Browse past projects to learn more about how climate-change related content has been integrated into UBC courses.
Improving climate analysis in chemical, biological, and environmental engineering capstone design courses
Jonathan Verrett, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
The purpose of this project is to bring the environmental analysis component in the capstone course in line with curriculum changes that were undertaken in the environmental analysis courses. We want to move beyond pollution prevention and control to evaluate environmental and climate impacts more holistically, applying and building on the techniques that students have learned in the Fundamentals of Sustainable Engineering (CHBE 370).
Climate-focused ESG reporting and analysis
Caren Lombard, Finance Division, Sauder School of Business
The goal of this course is to provide students with the background to understand the importance of ESG reporting to stakeholders of publicly traded corporations. While Environmental, Social, and Governance factors will be considered, climate will be the main focus. Topics covered will include current and evolving climate regulation, reporting frameworks and standards, and best practices. In addition to corporate reporting, there will be focus on the investor perspective and topics such as ESG ratings, shareholder engagement, investment strategies, and vehicles to facilitate the financing of climate mitigation, adaptation, and transition plans will be included.
Incorporating climate variables into models – variable selection strategies
Bianca Eskelson, Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
The goal is to develop a course module on variable selection and model building when correlated climate variables are used as independent variables in the model. The course module will consist of a small set of case study examples and a laboratory assignment, which will allow students to work through a variable selection problem with climate variables on their own.
Integrating and implementing climate change education for graduate level courses in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program
Ben Mortenson, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine
Climate change and health are inextricably linked because climate change can have a direct impact on health (e.g., poor air quality and increasing levels of asthma). It also has a disproportional effect on people with disability, because of the structural socioeconomic marginalization they experience. Last year, in British Columbia alone, there were heat domes, wildfires, poor air quality, droughts, landslides and floods, which brought about undue suffering, especially to vulnerable populations including older adults and people with disabilities. occupational therapy and occupational science can play a vital role in helping people resume daily activities among those adversely affected by climate disasters (i.e., climate adaptation). Our goal is to deliver climate change education, in the context of health, climate change adaptation, and mitigation for Master of Occupational Science Students via in-course lectures, tutorials and workshops, in collaboration with instructors from the program.
Witchcraft, Witch Persecutions, and Ecological Events
Kyle Frackman, Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies, Faculty of Arts
The goal is to enhance a popular course by incorporating more climate- and sustainability-related material to CENS 307 – Witches: Myth & Reality, a course that concentrates on witchcraft discourses primarily in medieval and early modern Europe. We aim to survey scholarship and sources related to these cultural topics with the objective of creating new teaching materials for lectures, assignment prompts, and resources for student research, incorporating climate-focused information, linking the content to environmental stewardship, caring treatment of the Earth, and efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Spiritual practices like witchcraft and magic become examples of the means by which humans can cope with climate grief and the desire to care for the planet.
Incorporating a virtual/augmented reality field trip in “GEOG 302: Climate Justice”: a digital “extended land acknowledgement” to ground the study of climate justice within the Indigenous territories that UBC operates
Avi Lewis, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
The proposed Climate Justice course (GEOG 302), will “look under the hood”, to better understand the disproportionate impacts of climate change through examinations of concrete movements, organizations, policies, and solutions. For students to gain insight into the Indigenous perspectives surrounding climate justice, and address questions on a variety of scales and sites, this project will develop an augmented reality (AR) and a virtual reality (VR) field trip on the unceded Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territory designed to serve as an “extended land acknowledgement”. This will involve students participating in either 1) a self-guided trip to the Sel̓íl̓witulh Nation developed with AR technology, or 2) a fully VR tour, tailored flexibly, depending on the unique situation of the student.
Partnering with patients and caregivers to develop a planetary health curriculum for the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program
Adrian Yee, Faculty of Medicine
The Climate Emergency is disrupting and transforming the world. This project endeavours to improve students’ understanding of planetary health within the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, recognizing that planetary health education intersects with sociocultural, economic, antiracism, and Indigenous Cultural Safety education. With a focus on human wellbeing, the project will be guided by the Engage, Assess, Align, Accelerate, and Account (E4As) approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has three distinct goals:
- Develop curricula that align with up-to-date knowledge and practices in mitigating the impacts of climate change on human wellbeing;
- Partner with patients and caregivers to develop an interdisciplinary planetary health curriculum that incorporates their perspectives; and
- Empower learners to challenge the status quo and envision what it means to thrive as people on this planet.
