undergraduate courses taught at UBC
graduate courses taught at UBC
policies for undgraduate and graduate courses
I prefer to deal with questions about the subject material in person, either during my office hours, immediately after the lecture or during the lab period, and I am also willing to deal with questions in person outside these times, provided I am not too busy. I will respond to ALL e-mails that I do receive, so if you do not get a response, I did not get your e-mail! Using a UBC account helps to ensure that the e-mail filters do not intercept your message. Also putting the course number (e.g. GEOB 206) in the subject line helps to make sure I get your message.
If a student knows that they will miss the midterm examination, they should contact the instructor as soon as possible. In most cases, when an acceptable reason for missing the exam can be documented, the midterm examination will be deferred and the final grade will be calculated based on the other completed work for the course. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. where absence from the midterm is unavoidable due to official university-related activities), an alternate midterm examination may be set. Usually these are oral examinations, not written ones.
Students that miss the final examination will have to obtain, if possible, an academic deferral from their faculty and then sit an alternate examination to be scheduled and supervised by Enrollment Services. Typically, the delay between learning the material and writing the examination, combined with the stress associated with the process of obtaining a deferral, result in much poorer student performance. No alternate final examination will be provided without an academic deferral, and a grade of zero will be assigned. It is by far the best course of action to attend the regularly scheduled final examination if at all possible.
Late laboratory assignments will only be accepted at the discretion of the instructor or teaching assistant when a compelling reason has been presented, preferably before the deadline is missed. A late penalty of 10% per day will be deducted from the final mark. No late labs that are marked on a pass/fail basis will be accepted. No assignments more than 5 days late will be accepted under any circumstances.
handing in assignments digitally
In many instances, we prefer to recieve digital assignments, rather than hard copies. However, care must be taken when producing and handing in digital documents. The only cross-platform format that is truely universal is the portable document format (PDF).
- All assignmentss must be handed in as PDF's. Word documments (particularly .docx formats) are notorious for failing to load properly in other programs (not all of us use Microsoft products), with the result that attached figures are often lost and therefore cannot be marked.
- All files must be named using the following convention:
*** course name-assignment number-student name.pdf ***
The document should be e-mailed to the instructor or TA (whomever is responsible for the marking) by the stated deadline, and the e-mail must include the file name as described above in the subject line
- Students must keep a copy of their pdf document as a record of the assignment itself, and the date/time by which it was completed.
What Difference Do Teachers Make?
Taylor Mali spent 9 years as a teacher, and currently lists his occupation as "poet". He has strong views on the nobility of teaching and the value of teachers. He puts into words the feelings many of us have about our own calling to teach, to serve and to try to make a difference.
life as a graduate student
I found these principles on the web, and they match my (evolving) philosophy of graduate student supervision. I thought that they were worth posting, especially since they represent the wisdom accumulated over more than 5 decades of supervising students....
Be excited about and have a sense of wonder about the research group and the research projects. Research should be fun. An unhappy student is on the wrong project, in the wrong group, or even in the wrong discipline.
Be fair and honest in research and in life. Ethics in research and life are essential. Students should give credit to all who helped them succeed on their projects.
Collaborate with others whenever possible. The best research and the greatest knowledge is gained by cooperating with other students, postdocs, faculty, and visiting scientists as well as scientists at meetings. Two students interacting on 3 projects results in greater progress than the two students working on 2 separate projects; in other words, 1 + 1 = 3 or more.
Be diligent. Research requires hard work and persistence since good things seldom come easily. Students need to spend considerable time in the field or in the laboratory to allow for the many failures or set backs which are always present in any research project. However, some research projects may be unsolvable and in those instances, the projects must be changed. Such decisions are made only after considerable discussions with the student.
Be creative. Supervisors can try to teach students how to be creative, innovative, and independent. Unfortunately, it is not clear that creativity and innovativeness can be taught: it comes from within and only the student really knows how to tap into it.
Realize that each student is unique. Each student, no matter how creative, energetic, intelligent, and independent, can contribute to a research project and to the goodness of life in general.
Be kind, patient and considerate of others and do not judge others hastily or harshly or even at all. Each student is an individual with certain abilities and capabilities and therefore not everyone contributes equally to any project or to the research group. Students should realize that what other students do or don't do with respect to their own academic progress does not affect them directly and they should not worry about such matters.
Insist upon a reasonable degree of freedom and latitude to pursue the research. It is not productive to monitor each student so closely that the supervisor must plan their every move. Such control is not profitable and can even be destructive. Research requires time, planning, creativity, and even serendipity. If students have too many restrictions and tightness of projects, they will not ever have an opportunity to be very innovative and creative.
Brett Eaton, Ph.D., P.Geo.
Department of Geography
The University of British Columbia
see relevant course website
Office: rm 232, Geography
E-mail: brett (dot) eaton (at) ubc (dot) ca
BSc degree requirements
Fieldwork reference material
- CAP guidebook: office
- CAP guidebook: field
- Sediment texture analysis
- Terrain mapping
- Hazard assessment keys
- G309 stream gauging in-the-field
- Measuring stream discharge
- Basics of stream gauging stations
- BC Hydrometric Standards
- Redback Type AA current meter manual
PVD 100 current meter display manual