SCIE 420 Undergraduate Course: Sustainability for Community and the World


SCIE 420—Sustainability for Community and the World 

Winter Term 2 (January-April 2019), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am

Location: Orchard Commons

Use your thoughts, approaches, and solutions pertaining to sustainability to facilitate the application of that understanding to a real problem in the community. There are two components to this course: (1) lecture and discussion and (2) a community project. In SCIE 420, students will attend lecture and discussion and then use what they’ve learned to undertake a project with community partners. The intention of the project component is to bring people together to work on sustainability, enrich the learning experience by allowing you to explore sustainability theory in the real world, and allow you to contribute your knowledge and skills to address community-identified priorities and make a positive impact.

Course topics: 

  • What do we mean by complex systems? If they’re so complex, how can we understand them? 
  • What does systems thinking have to do with sustainability?
  • Does the “3 pillars” model of sustainability make sense? When does it work and when does it fail? How do we value things that are difficult to monetize?
  • What does sustainability look like in a Canadian context? What can I do to help secure a more sustainable future?

This course is open to upper-level undergraduates in any Faculty, however space is limited due to the project-based nature of the course. For more information, please contact the instructor, Dr. Hannah Wittman (

SCIE 420 – Sustainability for Community and the World

New workshops offered | Take our survey | Meet Nasim Peikazadi



Systematic Review | Literature Reviews | Plus new workshops added

NVivo, SPSS, R Stat, Mendeley, Zotero?

Are you left wondering if these softwares are even for you? Why do Graduate Students even need them? You are not alone! One of the most important services our team provides, is helping you select the tools that will help you in your specific case. Don’t forget that our whole team are currently working on their theses also. They have helped thousands of students get on the right track, save time etc. Not sure which workshops you need to attend or which tools are right for you? Drop us an email and we will help you out.

Send us an email

Meet Nasim Peikazadi

We are so lucky to have Nasim back this semester. After a maternity leave Nasim returned to her PhD research this September (2018). Upon her return, Nasim hit the ground running and already has helped numerous students get their theses formatted correctly in her workshops and consults. Nasim is also an expert at Citation Management tools. Not only does she know the tools inside and out, but also is exceptional at helping others select the right tool for their needs. We had the chance to catch up with Nasim and ask her a few questions recently. Read the full interview here

Behind the scenes this month

Even though we have only been open for a few weeks, our team has already offered over 30 different workshops, study groups, and writing community sessions. From behind the scenes, I can confirm you have a passionate team which is constantly stretching beyond itself!

As a representative example, our Quantiative Data Analysis team of Minjeong and Mohammad created a survey about your specific quantitative data analysis needs. Complete the survey so that you can help directly impact our quantitative data analysis learning opportunities.

Take the survey about your data research needs

Upcoming workshops

Don’t miss out on any graduate student support services, designed to make the research process as smooth and effective as possible. Find the full list of offerings at the Calendar of Events.

View all upcoming Research Commons workshops 


Systematic Review (Last one for 2018) Wed, Nov 22 at 12 PM Learn more

Literature Reviews (Last one for 2018) Wed, Nov 14 at 1 PM Learn more

Lay Summaries (Last one for 2018) Tuesday December 4th at 10 AM Learn more

Webmaps from Scratch (Last one for 2018) Thurs, Nov 22 at 2 PM Learn more

SPSS Wednesdays, Nov 7, Nov 21 & Dec 12 at 10 AM Learn more

Thesis Formatting Mondays, Nov 5, Nov 26 & Dec 10 at 10 AM Learn more

Citation Management (Introductory Level) 

RefWorks Fridays: Nov. 2, Nov. 16 & Nov. 23 at 10 AM
Mendeley and Zotero Fridays: Nov. 9, Dec. 7 & Dec. 14 at 10 AM
Endnote Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 10 AM

NVivo Tuesdays, Nov 13, Nov 20, Dec 4, and Dec 11 at 10 AM Learn more

Take part in GeoAwareness Week and GIS Day 2018

Tues, Nov 13th & Wed, Nov 14th
Learn more

Drop in to our weekly R Study Group

Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. in Koerner Library, Room 216
Learn more

Join the Graduate Student Writing Community

Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. or Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.
Writer’s block? Feeling isolated in your research and writing? Discover what a difference writing in a community can make in one of our weekly writing communities!
Learn more

Book a one-on-one consult this semester

We offer consults in citation management, GIS, NVivo, SPSS or R, Stata and thesis formatting. Consults are offered in Room 218A in the Koerner Library or via Skype.

