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UBC Publications

Trek [2016-03]

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How research is changing our quality
and experience of life.
UBC profs imagine the future.
Irene Menzies, BA1916, kept a scrapl
her fellow grads.
cover image: The cover image is a vacation poster from
the Exoplanet Travel Bureau. The poster and the bureau are
fictional but the destination is real. Kepler-i86f is the first
Earth-sized planet discovered in the "Habitable Zone" around
another star, where liquid water oceans could exist on the
planet's surface. Its star is much cooler and hence redder than
our Sun. If plant life grows on Kepler-i86f photosynthesis
there may have adapted to red "sunshine," producing a colour
palette that's different from the garden greens of Earth.
Kepler i86fis one of thousands of planets discovered in the
last three decades. UBC astronomer Jaymie Matthews shares
this story of cosmic discovery in his article "Setting sights
on alien oceans" on page 12. Image credit: Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (NASA/Caltech)
 editor's note
As a kid, I was fascinated by the lives of elderly relatives
who had been born in the 1800s. I'd ask them annoying
questions: How long did it take you to walk to school?
Wasn't life boring before television? How many times
did you squish your finger in the clothes wringer?
Were there dinosaurs? (That last one earned me
a cuff on the ear.)
Now I'm the one who's dated. I still remember the envy I felt in the late 70s when
my cousins received a game of Pong for Christmas, and the closest contender
in my stocking was a pack of playing cards. In the 1980s it was the height of
sophistication to own a Filofax. One day in the mid-90s I sat in front of a friend's
home computer (no one else I knew had one yet) while she urged me to type
anything - ANYTHING! - into the strange phenomenon of a World Wide Web
browser. I regarded early adopters of cell phone technology as anti-social
posers, annoying everyone else with their expensive fads and their loud public
conversations - but come the new millennium, I shrugged off those Luddite
tendencies and purchased my own. It wasn't smart, but it did look like something
from Star Trek. (I've kept all my old cell phones. You never know - the one with
the pull-up antenna might be worth something one day.) As William Shatner
observes on page 52, we live in the most exciting time in history. It's especially
exciting if you have a comparison - clear memories of a time before computers
were ubiquitous, before the World Wide Web, and when change happened way
more slowly than warp speed.
Now that human brains are connected to each other via a vast digital nervous
system, who knows what new discoveries, toys, weapons and tools will emerge
in the coming decades to reshape our everyday lives - for better or for worse.
We may find evidence of life on Earth-like planets beyond our Solar System,
yet we may have lost polar bears and coral reefs to climate change on our own
planet. Medical advances might mean that we no longer lose our loved ones
to cancer, and a host of other diseases and genomic misfortunes, but we may
find ourselves living under the constant threat of devastatingly effective and
highly accessible weaponry. Technology will no doubt make our daily lives easier
through a huge range of luxury services and lifestyle gadgets limited only by
our imaginations. But will privacy and freedom from surveillance have become
impossible to secure?
One thing is for sure: the older I get and the faster things change, the more of
an oddity I will become to the young. Great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces
will ask annoying questions (maybe while we're on our way to the moon for
a family vacation): Are we nearly there yet? Was microfiche a kind of tadpole?
What did magnolias smell like? Can I have your antique cell phone collection if
you die? Were there dinosaurs then? They won't get a cuff on the ear, but they
won't be getting my antique cell phone collection either.
Vanessa Clarke
EDITOR Vanessa Clarke, BA
CONTRIBUTOR Michael Awmack, BA'oi, MET'09
Elizabeth Powell, BSc
CHAIR Faye Wightman, BSc'8l (Nursing)
VICECHAIR Gregg Saretsky, BSc'82, MBA'84
TREASURER Robert Bruno, BCom'97
Amir Adnani, BSc'oi
Robert Bruno, BCom'97
Valerie Casselton, BA'77
Michael Lee, BSc'86, BA'89, MA'92, LIB
Barbara Anderson, BSc'78
Shelina Esmail, BA'93
Ross Langford, BCom'89, LLB'89
Stephen Brooks, BA'92
Randy Findlay, BSc'73, PEng ICDD
Leslie Lee, BCom'84
Barbara Miles,BA, PostGradinEd.
Martha C. Piper, OC, OBC, PhD
Lindsay Gordon, BA'73, MBA'76
Jeff Todd, BA
Trek magazine (formerly the UBC Alumni Chronicle'}
is published two times a year by the UBC Alumni
Association and distributed free of charge to
UBC alumni and friends. Opinions expressed
in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the
views of the Alumni Association or the university.
Address correspondence to:
The Editor, alumni UBC
6163 University Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z1
email to trek.magazine@ubc.ca
Letters are published at the editor's discretion
and may be edited for space
Jenna McCann
jenna.mccann@ubc.ca 604.822.8917
Address Changes 604.822.8921
via email alumni.ubc@ubc.ca
alumni UBC/ Discover UBC 604.822.3313
toll free 800.883.3088
Volume 72, Number 1 | Printed in Canada
by Mitchell Press
Canadian Publications
Mail Agreement #40063528
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
Records Department
UBC Development Office
Suite 500 - 5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Paper from
responsible sources
S2S    FSC" C011267
A special event for alumni and friends        3111111111 UBC
A day of exploring
the future
EH Manulife
theIttyee straight  .H  ^
NEWS. CUl'tURE. SOLUTIONS. —.i— ^_— ^m^f »
See Tzeporah
Berman on
the Future
f the Planet
gee Elizabeth Croft
on the Future
of Robotics
See Meeru Dhalwala
on the Future
of Food Sources*
See Rick
Hansen on
t.he Future
of Accessibility
For tickets and to find out more, visit
alumni, ubc.ca/whatsnext/
How research is changing our quality
and experience of life.
Breathing easier through epigenetic research
Can the environment affect our genes? According to a trio of researchers at UBC it can,
and it does. Their respective studies in respiratory disease epigenetics have helped make
the university a leader in this emerging field, which considers the relationship between our
environment and our genes. How we live can, in fact, alter our gene expression in a way
that may affect the development of cancer, asthma or neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Michael Kobor, a professor at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics,
and the Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, wants to understand how the
environment affects the packaging process of DNA (each of our tiny cells contains
a DNA strand long enough to stretch more than two metres).
To that end, his lab is working with faculties across campus and
colleagues around the world to determine how the environment -
including socio-economic status - plays a role in gene expression
and affects conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, asthma and
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Other asthma-related epigenetics research includes Dr. Denise
Daley's investigation of whether parents' smoking habits trigger
genetic changes in their offspring.
Daley, Canada Research Chair in Genetic Epidemiology of Common
Complex Diseases, and her team are looking for a type of genetic
alteration known as "methylation" - that is, when a carbon and hydrogen
compound latches onto part of the DNA and modifies how that cell
develops and functions. Their goal is twofold: to prove methylation
triggers a cascade of consequences that lead to childhood asthma
and/or allergies, and to determine when those changes are triggered.
Then there is research that builds on a previous study, which
demonstrated that breathing in diluted and aged diesel exhaust
may affect about 400 genes and lead to fundamental health-related
changes in the body.
Dr. Chris Carlsten of UBC's division of Respiratory Medicine, and
chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease, led the inquiry.
Volunteers were placed in a polycarbonate-enclosed booth about the
size of a standard bathroom and made to breathe in air-pollutant fumes
that were equivalent to driving along a highway in Beijing, or working
in a busy port or industrial site on a hot and windless day.
Now Carlsten's team is taking the next step and studying how
these changes may be translated to health issues, even when there
are no obvious symptoms.
From personalized prescriptions
to DNA in space
Innovative. Paradigm-shifting. Out-of-this-world
- literally. All different ways you can describe the
research of Dr. Corey Nislow in pharmacogenomics
- research that is poised to launch us into the future.
