Seminar with Ika Darnhofer on Wednesday May 20 at 12pm


The IRES Seminar Series and the Global Food Dialogues lecture series are co-hosting this upcoming talk next week:

Date:  Wednesday, May 20

Time:  12pm

Location:  AERL Building, Room 107/108

Pizza will be served in the AERL lobby at 11:45am.

Dr. Ika Darnhofer

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

The resilience of family farms –A post-structuralist view

Abstract: Many family farms have been around for several generations and have mastered substantial changes, both on-farm and in their context. Given that there is widespread agreement that our world is changing at an ever faster rate, it might be useful to understand what allows farms to buffer shocks, to adapt and to transform, i.e. be resilient. It seems that the call for economic efficiency to tackle the pressure to ‘get big or get out’ is only part of the story.  In this presentation I will build on complexity (which implies that the future cannot be predicted, thus questioning the usefulness of ‘strategic planning’) and on post-structuralism (which questions structure as determining action, and emphasizes that there is always an excess of possibilities). Farm resilience is then tied to the ability to respond creatively to emerging change through a ‘bricolage’ approach. Based on empirical work in Austria, I will discuss some ‘rules of thumb’ that farmers seem to use to navigate turbulent times.

Bio: Dr. Ika Darnhofer is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, in Vienna, Austria. She is currently on a sabbatical at UBC, hosted by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Her work focuses on management and decision making on family farms. She uses the framework of social-ecological resilience – mainly developed for large-scale natural resources – and applies it to family farms, to capture both the complexity and the dynamics farmers face.

See you on Wednesday, May 20!

Bonnie Leung
RMES Program Support
Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL building)
429-2202 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC | V6T 1Z4

Tel: 604-822-9249




Congratulations, Andrew Plowright and Wei-Chung Chen!

GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award for April 2015 has been selected. Congratulations to Andrew Plowright and Wei-Chung Chen. A big thank you to everyone who has shared their non-thesis work with the UBC community!

Pictured above: GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award recipient Andrew Plowright with GSS VP University and Academic Affairs, Enav Zusman

GSS Social and Recreational

French Language Classes (Beginner 101 / Intermediate 102) Begins Monday, May 25, GSC Leon’s Lounge: Parlez-vous francais? Non? Want to? Master your French language skills with one of these 7-week classes.

Yoga Class Jun 2 – Jul. 28,  5:30-6:30pm, Thea Koerner House: Time to get bendy and relieve stress! Open to yogis of all levels. If you’re just getting acquainted with downward dog or have that toe stand nailed, everyone will be challenged at the appropriate level.

Zumba Class Jun 2 – Jul. 28,  6:30-7:30pm, Thea Koerner House: Ditch the Workout, Join the Party! Open to all levels! If you’re just learning your way around two left feet or are spinning like a top, everyone will be challenged at the appropriate level.

GSS Summer Sports League (Soccer / Softball) begins on May 29, 5-8pm, UBC: Come to watch and cheer for the teams competing against each other.

Check the GSS Events Calendar for upcoming classes, workshops, and events!

GSS Catchup

Next GSS Council Meeting May 28, 5:30pm, GSS Ballroom: Come and listen to your GSS Council’s discussions on important graduate student-related issues.

Become a member on one of your GSS Committees and grow your leadership, teamwork, and communication skills with your UBC Graduate Student Society.

GSS Representative on AMS Council Get involved and help shape the future of your GSS! We are seeking for a graduate student to sit on the AMS Council as a GSS representative and report back to the GSS Council. Interested? Email

Attention event organizers! The BC Government recently changed the rules for how to obtain a Special Occasion Licence (SOL), the type of liquor licence needed to host one-time events where alcohol is served. All SOL applications must now be submitted online. In light of these changes, the university is re-evaluating their procedures for SOL approvals. If you’d like to be involved, have concerns, or would like to receive more information about the changes, email your GSS Graduate Policy Researcher, Neal Yonson.

Your Votes Matters! #wesayyes #cutcongestion
Tired of being passed up or cramped on buses? Until May 29, your vote in the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Referendum can mean improvements in our transit system to UBC. Sign up to vote or volunteer.

“May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet,
enough trials to keep you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human,
enough hope to keep you happy.”
― Irish Blessing 

– Karen, for your GSS


Urgent important information about the 2015 Winter Session LFS TA Application


We have had a critical failure with the new online TA application;  we are having some data integrity issues.  We have closed the application, deleting all the applicant information that has been submitted since the application opened in mid-April. We anticipate re-opening the application on Monday May 18 following five days of testing to ensure this doesn’t happen again.  The application will be open until Friday May 29.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Statistical Opportunity for Students (SOS)


The Statistical Opportunity for Students (SOS)

The Statistical Consulting and Research Laboratory (SCARL) is proud to offer an hour  of statistical consulting to UBC graduate students at no charge to the student.

The SOS program is designed to help graduate students formulate and understand the statistical issues involved in their research projects. The program is open to all UBC graduate students. Interested students submit a one page description of their work outlining their statistical questions. They meet with consultants for an hour to discuss their questions and receive a written summary shortly after the meeting, all at no charge.

For further details on the program and how to apply please visit

The SOS program is made possible through funding support from the

Office of the Provost and Vice President, Research and International.

— Rick WhiteManaging DirectorStatistical Consulting and Research LaboratoryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC, Canada.