IRES Seminar Series: Thurs, March 23 with Sarah-Louise Ruder and Bassam Javed

Next week’s IRES Seminar is in the Michael Smith Labs Theatre (Room 102, 2185 East Mall).  Note: No food or drinks allowed in the Theatre.
March 23, 2023: IRES Student Seminar with Bassam Javed and Sarah-Louise Ruder
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Location: Michael Smith Labs Theatre (Room 102, 2185 East Mall)
Click here to register in advance to receive a Zoom link.
Zoom Rule: If we encounter technical difficulties during the first 5 to 10 mins of the seminar, Zoom will be terminated.
“Clean and affordable transportation” for all Canadians: Heterogeneity in cost of electrifying passenger transportation in Canada

Talk summary:

Are electric vehicles (EVs) more expensive than conventional cars in Canada? Do people who don’t live in single family homes pay more for EVs?  How does Canada’s cold weather affect EV costs? How will the federal carbon tax impact Canadians who want to buy an EV in 2030? These questions are becoming more pressing, especially in the context of the federal government’s 2035 zero-emissions vehicle sales mandate. EV ownership will have to move beyond early adopters and towards typical households. A key barrier to the widespread adoption of EVs is the high purchase cost compared to internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV). However, not all Canadian households face the same price disparity. In this talk, Bassam Javed will present a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis to explore how much different households across Canada would pay to own an EV—and how much they would need to drive daily to make costs equal to ICEVs. Bassam’s findings have several implications for both consumers and policymakers in Canada.


Bassam Javed, IRES PhD Candidate


Bassam is a PhD candidate at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. His research focuses on public policy to advance electric vehicle adoption in Canada, with Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Milind Kandlikar. He uses a combination of quantitative modelling and interviews/surveys to develop public policy recommendations. Bassam is also a Project Engineer at Environment and Climate Change Canada, where he works on policy development for decarbonisation of the rail and aviation sectors. His professional career began in the mining sector in northern Canada, and after completing his M. Eng in Clean Energy Engineering at UBC in 2015, he was an energy management professional, and then an energy and sustainability consultant for a Vancouver-based consulting firm. Bassam lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, and has two young children.

Farmer Sociotechnical Imaginaries for Canadian Agri-Food Future

Talk summary:

Developers of digital agricultural technologies proclaim that their tools are essential to grow more food on less land with fewer environmental impacts – while also boosting profits for farmers. Thus far, public and academic discourses exhibit polarizing views on the role of these technologies for the future of food with utopian and dystopian interpretations. Yet, it is likely that the social, environmental, and economic implications will be paradoxical and unevenly distributed. This study explores the effectiveness of Jasanoff and Kim’s “sociotechnical imaginaries” in explaining the politics and perceptions of digital agricultural technologies, focusing on farmers in Canada. We administered a survey to Canadian farmers (n=1,000), connecting respondents’ imagined futures for Canadian agriculture with existing measures of affect and affective imagery. For the seminar, I will present the methods developed alongside findings to elucidate the imaginaries at work for farmers in Canada.


Sarah-Louise Ruder, IRES PhD Candidate


Sarah-Louise Ruder is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, a UBC Public Scholar, and a Researcher at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Food and Agriculture Institute. At UBC, she is co-supervised by Dr. Hannah Wittman and Dr. Terre Satterfield. Sarah-Louise is an environmental social scientist studying food and agriculture in Canada. Her mixed-methods dissertation critically examines the role of novel agri-food technologies in food systems transitions. Interdisciplinary by training, she holds a Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, with a minor in Philosophy, from Queen’s University.


See you next Thursday in the Michael Smith Labs Theatre!


Bonnie Leung

RES Program Support (she/her/hers)

Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)

University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | Musqueam Traditional Territory

Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL Building)

Room 429 – 2202 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC | V6T 1Z4 | Canada


Tel: 604-822-9249

MFRE Speaker Series: Vincent Quan, Richberry Group


Excited to announce the upcoming seminar on Agribusiness Ventures, Business Model & Community Involvement by the Richberry Group of Companies! Join us this Friday as Vincent Quan, VP of Finance speaks to the MFRE students  on how they manage their agribusiness ventures and engage with the community

Richberry Group of Companies: Agribusiness Ventures, Business Model & Community Involvement


Date: Friday, March 17th ,2023

Time: 3:00-4:30 pm

Location: MCML 160

Mr. Quan is the Vice President of Finance for the Richberry Group of Companies, overseeing the financial and administrative management of all 6 independent farming operations within the group, including over 1,200 acres of Ocean Spray cranberry bogs in BC and Quebec.