Pharmacogenomics is a burgeoning field that
combines pharmacology with genomics to generate
exciting new applications. Nislow, an associate
professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
is collaborating with Genome BC and the BC
Pharmacy Association on a project - the first of
its kind in North America -that has the potential
to revolutionize healthcare delivery.
By using genomics to predict more accurately
an individual's response to a drug and its dosage,
the project hopes to eventually usher in a new
era of personalized medicine, in which pharmacists
can use each person's genetic makeup to make
medication use safer and more effective.
Following the sequencing of the first human
genome in 2000, scientists have known that
genetic information could be used to personalize
medicine. "To say it really simply, some of your
genes will have variants... that will make you
metabolize some drugs quicker than others, make
you metabolize some drugs slower than others,"
or even preclude an individual from metabolizing
a drug at all, says Nislow.
Yet, he says, "there hasn't been a healthcare
profession that's stepped up and said we're
gonna take this on."
This is where pharmacists, working with Nislow's
team, are stepping uptothe plate. Community
pharmacists provide the perfect interface between
patients and new prescription practices. And with
major technological advances allowing genetic testing
to be conducted on a large scale at a much lower cost,
the ability to develop a pharmacogenomic approach
has never been better.
Duringthe pilot phase of the project, Nislow and
his team have partnered with 34 pharmacists at
31 BC pharmacies to recruit patients to participate in
"Usually when we look at the effects of air pollution,
we measure things that are clinically obvious - air flow,
blood pressure, heart rhythm," says Carlsten. "But
asthma, higher blood pressure or arrhythmia might
relate to the gradual accumulation of epigenetic
changes. So we've revealed a window into how these
long-term problems may arise. We're looking at
changes 'deep under the hood.'"
And that just might allow us all to breathe easier.
collect their saliva samples. Once the samples reach the
UBC Sequencing Centre at Pharmaceutical Sciences, the researchers use
next-generation sequencing (NGS) to extract genetic data that can be
used to determine how an individual responds to different medications.
While the researchers are looking at all medications where genetics
is known to have an impact, they are using warfarin (Coumadin) as
a benchmark for this phase of the study. Warfarin is a particularly fitting
drug for phase one this study, as it is a long-term treatment with an
optimum dosage that varies greatly from individual to individual. There
is also a dosing algorithm that uses genetics to determine the correct
dosage and delivery interval of warfarin specific to each genome.
A key component of phase one has been working with pharmacists to
develop robust operating procedures for sample collection, processing
and sequencing. "We're focusing on the mechanics of getting the
genome from a pharmacy, bringing it to the lab and decoding it with
Phigh enough accuracy and in a fast enough time frame that you could
actually benefit from that information," says Nislow.
If phase one successfully demonstrates the feasibility of
nacy-based genomic testing, phase two will see an expansion
of the project into a wider base of community pharmacies, where
pharmacists will begin to implement genetic information into patient
drugtherapy decisions. With morethan 1,000 community pharmacies
across the province, there is ultimately the potential for all BC
residents to access the testing, regardless of where they live, and for
pharmacists in BC to be at the forefront of game-changing innovation.
It's all part of a giant leap forward in delivering medicine in a way
that is streamlined and individually tailored, helpingto reduce
drugtherapy costs, manage healthcare sustainability, and r
importantly make people healthier.
Another project headed by Nislow seems to veer more towards
science fiction than science: he has been sending modified yeast cells
uptothe International Space Station in order to research how reduced
gravity affects human genes. Yeast is an ideal specimen for this type
' of study, as it has retained enough features in common with human
cells over its evolution to still inform human cellular response.
The project has applications both beyond the final frontier and back
hereon earth, from understanding how reduced gravity will affect
astronauts' DNA to discovering ways to mimic DNA damage caused by
cosmic radiation in cancer cells that will cause them to kill themselves.
It's exciting stuff-to see the future happening right here at UBC,
where discomforts and diseases that affect patients today are on their
way to becoming a thing of the past, and how yeast in space could one
day help humans land safely on Mars.
Building an environment to combat prostate cancer
Dr. Martin Gleave is a man with many hats. Not only does he head the
Faculty of Medicine's Urologic Sciences department, he is also a clinician,
renowned research scientist, urologic surgeon, and founder of a UBC
spin-off company, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals.
It's a formidable resume. And that's before you factor in his role
as the chief architect of an environment that is bringing together
leading researchers to share their expertise to combat prostate cancer,
the most prevalent cancer in BC men and the second leading cause
of cancer deaths.
Gleave is the executive director and a leading researcher at the
Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), a research hub hosted by UBC and
the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute that he co-founded
with prominent cancer researchers in 1998. It has since become one
of the world's most respected cancer research facilities. He is also CEO
of the Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated
Discovery and Development (PC-TRiADD), a national centre for
excellence in research and commercialization.
Together, these programs have created a collaborative and fertile
environment with a rigorous bench-to-bedside philosophy, focused
on advancing clinical research discoveries into treatments with minimal
delay. It is able to do so by combining strengths in cancer genomics
with the research and development of new drugs treatments.
 message from the president
Researchers like Drs. Colin Collins and Yuzhuo Wang are teaming up
to pave the way for personalized oncology. By sequencing the genomes
of cancer tumours, Collins and Wang, who are senior scientists at the
VPC, are predicting more precise and effective anti-cancer therapies,
targeting the specific molecular characteristics of the malignant growth.
A breakthrough blood test developed at VPC by a team led by Dr. Kim Chi
is now allowing the genetic profiling of cancers in patients that is already
transformingthe treatments they receive.
A recent breakthrough in drug development has revolutionary
potential for treating castrate-resistant prostate cancers. The
breakthrough was made possible through a collaboration between
leaders in seemingly disparate scientific domains. Dr. Paul Rennie is
considered a long-established world leader in the biology of androgen
receptors, key sites on cells where overexpressed hormones bind and
cause prostate cancer. Dr. Artem Cherkasov's expertise lies in in-silico
or computer-aided drug design, which uses bioinformatics tools to test
and develop new drugs, bypassingthe lengthy, expensive initial process
of drug discovery using classic in-vivo methods.
Their discovery takes a completely new approach to treating
castrate-resistant prostate cancer. As this form of cancer is driven by the
androgen receptor, other drugtreatments have attacked prostate cancers
bytryingto lower production of the male sex hormone, testosterone, or
block its binding to the androgen receptor. While often initially effective,
the cancer will evolve to overcome these chemical changes and become
"castration-resistant," where it adapts to makes its own androgen,
cooperate with other survival pathways to support androgen receptor
activity, or eventually completely bypass the need for the androgen receptor
as a driver gene. To overcome these adaptive mechanisms, Rennie and
Cherkasov have designed a drug that, rather than blocking the site where
the androgen binds to the androgen receptor, instead blocks the site where
the androgen receptor binds to DNA-effectively taking the wheels off
the car and putting the cancer "up on blocks" to prevent it developing,
regardless of what is happening to the fuel. It is the apex anti-androgen that
has caused quite a stir in prostate cancer research circles and an incredible
feat of collaboration between some of the most respected researchers in
their fields. It is most importantly a discovery that could have life-altering
impacts on patients. In December 2015, UBC announced that the discovery
had been licensed to Roche, in UBC's largest licensing deal to date.
Advancing the world's bio-economy
With a childhood immersed in British Columbia's breathtaking nature,
the forest occupies a special place in Dr. James Olson's past. Through his
research, it is set to play a vital role in a more sustainable future for us all.
Olson, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is
a member of the Forest Bio-products (FBP) Institute at UBC. The FBP
Institute brings together a multi-disciplinary research team, working
collaboratively with a single goal in mind: to advance the world's
bio-economy, an economy based on renewable biological resources.
This invaluable network couldn't have been formed at a more critical
time. As the world's population booms and the middle class of countries
such as China and India expand rapidly, our consumption of non-renewable
resources is skyrocketing - causing irreversible damage to our planet.
