Biodiversity Days 2021

Land acknowledgement: We acknowledge that UBC’s Point Grey campus is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) People. We are grateful for the chance to live, work and study on these lands, which they have sustained for millennia.


I created and presented this digital tour and fun knowledge test about local campus trees for attendees a UBC Biodiversity and Climate Action Ideas Showcase (May 2021, SEEDS and Botanical Garden sponsored). It is intended to provide an interactive educational experience in keystone and urban forest tree species identification. You are welcome to take this 360 walk through Main Mall and West Mall to test your knowledge!


  • Open the 360 tour window, below in full screen by clicking the icon in the top right corner; use “esc” to exit full screen.
  • Explore each 360 photo with your cursor (up, down, left right) and hunt for…
  • …. Circles with “+” signs  that you must click to gather information about the 5 mystery tree species, and tips to help you navigate the tour. There is even a 360 video in the 3rd photo (by the flagpole), which you may scroll around to see campus and tree leaves in action 🙂
  • Use the arrows to navigate between the 5 different 360 photos that take you from the Rose Garden (north end of Main Mall), south along Main Mall to West Mall, and back again to the start.
  • *New*: test your knowledge with embedded quiz questions (look for the hand symbol)

Find and Identify 5 Campus Tree Species

What’s missing? Other notable local forest species:

  • We mentioned that there are 3 major needleleaf (conifer) species native to BC’s Coastal forests, 2 of which were featured in the tour. Do any of you know what the 3rd species might be?
  • There are a couple of early-successional, deciduous broadleaf (hardwood) species that are important in recently disturbed sites in the regional coastal forests [this tour was made before they had fully leafed out].
    • Hints will be given at the end of the tour. But you are welcome to identify them on your own after viewing some photos of the species here and perhaps using this handy, downloadable Dichotomous Key for Needleleaf and Broadleaf species of Coastal BC assist your identifications.
    • Additionally, there are a variety of apps to assist species id, including iNaturalist (at: Google Playstore; App store). These have the added value of providing crowd-sourced data to assist in conservation science. Simply take a screenshot or photo and follow the instructions in the app.


Acknowledgements: We thank Aaron Woods, Digital Media Specialist, Department of Geography, for photographic assistance with the 360 photos and video.

Virtual Campus Tree Tour 2021, a work by Nina Hewitt (UBC Geography), UBC CCUB (Campus Crisis in Urban Biodiversity), and SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) Program is available under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike licence, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Creative Commons License