The Vancouver Summer Program with UBC Science provides students with the opportunity to study at a top international research university and experience local Vancouver culture.

What you might expect/course format

Courses with UBC Science include in-class and lab portions taught by UBC faculty members, graduate students, and guest lecturers. Courses also include short field trips and other engaging learning opportunities. Students can expect team-based learning activities and assignments.

Check out VSP Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science’s page here!

July 2024 Course Packages

    Disaster Resilience: Learning from Natural Hazards

    There are a wide variety of natural disasters that occur on Earth; Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Tsunami, Hurricanes and Storms, Floods, Forest Fires, and Meteorite Impacts among others. As both our population and our reliance on infrastructure increases, our understanding of how natural disasters affect our lives, our economies and our environments is vital for our future. In this course you will learn how disasters form through the concentration and dispersal of energy, when and where they occur, and how you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your communities. As this course occurs in Vancouver, we will have field trips which emphasize the natural environment and the potential hazards in this region.

    Treasures of the Earth: Exploring Precious Minerals

    Canada is also known for its spectacular precious metals and gems, many of them on display in our museum, The Pacific Museum of Earth. This course investigates the formation, exploration, mining and aspects of marketing of gemstones, precious metals, and critical minerals. We will identify and hold natural and synthetic gems, look at fine jewelry, and also how gems and metals form, are mined, and are valued. This course will be placed the fascinating geologic context of Canada and North America. In this class we emphasize active learning methods where students are explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions and in-class activities.

    Prerequisite: No prerequisites

    From Sea to Sky: Understanding Ocean, Atmosphere, and Climate systems

    In this course you will assess and quantify the principal components of the Earth’s climatic systems, the global energy balance, how that balance affects the structure of the ocean and atmosphere, produces the winds and currents that control weather, air pollution and ultimately the biosphere. You will examine ocean productivity how that relates to important geochemical cycles, and how over geologic time, ocean and atmospheric processes regulate climate and climate change.

    Seas of Life: Discovering Marine Biodiversity

    Students in this course will explore the incredible diversity of marine ecosystems, identify the factors that regulate ocean habitats, and how marine ecosystems develop in response. Ecosystems’ properties, including diversity, resilience (or lack of resilience) to environmental change and its impact on neighboring ecosystems will be considered. The fascinating marine ecosystems and habitats in this course include hydrothermal vents, the intertidal zone, coral reefs, estuaries, deep sea, and polar ecosystems. A particular emphasis will be placed on the beautiful and diverse local marine ecosystems around Vancouver. You will examine the responses of ecosystems disturbances, and the introduction of invasive species, climate change and pollution. Our emphasis in this course is on active learning teaching methods where students explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions and in-class activities.

    Prerequisite: No prerequisites

    For more information

    For VSP Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science-specific questions, please email Ian Ayeras at

    Student testimonials

    “My favorite part of VSP was the connections I made with people, both inside and outside of the program. I also loved the laboratories.” VSP taught me many things, both knowledge and character development. The lectures were very knowledgeable especially when Hadi Sir used to teach us.

    …He would make us think in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Our perspective over certain things changed a lot.”

    – VSP Science Student, 2019