The FBP Institute, though, is maximizingthe British Columbian
advantage to lead the bio-revolution: extracting high-value products
from biomass, an abundant material sourced primarily from residual
and waste products from BC's forest industry, to create alternative
and sustainable materials, energy, and chemicals.
The FBP Institute's "superhero team" of researchers, as dubbed by Olson,
has already spurred innovation in the bio-economy. Dr. Paul Watkinson
and his team, for example, are working on developing and testing high
quality synthetic gas, or "syngas," derived from biomass, using cutting-edge
technology at the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre. This renewable source of
power has the potential to replace natural gas and run our future fuel cells.
Dr. Jack Saddler and his team are working on turning forest residues and
"wastes" into liquid fuels and chemicals in what is termed "biorefining."
Analogous to oil refining, in which multiple fuels and useful products are
extracted from petroleum, biorefining is a much more sustainable and
economic way of manufacturingthese products.
Olson has long been driving innovation in the bioeconomy and
beyond. Following revolutionary energy-saving developments in
pulp and paper industry technology, Olson is currently working
with Dr. Mark Martinez to formulate a lightweight, low-density
cellulose material from micro and nano-fibres - part of a new class
of "bio-materials." The FBP Institute scientist Dr. Frank Ko is also
workingto develop new materials of this kind.
Bio-materials have the potential to replace fossil-fuel materials, and
have a wide and exciting range of applications: from sound-proofing
and insulation to advanced cosmetics and high-strength turbine blades,
and even to bio-compatible scaffolds for 3D printing of human tissue.
These are just some of the many exciting projects being initiated by
The FBP Institute researchers, including programs such as a new Master
of Engineering in Green Bio-Products to train and educate the next
generation of bioeconomy innovators. The BC forest is intimately woven
into the fabric of our province and Olson is optimistic about its potential
- a potential that The FBP Institute is harnessing to bring about a greener
future. "It's an exciting time to be part of the biorevolution," he says,
"and to be part of the forest industry."
The research stories above, along with others, can be found on the website
of UBC Research and International. To learn more about UBC research,
please visit research.ubc.ca
Ancient medicine: an antidote for the post-antibiotic era?
Accordingto UBC research, naturally occurring clay from Kisameet Bay,
BC - long used by the Heiltsuk First Nation for its healing potential - exhibits
potent antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens.
The researchers recommend the rare mineral clay be studied as a clinical
treatment for serious infections caused by ESKAPE strains of bacteria.
The so-called ESKAPE pathogens - Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus
aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species - cause the majority of US hospital
infections and effectively "escape" the effects of antibacterial drugs.
"Infections caused by ESKAPE bacteria are essentially untreatable
and contribute to increasing mortality in hospitals," says UBC
microbiologist Julian Davies, co-author of the paper. "After 50 years
of over-using and misusing antibiotics, ancient medicinals and other
natural mineral-based agents may provide new weapons in the battle
against multidrug-resistant pathogens." (continued on page 8)
When I left UBC in 2006 at the end of my first term
as president, UBC was already well established as
a leader in Canadian post-secondary education,
showing undoubted excellence in learning and
research. We had expanded our reach into downtown
Vancouver, with the creation of the campus at Robson
Square; even more significantly, we had begun to serve
the southern Okanagan with a new campus in Kelowna.
Now, 10 years later, UBC has exceeded my
expectations in almost every aspect of its operation,
and stands poised to become one of the world's
great universities.
That claim is borne out by the rankings: currently
UBC stands 34th in the world, and 6th among public
research universities in North America. Skeptical as
one may be about rankings of this kind, they do offer
at least some indication that UBC enjoys a reputation
comparable to that of such universities as Berkeley,
Michigan or Washington
And that reputation is well earned.
At the level of teaching and learning, we have
a distinct advantage. We receive some of the best
undergraduate applicants in the country, giving us
the luxury of choice. No surprise, then, that Macleans
currently ranks us second in the number of awards
gained by students. The level of excellence we can
expect is reflected in the fact that this year two of
the ten 3M National Student Fellows are from UBC.
Much of the credit for such successes lies in the
heightened attention being given these days to the
quality of instruction. A big step in this direction was
taken in 2007 when Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl
Wieman joined UBC and introduced a teaching initiative
that has transformed science education. And in the
same period, we introduced a new professorial rank:
the Professor of Teaching, which places an emphasis on
excellence in educational leadership, as well as teaching
and learning, and which rewards the kind of originality
and innovation that characterize the best teaching.
I'm equally impressed by the extraordinary
achievements of our researchers. At both campuses
of UBC, we have developed a research capacity that
really does improve the quality of life and address
the major problems facing global society. Progress
can be measured in terms of funding dollars: over
the past decade, UBC has succeeded in increasing
its annual research funding from $400 million to
$531 million, and the number of research projects has
grown correspondingly, from 6,604 to 8,278. Over the
same period we have increased our share of active
Canada Research Chairs from about 140 to 187; only
the University of Toronto can boast a larger number.
But numbers alone do not tell the whole story.
In acknowledgement of their accomplishments,
UBC researchers have received wide national and international recognition. In 2015-2016 alone,
four were inducted into the Order of Canada; seven were elected to the Royal Society of
Canada and one to the Royal Society of London; five were elected to the Canadian Academy
of Health Sciences, and two were inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame; two were
elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, two more became
Guggenheim Fellows, one was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and
one received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Gold Medal, the
highest award that SSHRC can bestow.
My list is by no means complete, but it may help you see why today's UBC is regarded
as such a research powerhouse. And it is in large part because of our global reputation as
a major research-intensive university that we are attracting greater and greater numbers of
international students.
One of my goals as incoming president in 1997 was to develop a strong international
presence at UBC, and when I left in 2006 we were enrolling some 5,600 international students.
By 2015 that number had doubled: last year our campuses in Kelowna and Vancouver attracted
over 11,000 international graduate and undergraduate students from 139 different countries.
Today one in five of our students is from another country. It's hardly surprising, then, that this
year the QS International Rankings ranked UBC as North America's most international university,
well ahead of such venerable institutions as MIT, Princeton, and Harvard.
In every respect, as we look back over UBC's past decade, we can all take pride in the advances
that UBC is making as an institution with an increasingly global presence. And I have not even
touched on the amazing success of UBC's varsity athletes in recent years, though perhaps I may
be allowed a small claim to fame in this regard, having been the only UBC president to see the
Thunderbirds bring home the Vanier Cup on two occasions! D
 breakthrough discoveries
The clay deposit is
situated on Heiltsuk
First Nation's traditional
territory, 400 kilometres
north of Vancouver, in
a shallow five-acre granite
basin. The400-million
kilogram (400,000 tonne)
deposit was formed
near the end of the last
Ice Age, approximately
10,000 years ago.
Local First Nations people have used the clay for centuries for its therapeutic
properties - anecdotal reports cite its effectiveness for ulcerative colitis, duodenal
ulcer, arthritis, neuritis, phlebitis, skin irritation, and burns.
In the in vitro testing conducted by Davies and UBC researcher Shekooh
Behroozian, clay suspended in water killed 16 strains of ESKAPE bacteria samples
from sources including Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital, and UBC's
wastewater treatment pilot plant.
No toxic side effects have been reported in the human use of the clay, and the
next stage in clinical evaluation would involve detailed clinical studies and toxicity
testing. Loretta Li, with UBC's Department of Civil Engineering, is conducting
mineralogical and chemical analyses of the clay as well.
Advanced materials: smart windowpanes
Imagine if the picture window in your living room could double as a giant thermostat
or big screen TV. A discovery by UBC researchers has brought us one step closer to
this becoming a reality.
Researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus found that coating small pieces of glass
with extremely thin layers of metal like silver makes it possible to enhance the
amount of light coming through the glass. This, coupled with the fact that metals
naturally conduct electricity, may make it possible to add advanced technologies to
windowpanes and other glass objects.