Request consult

Not sure if you should book a consult or attend a workshop? Email us!

Let’s Talk Science Mentorship Program: Call for Volunteers


The science fair mentorship program aims to increase student’s confidence with using and understanding scientific concepts and to increase their ability communicate scientific knowledge. This is done by providing students in grade 8-10 with a positive role model who is currently pursuing a career in science and attending a post-secondary institution. Using a tri-mentoring structure UBC graduate and undergraduate student mentors are paired with a small group (4-5) of secondary school students. Through 7 classroom visits (3 digital in November, 4 in person in January), mentors and their students go through the entire process of designing, running, and analyzing a scientific experiment. The program concludes with a school wide science fair where students present their projects and volunteers act as judges.

This program offers an enriching experience for volunteers as they are able to work closely with a small number of students over several visits and see their projects progress from start to finish.

Interested potential volunteers can find more information on  our website or can email me at I’ve also attached a flier with more details. To sign up, potential volunteers can email me at or fill in this brief survey. Our first training will be November 1, but we will also offer an additional training on November 8 for volunteers who cannot attend the November 1 training.

Thank you,

Deborah Good–Let’s Talk Science Mentorship Coordinator

MFRE Friday Seminar – Nov 2: Vertical Farming: The Future of Agriculture


MFRE Speaker Series

Speaker: Nick Brusatore, Founder at Vertical Designs

Topic: Vertical Farming: The Future of Agriculture

Date & Time: Friday, Nov 2 2018 3 – 5 pm

Venue: MCML 160


About the Speaker:

An early pioneer in the vertical farming space, Nick Brusatore is a known design expert in the commercial production of plants using vertical growing technology to fully automate and accommodate low cost production with high level of quality. Mr. Brusatore has been Chairman of the Applied Research Board at The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and nominated for the award of excellence in Canada Agriculture. Nick was the initial funder and founder of Affinor Growers and Vertical Designs and the current holder of two global vertical farming patents. He is currently funding a state of the art facility under construction for Cannabis on his property in Abbotsford BC. 

Please also find attached a poster with more details. 

All are welcome! 

Kind regards,


Shristee Rahman  MFRE
Educational Researcher
Land and Food Systems | Master of Food and Resource Economics
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
348A-2357 Main Mall | Vancouver British Columbia | V6T 1Z4 Canada

Nov 8 Info Session – JSPS Fellowships for Research in Japan


The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is the largest research-funding agency in Japan. It operates under the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Funding opportunities are available to most fields (social-science, humanities, STEM, multi-disciplinary) for research at all Japanese Universities and public research institutions:

·        Doctoral students who are near program completion (summer and short-term fellowships)

·        Postdoctoal fellows (summer, short and long term fellowships)

·        Faculty members at junior, mid-career and senior levels (short and long term fellowships)

To learn more about funding opportunities directly from JSPS staff and alumni, please attend:

Information Session with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

·        Thursday, November 8, 2018, 2:30-3:30PM

·        Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL), Lecture Theatre 102

·        2185 East Mall (V6T 1Z4), map –

·        Please register for this session at

The JSPS also work directly with Mitacs and NSERC to allocate some of their funding for research:

Mitacs-JSPS Summer Program (

·        Open to: graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Canadian universities in all disciplines

·        Citizenship: Canadian citizens and permanent residents

·        Project length: 10 weeks (June 11-August 21, 2019)

·        Applicant deadline: December 5, 2018

NSERC: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships (

·        Open to: students hold (or expect to hold) a doctorate degree in one of the fields of research that NSERC supports prior to the proposed start date of the postdoctoral fellowship

·        Citizenship: Canadian citizens and permanent residents

·        Duration: varies, ranges from 12-24 months

·        Applicant deadline: February 1, 2019