Geography and the Environment

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Olav Lian

Olav Lian, PhD

Director, Luminescence Dating Laboratory

Geography and the Environment

Abbotsford campus, A406f

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext. 4307

email Olav

 

 

Biography

I was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore, at the fringe of the Coast Mountains. I earned my BSc in Physics from Simon Fraser University in the late 1980s. This was followed by a Research Assistant position in the SFU Physics Department. In 1989, I joined the graduate program in SFU's Geography Department, and completed my MSc degree (physical geography) in 1991. I was then employed as a sessional instructor in the same department.

In September 1993, I joined the Geology Department (later, the Department of Earth Sciences) at the University of Western Ontario where I completed my PhD (Geology) in 1997. I was then hired by the School of Earth Science at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) as a Research Fellow in Geology (1997-1999).

In the spring of 1999, I resigned from that position and returned to SFU and worked as a Research Associate in the Physics Department until 2002. This was followed by a permanent faculty position in the Geography Department, Centre for Quaternary Research, at Royal Holloway, University of London.

In early 2005, I escaped the high cost of living in southern England and returned to Canada to take up a post as a faculty member in the Geography Department at UFV. I currently hold adjunct professorships in the departments of Geography and Earth Sciences at SFU, and in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria.

Appointments and Awards

  • 2012 UFV Research Excellence Award Recipient
  • Director, UFV Luminescence Dating Laboratory
  • Distinguished International Visitor, Department of Geography, Durham University (UK), Fall 2012
  • Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

Education

  • PhD (geology), University of Western Ontario, 1997
  • MSc (geography), Simon Fraser University, 1991
  • BSc (physics), Simon Fraser University, 1988

Teaching Interests

  • GEOG 102: Evolution of the Earth's Surface
  • GEOG 103: The Physical Environment
  • GEOG 202: Introduction to Geomorphology
  • GEOG 302: Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 400g: Theory & Application of Luminescence Dating
  • GEOG 402: Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology
  • GEOG 452: Field Methods & Techniques

Research Interests

My NSERC-funded research includes Quaternary sedimentology and stratigraphy, glacial geology, geomorphology, and geochronology (luminescence dating). I have collaborated with geomorphologists, glacial geologists, physicists, geophysicists, and biologists.

I am mainly interested in understanding the character of environmental change in western Canada over the Quaternary Period (last ~2.5 million years), but I am also collaborating on research projects in the eastern and western Canadian Arctic, Australia, and Patagonia (southernmost Chile and Argentina), and I have collaborated on projects in New Zealand, Russia and Indonesia.

The Geography and the Environment department has two laboratories which conduct research, the Luminescence Dating Lab, of which I am the director, and the Paleoecology Lab.

For more information on my research, see my publications and seminars page.

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Melissa Koyanagi2

"My most valuable experience was certainly the AIG to BC's Interior that I had the pleasure of completing with my peers under the guidance of Gary Fehr and Olav Lian. This experience was in-depth, interesting and relevant to my previous studies in a wide range of subject areas, including postglacial and paraglacial processes, First Nations affairs in BC and BC's evolving economy. I sincerely enjoyed this learning experience and it was the perfect way to cap off my undergraduate studies at UFV."

Head to GATE's blog  to find out more about Melissa and what other graduates have to say about GATE.‌

  • – Melissa Koyanagi
  •    BA with double extended minors in Geography and Psychology

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