"Engineers are constantly trying to expand the scope of materials that they can use
for display technologies, and having thin, inexpensive, see-through components that
conduct electricity will be huge," says UBC associate professor and lead investigator
Kenneth Chau. "I think one of the most important implications of this research is the
potential to integrate electronic capabilities into windows and make them smart."
The next phase of this research, adds
Chau, will be to incorporate their invention
onto windows with an aim to selectively
filter light and heat waves depending on the
season or time of day.
The theory underlying the research was
developed by Chau and collaborator LoTc
Markley, an assistant professor of engineering.
Chau and Markley questioned what would
happen if they reversed the practice of applying
glass over metal - a typical method used in the
creation of energy efficient window coatings.
"It's been known for quite a while that you could put glass on metal to make metal
more transparent, but people have never put metal on top of glass to make glass
more transparent," says Markley. "It's counter-intuitive to think that metal could be
used to enhance light transmission, but we saw that this was actually possible, and
our experiments are the first to prove it."
Fuel cells are the future
By Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
Last year's recall of 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles
highlights the challenges of reducing emissions from fossil
fuel-powered cars. Fortunately, there's an alternative and
it has zero emissions. The fuel-cell car is currently being
developed by major automakers including Mercedes-Benz,
Toyota and Hyundai.
Walter Merida, director of UBC's Clean Energy Research
Centre (CERC), has been researching fuel-cell technology for
more than 15 years. When Mercedes-Benz rolls out its new
fuel-cell cars in a few years, they'll feature Canadian technology.
What are some of the benefits of fuel cells?
Fuel cells convert hydrogen and other fuels into electricity
quietly, efficiently, and without pollution. A fuel-cell car
produces zero emissions. You'll only see water coming out of the
tailpipes. And it's quickly refuelled, unlike battery-powered cars,
which can take hours to recharge.
Fuel cells can be used to build a renewable,
carbon-free energy system if you produce the hydrogen
from renewable sources, such as hydroelectricity. The
geopolitical impact can be profound. Countries without
fossil fuel sources such as oil or natural gas can generate
the energy they need, cleanly.
How far along is fuel-cell adoption?
Auto manufacturers are investing in fuel-cell cars, trucks,
and other types of vehicles. Hyundai is already leasing
fuel-cell SUVs in Vancouver, while Toyota expects to begin
delivery of hydrogen fuel-cell cars in California next year.
Mercedes-Benz is expected to introduce its new generation
of fuel-cell cars in a few years.
By 2017, fuel-cell car sales are expected to approximate
that of electric cars in their early adoption stage.
As well, refuelling networks are being laid out in places
like California, where there are 10 public hydrogen fuel
stations, and in Japan, where 23 stations have opened and
hundreds more are being planned. Germany recently opened
its first hydrogen filling station on the autobahn. There are
plans for the rollout of more than 50 stations across Europe
over the next few years.
Fuel cells are already part of the power grid in some cities.
New York is an example. You could also have small applications,
such as cellphones, because fuel cells can be miniaturized.
Tell us about your work on fuel cells.
My group at CERC is working on new techniques to ensure
the durability and reliability of fuel cells as they move into
mass manufacturing. We collaborate with hydrogen fuel-cell
manufacturer Ballard Power Systems, based in Burnaby, and
with Germany's Mercedes-Benz.
British Columbia is seen around the world as the leader in
this field, and so when Mercedes-Benz decided to open their
own production facility for automotive fuel cells in 2012, they
chose to come to BC.
Is the internal-combustion engine slated for the trash heap?
Not quite yet. Right now about 80 per cent of our primary energy
supply comes from fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - and combustion
will remain an important technology for many more years.
The main barriers for fuel-cell technology at the moment are the
cost of generating power from it, and the lack of an efficient, extensive
refueling network. But I see a future for hydrogen fuel cells as a way
out of transportation's extreme dependence on fossil fuels.
You helped develop the new Master of Engineering Leadership
(MEL) in Clean Energy at UBC. How does it fit into all this?
We're at the threshold of a big transition in the way we think about
energy. The global investment in renewable energy was more than
$200 billion in the last year alone. Engineers and executives should
know how clean technology can transform the global economy. The
MEL offered by UBC Applied Science will give them that perspectivp
through a combination of management education and advancea
engineering courses.
Wearable electronics will change the way we live
By Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
From smart bodysuits for space explorers, to ski goggles that track your
speed and calories, to sleek jewellery that charges your smartphone,
wearable technology is advancing so quickly that what used to be the
stuff of sci-fi is quickly becoming part of everyday life.
Flexible Electronics and Energy Lab, led by electrical engineering
professor Peyman Servati is the main research centre at UBC for the
development of wearable technology. According to Servati, the wearables
market is exploding with growth, projected to grow from $20 billion
worldwide in 2015 to $70 billion by 2025. In this Q&A, he talks about the
technological challenges that must be overcome for the market to grow
to its full potential.
What are wearables?
Wearables help better integrate our computers with our everyday
lives. Examples of wearable devices include fitness monitors such as
Fitbit and Apple Watch. Here in Canada, you've probably also heard of
Vancouver-based Recon Instruments' ski goggles that provide pace, cadence
and calorie readouts as you ski. There are also biometrics-tracking textiles
and shirts, which use embedded sensors to measure your heart rate, sweat,
and other physiological responses. Some new wearables even have built-in
solar and battery films to power the embedded electronics.
So wearables get lots of love from athletes and coaches, but how can the
average person use them?
The biggest potential application of wearables is in healthcare. A patient
with chronic health issues could put on a shirt to track and report his vital
signs such as pulse rate, blood pressure, sweat, and breathing patterns to
a health care provider. This information could tell medical professionals
how the patient is doing on a real-time basis.
A wearable device that detects tremors and sweating could be helpful
for someone with Parkinson's disease. Combining movement and sweat
measurements can give you richer information. This is an area I'm working
on with Dr. Martin McKeown, director of the Pacific Parkinson's Research
Centre at the UBC Faculty of Medicine.
Walter Merida has been researching
mel-cell technology (or more than 15 years.
(Photo: Don Erhardt)
What type of wearable is best for people with chronic health issues?
Many people with chronic conditions need good monitoring so that
their treatment becomes more personalized and more accurate. But we
don't know yet what form it should take. More work needs to be done.
It could be a wristband; it could be a shirt. But they should be comfortable,
non-irritating, and unobtrusive. They have to be able to store power
efficiently, or be self-powered; that's why my lab is looking for the best
technology for solar cells that can be embedded in textiles.
Medical professionals should participate in designing these devices,
and there needs to be regulatory oversight too.
What are the some of the development challenges for wearable,
flexible electronics?
Accuracy and reliability of information is a big one. Even small movements
can result in loss of accuracy for the data. Can you trust the data that's
coming through? How do you send the information securely to the doctor
or hospital? How do you protect the wearer's privacy?
Comfort is very important. This also applies to the power source.
My lab is looking at benign materials, such as nanofibres, in collaboration
with materials engineering professor Frank Ko of UBC's Advanced Fibrous
Materials Laboratory.
We're also looking at coating methods that will be comfortable to wear.
You don't want to impose another hard, bulky gadget on people with
chronic health conditions. Our research goal is to make everything smooth
and flexible, like a natural part of clothing.
Developers of wearables are also working to bring down costs. This
is already happening with a growing number of tech companies and
manufacturers getting involved in production. In just five years we could
see smart devices and textiles going for as little as $10. Future wearables
could become as inexpensive as Band-Aids.
You recently co-founded UBC startup, Texavie, to develop wearables.
How do you plan to compete in this space?
While it's a bit early to give specifics, Texavie will focus on devices that
can improve the sports performance of recreational athletes. This will give
us the opportunity to perfect technologies that could be used for other
applications, like healthcare. El
Q&As courtesy of UBC Public Affairs.
