Tag Archives: soil science

Job Posting: Graduate Research Assistant – Compostable Foodware

DURATION: September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015
POSITION TYPE: Masters level graduate research assistantship
FACULTY: Faculty of Land & Food Systems
GRADUATE PROGRAM: Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems; Soil Science
HOURS AND PAY RATE: 20-40 hrs per week (depending on course schedule) $4000 per month for full time
APPLICATION CLOSES: August 25, 2014

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
With the global efforts to reduce waste, there are more and more compostable products entering different product lines – especially notable is compostable food ware and packaging. The composting industry however is having problems incorporating these new products in their processes because they lack clear protocols on how best to assess their degradation under different composting conditions. This project will help increase the incorporation of compostable food ware and packaging into the compost stream by creating and refining in-field testing protocols and assessing the quality of their compost. The aim is to help bridge the gap between the current laboratory certifications and on site
facility experience by creating transferrable testing protocols for use by individual compost facilities. The project will assess the quality and environmental outcomes of various compost products both in the greenhouse and in field trials at the UBC Farm. Specifically the nutrient dynamics of the composts and their impact on vegetable production will be analyzed.

JOB DESCRIPTION
The research assistant (RA) will work as part of the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory (http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/) with an industry partner to develop details for a comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of compostable packaging from the establishment of new protocols for the composting industry to the assessment of the quality of compost products. The RA will review existing compostable food ware and packaging composting protocols, and survey composting facilities to develop a protocol for various facility types. The RA will then use the protocols to test the disintegration of compostable products from the industry partner at various compost facilities and will conduct a
greenhouse study to assess the impact of various compost products on vegetable production. Finally the RA will participate in compost field trials where vegetable yields and nutrient dynamics (e.g. greenhouse gas emission and nitrogen leaching) will be quantified.

QUALIFICATIONS
Successful applicants will need to demonstrate an interest and ability to conduct interdisciplinary research (e.g. social, economic and environmental). The applicant must have a willingness and ability to work in a physically demanding environment. Applicants will be expected to work outside in all kinds of weather and must be able to lift 25 kg. This position requires organizational skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a team. Applicants that have demonstrated previous experience with fieldwork or other outdoor activities are preferred. Applicants’ resumes should include a summary of field and laboratory course work completed and/or any applicable employment or volunteer experience.

REQUIREMENTS
• Undergraduate degree in science, preferably environmental, soil or agricultural science or equivalent work experience
• 1-2 years of work experience in a related field

CONTACT INFORMATION
Interested applicants should email Dr. Sean Smukler at sean.smukler @ubc.ca the following:
• Brief email or cover letter describing the applicants qualifications and interests
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• Unofficial Transcript
• An example of written work

Dru Yates receives NACTA award

Congratulations to MSc alumna Dru Yates (supervised by Assoc. Prof. Maja Krzic) who is this year’s recipient of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Graduate Student Teaching Award.

The award is given in recognition of meritorious efforts in postsecondary teaching by a graduate student. Dru is a double alumna of Land and Food Systems, having completed her BSc in Global Resource Systems in 2010, and her MSc in Soil Science this past spring.

(Original post: http://reachout.landfood.ubc.ca/2014/06/26/dru-yates-receives-nacta-award/. Re-posted with permission.)

Today: TerreWEB Seminar with Clara Roa (UBC Soil Science)

This week in the TerreWEB seminar series we are excited to have Clara Roa, who will be talking this Thursday about “A Web based tool for flow monitoring used by water communities.” Everyone is welcome!

When: This Thursday, March 6th
Where: Macmillan Building, Room 154
Time: 2:00-3:00pm (3:30 for scholars)

Abstract: Clara will show a virtual tool that explains how to monitor streamflows in small watersheds. The tool is aimed primarily at rural community water organizations (CWO). CWOs continuously deal with climate variability: in summer due to water scarcity and in the rainy season due high sediment loads in the streams. Monitoring flows aim to facilitate decision making processes to mitigate the impacts of droughts and to influence municipal budgets for acquiring protected areas.

Bio: Since 2005 Clara Roa-Garcia has been working with young people and local communities, doing research in natural resources. She is currently working in southwestern Colombia with community organizations that manage water for potable consumption. This internet-based project is part of her thesis, “Soils and land use in the Colombian Andes: influence on water yield and low flows in the dry season” that aims to show the role of two types of soils (from the central branch and the western branch of the Andes) on water regulation in watersheds, particularly in the dry season.

Sean Kearney wins campus-wide GIS award

Sean Kearney, PhD student in Soil Science (supervisor Sean Smukler) has won the ESRI Canada Scholarship for the campus-wide “Can you make a map?” contest. Seans’ entry on Agroforestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Assessment in El Salvador combined Geographic Information System (GIS) innovation, high quality mapping and clarity. Sean was the unanimous selection as winner of this years contest. Congratulations Sean on the award and the cash prize!

For more on Sean’s research, visit http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/projects/sean-ecosystem-services/

For more on the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), visithttp://www.esri.ca/en