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.
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Applied Science
Joe teaches design studios and courses in the architecture and landscape architecture programs and runs the Studio for Form and Energy. With his partner Amber Frid-Jimenez, Canada Research Chair in design, he runs AFJD Studio, a transdisciplinary design firm based in Vancouver. He is co-founder and Director of Sustainability at Watershed Materials LLC, an architectural materials company supported by the US National Science Foundation and private equity investment.
Joe’s research and design projects investigate the technical methods and cultural effects of resource use at the scales of architecture and territory. He is a frequent conference speaker on these topics and has consulted on projects in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Department of English, Faculty of Arts
Alexander Dick is Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1790-1830 (Palgrave 2013) and of many articles and chapters on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British poetry, fiction, drama, philosophy, and political economy. He is currently working on a new monograph on agricultural improvement and ecological consciousness in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, specifically on how the introduction of mass-sheep farming in the Scottish Highlands was both championed and protested in that era’s literary culture.
This work traces the origins of both the tacit approval of environmental and economic exploitation and of ideas of ecological concern and unease to the literary culture of early nineteenth-century Britain. He is also interested in the way the bizarre and paradoxical tensions between economic development and ecological concern continue to motivate Western literature, philosophy, media, and culture.
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
Simon Donner is a Professor of Climatology in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, where he conducts research at the interface of climate science, marine science, and public policy. He is also the director of UBC’s “Ocean Leaders” program which trains graduate students to translate research into policy and management innovations.
At UBC, Simon is also affiliated with Institute of Oceans and Fisheries, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Atmospheric Sciences Program and Liu Institute for Global Issues. Current areas of research include climate change and coral reefs; ocean warming, El Nino and sea-level rise; climate change adaptation in small island developing states; and, effective public engagement by scientists on climate change.
IRES, Faculty of Science and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Amanda Giang is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. Her research addresses challenges at the interface of environmental modelling and policy through an interdisciplinary lens, with a focus on air pollution and toxic chemicals. Combining integrated modelling and qualitative approaches, she is interested in understanding how environmental assessment processes can better empower communities and inform policy decision-making.
Amanda’s current projects include developing digital tools for environmental justice in Canada, assessing the prospective impacts of technology and policy change on air quality and climate in India, and modelling the impacts of global policy on mercury pollution. As a Sustainability Fellow, she is working with Prof. Terre Satterfield to develop interdisciplinary teaching case studies about the environmental, social, and technological dimensions of energy systems.
Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education
Derek Gladwin is Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Education, where he focuses on transformations in society and culture through environmental humanities and arts-based education. He has previously held visiting research fellowships in the environmental humanities at the University of Edinburgh and Trinity College Dublin. His authored or edited books focused on the environmental humanities and sustainability include: Eco-Joyce, Unfolding Irish Landscapes, Contentious Terrains, Ecological Exile, and Gastro-Modernism.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Derek will be designing a new undergraduate course between the faculties of Arts and Education titled Environmental Humanities and Sustainability Education with co-fellow Alex Dick (English Language & Literatures).
School of Journalism, Faculty of Arts
Peter Klein is an Associate Professor at the School of Journalism and faculty affiliate at the Liu Institute. He is also the founder and director of the UBC Global Reporting Centre, which brings scholars and journalists together to report on global issues and innovate how journalism is practiced.
Peter is principle investigator of Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chains, a SSHRC Partnership of global governance scholars and investigative reporters looking at global commerce and its connections to human rights, corruption and sustainability. His Emmy Award-winning course International Reporting brings journalism students around the world together to collaborate on major works of journalism. Peter was a long-time producer at CBS News 60 Minutes, and is a regular contributor to The Globe & Mail and The New York Times.
Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti
Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education
Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti is a professor at the Department of Educational Studies and holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change. She has extensive experience working across sectors internationally in areas of education related to global justice, community engagement, Indigenous knowledge systems and internationalization. Her research focuses on analyses of historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of knowledge and inequalities and how these mobilize global imaginaries that limit or enable different possibilities for (co)existence and global change.
Vanessa is currently directing research projects and teaching initiatives related to social innovation oriented towards decolonial futures (decolonialfutures.net and blogs.ubc.ca/earthcare).These projects draw attention to the limits of a single modern/colonial imaginary of progress, development and human evolution and the adjacent possibilities of setting horizons of hope beyond what we can imagine within modern institutions and ways of knowing and being.
Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts
Jenny Peterson is an Instructor in the Department of Political Science and she also teaches at UBC’s Vantage College. She is broadly interested in the politics of international aid with her past work analysing process of liberal peacebuilding and critiques thereof. Finding much of this critical work homogenizing of a diverse range of processes she has recently began exploring conceptual and empirical deviations from the liberal model.
Engaging with debates on agonism, resistance, hybridity and political space Jenny is now exploring diversity and innovation, both local and international, in peace/justice movements. She has conducted research and led student fieldtrips in Kosovo, Sri Lanka and Ghana. Her teaching interests include international relations, comparative politics, humanitarian studies and peace studies.
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Gabriel Potvin is an Instructor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and the current Chair of the Applied Science program in Vantage College. He has a background in biochemistry, industrial microbiology, and bioprocess engineering, with a focus on the development of novel recombinant platforms for the sustainable production of industrially-relevant enzymes, and the cultivation of microalgae for the production of biomass and lipids used for energy and biofuel production.
Gabriel has extensive experience in public science and engineering education outreach, and has won several awards for this work. He is currently particularly interested in international education and the development of interdisciplinary education opportunities in engineering programs.
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
Geraldine Pratt is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Canada Research Chair in Transnationalism and Precarious Labour. Her research focuses on precarious labour, migration and care work. She has co-written two plays pertaining to Filipino migrant domestic workers (Nanay and Tlingipino Bingo), which have been performed in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Berlin, Edinburgh and Manila.
Geraldine has been teaching about acoustic ecologies since 2011; in some years UBC geography undergraduate students have presented their acoustic cartographies at the Western Front.
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Since 2014, Will Valley has been an instructor in the Applied Biology program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is also the academic director of the Land, Food and Community Series, a set of courses, from 1st through 4th year, that form the core curricula of the faculty, which bring students from the diverse set of disciplines in the faculty to work on issues of food systems sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty.
Will’s current research focus is on identifying common curricular and pedagogical themes within sustainable food systems education programs in order to analyze, collaboratively evaluate, and improve stakeholder experiences and outcomes (e.g. students, community members, and instructors). He is also involved in research that analyzes urban agriculture and municipal policy, and the design, development, and assessment of K-12 school food systems, from growing, preparing, sharing, and managing “waste”, to policy, procurement, school food environment assessments, and curricular design.