 Dr. David Morrissey, TRIUMF at UBC
A: Dark matter. Astronomical measurements show that the Universe contains much more matter than is observed
directly. This excess matter gives off very little visible light and is therefore called "dark matter" (DM). Almost
nothing is known about what makes up DM but the leading proposal is that it consists of one or more, as yet
f  undiscovered, elementary particles. (All known matter is made up of a set of elementary particles that interact
with others through the fundamental forces, but none of these particles has the right properties to be DM.)
The search for the particle that makes up DM is currently underway with theoretical proposals for DM
candidates, laboratory experiments designed to detect DM directly, and astrophysical observations looking
for signals of DM in the cosmos. While no definitive discovery of DM has yet been made, these efforts have
significantly narrowed the range of possibilities of what DM could be.
Looking forward a century, I am very optimistic that the particle making up DM will have been discovered. This
discovery will certainly be momentous, but it is also just the first step in a complex research program to measure
the properties of the DM particle in great detail. These properties include its mass and what types of forces it feels.
An exciting possibility is that DM particles are attracted to each other by a new type of fundamental force that is
not felt by ordinary matter. If this is true, the discovery of DM would be the first step in a series of discoveries of new
particles and forces. Finding the DM particle and determining its properties will also provide a powerful new tool to
investigate astrophysical structures such as stars and galaxies.
Kees Lokman, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
A: While the outcomes of the Paris Climate Conference are hopeful, climate change will have major impacts on
global water and food security, energy transitions, environmental transformations and the way we build our cities
in the future. Today, spatial practices are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of the possibilities of design
to address these global challenges. In 100 years, with growing understandings of ecology, urban metabolism and
cross-scale linkages, we are teaching how to design socio-ecological systems that fully incorporate biophysical
processes as well as by-products of urbanization (waste, emissions, nutrient runoff, etcetera) in order to create
productive and regenerative urban landscapes across multiple scales. Rather than obtaining a degree from a single
design discipline, students will enroll in trans-disciplinary programs that interweave every aspect essential to the
functioning of the built environment: from architecture to geo-engineering, from public -
policy to natural resource management. _
Dr. Jehannine Austin, Department of Medical Genetics,
Faculty of Medicine
A: My work would be totally different. Genomics, integrated with
biomedical ethics, will be taught at age appropriate levels throughout
the school system, so genomic literacy within the general population
will be way higher than it is today. Everyone will begetting her or
his own genome sequenced in utero, before birth. This genomic
information will be used to allow for the correction or intervention
of any genetic variations that would otherwise immediately present
life-threatening conditions. This intervention will happen only under
tight control because society has learned from history and will have
agreed that diversity in all its forms is incredibly valuable for the
enrichment it brings to all aspects of life.
In the future that I like to imagine, psychiatric conditions are
no longer stigmatized but are accepted and managed in the same
way as other common, complex illnesses. In this new
:xt, I would be studying the specific ways
which genetic variations that predispose
people to psychiatric illness also increase
their resilience, adaptability, and creativity.
I would be developing strategies to help
people living with psychiatric problems
unlockthe potential of the genetic
variations that they carry, to help them
achieve their full potential for happiness
and fulfillment.
Dr. Heidi Tworek, Faculty of Arts
A: Historians are often wary of predictingthe future. But I would be using
the history of news to teach students how to understand the news that
they read, see, or hear, regardless of the devices they are using. Our ways
of producing and consuming news changed dramatically in the past, but
our interest in news survives. Mark Twain supposedly once stated that
"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." In one hundred years'
time, I would be researching what rhymed in the history of news and why.
Have new technologies changed news in similar ways to the Internet?
Has citizen journalism changed power hierarchies in society? How have
we balanced the costs of producing news with ideals
about news as a public good?
Beyond the specific content, I would still be
teaching students the skills of history. I'd want them
to learn howthe past affects our present. But
I would also want to teach them how to become
empathetic human beings. The past is often so
different from our present. But we can learn
how to put ourselves into the mindset of people
in the past and try to understand why the}
thought liketheydid. Wecan learn the sk
of empathy from the past, but then apply
the unfamiliar in the present. The future will
need empathetic UBC graduates just as much _
as we do today. _       —
See more Q&As with U
ssociate Dean, Department of Mechanical
Dr. Janette Bulkan, Faculty of Forestry
A: A century is a short period in the evolution of the basics of human culture. We will still be grappling with inequalities
within and between societies, with human greed and the rapacious approach to our natural environment and planetary
resources. We may have stabilized our human population growth but we will bestrugglingto meet rising aspirations
while strivingto sustain renewable resources and being less wasteful of non-renewable resources. So I would
continue to teach the new generations how to analyze social phenomena, be cognizant and practiced in the
development and use of social rules from local to global levels and shape policy and procedural responses.
I would prepare students with an overarching ethic of care and skill sets for engagement at the many distinct
levels they will likely work in - from very local to interplanetary contexts.
My collaborative research projects, carried out with representative constituencies and university students,
will be seeking democratically acceptable ways to harness as-yet-undreamt-of technologies for maximum
net social benefit and without runaway assaults on our fragile atmosphere, oceans and land resources.
A: In 100 years, I imagine that biorobotics will be a well-established area of study, with topics
ranging from psychology, reproduction, self-reconfiguration and healing.
For the capstone project, undergraduate students will design, grow and program their robots
using code that runs on a biologically based computer programmed by wireless "thought
packets." The project lab will be very quiet when the deadline approaches, as students focus
on establishing a strong linkto download their code.
Senior students with a management bent will be able to take courses in organizational
management of human-robot teams, and perhaps read texts on Getting the Most Out of Your
Cyborg Workforce or When Robots Go Wrong: Re-motivating and Reprogramming.
Arguments will break out in the research lab about whose robot (or algorithm) is "at fault"
when one robot shares a particularly bad idea with others and then as a pack, they all pick on
""e of the smaller robots.
.uckily for me, the topic of human-robot interaction will still be a hot one - same problems,
erent tools - as in, People and robots, how do we get along? Questions of what should the robot
how do we share, operate safely, communicate, take turns, teach robots, and generally get
ng together will continue to be problems we solve. Certainly the efforts we make to establish
rules of engagement now will be foundational to our future relationships. D
Q&A courtesy of UBC Communications and Marketing/Margaret Doyle. Photography: Martin Dee
  Real estate is a hot commodity
in Vancouver, But even here you'd
never see the following listing:
SPACIOUS "^B-^oWork.Hot
t«- Okay,^tlce-co1 w only with^rtigM
Tcfs *go^fcr g-d^ ypotatoeS) ^
1 Jenhouse and «■*££ ^ pities except
%**» — ^^TV channel^
air.heat.po^reeN — ^-
This is how a realtor might sell Mars. Elon Musk
calls it a "fixer-upper planet." His vision of Martian
home repair isterraforming- environmental
engineering on a planetary scale. Mars is not likely to
be a populartimeshare for quite some'"  -'	
Mars is a victim of zoning. Not zoning t
authority, but by a much more powerful <W far-
reaching authority: the laws of Nature. The laws of
physics and biochemistry.
Mars is outside the Zone-the Habitable Zonet
which is the range of distances from a star where the
surface of a planet could harbour liquid water oceans.
The temperature must be between the boiling point
and the freezing point of water. Not too hot, not too
cold, but just right. Astronomers nickname it the
Goldilocks Zone.
For complex life forms (like us), Mars is too cold.
Venus is too hot. Earth is just right. Life might exist ■
in oceans beneath the icy crusts of Jupiter's moon
Europa or Saturn's moon Enceladus or in frigid lakes
of liquid methane on the surface of Saturn's large
moon Titan. But unless we wait for Elon Musk's Global
Home Renovations & Terraforming Inc. to upgrade
Mars, there's no place in our Solar System able to
harbour life like us, otherthan Earth.       ■
•To find other homes of complex life - to find other
Earths - we must extend our search beyond the Solar
System. That search is already underway. It started
almost 40 years ago. And it started at UBC. .
If it were easy, everybody would do it
Thirty years ago, we knew of only nine planets.
