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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 03 | Feb. 8, 2001

Students research sustainability

Young scholars earn credit while assisting campus to develop environmentally friendly practices

UBC's sustainability office has revived a program that lets students gain academic credit for applied research in sustainability issues on campus.

Under UBC SEEDS, the Sustainability Office co-ordinates projects in which staff members work with students and faculty members whose research will contribute in a practical way to a more sustainable campus.

The program has its roots in the Greening of the Campus initiative that began in 1994 under the leadership of John Robinson, director of the Sustainable Development Research Institute.

Some 50 projects related to campus sustainability were researched and produced by UBC students before the program ended in 1998.

In reviving the program, the Sustainability Office hopes to increase awareness and promote more environmentally friendly practices across campus among the university community, says UBC SEEDS co-ordinator Brenda Sawada.

Students receive the benefit of receiving academic credit for their internship or research while faculty and instructors can contribute and receive recognition of their work on campus, says Sawada.

"We have some of the world's top experts here on campus and this is a chance to get them to focus their attention on issues here," she says.

Staff can propose the research project that will help them with their area of responsibility and Sawada will work to hook them up with UBC students and faculty that are working in these areas. Together they contribute to finding practical ways to making the university campus more sustainable.

"We have found that at other universities in order for this to be successful, staff must be involved in initiating the projects," says Sawada.

Among the projects currently underway is a human-ecology course instructed by Zoology sessional instructor Alice Cassidy in which students are developing interpretive guides to ecological aspects of the campus.

Architecture Prof. Ray Cole and UBC Properties are also involved in a project in which four to six housing units will be designed and constructed on campus to demonstrate sustainable housing features.

For more information on the program, visit www.sustain.ubc.ca or call 604-822-3270.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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