidies. Originality: We argue that the demand for insurance may be affected by the level and the volatility of a berry grower’s total revenue. Hence, we propose a hybrid expression that assumes a farmer seeks to maximize the total utility function to capture the rational and intuitive parts of a farmer’s decision-making process. The expected utility represents rationality and the prospect value represents the intuitive component. Meanwhile, we investigate the possibility of using key weather parameters to construct a berry quality index—one that could be applied to other agricultural areas for studying the relationship between weather conditions and product quality.
Comparisons of Ramp Functions and Michaelis-Menten Functions in Biochemical Dynamical Systems
(2024) Dore-Hall, Skye; Edwards, Roderick
Analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems, such as those modeled using Michaelis-Menten kinetics, can be difficult. Thus, it is natural to consider whether such systems can be simplified in a way that facilitates analysis while preserving qualitative behaviour. Previously, we showed that when the Michaelis-Menten terms in a model of plant metabolism are replaced by piecewise linear approximations called ramp functions, the qualitative behaviour of the model is maintained. We then defined a limited class of systems containing ramp functions called biochemical ramp systems and studied their properties, including the existence and stability of equilibria and global flow. Here, we expand on our previous work by reforming the definition of a biochemical ramp system to describe a wider class of systems. We study the properties of several types of biochemical ramp systems that were previously not covered by the definition, and show that their qualitative behaviour is similar to that of their Michaelis-Menten counterparts. We then introduce concepts from chemical reaction network theory, such as the Deficiency Zero and Deficiency One Theorems, and explain how they are applicable to the analysis of biochemical ramp functions, but cannot be applied to the corresponding Michaelis-Menten systems. In the last chapter, we show that when ramp functions are used in systems that do not fall under the expanded definition of a biochemical ramp system, there can be qualitative differences in behaviour between these ramp systems and their Michaelis-Menten counterparts. We end with a look at periodic behaviour in ramp systems by studying a version of the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model containing ramp functions.