Nathan Skolski

Email: nathanskolski@okmain.cms.ok.ubc.ca


 

Everything that grows in the Okanagan will be impacted by climate change, population growth, consumption, production and changes in land use. Learn more at the Okanagan Research Forum on December 3.

What: Okanagan Research Forum
Who: UBC Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services and UBC Okanagan Institute for Community Engaged Research
When: Monday, December 3 from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; keynote lecture at noon
Where: Summerhill Pyramid Winery ballroom, 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna

The Okanagan Research Forum invites the community to listen to experts and take part in an open discussion about the future of food production in the Okanagan.

The forum is hosted by UBC Okanagan’s Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER). It’s a collaboration with partner organizations in an effort to share information and encourage conversation between the community, government and academia.

Presenters from local organizations include Westbank First Nation, the Certified Organic Association, the City of Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, the En’owkin Centre and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.

This year’s theme is to explore changes in local food systems and will consider issues such as climate change, access to land, consumption, sustainable food production and future land use.

Four expert panels will discuss agricultural land use, policy, production and consumption. Each panel will be moderated by a UBC Okanagan professor or alumnus, and include farmers, representatives from relevant organizations and other experts. The goal is to explore how 'eating the Okanagan' applies to social, cultural and ecological systems. The day will conclude with a research poster session accompanied by a wine and cheese event.

The afternoon keynote lecture on indigenous plant foods will be presented by Nancy Turner, emeritus professor and ethnobotanist from the University of Victoria. All four panel discussions and the keynote lecture are open to the public. There is a nominal registration fee for the day to cover the cost of food and beverages.

This year’s forum is sponsored by UBC Okanagan’s BRAES, ICER, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies and the BC Institute of Agrologists.

To register, or get more information, visit okresearchforum.geolive.ca or contact Carolina Restrepo at carolina.restrepo@ubc.ca.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.

Public is invited to discussion about extinction and our peril

What: The great dying: The modern extinction of species and humanity’s peril
Who: Professor Corey Bradshaw, Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology Flinders University, Australia
When: Tuesday, November 20, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Where: Library building, room LIB 305, 3333 University Way, UBC Okanagan

Conservation ecologist Corey Bradshaw, professor at Flinders University, comes from an eclectic background. Growing up as the son of a trapper in Canada, he had the opportunity to form a unique view of the environment. From his childhood experiences, he learned that without intact environmental functions, precious resources quickly degrade or disappear. This appreciation of natural processes later led him into academia and the pursuit of reducing the rate of the extinction crisis.

He is now based at Flinders University in Australia and has a vibrant research lab where he applies quantitative skills to everything from conservation ecology, climate change, energy provision, human population trends, ecosystem services, sustainable agriculture, human health, palaeoecology, carbon-based conservation initiatives and restoration techniques.

This event, sponsored by the UBC Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience and Ecosystem Services, is free and open to the public.

For more information contact: carolina.restrepo@ubc.ca

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.

Mary Stockdale is an adjunct professor of geography at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Fascinated by food, professor looks at the system as a circle, not a chain

Mary Stockdale represents one of the original cornerstones of the global food system: farmers.

With a family history in sheep farming, Stockdale has long been closely tied to organic agriculture. And, as a self-proclaimed food activist, Stockdale promotes everything from eating locally-produced food and supporting farmers, to community gardens to healthy food access for all.

Now, as an adjunct professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus, Stockdale has found another way to promote sustainable food systems. She has created a new course, Food Systems I: System Thinking, which looks at the food system as a circle, rather than a chain.

“We’re going to work our way through the food system, learning about each component,” says Stockdale. “The course will cover food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and finally, waste—which in an ideal sustainable system is turned into compost for more food production.”

The new course, which starts in September,  is also the first campus course of its type open to students across the university, regardless of their program of study.

Stockdale says while students will come into the course with their own professional development in mind, it designed to complement their studies through its overview of the food system.

“There are a lot of niches in the food system where jobs can be found, especially here in the Okanagan,” says Stockdale. “There is potential for innovative work in agriculture, food processing, local food restaurants and retail outlets, agri-tourism, food education, local economic development and planning, and so much more.”

While theory will be a key component, the course will also include opportunities to see theory put into practice. Field trips to local farms and large institutions where food is served will allow students to analyze components of the food system in real life.

“Food affects all of us,” Stockdale adds. “Food is culture, food is politics, food is nutrition and health, food is the environment, food is economics, food is a basic human right, and food is a pleasure. Food is fascinating.”

“Through this course, students will start to understand how important it is for all the components of the food system to work together. It’s about our impact on the world through the foods we choose to eat.”

Open to all UBC students and starting this September, the new Food Systems I: System Thinking (GEOG 221) requires no prerequisites. Registration opens in June.

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More than 1,650 students will receive their degrees at UBC’s Okanagan campus this week.

For many, it’s one of the biggest milestones of their lives—graduating from university. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, nearly 1,650 students will reach that milestone this week as the university gears up for six convocation ceremonies.

Convocation starts Thursday, with four ceremonies, and wraps up Friday with two additional ceremonies. During these two days, UBC will confer 33 doctoral degrees, 148 master degrees, 1,465 undergraduate degrees and an honorary degree to Canadian artist Alex Janvier.

This is the twelfth graduating class at UBC’s Okanagan campus and the number of graduates has more than tripled since 2006, when UBC Okanagan’s very first graduating class of 468 crossed the stage.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus Deborah Buszard says this year’s graduates join the more than 325,000 alumni who have successfully graduated from UBC and continue to be members of the UBC community.

"Members of this, our twelfth, graduating class have already shown themselves to be accomplished change-makers and innovators on campus and in the community," says Buszard. "They are extraordinarily talented and I have no doubt they will be a force for positive change wherever they go."

While Convocation is a time to celebrate students, UBC also recognizes outstanding faculty at the event. Ramon Lawrence, an associate professor in Computer Science and Christine Schreyer, an associate professor of anthropology, will be presented with the Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation. And Security Manager Michael Gesi will be presented with the President’s Service Award for Excellence.

Convocation ceremonies will be webcast live at: graduation.ok.ubc.ca/event/live-webcast

Thursday, June 8

8:30 a.m.—Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for students in: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Freshwater Sciences, General Studies (Science), Interdisciplinary Studies (Sciences), Microbiology, Zoology

11 a.m.—Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences 
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for students in: Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Gender and Women’s Studies, General Studies (Arts), Geography, History, Indigenous Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies (BSAS – Arts), International Relations, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics

1:30 p.m.—Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences & Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for students in: Art History, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, English, French, Interdisciplinary Performance, Interdisciplinary Studies (FCCS), Philosophy, PPE, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Visual Arts

4 p.m.—Faculty of Applied Science: School Of Engineering
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for students in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Friday, June 9

8:30 a.m.—Faculty of Education; Faculty of Management
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Management

11 a.m.—Faculty of Health and Social Development: School of Health and Exercise Sciences; School of Nursing; School of Social Work
All Ph.D., master, or undergrad degrees for Human Kinetics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Nursing, and Social Work

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