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

Climate change and its effects on ecosystems, farming, nutrition and the global energy system are perhaps the greatest collective challenges facing society in the 21st century. Courses with UBC IRES will engage students in contemporary sustainability debates, including presentations from industry guests and field trips, to prepare you for employment opportunities associated with sustainability.

Check out VSP Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES)’s page here!

*This course package is canceled for July 2023. Students who have applied for this package are encouraged to consider switching to other VSP course packages.

Climate Change: Causes, Consequences and Adaptation

Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels in the global energy system is perhaps the single greatest collective challenge facing society in the 21st century. Acting on climate change will dramatically alter the global economy and job creation sectors. As a student you need to be prepared for employment opportunities associated with climate change. In this course, students will learn the science behind human induced climate change, and examine possible consequences and impacts across the world. You will study how experts make predictions of future climate change and its impacts, and how societies will need to re-organize their economies and institutions to adapt to new climate realities. This hands-on course includes field trips and presentations from industry guests, giving students the chance to communicate directly with experts working in the field.

Energy for Sustainable Development

Globally, large-scale innovation in energy systems are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Technological and business innovations have begun to transform the global energy system. You will learn from experts about the development of renewables such as solar and wind, the deployment of electric vehicles, and the diffusion of new ‘mundane’ technologies like improved cook stoves in the developing world. You will build your ability to communicate with professionals about what is driving these innovations, how might their promise be reached and their benefits be maximized, and what social and policy efforts are needed to sustain them. This hands-on course includes field trips and presentations from both governmental and non-governmental employees, giving students the chance to communicate directly with industry experts.

No prerequisites.

For VSP IRES-specific questions, email Nivretta Thatra 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