Welcome from the Heads of the Botany & Zoology Departments and the Biology Program

We welcome you as new graduate students and as attendees of this TA orientation event. We are glad that you chose to study and work at UBC and we welcome you into our community. Although it might or might not feel this way to you, nevertheless you are the lifeblood of science and our collective hopes and wishes are with you as you navigate through a new system. You have chosen well to come – some of the best science in the world in plant and animal biology takes place right here. Don’t be shy about asking for information, help and support. Let us know what you need and we will do the best we can with the resources we have and can obtain.

We hope that you waste no time in networking with your fellow grad students. There is a wealth of knowledge, caring, wisdom, and good humor to draw upon from your peers. May you also discover friendships and mentors that will change your life.

One of the joys of grad school is being in a community of people that love the natural world, that are in awe about the beauty of cells, organisms, and adaptations, and that treasure their chance to spend their time learning about biology. May you find the exhilaration and pride that comes when you discover new data that significantly change how the world looks at a scientific problem.

May you also discover the satisfaction of communicating your interest in biology to your students and sharing with them your enthusiasm and experience. Undergraduate teaching is one of the most important activities carried out by faculty and students in the Departments of Botany and Zoology. The reputations of our Departments and the University, in large part, reflect our ability to capture the imaginations of our students. It is our privilege to provide them with an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and to stimulate them to think and problem solve. As teaching assistants you become a part of our teaching team and join us in our mandate to inspire our undergraduate students.

We hope that this session is a useful one that provides you with the information needed to undertake this task and we encourage you to let us know if there is anything further that we can do to assist you.

All the best,

Sean Graham                 Sunita Chowrira                 Vanessa Auld

Head Botany                    Associate Head Biology                   Head Zoology