Fostering effective knowledge exchange includes engaging, sharing, translating, and mobilizing research with the communities our research affects. Our core guiding principles for effective knowledge exchange maintain that research needs to be collaborative, actionable, and impactful. We apply these principles in all stages of our SEEDS Community-Based Action Research cycle. This starts with collaboratively co-identifying issues with our partners, and co-developing research needs into well-scoped proposals. Throughout the research process, we engage, share, and activate research with the communities impacted to advance societal issues and realize greater collective impact.

SEEDS Knowledge Exchange Model

We translate and mobilize knowledge generated through our applied student research and interdisciplinary collaborations through Action Research Symposiums, Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops (IKEWS), and Community Engagement Forums. We generate scalable resources, including toolkits and interactive research visualizations. These initiatives are a cornerstone of the SEEDS Knowledge Exchange model.


Action Research Symposiums 

SEEDS Action Research Symposiums are held in collaboration with partners to showcase student-led research, foster knowledge exchange, and work with communities to identify needed research and action to address local challenges.

Food Insecurity Action Symposium

UBC’s Food Insecurity Action Symposium, co-hosted by SEEDS and UBC Wellbeing in 2019, brought together students, faculty, and staff to share and mobilize student research on campus food insecurity, identify gaps and opportunities, collaborate on actions and identify the future student research needed to better understand and promote food security.

A key outcome was the development of a Food Insecurity Action Team (FIAT) to convene a coordinated approach to reducing food insecurity at UBC. The team engaged in a series of sessions to co-create terms of reference to move the conversation to tangible actions.  Based on the outcomes of the symposium, FIAT sought funding and launched the Food Security Initiative.

Urban Forest Action Symposium

UBC’s Urban Forest Action Symposium, hosted by SEEDS Campus Biodiversity Initiative: Research and Demonstration (CBIRD) in 2019, brought together students, faculty, and staff to share and mobilize student research about urban forests on topics ranging from cultural and heritage tree mapping, to climate planting guidelines, campus urban tree inventory, and ecosystem services. Outcomes included identifying opportunities to support urban forest stewardship and planning at UBC.

Climate-Friendly Food System Action Symposium

The Climate-Friendly Food Systems (CFFS) Research to Action Symposium: Defining and Operationalizing a CFFS at UBC, was hosted by SEEDS in collaboration with UBC’s Climate-Friendly Food System (CFFS) Action Team in May 2022. It brought together UBC students, faculty and staff to share and mobilize student research and accelerate action on UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030 Food Actions. 

The symposium provided an opportunity to learn about innovative interdisciplinary student research including the development and evaluation of UBC’s first Climate-Friendly Food Label. The research represented a novel collaboration between students and faculty members from the Vancouver School of Economics (UBC Faculty of Arts), Department of Statistics (UBC Faculty of Science), Department of Psychology, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and staff from UBC Food Services. Outcomes included the identification of gaps and opportunities to refine and scale out the label and framework to help achieve a 50% GHG emission reduction generated by UBC food systems from 2019 levels.

UBC Biodiversity Days 2022: Biodiversity & Climate Action Ideas Showcase

In honour of the International Day for Biological Diversity, Biodiversity Days was hosted by the UBC Botanical Garden in collaboration with SEEDS Sustainability Program and CCUB Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity Initiative. The event was a month-long celebration throughout the month of May with events both online and at various locations across campus, and the celebration featured family nature walks, a student research showcase, virtual events, practical workshops and more. As part of Biodiversity Days, UBC SEEDS hosted a Research to Action Showcase in collaboration with UBC Botanical Garden, where student researchers presented highlight projects that have helped to deepen our understanding of on-campus biodiversity. Topics from this year’s event included campus bird conservation, biodiverse food procurement, climate adaptation prediction for maple species, and public engagement strategy for biodiversity topics.


Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops (IKEWS)

SEEDS Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops (IKEWS) are held in collaboration with our partners. Sessions provide opportunities to find interdisciplinary solutions for critical issues, such as the interconnected ecological and climate crisis. These pilot workshops create opportunities with UBC students, faculty, staff, and community to co-develop solutions for tackling global challenges through local research projects and actions. 

Urban Climate Justice Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshop:

SEEDS first Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshop (IKEW) on urban climate justice, was co-hosted by SEEDS and the UBC Climate Hub in January 2020. It brought together more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. Participants attended presentations and brainstorming sessions to discuss climate justice for people and the planet. It brought together members of the UBC community from diverse backgrounds and experiences, to discuss the question "what does climate justice mean to you?"  The workshop resulted in the collection of ideas and a set of principles to help inform community-driven climate justice definitions, future applied student research opportunities, and the advancement of UBC’s broader renewed sustainability goals climate crisis, and the climate emergency declaration. 

