Tag Archives: msc

Job Posting: Graduate Research Assistant – Compostable Foodware

DURATION: September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015
POSITION TYPE: Masters level graduate research assistantship
FACULTY: Faculty of Land & Food Systems
GRADUATE PROGRAM: Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems; Soil Science
HOURS AND PAY RATE: 20-40 hrs per week (depending on course schedule) $4000 per month for full time

With the global efforts to reduce waste, there are more and more compostable products entering different product lines – especially notable is compostable food ware and packaging. The composting industry however is having problems incorporating these new products in their processes because they lack clear protocols on how best to assess their degradation under different composting conditions. This project will help increase the incorporation of compostable food ware and packaging into the compost stream by creating and refining in-field testing protocols and assessing the quality of their compost. The aim is to help bridge the gap between the current laboratory certifications and on site
facility experience by creating transferrable testing protocols for use by individual compost facilities. The project will assess the quality and environmental outcomes of various compost products both in the greenhouse and in field trials at the UBC Farm. Specifically the nutrient dynamics of the composts and their impact on vegetable production will be analyzed.

The research assistant (RA) will work as part of the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory (http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/) with an industry partner to develop details for a comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of compostable packaging from the establishment of new protocols for the composting industry to the assessment of the quality of compost products. The RA will review existing compostable food ware and packaging composting protocols, and survey composting facilities to develop a protocol for various facility types. The RA will then use the protocols to test the disintegration of compostable products from the industry partner at various compost facilities and will conduct a
greenhouse study to assess the impact of various compost products on vegetable production. Finally the RA will participate in compost field trials where vegetable yields and nutrient dynamics (e.g. greenhouse gas emission and nitrogen leaching) will be quantified.

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate an interest and ability to conduct interdisciplinary research (e.g. social, economic and environmental). The applicant must have a willingness and ability to work in a physically demanding environment. Applicants will be expected to work outside in all kinds of weather and must be able to lift 25 kg. This position requires organizational skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a team. Applicants that have demonstrated previous experience with fieldwork or other outdoor activities are preferred. Applicants’ resumes should include a summary of field and laboratory course work completed and/or any applicable employment or volunteer experience.

• Undergraduate degree in science, preferably environmental, soil or agricultural science or equivalent work experience
• 1-2 years of work experience in a related field

Interested applicants should email Dr. Sean Smukler at sean.smukler @ubc.ca the following:
• Brief email or cover letter describing the applicants qualifications and interests
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• Unofficial Transcript
• An example of written work

Planning For Farmland Access In British Columbia: Sustaining An Actively Farmed Agricultural Land Base For Food Security

Small Farm In Abbottsford BC

(Photo: Ben Lyon, Flickr Creative Commons)

What: Webinar and In-Person Presentation and Discussion
 March 19, 2014
 9:00am – 10:30am (presentation from 9:00 – 9:45, discussion from 9:45 – 10:30)
 MCML 350, UBC Vancouver Campus or Remotely via Webinar (details below)

Join Dr. Hannah Wittman and J. Dennis for a presentation of their research findings on farmland demand and mechanisms of farmland access in British Columbia. The presentation will include results from a survey of prospective and beginning farmers focusing on land access and opportunities and challenges faced by beginning farmers. We will also present findings from interview and community-based research on alternative models and mechanisms of farmland tenure and access. We will identify and discuss policy needs for further operationalizing alternative models of land tenure and access for farmland protection and to support the successful establishment of farmers on the land.

Dr. Hannah Wittman is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Dr. Wittman’s research focuses on agrarian reform, citizenship and food sovereignty in rural Brazil and local food systems, farmland protection initiatives, farmers’ markets and community-based farming in British Columbia.

J. Dennis holds a B.Sc. in Agroecology and is currently an MSc. Candidate in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Dennis’ thesis research is focused on farmland conservation, tenure and access in British Columbia.

This research has been made possible with support from the Centre For Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

Please RSVP to dennis.jess.dennis@gmail.com and let us know if you will join the presentation in person or by webinar.


Attend In-person Presentation at UBC Vancouver

Macmillan Building, Room 350
2357 Main Mall V6T 1Z4
Click here to view location on campus map
*Coffee, tea and pastries will be provided


Attend Webinar Presentation Remotely (web or phone)

Join Webinar Online: Click Here to Join Webinar Online
*You are encouraged to do a trial login before the day of presentation to ensure you are able to connect in advance.

To dial in:
1) Direct-dial with my iPhone or
Dial in: +1 408 740 7256 or +1 888 240 2560 (US or Canada only) (all numbers)
2) Enter Meeting ID: 880895363

To connect directly from a room system:
1) Dial: or bjn.vc
2) Enter Meeting ID: 880895363 -or- use the pairing code


For info on joining Blue Jeans Video Meeting: http://bluejeans.com/faq#connecting
Test your video connection: http://bluejeans.com/111
For further technical assistance contact: dennis.jess.dennis@gmail.com

Thesis Defense — Meghann Cant, MSc (Animal Science)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:00 am
Room 139, MCML Building

THESIS TITLE: The Rehabilitation of Black Bears (Ursus americanus) in North America

Supervisory Committee

Dr. M. von Keyserlingk (Supervisor)
Dr. D. Weary (Committee member)
Dr. J. Beechan (Committee member)

Examining Committee

Dr. R. Cerri (Chair)
Dr. M. von Keyserlingk (Supervisor)
Dr. D. Weary (Committee member)
Dr. M. Upadhyaya (External)

Everyone is welcome!

Thesis Defense: Sophia Baker-French

Sophia Baker-French will be defending her MSc (Human Nutrition) thesis on

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 01:00 p.m.
in Room 300, FNH Bldg.

THESIS TITLE: Food Security and Nutritional Status in Fishing Communities in Bolivia’s Northern Amazon: Results of a Household Survey

Supervisory Committee

Dr. T. Green (Supervisor)
Dr. J. McLean (Co-Supervisor)
Dr. A. Riseman (Committee member)

Examining Committee

Dr. S. Barr (Chair)
Dr. T. Green (Supervisor)
Dr. J. McLean (Co-Supervisor)
Dr. A. Riseman (Committee member)
Dr. G. Chapman (External)

Everyone welcome!