Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability

photo credit: Graham McDowell

Welcome to the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

We are a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability. Our mission is to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales. More often than not, we achieve this through collaborations across students and faculty in a manner that recognizes our collective skills, intellectual histories and methodological approaches, and yet encourages our interdependencies as we consider real world problems.

Learn more at ires.ubc.ca

June 3 - July 3 2018 Course Package

The Grand Challenge of Climate Change: Causes, Consequences and Adaptation
Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels in the global energy systems 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 Innovation and Climate Solutions
Large-scale innovation in energy systems will be necessary for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding dangerous climate change. Technological and business innovations have begun to transform the global energy system. From the development of renewables such as solar and wind, to the deployment of complex networked technologies (such as Electric Vehicles), or the diffusion of novel ‘mundane’ technologies (such as improved cook stoves in the developing world), technological 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 industry guest speakers, as well as speakers from non-governmental organizations and the public sector.