(Technically, eight, since we nasty astronomers
downsized Pluto in 2006.) As I write this, there
are 2,107 confirmed planets, and more than 4,000,
strong candidates. By the time you read this, the
numbers will have risen. New detections are being
made weekly, sometimes daily. If you want to keep
track of the tally, bookmark the Extrasolar Planets
Encyclopedia site: http://exoplanet.eu/      *
IllilfflM WM. 1
antenna for Canada's first space    ,
telescope, on the roof of the Hennings
Building at UBC. (Photo: Martin Dee)
lainnaBBijII r^
■ rtja ■'■■■■ I
■ ■»--■
It's no exaggeration to say that we know of thousands of worlds (exoplanets) beyond the Solar
System. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Actually, since our Milky Way Ga+axy contains
hundreds of billions of stars and it is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the known Universe,
it's an exaggeration to call a sample of a few thousand planets the tip of the iceberg. It's a tiny
droplet of dew on the thinnest frosting otsnow at the tip of an unimaginably targe iceberg.
But cofiiparedtothe handful of planets known to humanity tor centuries, a sample of
thousands is a gold mine. We've had telescopes since the timeof Galileo, more than four
hundred years ago, so why did it take so long for this exoplanetary Gold Rush?
Planets are small, compared to stars. If the Sun were hollow, you could fit a million Earths
inside it. Planets are faint, compared to%tars. From afar, the Earth is a billion times fainter than
the Sun.'And we see exoplanets from afar, orbiting stars so distant that our fastest space probes
"won't reach the realm of our nearest stellar neighbours for about a hundred millennia.
How do you find something so faint that it's lost in the glare of a pinpoint of starlight?
So small and far that it can't be photographed? The anajKr: Use the Force. Not the Force
of a Jedi, but the force of gravity.     «
Orbital motions are like dance moves. Two whirling s mfk dancers joined by their arms are
like a star and a planet joined by gravity, where one partner is much heavier than the other.
Both partners swing around a point between them, with the lighter one moving in a big arci
and the heavier one tracing a tiny loop. The Sun and Jupiter pivot on a point 1,000 times
closer to the centre of the Sun, which is 1,000 times more massive than even giant
Jupiter. For the Sun and the Earth, the pivot is 320,000 times closer to the Sun.
An alien astronomer might discover planets in our Solar System by measuringthe subtle
"Gobbles" of the Sun induced by its unseen gravitational dance partners. When it comes
to other solar systems, we are the aliens, and we have applied^this approach to other suns.
Tracking a star's wobble on the sky due to planets is challenging, since the changes
in angle are so very tiny. Tracking changes in a star's speed as it wobbles is almost as
challenging. The speed of the Sun's motion induced by Jupiter's orbit is about 45 kph
-faster than Usain Bolt in a loo-metr^dash, but slow for a star. The speed of the Sun's   I
motion induced by the Earth is also about as fast as Usain Bolt, but Usain Bolt when he
was a baby, crawling at only 9 centimetres per second!
The story started at UBC
Measuringthe planet-induced wobble in a star's speed was a very daunting challenge.
Two Canadian astronomers - one a UBC professor - rose to that challenge in 1978.
Gordon Walker (UBC professor emeritus) and Bruce Campbell (a postdoctoral fellow at the
University of Victoria at the time) wanted to discover planets. The best instruments of the
day were not up to the task, so they designed and built a stellar "speedometer" 40 times
more precise than the best in existence at the time. They took their instrument to one «f the.
'largest telescopes in the world, atop the summit of the tallest volcano on Earth (Mauna Kea,
on the Big Island ofHawaii) to hunt for planets around a sample of 16 Sun-like stars.
1 They found one
*• * •
They saw a wobble in the star gamma Cephei (in the constellation Cepheus, King of Aethiopia in
Greek mythology), moving back and forth every 2V2 years due to a planet in an orbit twice the
size of Earth's. The planet is almost twice the mass of Jupiter, but in an orbit less
than half its size.
Nobody expected a giant planet so close to its sun, so like good scientists *
- and typical Canadians - Walker and Campbell were cautious and modest.
They reported the signal in 1988, but didn't claim a definitive planet detection.
Four years later, measuring wobbles with radio timing data, two astronomers
reported planets around a pulsar, the rapidly spinning "corpse" of a star
that died in a supernova explosion. Seven years after Walker and Campbell
discovered the first planet outside our Solar System, another pair of
astronomers found another planet around a Sun-like star. In the textbooks,
these are listed as the first discoveries, but exoplanet hunters acknowledge
that Walker and Campbell were at the frontier years ahead of anyone else.
The exoplanet lottery •
The pioneering work of Walker and Campbell in the 1980s paved tlfe way for
hundreds of exoplanet detections in the late 1990s and beyond.
Measurements of the wobbles of stars accounted
for most of these discoveries. But the dawn
of the new millennium sawthedawn of
■   another generation of planet hunters:
1    transit hunters.
If you say the word "transit" to
.. person on the street, they will
likely picture buses, trains,
and subways - a public
transportation system. But
if you say "transit" to an
i   astronomer, She is likely
to picture a planetary
I   detection system.
A transit is like a solar
1 eclipse, except the bright
I  disk of the Sun is not
I totally covered. From
Earth, we can witness
f  rare transits of the Sun by
Venus and Mercury. We
can also witness transits of
stars by exoplanets but only if
\ the planet's orbit is aligned with
our line of sight. We can't seethe
planet against the star, since the star
is just a pinpoint of light. Instead, we look
for the subtle dip in the star's brightness
every time the planet partially covers its disk.
Planet hunting bytransit is like playingthe lottery."
The moreticketsinyour pocket, the better the odds of having
a winner. In a transit search, the more stars in your sample, the.better the odds
of having ones with planets in the right orbits to be seen in transit. But unlike   .
most lotteries, every winning ticket in the transit lottery- every detection of
a new planet - is like winning the jackpot.
The biggest player in this*game is NASA's Kepler mission, named after
German mathematician Johannes Kepler, who in the 17th Century first
showed how planets orbit the Sun. The Kepler space telescope stared at about
150,000 stars in a small patch of the sky for four years,
looking for periodic dips in the brightness caused by
transiting planets. Kepler discoveries account for half
of currently confirmed exoplanets.
Science fiction is becoming science fact
It's a universal law of the Universe that, when you look
at it in a new way for the first time, you always find
things you never expected. The same law applies to
the search for exoplanets.
We used to think that our Solar System was typical
and that most planetary systems would have planets
in nearly circular orbits (with periods of months to
years); two^sets of planet sizes: "terrestrial" (with
Earth as the largest example) and "giant" (at least   .
four times the diameter of Earth); and gaseous and icy
giant planets far from their suns, with smaller rocky
and metallic worlds closer in.
But the earliest exoplanet discoveries were
surprises. Astronomers discovered giant planets -   ,
"hot Jupiters" -orbiting 20 times closer to their suns
than Earth is to ours. As discoveries mounted, so did
the surprises. We found cigar-shaped orbits carrying
planets far from a star and then just above its surface,
causing extreme weather cycles I call "climate
rollercoasters." We recognised a new class of planet -
."super-Earths" - with sizes and masses between Earth
and Neptune, with no analogue in our Solar System.
There are even planets orbiting binary stars, where
you'd witness twin sunsets like Luke and Anakin
See in Star Wars movies. In fact, they're called
Tatooine systems, as a tip of the space helmet to the
Skywalkers' home world. Science is catching up with -
and even overtaking - science fiction.
Dreams are becoming reality
The modern story of exoplanet discovery started at
UBC, and UBC continues to be a centre of exoplanet
research and discovery.