From Responsibility to action: Integrating climate content into COMM314: Strategies for Responsible Business
Justin Bull, Sauder School of Business
COMM 314 is designed to provide students with an objective view of the intersection between business and sustainability. Throughout the course, students are asked to reflect on their learnings, apply analytical frameworks, and evaluate an organization's climate strategy. The approach to improving the climate curriculum is centred around four workstreams. Topics will range from (1) viewing the climate crisis through a non-business lens, (2) climate communication in the workplace, (3) climate and income inequality, to (4) climate in an Indigenous context. Collectively, these streams will expose students to intersections of business, the climate crisis, and society. COMM 314 alumni will be engaged to better understand student perspectives on how climate could be better integrated into the course, and combination of summative and formative assessments will be used to measure the impact of each workstream.
Community organizing for climate justice
Antoine Coulombe, School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts
Community organizers play a crucial role in helping people confront various forms of inequity, injustice, and discrimination by assisting them to reflect, plan and take action to improve their lives, communities, and society. This work is foundational in addressing oppression and supporting social justice and inclusion solutions in response to issues such as climate change, which disproportionately affect marginalized populations who are already facing other forms of inequity and injustice. Community organizers are well suited to develop, enhance, and leverage community organizing tools to support poor and marginalized populations to address climate injustice and strengthen community cohesion and resilience. This project will identify relevant pedagogical techniques and content on climate change impacts and injustices to be used in the course "SOWK440C/529A - Communities and Social Development: Debates, Approaches and Fields of Practice" and will provide students with an opportunity to undertake a community-based project focused on climate justice.
(Re)imagining information policy through a climate justice lens
Lisa Nathan, School of Information, Faculty of Arts
The goal of this project is to reorient the learning objectives, assignments, case studies, and other instructional material of “LIBR 561: Information Policy” to explicitly align the study of information policy (e.g., privacy policies, terms of service, right to repair legislation) with UBC’s commitments to climate justice, the Indigenous Strategic Plan, and the Scarborough Charter.
Fostering a climate action pedagogy through geomatics courses in Forestry
Paul Pickell, Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
Students in Forestry recognize the threat that the climate crisis poses to their future livelihoods and profession. Geographic information systems and remote sensing are powerful tools for visualizing and solving different aspects of the climate emergency, yet geomatics courses across Forestry do not have lab assignments that reflect the application of geospatial tools for this important topic. This project seeks to create new computer-based lab assignments that directly address the climate crisis across three years of undergraduate geomatics courses in Forestry. The new lab assignments will utilize space-based remote sensing satellite platforms and geospatial analysis to address climate crisis topics relevant to Canada such as deglaciation, flooding and sea-level rise, wildfire severity and risk, urban forest climate adaptation, and sea ice melting. Students will be expected to go beyond calculating the “right answer” and instead articulate their analysis in the form of a written letter of recommendations to Canadian decision-makers. In this way, this project hopes to foster and model a climate action pedagogy within Forestry.
Teaching Climate Change and the Climate Emergency in four EOAS First-Year Courses
Stephanie Waterman, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
This project aims to improve the coverage of climate change and address the ongoing climate emergency by creating universal course content applicable to all four courses (EOSC 110, EOSC 112, EOSC 114, EOSC 116). Our objectives include updating existing materials with the latest climate science, encompassing global observations and modelling findings. Additionally, we plan to create fresh content that extends beyond climate science, delving into the repercussions of climate change on ecosystems, physical environments, infrastructure, human health, the economy, and social equity.
Introducing Climate Science within a New Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Course
Lindsay Rogers, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine
The purpose this project is to develop teaching resources that effectively cover the biochemistry of carbon and nitrogen cycling within a 400-level biochemistry course (BIOC470). This course aims to address significant societal issues, with a significant portion of the curriculum dedicated to climate science. The grant will support the creation of detailed teaching materials to enhance students' understanding of the biochemistry behind greenhouse gas production and biotechnological techniques related to climate change mitigation.
