Sustainability Fellows span a wide range of disciplines and areas of expertise from architecture to poetry, and mechanical engineering to politics. Meet some of the current fellows, and discover how they are pushing the boundaries of sustainability curriculum by learning about their Interdisciplinary Education projects.
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Bartolic earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and French and a Master of Arts degree in Family Studies from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She then worked as a Researcher in Distance Education and Psychiatry as well as a sessional instructor in Family Studies at UBC. After several rewarding years in these positions, she decided to go back to graduate school to earn a PhD and completed her degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, returning once again to UBC to teach as a Sessional Instructor. As of 2019, Dr. Bartolic is an Associate Professor of Teaching, teaching approximately 450 students per year.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Bartolic is working with Dr. Kerry Renwick to create a new certificate program on Sustainability and Family. The project aims to build an appreciation of sustainability in the context of human ecology and everyday living that contributes to sustainable practices. The goal is to develop 4 new courses - one that is theory based (sustainability in family), and three that are experiential learning based (sustainability related to food, clothing and resources).
School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Peter Berman (M.Sc, Ph.D) is a health economist with forty years of experience in research, policy analysis and development, and training and education in global health. He is Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, where he was also Director from 2019-21, and Adjunct Professor in Global Health at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. His current research at UBC focuses on key factors affecting government decision-making in response to public health crises.
Prof. Berman is affliated as Adjunct Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in New Delhi, India and as advisor to the China National Health Development Research Center for health care financing and health accounts. He was the founding faculty director of Harvard Chan’s Doctor of Public Health degree. He is the author or editor of five books on global health economics and policy and more than 60 academic papers in his field and numerous other working papers and reports. He has led and/or participated in major field programs in all regions of the developing world. He is co-author of Getting Health Reform Right: A Guide to Improving Performance and Equity (Roberts, et al, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2018), co-editor of the Guide to the Production of National Health Accounts (World Bank, World Health Organization, and USAID, 2003), and co-editor of Berman and Khan, Paying for India’s Health Care (Sage, 1993).
As a sustainability fellow, Prof. Berman is collaborating with faculty colleagues Prof. Veena Sriram and Milind Kandlikar to introduce a sustainability perspective into SPPH 481D, a new course on global health systems and policy. This will include new collaborative teaching cases on sustainability with partners in the Philippines and BC which will also be included in teaching internationally.
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
Jessica Dempsey's research and teaching focus on environmental politics. In geography this often goes under the label of political ecology, which refers to much more than the government or the state. It includes consideration of how environmental politics is shaped by and shapes economics, science, culture, history, gender, racism, colonialism, social movements and more. Those working in political ecology, including Jessica, aim to better understand urgent problems – biodiversity loss, drought, poverty, ongoing dispossessions, gendered and racialized violences, climate change – but recognize that diagnosing the causes of these problems, and understanding the relationships between them, is complex and always political.
In Jessica's research she focuses especially on trying to understand how biodiversity loss continues despite the proliferation of international, national and regional conservation laws, policies and advocacy efforts. It seems as though biodiversity loss has a kind of momentum of its own: but from where does that momentum stem? Jessica's current major research projects focus on 1) developing a political economic explanation of extinction, centered on an investigation of Canadian wildlife, and 2) examining dominant, increasingly economic and financial approaches to conservation. Her research is in dialogue with diverse methodologies and literatures, including political ecology, feminist political economy, economic geography, science studies, and green finance.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Dempsey is working with Dr. Tara Ivanochko on a project that will bring together students, faculty and staff, focusing on climate change to develop a new 18-credit interdisciplinary climate themed certificate.
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Applied Science
Allison Earl is a Sessional Lecturer in both the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Department of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education at UBC, specializing in design thinking, place-based experiential learning and sustainability. As an interdisciplinary academic, Allison has first hand experience of the value of interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability education. Perspectives, methods and skills can be applied across disciplinary boundaries enhancing the learning and competencies of students beyond the expected norms of their programs. She believes the success of the sustainability social movement requires creative, innovative leaders who can collaborate and communicate across all disciplines.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Allison is excited to work with Maggie Low from Indigenous Community Planning at the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) to facilitate learning about concepts of urban, participatory and Indigenous planning for teacher candidates in the sustainability cohort at UBC’s Faculty of Education.