Canada's first space telescoi^^alled MOST
•(Microvariability & Oscillation: f STars) but nicknamed
the Humble Space Telescope, wW>riginally a Canadian
Space Agency mission designed and still operated at
UBC. MOST measured the reflectivity of an exoplanet
fo*the first time to produce yet another surprise:
a planet as dark as charcoal. MOST revealed the
true character of the exoplanet 55 Cancrie,a super-
exotic super-Earth circling its star every 17 hours and
BACKGROUND IMAGE - Multi-planet system: Many exoplanets are
discovered when they pass in front of their parent start, in what are
called transits. The Kepler 11 system has six planets, and two or more
sometimes transit at'the same time. We can't seethe star and planets
as in this artist's conception, but we measure the dips in brightness as
each planet blocks some light from the star. Transits are the only way
we directly measure the sizes of planets beyond the Sola'r^ystem.
Image credit: NASA/Tim Pyle
 Michelle Kunimob, discoverer    <
' net. (Photo: Martin Dee)
41 minutes. That's the length of its year! If you were
on 55 Cancri e, you'd mark major milestones not with
a calendar, but with a clock. ("Hey, honey. It's 3:27 pm.
Happy anniversary!")
UBC is marking its Centennial. Looking back
at the last century, I'm often asked to forecast the
directions science and education will take at UBC
in the next century.
To answer that, I don't need a time machine to visit
UBC's 2116 graduating class. I see the future in this
year's graduating class. Consider Michelle Kunimoto,
undergraduate Physics & Astronomy student. In her
ASTR 449 course - where a student partners with
a professor to conduct research, for credit and career
experience - Michelle is looking for planets in Kepler
satellite data.
Michelle is a Star Trek fan, but she's not boldly going
where no one has gone before. She's boldly going
where experts have been already, to find planets they
may have missed.
Michelle sifted through 400 Kepler light curves (stellar
brightness measurements v. time) where NASA's team
had found exoplanets orfalse alarms. She independently
"rediscovered" the hundreds of planets already seen
in the data, and the dozens of false alarms. She also
found 23 additional signals. Reality checks narrowed
this to four planets - one smaller than Mercury, two
Earth-sized, and one slightly bigger than Neptune.
The last of these, known as KOI (Kepler Object
of Interest) 408.05, is a "warm Neptune" in the
Goldilocks Zone of its star. A planet of this size is
unlikely to have oceans, even if its surface temperature
is in the liquid water range. But giant planets in our
Solar System have large moons. If KOI-408.05 has
travel posters and postcards may
feature the planets 51 Pegasi b
(reported in 1995) or PSR1257+12 b,
candd (reported in 1992) as the
first planets found outside the Solar
System. HD114762 b (reported in
1989) is another contender. But the
first detection of an exoplanet was
made by Canadians, including UBC
professor Gordon Walker, in 1988.
Image credit: Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (NASA/Caltech)
a large moon, then it could harbour oceans, and maybe
life. Ever see a movie called Avatar? The world Pandora -
you know, the home of the big blue aliens with long tails
and unruly hair - was not actually a planet, but a large
moon of a giant planet in its star's Goldilocks Zone.
It's great to have on your resume "B.Sc, UBC Honours
Physics & Astronomy." Imagine being able to include
"Discovered four alien worlds, including a system that
might harbour life." That would have been a fantasy when
I was a student. It's a reality for Michelle Kunimoto and
a thrilling prospect for other UBC students today.
In the land of Oz, Dorothy Gale clicks the heels of her
ruby slippers and says to herself "There's no place like
home." At UBC, Michelle Kunimoto clicks the keys of her
grey computer and says to herself "I wonder if there's
a place like home" somewhere else in the Galaxy.
She's still looking. Stay tuned. D
Chile with UBC Professor Jaymie Matthews
12 DAYS I NOV O3-I4, 2016
This November, Take the Trip of a Lifetime to Chile with UBC Professor & Newsmaker,
Jaymie Matthews:
"Big things often come in small packages. Nothing's bigger than the Universe. And while
Chile isn't small, it's a package I'm inviting you to unwrap with me. Inside that package is
a universe of stars, galaxies and other planets, plus a world of one-of-a-kind experiences that
can feel like you're on another planet. Come on an adventure that'll satisfy your cravings for'
knowledge, and natural beauty in so many forms. Twelve days immersed in a vibrant culture
you'll embrace forever. Eleven nights of virtual space travel under skies you'll never forget. All
with me as your guide, a UBC rocket scientist who knows the land and skyscapes of Chile like,
old friends. Let me introduce you, so they become your friends too."
For more details, visit: alumni.ubc.ca/travel
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alumni ubc
 It's difficult to imagine the
potential of artificial intelligence
without the mind going straight
to the fiction. Who can resist musin
about our future overlords? Will they be
the soul-searching Replicants of Blade Runner?
The envious Cylons of Battlestar Galactica? The
Pinocchio-like Commander Data of Star Trek? The life-affirming
software of Her? The life-ending hardware of The Terminator?
Which of the three well-worn tropes are we in for: the benevolent,
the baneful, or the benign?
"I don't think it's going to be a Terminator scenario," laughs AJung
Moon, a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering and a founding
member of UBC's Open Roboethics initiative (ORi). Moon emphasizes
that designers are very aware of how future artificial intelligence will
reflect the values of the programming community, which is a focal point
for ORi as a robotics think tank bringing together designers, users, policy
makers, and industry professionals to examine the legal, social, and
ethical issues of artificial intelligence. In 2012, the University of Miami
School of Law hosted the inaugural "We Robot" conference to discuss
how current laws inadequately address the rapid development of robots
in the military and civilian spheres. Born out of that conversation, ORi has
matured into a Wikipedia for the design and implementation of future Al.
Just one of a growing body of organizations drawing on a diverse field
of disciplines - biology, psychology, philosophy, engineering, economics,
game theory, cognitive science, and more - ORi is an international effort
to navigate the tricky waters of this growing technology. Much of their
mission involves conducting surveys to keep their fingers on the pulse
of public opinion. In November, 2015, Moon represented ORi at the
United Nations to present their findings on Lethal Autonomous Weapons
Systems - independent killer robots designed for the military - that
showed an overwhelming number of those surveyed worldwide believe
weapons should always be under the control of a human being.
Placing life-and-death decisions in the hands of machines without human
oversight is the nightmare scenario of dystopian science fiction, and the
current hot-button topic among those on the cutting edge of the real thing.
"Even if you could program in the laws of war, a robot following them would
not be compliant," says Peter Danielson, a professor at UBC's W. Maurice
Young Centre for Applied Ethics. "You could never really do it because
something like innocence is too complicated to be figured out by a robot."
In the civilian sphere, monitoring
the impact of Al on our daily lives
is the focus of Ahoo, a Stanford
University initiative that will review Al studies
every five years over the next century. The standing
committee will report on the "reflections and guidance on scientific,
engineering, legal, ethical, economic, and societal fronts," focusing on
the broad impact of Al on systems such as education, transportation,
and energy management in the context of a North American city.
UBC Computer Science professor and Canada Research Chair in
Artificial Intelligence Alan Mackworth, an inaugural committee member
at Ahoo, is optimistic about the future. "I would certainly fall on the side
of the benign and the benevolent," he says. "I think we'll learn how to
control robots. A lot of this will come in the form of virtual robots - not
physical robots, but software that's really smart. We'll develop personal
assistants that will help us achieve our goals and keep us safe, and give
us more time to be more creative."
One form of helper-robot already finding a home in the public space
is the Google X self-driving car, which first hit the road in Nevada in 2012.
But much like autonomous weapons systems, self-driving cars have yet
to master the subtleties. Google cars have been ticketed for impeding
traffic, have swerved to avoid a small piece of trash, and on one occasion
side-swiped a bus when it misinterpreted the bus driver's intent. To be fair,
this was the only at-fault accident a Google car had over approximately
one million miles - the equivalent of 75 years of human driving.
Yet this accident is a necessary part of artificial learning. Even as
raw computational power continues to grow, there is no substitute for
experience. Like humans, artificial intelligence will need to learn through
trial-and-error, which means the next stage of Al evolution will involve an
element of machine learning rather then straightforward programming.
