LFS – Graduate Studies updates


LFS Graduate Studies has the pleasure to announce that Professor Zhaoming XU (zhaoming.xu@ubc.ca ) has been appointed as  Associate Dean Graduate Studies effective September 1st, 2015 for the next three years.

In order to better serve our students and improve efficiency, LFS now has three graduate program advisors:

–  Assistant Professor Ronaldo Cerri will assume responsibilities for Applied Animal Biology (AANB), Agricultural Economics (AGEC), Plant Science (PLNT) and Soil Science (SOIL) programs;
– Assistant Professor Yvonne Lamers for Food Science (FOOD), and Human Nutrition (HUNU) programs; and

– Associate Professor Sumeet Gulati for Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (ISLFS).

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to previous grad program advisors: Rick Barichello, Les Lavkulich, Eunice Li-Chan, Carol McAusland, Mahesh Upadhyaya, Tim Green, Eduardo Jovel, Marina von Keyselringk, Gwen Chapman and Susan Barr for their dedicated and long-term service and for providing mentorship to our incoming grad program advisors.

RMES 510, Exploding SES


Exploding* Social-Ecological Systems (RMES 510)

Instructor:                   Kai ChanCHANS Lab (Connecting Humans and Natural Systems), Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)


Time:                           Thursdays, 2-5pm, Term 2 (Jan – Apr 2016)

At the core of many environmental issues are intertwined social and ecological processes that drive changes for both ecological systems and human communities at multiple scales. The multiple causes of environmental problems have long troubled traditional academic approaches because social and ecological systems have generally been studied separately. Increasingly, interdisciplinary socio-ecological approaches are being developed in order to consider these processes together, providing important insights regarding the complex dynamics of diverse and interlinked processes operating across temporal and spatial scales. This course investigates both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that are important to understanding connections and linkages across social and ecological realms, going well beyond and reflecting on the ‘social-ecological systems’ literature. This will include exposure to several case studies, and also to fields of study, their key constructs, and their methods that focus on coupled systems and the integration of socio-ecological perspectives. Attention will also be paid to the evaluation of perspectives where such integration does not yet occur and why this matters. Students will leave the course with an understanding of (i) how these interlinked systems and dynamics function (or are dysfunctional), (ii) how existing policies, economic incentives, governance regimes, behaviors (individual and collective), and preferences affect these systems and processes and (iii) how new policies and institutions might learn from available research to better promote sustainable trajectories.


* ‘Exploding’ is used in several senses: (a) throwing wide open (the conversation around); (b) showing the components of a mechanism as if separated by an explosion but in the normal relative positions. We will also consider seriously (c) efforts to show (a belief or theory) to be false or unfounded.

Last year’s syllabus: http://ires.ubc.ca/files/2010/06/RMES-510-Course-Syllabus-Kai-Chan-PDF.pdf

Kai M. A. ChanAssoc Prof &
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services)

Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability
AERL Rm 438, 2202 Main Mall
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z4
Ph: 604.822.0400               Fax: 604.822.9250

kaichan@ires.ubc.ca           kc@kchan.org

www.ires.ubc.ca                 www.kchan.org

@KaiChanUBC                   My group: chanslab.ires.ubc.ca

Natural Step Canada


The Natural Step Canada is a dynamic non-profit organization with over a decade of experience helping organizations and individuals understand and make meaningful progress toward sustainability. This October, The Natural Step is offering two sustainability courses in Vancouver:

For more information please contact the MacMillan Sustainability Coordinator – Martin at mire@mail.ubc.ca

Place-based Activism and Spiritual Practice Convergence kicks off in TWO WEEKS!


Dear friends and colleagues,

Join the Salish Sea Spiritual Ecology Alliance (SSSEA) for our 2015 Convergence: Place Based Activism and Spiritual Practice.
Connect with our Vancouver landscapes on this pilgrimage through ocean, forest, farm and city.

All are invited.

Read more and register today: http://spiritualecologyalliance.org/2015-convergence-2/

Jason M. Brown
PhD Student, University of British Columbia’s

Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability


People of the Land: Dialogue series with the Mapuche Territorial Alliance


People of the Land: 

Dialogue series with the Mapuche Territorial Alliance

September 22-23, 2015

UBC | Unceded Coast Salish Territory

People of the Land: Dialogue series with the Mapuche Territorial Alliance will bring together two Indigenous leaders from the Mapuche Nation –Alberto Curamil and Miguel Melin– with Indigenous activists and scholars from North America to exchange ideas and share experiences about land recuperation, opposition to extractive industries on their traditional territories, customary law, and Indigenous childhood, language, and education.

The Mapuche Territorial Alliance (ATM) is one of the grassroots organizations based on the ancestral territory of the Mapuche Nation in the South of Chile – the Gulu Mapu, or west side of the Andes. The ATM’s core mission is the full defense of Mapuche inherent rights, especially with regard to the protection of the territory and the natural environment.

Everyone is welcome, but RSVP is required for the lunch on September 23rd.

ATM Visit 2015


2-4pm Panel on land recuperation: Yes, the discussion has always been about land
With Kanahus Manuel (Secwepemc Nation) and Chief Ian Campbell (Squamish Nation)
Liu Institute for Global Issues – Multipurpose Room
6476 North West Marine Drive

5-7pm Planting Poverty: Film screening and discussion about the impacts of the forestry industry on Indigenous lands
With Andrea Lyall (Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Nation, UBC)
Simon K. Y. Lee Global Lounge – Media Centre
Building 1  2205 Lower Mall

Light refreshments provided

10am-12pm Panel on Indigenous customary law: Strengthening Indigenous legal orders from within

With Sheryl Lightfoot (Anishinaabe Nation, UBC) and Angeline Nyce (Nisg̱a’a nation)

1-3pm Panel on Indigenous childhood: Language and cultural revitalization through Indigenous knowledge
With Jo-ann Archibald (Sto:lo and St’at’imc Nations, UBC)

* Venue for both panels: First Nations Longhouse – Sty-wet-tan Hall
1985 West Mall

Lunch provided 12-1pm. RSVP to: mugarte@interchange.ubc.ca

Alberto Curamil is the spokesperson for the ATM. Community leader and traditional authority of the Curacautin area, Mapuche territory, he currently leads the opposition to the installation of hydroelectric power stations on several rivers across his traditional territory.

Miguel Melin is a Mapuche intercultural bilingual educator, activist, and former spokesperson for the ATM. He has extensive experience as a Mapuchezungun-Spanish teacher and has led several participatory projects with youth to revitalize the Mapuche language.

Presented with support from the Liu Institute for Global Issues, the Faculty of Forestry, the First Nations House of Learning, the Global Lounge, the Walter H. Gage Memorial Fund, the Faculty of Education, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Students Network, the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and the School of Community and Regional Planning.