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
Tara joined UBC’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) as faculty in the Educational Leadership steam in 2009. In EOAS, Tara has since served as the Director of Environmental Science and as Associate Head Undergraduate Affairs. Tara has also engaged as a Sustainability Fellow with the Sustainability Hub to forward sustainability education at UBC, as a steering committee member for the UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and as a member of the UBC Interdisciplinary Education Task Force. She helped envision the UBC 20-year Sustainability Strategy and develop the Faculty of Science sustainability course offerings.
As an educator, Tara builds relationships between students and community organizations through collaborative research projects. These projects allow environmental science students to actively contribute to building sustainable communities.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Ivanochko is working with Dr. Jessica Dempsey on a project that will bring together students, faculty and staff, focusing on climate change to develop a new 18-credit interdisciplinary climate themed certificate.
Faculty of Forestry, Dean
Rob Kozak is a Professor and Dean at the UBC Faculty of Forestry. His current research and teaching interests, as part of the Forests and Communities in Transition Lab, revolve around sustainable business management practices and issues and providing business-based solutions to complex problems related to sustainable development, forestry, wood products, and the emerging conservation economy. Currently, his work focuses on the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities, international development and poverty alleviation strategies, forest sector sustainability, and climate-adaptive strategies for forest management. He has published and presented his work widely, and is actively involved in service to the university and the broader academic community. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award in 2014, a Doctor of Agriculture and Forestry honoris causa from the University of Helsinki in 2021, and is a two-time recipient of the Killam Teaching Prize in 2001 and 2014.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Kozak is working with Dr. Stephen Sheppard to co-design and test a pilot 3-credit field course as a proof of concept for future course offerings aimed initially at 3rd/4th year students from the Bachelor of Urban Forestry and the Bachelor of Wood Products Processing programs. In this interdisciplinary field course students will work together to help local residents and youth design and install small climate action projects to tackle the climate emergency in their own neighbourhoods.
School of Community and Regional Planning, Faculty of Applied Science
Maggie Low is an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Community Planning at the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at UBC, specializing in Indigenous planning, Indigenous-state relations and reconciliation. Maggie’s work seeks to advance a better understanding of Indigenous sovereignty as it is expressed outside the Canadian courts, with a focus on the implications of these expressions for the well-being of Indigenous communities. Maggie is of mixed ancestry, including Italian, French and German from her mother’s side. From her father’s side she is French, English and a status member of Wikwemikoong Unceded Territory.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Maggie is thrilled to work with Allison Earl from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) to facilitate learning about concepts of urban, participatory and Indigenous planning for teacher candidates in the sustainability cohort at UBC’s Faculty of Education.
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
Long-term research goals have been primarily directed at understanding meteorological phenomena that develop in regions of complex, urbanized terrain. An important applied focus of this work has been the investigation of the role such phenomena (e.g. land sea breezes, slope winds and urban effects) have on the transport and dispersion of pollutants. Although much of this research has been site-specific (e.g. the Lower Fraser Valley, British Columbia) the findings are of general interest. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the processes contributing to, and the three-dimensional distribution of, air pollution in regions of complex terrain. This observational program has provided important information for development, initialization and validation of numerical models designed to forecast air quality and test pollutant abatement strategies. Recently, this research thrust has broadened to consider the impact of long-range transport of burgeoning pollutant emissions and crustal dust from Eurasia to North America. A central part of this work has been the installation of a state-of-the-art lidar facility at UBC in collaboration with Environment Canada.
As Sustainability Fellows, Dr. Ian McKendry and Dr. Roland Stull, are developing a new course proposal: ATSC 413 Forest Fire Weather and Climate. This course, designed for science students, will focus on large-scale synoptic weather as it affects fire behaviour.
