A group of students researching strategies to reduce bird-building collisions at the UBC Botanical Garden found that leaving windows dirty helped to prevent the frequency of bird-window collisions (in addition to using bird-friendly decals and other forms of window protection.
Students from Land and Food Systems engaged with UBC Wellbeing and the UBC Food Security Initiative to inform next steps in the development of the UBC Vancouver Community Food Hub. Student research provided recommendations into promising practices for personnel, organizational models, and decision making to support increased food security, as well as gathered community input on accessible and affordable climate friendly food options.
First year Biology students are surveying areas of campus in order to baseline species richness and calculate the biodiversity index. The data gathered will support UBC in achieving related climate and biodiversity targets.
BY PARTICIPATING IN A CCUB COLLABORATION, YOU CAN:
- Join a well-established interdisciplinary campus network and contribute to applied student research and initiatives that generate scalable solutions towards the interconnected issues of nature and human health and wellbeing
- Strengthen your knowledge of challenges and solutions that promote eco-human health and wellbeing in the climate emergency from diverse disciplines and perspectives
- Help inform and advance UBC’s climate, biodiversity and wellbeing policies, plans, and practices
- Grow your network and make connections with campus operational practitioners, faculty, students and community partners
CCUB was launched in the Fall of 2019 by the SEEDS Sustainability Program in collaboration with the Faculties of Arts, Forestry, Science and other partners across campus and the region. The initiative builds upon previous work achieved by the CCUB Steering Committee from 2019 to 2021, funded by the Provost’s Office - Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Fund. It is supported by the UBC Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), and brings additional focus to interconnections of eco-human health and wellbeing, as we strive towards solutions to the global challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change, food systems and wellbeing.
WHO WE ARE
CCUB is an interdisciplinary collaboration which includes co-applicants from the Faculties of Forestry, Arts and Science and related UBC groups. CCUB’s Steering Committee provides direction for the initiative and offers an interdisciplinary perspective. The Committee guides and identifies opportunities to achieve CCUB’s vision through applied student-led research opportunities and partnerships, community engagement, and informing related policies and practices.
CCUB Action Teams are engaged experts of the CCUB Steering Committee and other partners who support student research and collaborations between staff, faculty and students that can accelerate transitions towards nature-positive food systems, nature-inclusive urban planning and design, climate-resilient biodiverse campus ecosystems and more. One example of a CCUB action team is the Bird-Friendly Action Team (BFAT). CCUB’s Bird-Friendly Action is a group of engaged experts and stakeholders from UBC and other partners who collaborate to advance bird conservation through interdisciplinary partnerships and applied student research that can inform nature-inclusive urban planning and design on campus.
CCUB mobilizes the next generation of students to take action towards eco- human health and wellbeing in the climate emergency to yield scalable solutions towards the interconnected crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, sustainable food systems and wellbeing.
CCUB co-creates interdisciplinary networks of students, faculty, staff and community partners that enable impactful and inclusive demand-driven student research that informs policies and practices that accelerate action towards eco- human health and wellbeing in the climate emergency.
1. Expand student-led applied research and experiential learning on intersectional issues of biodiversity loss, climate change, food systems and wellbeing.
2. Create and scale interdisciplinary partnerships of UBC students, faculty, staff and community partners that support impactful collaborations and generate innovative solutions to interconnected crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, sustainable food systems and wellbeing.
3. Inform and accelerate action on campus policies, plans and practices pertaining to biodiversity, climate, food and wellbeing strategic priorities.
4. Develop scalable knowledge exchange and mobilization resources to advance action on biodiversity loss, climate change, sustainable food systems and wellbeing at UBC and beyond.
research focus areas
RESEARCH FOCUS AREA 1: CLIMATE-RESILIENT BIODIVERSE CAMPUS ECOSYSTEMS
Advance resilient campus ecosystems and greenspaces that support climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, connectivity and human health and wellbeing.
- A campus natural asset baseline that quantifies the contributions of UBC’s natural assets to a range of ecological and socio-cultural services
- A community-driven process to inform the development of the Adaptation, Resilience and Biodiversity Strategy for climate action through nature-based solutions (e.g. co-define climate principles to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation, eco-human health and wellbeing, and biodiversity metrics as a key indicator of climate resilience on campus)
- A UBC Campus Climate Risks and Vulnerabilities Assessment to inform planning and implementation of Climate Action Plan 2030 and Campus Vision 2050, Resilience and Adaptation
RESEARCH FOCUS AREA 2: NATURE-INCLUSIVE URBAN PLANNING & DESIGN
To protect nature and biodiversity through urban planning and design in the UBC built and landscape environments that actively seeks opportunities to support and create habitat while also reducing harmful wildlife-infrastructure interactions.
- Threats and Vulnerability Assessment of species at risk and campus habitat baseline classification of vulnerable mammal and bird species
- Inform the development and implementation of an enhanced UBC Bird-Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings
- UBC Bird-Friendly Action Team created to inform policies and practices that advance bird conservation on campus through interdisciplinary partnerships and student research
RESEARCH FOCUS AREA 3: CONNECTED PEOPLE & NATURE FOR RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Understand and advance connections between climate-resilient human and natural communities, with a focus on marginalized communities (including BIPOC and other equity-seeking communities) including access to greenspace for health and wellbeing, such as fostering eco-hope and addressing climate heat-impacts.
