Max Blouw honoured

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) has honoured president of Wilfrid Laurier University Max Blouw by naming a research centre after him. Blouw previously saved the centre from the federal government who wanted to destroy it.

“I was overwhelmed and absolutely did not expect to be honoured that way,” said Blouw, who served as vice-president of research at UNBC. “The recognition I received should have been shared by quite a number of people, but the fact that they chose me was very special.”

The Dr. Max Blouw Quesnel River Research Centre at Likely was unveiled Aug.17.

Blouw played a large role in rescuing the centre, then called the Quesnel River Research Centre, from near destruction and re-building it into a top-notch research facility.

“It started as a federal research lab, but the federal government determined that it wasn’t meeting their needs and they were going to bulldoze it,” said Blouw.

“The nearby community was outraged.”

The community of Likely approached UNBC, where Blouw served as the vice-president of research, asking the school to take over the centre and run it as a university research facility.

The site, which sits on 20 hectares of land, contains three buildings: concrete raceways to simulate stream beds, a classroom and laboratory building and a residence.

“The reason it is so ideal for research is because it is situated in the middle of a gradient of elevation between the Rocky Mountains and the Fraser River valley,” said Blouw.

The research station is being used to study landscape ecology, and the centre has a number of chairs, including one focused in climate change.

“I raised the money to keep this facility open, and it has become quite a success story,” said Blouw.