New Student Services Coordinator

New Student Services Coordinator


We are very excited to welcome Stefanie Ickert, the new Student Services Coordinator, to our department! Stefanie graduated with an MA in History from UBC in 2013. She will be joining the main office and assisting with the administration of the graduate program as well as facets of the undergraduate program.

Trevor Barnes, Fellow of British Academy


Congratulations to Professor Trevor Barnes for having been elected a Fellow of the British Academy! This acknowledges an innovative, influential, and extremely productive career and also the major role he’s played in the British academic assessment system.

Environment and Sustainability

The Environment and Sustainability Program offers an integrated understanding of physical, ecological, economic, social, cultural and political systems, as they shape the world in which we live and influence the future of life on our planet.

Human Geography

The Human Geography Program covers a wide set of sub-disciplines that share in common the study of the human use and experience of the world. It covers such broad territory as the relations between nature and society, place and human identity, and the spatial basis of economies and societies.

Geographical Sciences

The Geographical Sciences Program is the study of the fundamental interactions between life and Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. Geographical Sciences is a discipline that inhabits the intellectual territory between the more traditional disciplines of the natural sciences.

Caroline Grego wins CSN-RÉC Prize


Congratulations to MA student Caroline Grego for winning the MA-level Major Research Paper Prize from CSN-RÉC (Réseau d’études canadiennes)!

The winning paper is titled, “Imagining a Community-Oriented ‘National Park Nature: Conflict, Management, and Conservation in the Proposed South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen National Park Reserve.” According to the congratulatory message from the CSN-RÉC, “The adjudicating committee members agreed that Grego’s thesis represents a significant contribution to the field of Canadian Studies. Starting from a personal narrative reflecting on her relationship with the environment of the Okanagan Valley and her native South Carolina and moving into a nuanced discussion of the politics surrounding the proposed South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen National Park Reserve, Grego’s thesis combines an impressive theoretical grounding in concepts of nature and wilderness, a thorough exploration of the history of the region, and a balanced acknowledgement of the plurality of voices in this debate. We enjoyed reading this thesis a great deal and wish to congratulate Caroline on a fine piece of work.”

Lawrence Bird at WEST 2014


Congratulations to MSc student Lawrence Bird for having been awarded the poster prize for his poster on ‘Thermal regime of a large proglacial lake fed by a calving glacier’ at WEST (Water and Environment Student Talks) 2014! The winning poster documented the thermal regime of a large proglacial lake formed by the retreat of Bridge Glacier as a basis for understanding implications for downstream river temperatures.

Tom Koch at the KMA

news_koch-Korea-at expo

In June, UBC Geography adjunct professor Tom Koch delivered a plenary lecture at the 32nd Annual Korean Medical Association meetings in Seoul, Korea. The subject–“Age, Aging, and Allocation: The failure of success”–built upon his work on aging and the elderly to consider citizen longevity in the postmodern era. In the 1990’s he published the first works on eldercare from the perspective of the family caregiver, work that sparked a subfield in gerontology. His 1990 Mirrored Lives was a close, detailed study of the geographic and social effects of fragile age. In addition, the KMA hosts included translators who are translating Prof. Koch’s latest book, Thieves of Virtue, into a Korean language edition.

Pet Plant Project: A Healthy Workplace Initiative


From salad greens to kitchen herbs

The Department of Geography was awarded one of the 11 Healthy Workplace Initiative Program Fund grants from UBC HR. In an effort to promote faculty and staff wellness, Suzanne Lawrence, Student Services Manager, composed a proposal for the purchase of edible desktop plants in the offices in the Geography Building.


Mimi examining the plants

Studies after studies showed the beneficial effects of growing plants in office spaces. It’s a small beautification project to combat the year long construction that’s surrounded the Geography Building; their edibility is just a bonus! A survey was sent around to interested faculty and staff members on which plants were most desirable. Herbs won the majority vote, a pragmatic choice for the small and sporadically sunlit offices, but there were a few indoor vegetable plants as well.

Cayenne pepper plant

A flowering Cayenne pepper plant


Dr. Merje Kuus Promoted to Full Professorship

Congratulations Dr. Merje Kuus for having been promoted to a full Professorship! Though not a surprise to the department, this recognition is most welcome and fully deserved!


Merje Kuus was also our Featured Geographer for January 2010; read the article here!