Message from the Head

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2013-2014 was a great year for showing the dynamism that is UBC Geography. It was a year full of changes—good changes such as the grand opening of the Biogeomorphology Experimental Laboratory in the neighbouring Ponderosa Commons West; the year-long building renovations that have given us new classrooms, a new courtyard, and an overall safer building; Loch Brown’s Flexible Learning Initiative on behalf of the Environment and Sustainability program; and our new Student Services Team. UBC Geography is a department that prides itself on the community of its students, faculty, and staff, and together, we are a community that is in active engagement with the rest of world.

Part of this community engagement must be attributed to our Professional Leadership Network (PLN) which, for the 2nd consecutive year, connects graduate students with industry professionals. This ground breaking program, the first of its kind at UBC, could not be possible without the help and support of faculty, students, and staff who all deserve credit for its success.

We are also very lucky to have been awarded Flexible Learning Initiative funding in 2013/14 to explore new technologies and innovations to enhance student learning in our Environment and Sustainability program, as well as in 2014/15 to fund a field school course for Human Geography and Environment & Sustainability students. These innovations, led by Loch Brown and Siobhan McPhee, reflect our commitment to student learning.

It’s fitting that with a year full of innovations and initiatives our physical building is changing too. Renovations have given us a safer building, four brand new rooms, a renewed GIC with the largest air photo collection in the province, as well as an updated courtyard, well suited for the new GeoGarden. We have also the new Biogeomorphology Experimental Laboratory (the first of its kind in Canada!), putting UBC Geography on the frontiers of science as there are both great scope and great demand for innovative and fundamental research in environmental sciences.

We want to celebrate these changes and start off the new school year with an open house reception. I invite you, our alumni, to celebrate with us on September 10th, 2014 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Geography Building (1984 West Mall). There will be activities, refreshments, and tours of the building. RSVP here: http://tinyurl.com/ubcgeogopenhouse

Have a fantastic rest of the year and we hope to see all of you on September 10th!