Enriched learning through an interactive case-based online module: Nursing 290 Health Impacts of Climate Change
Raluca Radu, UBC Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science
This work aims to enhance Nursing 290 course by incorporating a Canadian example of climate change impacts, focusing on climate adaptation, resilience, health equity, and social determinants of health. This module will utilize a problem-based case study approach to educate students about the effects of climate change on a Canadian community. This approach will provide students with a more personal and locally relevant perspective on climate issues compared to the international case studies previously used in the course.
Building A Community Dashboard for Climate Model Analysis
Phil Austin, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
The grant supported the development of an interactive Climate Dashboard in EOSC 340 (Global Climate Change) with the aim to empower students in climate-related courses to explore climate model simulation data, enabling them to analyze differences between models for specific regions and models, presenting results via maps or scatterplots. The grant also enabled the creation of a Climate Case Study Tool, offering students a simplified dashboard for exploring time series data related to climate feedback mechanisms, ultimately enhancing climate physics learning objectives.
Developing the Literatures of Environmental Protest
Vin Nardizzi, Department of English Language and Literatures, Faculty of Arts
This project aims to create course content titled "The Literatures of Environmental Protest," for ENGL 244 (Environment and Literature). This course showcases how literature has played a tangible role in influencing environmental policy and social protest movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. The grant supports the developing a key component of the course content, focusing on the archives of Greenpeace and Vancouver's historical significance in the early global environmental movement.
Mathematical models of climate change: How do they work?
Rebecca Tyson, Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science, UBCO
This project involves the integration of meaningful climate modeling examples into the "Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs)" course. This integration aims to educate students across various quantitative sciences about climate change modeling, helping them understand the inner workings of climate models and their significance in addressing climate change. By incorporating climate change content into this foundational course, this project seeks to improve students' mathematical literacy and provide them with a deeper understanding of climate change predictions.
Addressing the Climate Emergency with Improvements to EOSC 442: Climate Measurement and Analysis
Michael Lipsen, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
The grant helps to enhance and update the course EOSC 442 in response to the UBC Declaration of a Climate Emergency. This project aims to revamp the course with skill-building exercises and projects that demonstrate essential climate time-series data. The goal is to equip students, both within and outside the department, with fundamental climate change measurement and analysis skills, thereby contributing to UBC's Climate Emergency efforts and fostering informed student engagement in climate change research and policy discussions.
Climate, Forests, and Hydrology: Helping students understand and quantify the impact of the climate crisis on hydrology in the context of forests and forestry
Younes Alila, Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
The project's goal is to update and expand the content of the FRST 385 (Watershed Hydrology) and FOPR 388 (Analytical Methods in Forest Hydrology) courses, focusing on adapting the curriculum to reflect evolving water dynamics in a changing climate, especially concerning extreme events like floods and droughts. The grant also supports the development of curriculum that helps students understand and make land use decisions that account for a changing climate.
Incorporating Lessons Learned from the Pandemic in Addressing the Climate Crisis
Michele Koppes, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
The purpose of the project is to revise the course GEOG 314 (Analyzing Environmental Problems) to include a new module that explores how societal reactions to COVID-19 have impacted atmospheric composition and land use. This module aims to help students analyze the effects of changes in anthropogenic activity resulting from the pandemic shutdown on aspects like air quality, clouds, and the carbon cycle. The goal is to use the unique circumstances of the pandemic to provide students with a real-world context for understanding the effects of anthropogenic activities on the climate system.
Systems Approaches to Climate Change: Perspectives from Iceland
Lee Groat, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
This project enables students with an immersive virtual experience that allows them to explore the impacts of climate change and mitigation efforts in Iceland. The project will leverage audiovisual documentation from an on-the-ground affiliate in Iceland to create this virtual content, making it accessible to students even when travel is restricted. The goal is to provide students with a multidisciplinary and applied systems perspective on climate-related issues. This experience will cover various aspects of climate change, such as greenhouse gas emissions, glacier melt, changes in fisheries, hydroelectric dams, and socioeconomic factors.