Vancouver businessman and activist Wayne Crookes donated $1.875 million to the University of Victoria to support environmental and climate journalism. (Photo credit: Martin Roland)

Vancouver businessman and activist Wayne Crookes donated $1.875 million to the University of Victoria to support environmental and climate journalism. (Photo credit: Martin Roland)

University of Victoria receives $1.875 million donation for environmental journalism

Money donated by Vancouver businessman and activist, Wayne Crookes

A new professorship and research fund focused on environmental and climate journalism is coming to the University of Victoria thanks to a $1.875-million donation.

Made by Wayne Crookes, a Vancouver business leader and political activist, the donation is intended to help address the threat of climate change.

“We need to communicate more effectively with journalists – especially editors – about the risks of climate change and the threats to biodiversity that humanity as a whole is facing,” Crookes said. “I believe climate change is an existential threat that the world is not doing enough to meet.”

RELATED: B.C. scientists look at climate change impacts on aquaculture production

Crookes is the owner and founder of legal filing service, West Coast Title Search, and non-partisan organization, Integrity BC, which aims to restore accountability and integrity in B.C. politics. He was also the Green Party federal campaign manager in 2004.

Crookes’ gift comes in two parts – $1.5 million to fund a five-year professorship and $375,000 to fund research and outreach. UVic said the new professor will be appointed this year within its department of writing.

“Extreme weather, melting ice sheets, incessant flooding and other alarming events serve to remind us that we are not only together in this crisis, but also of the urgent need to effectively counter misinformation through the rigour of credible journalism,” UVic president Kevin Hall said. The donation is intended to increase the quality and quantity of science-based environmental journalism.

“People recognizing the problem is the most important step in it being dealt with and being solved,” Crookes said. “To do that, public opinion needs to change, and that can most efficiently be changed by increasing—and having a higher quality of—media coverage.”

Applications for the new five-year professorship will open shortly on the writing department’s website uvic.ca/finearts/writing.

RELATED: Purchase of South Jubilee park funds new UVic scholarships


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

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