With his established knowledge of the North American cranberry and greenhouse sector, he has implemented innovative financial strategies and policies that have increased profitability and improved overall financial health of the organization. He also has experience in complex corporate finance and syndicate transactions, as well as serving as a member of the Board of Directors and strategic Board Observer for several companies in the industry.

Mr. Quan holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics and has over 20 years of experience in the North American banking industry.

For information about the upcoming MFRE Speakers, Please visit here



Olivier Ntwali, BSc Ag. Econ, MFRE

Academic Program Manager | Master of Food and Resource Economics| Land and Food Systems| The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | 348A-2357 Main Mall | Vancouver British Columbia | V6T 1Z4 Canada | Cell 604-771-8961 | |


Thesis Defense – Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems – MSc – Mikaela Hudson



The Oral Examination for the Degree of

Master of Science
(Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems)

Mikaela Hudson


Wednesday, March 29th , 2023 – 11:00 AM

Room 170A, HR MacMillan Building, 2357 Main Mall


Chair: Dr. R. Barichello

Supervisory Committee:
Dr. L.M. Lavkulich – Supervisor
Dr. R. Yada – Co-Supervisor
Dr. S. Nashon – Committee member
Dr. R. Kozak – Committee member

Defense Committee Composition
Dr. L.M. Lavkulich – Supervisor
Dr. R. Yada – Co-Supervisor
Dr. R. Kozak – Committee member
Dr. S. Nashon – Committee member
Dr. D. Kitts – External


The environmental footprint of global food production

OF SEMINAR – March 17, 2023

The environmental footprint of global food production
Image by Jan Van Bizar from Pixabay
Feeding humanity puts enormous environmental pressure on our planet. Most studies focused on this critical issue have addressed it piecemeal, one group of foods or one environmental pressure at a time. Dr. Halpern will share results from his recently published work compiling vast data on greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater use, habitat disturbance and nutrient pollution generated by 99% of total reported production of freshwater, marine and terrestrial foods (crops, livestock, fisheries, and aquaculture). He and his team mapped these pressures to produce the first ever global ‘footprint’ of food production, creating the opportunity to address many key questions. For example, they found that on land, five countries contribute nearly half of food’s cumulative footprint, and just 10% of the planet contributes 93% of this footprint. Additionally, the top five foods with the greatest environmental footprint are pigs, cows, rice, wheat, and milk. This work provides new insight into decisions about which foods we choose to eat, and how we can influence policy towards more sustainable food production.
Dr. Ben Halpern
Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara
Friday, March 17, 2023 – 11:00am  – 12 noon
ONLINE: Over Zoom
IOF community members (students, faculty and staff) do not need to RSVP for this seminar series.

UBC members, alumni, and all others, please RSVP at:

GradUpdate – Academic CV, Navigating Supervisory Relationships, Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium, 3MT final, Research Article Introductions, Social Media for Policy, and more.


Semi-finals | Tuesday, Mar 14 | 10 am – 12 pm or 4 – 6 pm
Dodson Room, Irving K Barber Learning Centre or Online Register

3MT Final (for students in all disciplines)
Who will represent UBC at the Western Regional? Watch the top 10 live
Thursday, Mar 16, 12 – 2 pm | Jack Poole Hall South, Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre or Online Register


In this issue, Academic CV, Navigating Supervisory Relationships, Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium, 3MT final, Research Article Introductions, Social Media for Policy, and more.

Seats available

Academic CV
Online | Wednesday, Mar 22 | 12 – 1 pm


Navigating an Effective Relationship with your Supervisor
Online | Thursday, Mar 23 | 1:30 – 3:30 pm


Events and Opportunities

A selection of upcoming events are highlighted below.  Visit and for our full events calendar.


20th Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium
In person | Friday & Saturday, Mar 17 & 18
Includes the Indigenous Graduate Initiatives Showcase | Mar 17 | 9 am – 12 pm Learn more


Employer on Campus: Rivian
In person | Wednesday, Mar 22 | 5:30 – 6:30 Learn more


Map production with QGIS
In person | Tuesday, Mar 21 | 10 am – 12 pm Register

Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)
Online | Wednesday, Mar 22 | 2 – 4 pm Register


Understanding How to File Your Taxes with UBC TACS Clinic
Online | Wednesday, Mar 22 | 12 – 1 pm Register


Research Article Introductions: Mind the Gap
Hybrid | Wednesday, Mar 22 | 10 – 11:30 am Register

Social Media Strategy for Policy (Sciences)
Hybrid | Thursday, Mar 23 | 4 – 5:30 pm Register
See the full schedule for the Policy Communications Workshops Series.