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education
Kerry Renwick's research focuses on health and food literacy as situated practices and social justice in context of K-12 educational settings. Kerry co-ordinates the home economics education program at UBC, a teaching specialization whose content and practice are inherently linked to sustainable food systems.
Kerry’s previous research has included health promoting schools; exploring the relationship between school gardens and mental health in youth; and teachers’ practice in health and food education. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Partnership Development grant focused on global food literacy education. The Food Literacy International Partnership (FLIP) includes Deakin University, Australia; Sweet Briar College, USA; and Gothenburg University, Sweden.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Renwick is working with Dr. Silvia Bartolic to create a new certificate program on Sustainability and Family. The project aims to build an appreciation of sustainability in the context of human ecology and everyday living that contributes to sustainable practices. The goal is to develop 4 new courses - one that is theory based (sustainability in family), and three that are experiential learning based (sustainability related to food, clothing and resources).
Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
Stephen Sheppard, PhD., ASLA, is an Emeritus Professor in Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia, and an expert in landscape and climate change planning, community engagement, and visualization. He was the founding Director of UBC’s Bachelor of Urban Forestry program and directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group which works with communities on developing climate change and energy solutions. He has over 30 years experience in environmental assessment, aesthetics, landscape planning and public involvement. He has published four books, including Visualizing Climate Change from Earthscan/Routledge. His research interests include engaging citizens in low-carbon resilient communities, sea-level rise planning, heat/energy effects of urban forests, and video games as an educational tool on climate change. He leads UBC’s Research Cluster of Excellence on Cool Tools: Social Mobilization on Climate Change using Digital Tools.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Sheppard is working with Dr. Rob Kozak to co-design and test a pilot 3-credit field course as a proof of concept for future course offerings aimed initially at 3rd/4th year students from the Bachelor of Urban Forestry and the Bachelor of Wood Products Processing programs. In this interdisciplinary field course students will work together to help local residents and youth design and install small climate action projects to tackle the climate emergency in their own neighbourhoods.
School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Faculty of Arts
Veena Sriram is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia. Her research sits at the intersection of global health, social science and public policy, and her interests are in understanding power and politics in health policy processes in low- and middle-income countries. She draws upon theory and methodologies from the social sciences in conducting her research, and has a particular focus on qualitative approaches. Dr. Sriram has conducted extensive research at the national and state level in India, exploring a range of health policy and system questions, including medical specialization, health workforce policy development, the functioning of national health authorities and emergency care systems. She has also contributed to expanding the application of theory and concepts to study power in health policy and systems research.
As a sustainability fellow, Dr. Sriram is collaborating with Professors Peter Berman and Milind Kandlikar to introduce a sustainability perspective into SPPH 481D, a new course on global health systems and policy. This will include new collaborative teaching cases on sustainability with partners in the Philippines and BC which will also be included in teaching internationally.
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
Roland Stull is a Professor of Atmospheric Science. His 20-member Weather Forecast Research Team runs an ensemble of over 50 numerical weather prediction (NWP) realizations every day. NWP research themes include forest-fire weather (fire behavior, smoke forecasts), weather-related disasters (rain storms, floods, avalanches, wind storms), clean-energy meteorology (hydro, wind, solar), transportation weather (mass transit, rail, aviation, shipping), climate downscaling (for anticipating changes in fisheries, forest fires), instrument development, and numerous special projects.
Stull also has extensive experience in atmospheric boundary layers, turbulence, dispersion, and air quality. He is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, and fellow of both the Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (CMOS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He is the author of two textbooks: “Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey of Atmospheric Science” which is free online, and “An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology.” Stull has fun teaching courses at all levels, and is a winner of the Killam teaching prize.
As Sustainability Fellows, Stull (EOAS) and Ian McKendry (GEOG) are developing a new course proposal: ATSC 413 Forest Fire Weather and Climate. This course, designed for science students, will focus on large-scale synoptic weather as it affects fire behaviour.