The Sustainability Hub would like to congratulate the recipients of 2022 Climate Education Grants, supporting faculty members who are looking to enhance their courses with climate change-related content. 

The Sustainability Hub would like to congratulate the recipients of 2022 Climate Education Grants, supporting faculty members who are looking to enhance their courses with climate change-related content. 

Part of the Sustainability Hub's mission is to support faculty from across disciplines who are working to integrate sustainability and climate change content in their teaching, so that their students can become agents of change in the world. Learn more about how this content is being integrated into study at UBC by browsing project proposals from 2022 grant recipients below:

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 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:

  1. Develop curricula that align with up-to-date knowledge and practices in mitigating the impacts of climate change on human wellbeing;
  2. Partner with patients and caregivers to develop an interdisciplinary planetary health curriculum that incorporates their perspectives; and
  3. 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.

We are thrilled to see applications for this grant coming from faculty members from a wide range of fields. This year’s projects are very exciting and will provide great opportunities for students across the university to engage with climate content in their classes 

– Dr. Tara Ivanochko, Academic Director, Sustainability Hub