Transforming Eco-anxiety into Hope and Action for Nature: Changing Climate and Wellbeing Workshop

UBC’s virtual IKEW on eco-anxiety was co-hosted by SEEDS and the UBC Climate Hub in November 2020. The event brought together undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Arts (Department of Psychology, Geography, Creative Writing and English Literature, Political Science), Faculty of Sciences (Biology), Faculty of Forestry (Forest and Conservation Sciences), Land and Food Systems (Global Resource Systems), Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and Youth4Nature. The IKEW provided a platform for students to share experiences about eco-anxiety and co-develop different understandings of what it is, along with ways to manage and reframe understandings of eco-anxiety. Different ways of understanding and experiencing the impacts of  climate change on mental health and wellbeing were explored, and resulted in the identification of collective and individual actions that can help manage anxiety, as well as other mental health and wellbeing challenges while advancing sustainability at the UBC campus.

Transforming Eco-anxiety into Hope and Action for Nature: Changing Climate and Wellbeing Workshop Part II

Co-hosted with the UBC Climate Hub and the Geography Climate Action Committee, in collaboration with UBC’s GEOB 102 course in February 2021, this inclusive and interdisciplinary workshop elicited input on how climate change can impact mental health and wellbeing. It also focused on how community connection can be created on issues of climate change, including ways to get involved and feel empowered. Over 200 UBC undergraduate and graduate students attended the workshop, including participants from Faculty of Arts (Department of Geography and Psychology, Political Science, Asian Studies), Faculty of Sciences (Applied Science, IRES), and Faculty of Forestry. Workshop outcomes included an opportunity to use art as a tool to reflect on these issues.

Building Connections: Co-defining Biodiversity in the Face of Climate Change Workshop

Co-hosted with the Institute of Resources Environment and Sustainability (IRES) Department and Youth4Nature in March 2021, this interdisciplinary workshop sparked community dialogue on co-defining biodiversity principles and goals to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation through accessible and effective language on these intersectional issues. UBC students, faculty, and staff attended the workshop and identified campus nature-based climate solutions to tackle intersectional climate and biodiversity crises, including intersections with climate justice, inclusion, equity and wellbeing.


Community Engagement Forums 

SEEDS Community Engagement Forums provide a platform for students and affected community members to engage in intersectional dialogue on critical campus sustainability and wellbeing topics, including rapid transit, urban biodiversity and climate-friendly food systems.

Climate-Friendly Food Community Engagement Forum

Students in a capstone Land and Food Systems course took their research to the AMS Nest to generate ideas and get feedback on definitions and recommendations for a “climate-friendly” campus. This was the result of collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC’s Climate Hub, and Campus + Community Planning. Data collected at the forum provided valuable preliminary input of campus community based understandings of key principles and characteristics of a  “climate-friendly food system”. Findings provided a foundation for the UBC Climate Friendly Food Action Team's work to accelerate climate action in UBC’s food system, and inform the development of UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030 and Climate Emergency Declaration. Find out more about the community forum here.

Rapid Transit Community Engagement Forum

TransLink’s Mayors’ Council identified SkyTrain as the recommended technology to bring rapid transit in an underground guideway to UBC campus in 2019. Campus + Community Planning wanted to explore what elevated, above-ground alternatives could look like and their implications for the campus. In partnership with the School of Community and Regional Planning’s studio course, this SEEDS project included a forum that brought together regional experts and transportation stakeholders to explore opportunities to integrate an elevated SkyTrain into the public realm at UBC. The ideas and concepts from the workshop were used to develop five design strategies that focus on preserving and enhancing the public realm and campus character. See full report here.

Biodiverse Urban gardening Community Engagement Forum

This student-led forum brought together gardeners from across UBC’s 13+ community gardens for a community workshop in 2019. This collaboration between Land and Food Systems and the UBC Botanical Garden built on an earlier project to increase bio-social diversity in campus gardens. Participants and biodiversity experts shared ways to increase biodiversity in food gardens, identified shared barriers and opportunities to collaborate, and gave feedback on a tool to collect biodiversity data across campus gardens. 

This led to students, experts, and residents creating connections between the gardens and sharing what works in UBC’s climate and soil. It also helped inform the capacity-building work of UBC Food System’s Urban Food Production for Community Resilience Action Team, which informs green building policy and increases community resilience through food across UBC’s academic core and neighbourhoods. See full student report here.


Research Mobilization Toolkits

Research Mobilization Toolkits span SEEDS Big 5 Research Priorities. SEEDS Toolkits are co-developed with our program participants, and are informed by student-led research and interdisciplinary collaborations.  

Each Toolkit is comprised of resources that can be used to support applied student- led research and interdisciplinary collaborations. The toolkits increase awareness, knowledge and action to advance our five research priorities. They are designed to increase knowledge accessibility on specific sustainability challenges and opportunities that have been identified through student-led, interdisciplinary and applied research, and they help to advance UBC's sustainability commitments.

Biodiversity in a Changing Climate ToolTree

The Biodiversity ToolTree consists of a suite of Toolkits which represent a different “branch” of knowledge that relate to Urban Biodiversity in a Changing Climate. Each Toolkit aims to 1) support applied student research and learning in partnership with UBC faculty and staff, and 2) provide accessible resources that can increase awareness, knowledge and action around biodiversity enhancement and climate resilience, through biodiversity and other nature-based solutions.  Each toolkit contains resources that have been adapted from SEEDS student research projects and our collaborations: