Faculty of Science

 

UBC Science brings together a community of students and scholars internationally recognized for their commitment to discovery and innovation - both in the lab and in the classroom.

Our researchers conduct world-leading work in the life, physical, earth and computational sciences, and the Faculty delivers top-ranked programs across 18 disciplines and four interdisciplinary tracks.

The 2018 program will offer packages consisting of two courses. Each course will have 39 hours of class time, taught by UBC instructors. Classes are interactive and may include group work, class discussion, guest lecturers and field trips. Course credit may be granted by the participating universities.

Visit the Faculty of Science website 

July 13 - August 13, 2019 Course Packages

 

Chemistry

The Chemical Enterprise and Global Challenges

Sustainability. Inexpensive energy. Clean water. Food security. Antibiotic resistance. This course explores upcoming challenges in modern society – and presents the impacts, analysis and potential solutions that modern investigators in the field of chemistry are actively studying. Students will be presented with a set of case studies to explore the important problems facing our society. Knowledge of introductory level University chemistry is an important asset for students interested in this course.

Environmental Chemistry of the Oceans and Atmosphere

Picture Earth from Space—the Earth is a blue and white speckled gem. The blue of the sea. The white of the clouds in the Air. The environmental chemistry of the oceans and/or the atmosphere will be presented to help students understand the chemical composition and reaction processes of the air and the seas. Case studies may involve the chemical processes associated with atmospheric interactions with solar radiation, the stratospheric ozone layer, photochemical smog and/or complexation analysis, corrosion treatment and microbial transformations within natural waters. Knowledge of introductory level University chemistry is an important asset for students interested in this course.

Pre-requisite: University 1st year Chemistry

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

 

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

The Dynamic Planet

This course considers how an active and evolving Earth system has created the planet we know today, one that supports diverse life and is rich in natural resources. Using international and Canadian examples, we will examine the origin of our planet and its composition and structure. From mountains to glaciers, earthquakes to volcanoes, ancient rocks and mighty dinosaurs, Canada is a wonderful natural laboratory that we will use to investigate our active and dynamic planet.

Earth Treasures

Canada is also known for its spectacular precious metals and gems, some of them housed in our departmental museum, The Pacific Museum of the Earth. This course investigates the formation, exploration, mining and aspects of marketing of gemstones and precious metals. We touch on topics such as fundamental scientific concepts, natural and synthetic gems and explore the world of fine jewelry. The origin, valuation and exploration strategies for gems such as diamonds and precious metals such as gold and platinum will be investigated here and placed into a fascinating international and Canadian geological context. Our emphasis is on active learning teaching methods where students are inspired to explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions and in class activities.

Ocean and Atmosphere Systems

In this course you will assess and quantify the principal components of the global energy balance, how the energy balance affects the structure of the ocean and atmosphere and produces the winds and currents that control weather, air pollution and the biosphere. You will examine ocean productivity and the important geochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, and how over geologic time, ocean and atmospheric processes coupled with the evolution of the life to regulate climate and climate change.

Marine Biodiversity

Students will explore the incredible diversity of marine ecosystems, and 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 to be studied include hydrothermal vents, intertidal zone, coral reefs, estuaries, deep sea, and polar ecosystems. A particular emphasis will be placed on our beautiful and diverse local marine ecosystems. Examine the responses of ecosystems disturbances, the evolution of ocean plankton, invasive species, climate change and pollution. Our emphasis is on active learning teaching methods where students are inspired to explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions and in class activities.

 

Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability

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. This course will explain the science behind human induced climate change, and examine possible consequences and impacts across the world. We 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 course will include field trips and presentations by industry guest speakers, as well as speakers from non-governmental organizations and the public sector.

Energy for Sustainable Development

Climate change is only one of many challenges we face, and large-scale innovation in energy systems will be needed to meet multiple objectives inlcuding reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Technological and business innovations have begun to transform the global energy system. From the development of renewables such as solar and wind, to the depoloyment of complex networked technologies (such as Electric vehicles), or the diffusion of novel 'mundane' technologies (such as improved cook stoves in the developing world), techological innovation holds the key to our energy future. This course will examine 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 course will include field trips and presentations by indistry guest speakers, as well as speakers from non-governmental organizations and the public sector.

Nature Matters - Ecology, the Environment and You

Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people lie at the heart of many sustainability issues (such as food security, energy production, corporate environmental responsibility, and resource management), in ways not often reflected by management and policy approaches. This course will explore human impacts on ecosystems, the processes by which ecosystems render benefits for people (ecosystem services), methods for analyzing impacts and benefits, and the ways that individuals and organizations incorporate such information into their decision-making. Through field trips to a range of ecosystem types, lectures, and exposure to innovative organizations in the public and private sector, this course will consider the opportunity for innovative progress towards sustainability from stronger and deeper ecological grounding, and how students can support this type of progress in their careers and day-to-day lives.

Oceans in the 21st Century

This course provides an overview into ocean conservation issues, including the integrated and often conflicting role of oceans in economic development, food provisioning, climate change, transport, and recreation. The course includes lectures and field trips that highlight diversity of ocean issues, as well as guest lectures and visits to organizations that are tackling components of the above challenges in a variety of ways. Simulations and workshops will help students consider the variety of stakeholders involved in decision making. Content, discussion, and exposure to experts and innovative research and strategies will equip and empower students to better understand and become more engaged in ocean issues, no matter how close they are to a coast.

 

Integrated Sciences

Game Theory

Game theory is the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers. As such it is applicable to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in computers and organisms. Game theory has been widely recognized as an important tool in many fields including computer science, biology, economics, political science and psychology. By the end of this course, students learn how to describe real world interactions in terms of game theory; recognize and solve various game types (cooperative/non-cooperative, symmetric/asymmetric, zero-sum/non zero-sum, simultaneous/sequential, etc.); and learn to apply game theoretic models to dynamics problems in evolutionary biology.

Symmetry

When we talk about the symmetry of an object, we are talking about a transformation that can be applied to the object that leaves it looking unchanged. This relatively simple idea provides a powerful tool for looking at the world. Symmetry is present all around us—in the forms of plants and animals, in patterns and shapes of art and architecture, and in the structures of materials from simple molecules to complex proteins and minerals. The principles of symmetry play important roles in biology, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, mathematics, astronomy, and many other sciences. In this course, we will discuss basic principles of symmetry such as: mirror reflections, rotations, and repetition; how different symmetries combine into symmetry groups in two and three dimensions; and how we can recognize different kinds of symmetry in shapes and patterns. Students will use their understanding of symmetry to discover how it appears in different parts of science and art.

The Vancouver Environment

Scientists agree that solutions to complex global challenges such as environmental sustainability require “systems thinking” or the process of understanding how components influence one another within a whole. In these courses, which are modeled on successful field courses we teach in Iceland and Hawaii, we approach the Vancouver region as a system, and consider the effects of inputs such as climate change on that system. In Course A we study the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere of the Vancouver System through lectures by experts in their fields and numerous field trips around the Lower Mainland. By the end of this course the students will know more about the Vancouver System than many residents and will be able to identify systems where they reside and travel.

The Vancouver Anthrosphere

Scientists agree that solutions to complex global challenges such as environmental sustainability require “systems thinking” or the process of understanding how components influence one another within a whole. In these courses, which are modeled on successful field courses we teach in Iceland and Hawaii, we approach the Vancouver region as a system, and consider the effects of inputs such as climate change on that system. In Course B we study the anthrosphere of the Vancouver region, that part of the environment that is made or modified by humans for use in human activities and human habitats, through lectures by experts in their fields and numerous field trips around the Lower Mainland. By the end of this course the students will know more about the Vancouver System than many residents and will be able to identify systems where they reside and travel.

 

For academic inquiry about Integrated Sciences packages, please contact:
Integrated Sciences, 2019 Vancouver Summer Program

Mary Anne Lyons: lyons@science.ubc.ca

 

Click here for information about Earth, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences packages.