- Deliver community-driven Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops (IKEWs) to build capacity for mental health, resilience and community care strategies on campus through the climate emergency
- Campus landscape and design applications that foster urban green equity and climate-resilient human and natural communities on campus
RESEARCH FOCUS AREA 4: JUST, SECURE, NATURE-POSITIVE FOOD SYSTEMS
Strengthen campus community food security, food justice, and food system resilience in the climate emergency. Advance climate justice and biodiversity in food systems and supply chains beyond campus through UBC procurement guidelines, policies and plans.
- Draft Climate-Friendly Food System (CFFS) actions to support just, sovereign and resilient communities and promote resilient and regenerative food systems (e.g. to inform the UBC CFFS Procurement Guidelines, supply chains, policies and practices)
- Advance nature-positive food systems in the UBC built and landscape environment to support community food security (e.g. community and pollinator gardens)
key accomplishments at a glance
- Over 1200 students engaged in curricular and co-curricular applied research projects to inform policies and practices that accelerate action on the climate and biodiversity crises.
POLICIES, PLANS AND PRACTICES
CCUB student-led research and partnerships produce tangible outcomes, including:
UBC Operational Sustainability & Wellbeing Plans and Policies:
- CCUB has provided policy recommendations to support UBC in furthering its climate, biodiversity, food and wellbeing targets. Key policies and plans include: the UBC Climate Emergency Declaration, UBC Climate Action Plan 2030, Wellbeing Strategic Framework, Green Building Action Plan and Campus Vision 2050.
- The initiative has also informed the integration of biodiversity and climate change in various campus plans and guidelines. Key examples include:
- Climate Action Plan 2030: Informed the university’s commitment to adopt biodiversity metrics as a key indicator of climate resilience on campus as reflected in the UBC Climate Action Plan 2030: Resilience, Adaptation and Biodiversity Area
- Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings: Informed guidelines to raise awareness about the dangers buildings pose to birds and inspired the incorporation of bird friendly design strategies in campus development
- Residential Environmental Assessment Plan 3.2: Informed relevant bird-friendly credits in the Residential Environmental Assessment Plan 3.2
UBC Operational Sustainability & Wellbeing Practices:
- Increased understanding of UBC Vancouver Campus ecosystem's resilience to climate change. This included the development of a climate and tree canopy cover data model that can inform climate adaptation and resilience planning for urban forests.
- An assessment of the resilience of UBC’s Vancouver Campus during heat waves demonstrated the cooling effects of urban forests and their key roles in mitigating surface temperatures on campus.
- Informed the development of the UBC Vancouver Campus Community Food Hub to strengthen campus community food security, food justice, and food system resilience in the climate emergency.
Committees & Action Teams
Formalized governance structure includes a Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity Strategic Plan, interdisciplinary CCUB Steering Committee, and supporting Action Teams who provide interdisciplinary expertise and guidance on student research and collaborations that can help inform interconnected climate, biodiversity and wellbeing campus planning and practices. They also provide feedback on strategic priorities and initiatives, input on initiative progression, and promote the communication of outcomes.
- UBC Bird-Friendly Action Team: The Bird-Friendly Action (BFAT) is a group of engaged experts and stakeholders from UBC and beyond who collaborate to advance bird conservation through interdisciplinary partnerships and applied student research that can inform nature-inclusive urban planning and design on campus.
- CCUB model has been successfully scaled to support and inspire new and enhanced partnerships and networks, including the UBC Bachelor of Urban Forestry (BUF) Research Nexus which supports faculty and student urban forestry and climate change research, and linkages between urban forests and human health and wellbeing.
- Over 60 student research reports published
- UBC Ecological Connectivity Map
- Interactive GIS Story Maps and WebMaps showcase innovative student research on urban biodiversity and climate that can inform campus planning and policy decisions ranging from:
- Campus Urban Green Space Analysis: This map integrates virtual gaming technology to map cultural use and biodiversity hotspots on the UBC Vancouver Campus.
- Baselining UBC Vancouver Campus Urban Forest and Land Use: This map shows UBC LiDAR-based tree inventory and the land classification map of the UBC Vancouver Campus.
- UBC Trees in a Changing Climate: This map models the potential impacts of climate change on urban forest diversity on the UBC Vancouver Campus from 2050 to 2080 and can be used to inform future projects and management practices
- Estimating Productivity on the UBC Farm with Remote Sensing: This map shows the capability of using remotely sensed data as a soil health monitoring tool on the UBC Farm.
- Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops
- A novel CCUB engagement model was created created - “Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops” (IKEWs). IKEWs are co-hosted with campus partners to engage UBC students with community, staff and faculty to co-develop ideas for accelerating action on climate change and the nature crises through student research and interdisciplinary collaborations. 7 IKEWs have taken place that have included over 400 participants. Participants contributed to dialogue on the climate and nature crises in art to science based workshops. Partners for CCUB IKEW events have included: UBC Climate Hub, Geography Climate Action Committee, Faculty of Arts, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), UBC Botanical Garden, Youth4Nature, and others. CCUB IKEW Partners: UBC Climate Hub, Geography Climate Action Committee, Faculty of Arts, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), UBC Botanical Garden, Youth4Nature, and others
- UBC Biodiversity Days 2022 - Urban Biodiversity Research to Action 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. The celebration featured family nature walks, a student research showcase, virtual events, practical workshops and more. As part of Biodiversity Days, UBC SEEDS hosts a Research to Action Showcase each year in collaboration with UBC Botanical Garden, where student researchers present 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.
READY TO CONNECT AND EXPLORE A CCUB COLLABORATION?
Please get in touch if you have questions or want to get involved in CCUB.
Climate Response Applied Research Coordinator| SEEDS Sustainability Program