Sustainability Fellowships

Sustainability Fellowships are awarded to full-time faculty members who are leading the development or renewal of sustainability curriculum at UBC. Fellows have a strong interest in teaching, curriculum development and innovative pedagogies, and are the lead grant holders of a USI curriculum grant. 

UBC has supported 35 Sustainability Fellows from 7 Faculties since the inception of the program in 2010. Past fellows developed the UBC framework for sustainability education, authored white papers on advancing sustainability curriculum at UBC, piloted an introductory sustainability course, and developed sustainability learning pathways within their home department or faculty.

If you are interested in becoming a Sustainability Fellow, we encourage you to apply to our new Interdisciplinary Education Grant Program.


Meet the 2017-2018 Cohort

The 2017-2018 cohort consists of three Fellows (Pathway Grant holders) from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and the Faculty of Education. This year the USI is winding down the Pathway Grant Program and will launch the Interdisciplinary Education Grant program in September 2018.

Patrick Robertson, Faculty of Education

Deeply involved in sustainability education and environmental learning for close to 20 years, Patrick is a teacher educator and consultant working collaboratively with a wide range of partners in BC and Canada. An award-winning educator and accomplished public speaker, he is the principal of Syncollab Strategies, a consulting collaborative based in Vancouver, where he works to build strategic partnerships, influence curriculum and other policy, and manage diverse projects with a variety of local, provincial and national clients and partners. Patrick also teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and is a director of various community organizations focused on sustainability, social justice, literacy and the environment. His USI Pathways Initiative, with co-fellow Dr. Rob VanWynsberghe, the Faculty of Education and community partners, is exploring Sustainability Learning Pathways in Teacher Education at UBC.

Rob Van Wynsberghe, Faculty of Education

Rob VanWynsberghe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies (EDST) ( He has a PhD in Sociology. He has an abiding research interest in human action and sustainability, especially as influenced by social movement theories, and the purported links between knowledge and change. Most recently, the social philosophies of pragmatism and practice theory are beginning to bridge what he considers to be important pedagogical gaps in designing socially conscious classrooms. Rob conducts research that defines sustainability as a global social movement and this conceptualization is the main reason why he wants to contribute to meaningful articulations between classrooms and communities. Working in EDST is a significant factor in his claiming that such collaborations will succeed if creative thoughts, disruptive situations, new norms, and non-standard rewards can coalesce individual and collective action into a better society. You can check out his 2016 book here ( and for details of exciting new Education for Sustainability M.Ed. go here (

Hannah Wittman, Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Hannah Wittman is Academic Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and Associate Professor at UBC, with a dual appointment in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES).  Trained in rural and environmental sociology, she conducts community-based research and outreach related to food sovereignty, agrarian reform, farm to school programs, and pathways towards a transition to sustainable agriculture and health equity in Canada and Latin America.  As a USI Sustainability Pathways Fellow, she is leading a team of students and faculty on an initiative to create and deliver a Sustainable Food Systems Minor available to undergraduate students across UBC, using the UBC campus as a Living Laboratory.  Her recent edited books include Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles  Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community, and Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems.

Meet the past Sustainability Fellows

2016-2017 cohort

2015-2016 cohort

2014-2015 cohort

2013-2014 cohort

2012-2013 cohort

2011-2012 cohort

2010-2011 cohort