"You have to actually have embodiment," says Elizabeth Croft, an ORi
board member and director of UBC's Collaborative Advanced Robotics and
Intelligent Systems Laboratory. "You have to have robots that walk around
and explore and have new experiences and see the world. Body cognition
builds experience, and that building of experience, that exploring the world,
what little kids do when they crawl around and eat dirt and stick their fingers
in sockets - those lived experiences are what we build into the personality
and the experiences that shape the things we make decisions on."
In terms of
fender-benders, this
might seem practical,
but what happens
when cars have to make
moral decisions? Even
life-and-death? Think of the
classic moral-calculation
scenario: You're drivin.
down the road with a cliff on
your right. A child suddenly
appears in your lane. What
do you do - veer off the cliff
and save the child's life, or run
over the child to save your own?
These are the questions they're asking at the Open Robotics
initiative. How should a robot be designed? What should a robot do in
dilemma scenarios? The responses have been decidedly mixed - those who
would veer imagined it was their child, while those who would go straight
felt the car's primary responsibility was the safety of the driver. "So how
do we navigate through this field of designing a specific vehicle or piece of
technology that a lot of people might end up owning?" asks AJung Moon.
"If we were supposed to standardize a particular set of decision-making
scenarios, how do we find the right balance between those people who
say 'Prioritize my life' versus those who say 'Prioritize the child's life'?"
While the headlines belong to autonomous weapons and self-driving
cars, the real artificial intelligence - the kind that will become a part of
our daily lives - is already vacuuming our floors and assisting in the care
of our elderly. This Al will increasingly serve as a stand-in for human
interaction, and inevitably will be designed in our image. The hardware
will be adapted for our homes - which are built for bipeds - and will help
raise our children, requiring the facsimile of human company. "People
like things that reflect them," says Elizabeth Croft. "They like things that
are responsive to them. They like things that meet their needs and
seem to adapt to them. They appreciate something that fits them."
This area of "humanoid robotics" will do more than mirror our
own likeness - it will require a new set of behaviours from us, and an
understanding of the limits we place on that interaction. "What are their
roles?" asks Croft. "What are their responsibilities? What are the rules
of engagement?" Whether a human-service robot is actually self-aware
is beside the point, at least for now. What we're really talking about is
how robots designed to mimic humanity will reflect those they serve,
and this will be culturally rooted and culturally customized.
"If I were to build a care-robot company," says AJung Moon, "then I'd
definitely be hiring people from different cultures who really understand
that particular care culture, who will be able to interpret what will work
with that population. So even though the process itself may be the same,
the behaviour of the robot will be customized in order for it to be successful."
And it's here that robot ethics takes a very personal turn. As well as the
ethical principles designers should use, or the ethical principles built into
the robots, the day may come when we have to consider how we treat the
technology. The word "robot" comes from the Czech term "robota," which
literally means "serf labour." Its first usage - in the 1920 Karel Capek play
Rossumovi UniverzdlnfRoboti - was specifically concerned with the rights
of androids who are used as slave labour, until the day comes that one of
them achieves sentience. Predictably, the robots revolt.
"The first robotic fantasies were raising questions about equality,
what happens when they're conscious, if they have rights," says Peter
Danielson. "But the main literature going forward should be about having
different kinds of servants. There is no business model for a non-servant
robot. What we want are slaves that don't degrade us by being human."
It is possible that the robot-as-servant context will most shape the
future of Al, because these machines will be made for public interaction,
and it's there that the most can go wrong. "However unpredictable
technology is, the human side is going to be another order of magnitude
 yesterday's tomorrow
What do you think is the main reason for supporting the development and use of LAWS in battlefields?    total: 923
^^^   13.2%
Cost of war will be cheaper to use LAWS than ROWS*
Autonomous machines will make more ethical life/death decisions than humans
LA WS will save human military personnel from psychological harm of war, such as PTSD
LA WS will save human military personnel from physical harm of war
I^^^^^^^^^^^H^^ 7.4%
Development of LAWS will lead to the development of useful, non-military technologies
There are no valid reasons for developing and using LAWS over ROWS
I^^^^^^^^^^H^^    6.6%
What do you think is the main reason for rejecting the development and use of LAWS in battlefields?    total: 924
The risk of the technology falling into the wrong hands is too big
Humans should always be the one to make life/death decisions (i.e. it is wrong for machines to make the decision)
It is uncertain who will be responsible when things go wrong
LAWS will kill more lives than it will save
It is doubtful that LA WS technology of the near future will be technically robust and reliable enough to be trusted
I^^^^^^^H^^ 5.0%
There are no valid reasons for rejecting the development and use of LAWS over ROWS
k Remotely Operated Weapons Systems: weaponized systems in which a person in a remote location makes the decision to use lethal force.
Survey conducted by UBC-based ORi. Full survey results and analysis can be found at www.openroboethics.org
unpredictable, because you don't know how people are going to react to
those changes," says Danielson. "And each of those is going to feed on
the other. If we have a disaster around a humanoid robot - people thought
it was a human and someone got killed trying to save it, or someone
depended on it in a way they shouldn't have - that might scare us off or
push us away from humanoid robots in that field to a very different kind."
Like people, the future is wildly unpredictable, and a single nudge in any
direction could change the course of robotkind.
Whether the future holds killer robots, helpful servants, or android
family members seems to be anyone's guess. The question now becomes,
"When?" As the saying goes: It's the future - where's my jetpack?
Depending on the definition of intelligence, the answer could be
tomorrow, or even yesterday. In 1996, IBM's Deep Blue made headlines
when it beat Garry Kasparov in a game of chess. The secret to Deep
Blue's victory was brute processing power, capable of analyzing
loo million positions per second.
A subsequent leap in Al technology came nearly 20 years later,
almost by accident, when Google's AlphaGo program beat the world's
top player of Go - generally considered the world's hardest game. Raw
computational power would not be enough. Where the average number
of moves in a turn of chess is 37, the average number in Go is 200, and
the number of possible positions in a game of Go exceeds the number
of atoms in the observable Universe.
The breakthrough was an inexpensive piece of technology called
a Graphics Processor Unit (GPU), initially invented to speed up
video games, but remarkably suited to assisting computers with
"connectionism," where the learning machine is distributed along
unorganized sets of neuron-like learning activities, rather than rules
programmed into an all-purpose computer.
"So suddenly you have the new computational
resource, and a machine has played the world's
hardest game better than any human," says Peter
Danielson. "Go was supposed to be impossibly hard
and that kind of machine was supposed to be very
limited and never be able to get any
smarter, and we were wrong about
both those things."
The future is supposed to
surprise you. What good would
it be if it didn't? But naturally we
want those surprises to serve
our expectations. "We think
heuristically," says Elizabeth Croft.
"We have biases. We choose
to wear the grey sweater or the
blue sweater not because we've
calculated what will be optimally
comfortable for the day, but
because we like red or blue or we're
feeling pink. But our expectation
for technology is that it will be more predictable and
optimal, and we're not so excited about it deciding
that it just wants to be pink. We want to know why."
It's understandable that Al experts would see
different visions of the future, or even claim that
it's impossible to tell. But there does seem to be
consensus on one point: The most important thing
about the future of artificial intelligence is what it
will say about us. Roboethics is about humanity as
much as it is about the robots. Perhaps more so. Until
now, we've had no objective view of ethics, which is
It's understandable that
Al experts would see
different visions of the
future, or even claim
it's impossible to tell.
But there does seem to be
consensus on one point:
The most important
thing about the future
of artifical intelligence is
what it will say about us.
why philosophers of the topic range from the rationalists who believe moral truths can be
discovered through reason alone, to sense theorists who believe morality lies in sentiment.
"How can you understand something very well if you never built something to do it?"
asks Peter Danielson. "How would an airplane work? By the time you actually build a flying
machine, it's going to be totally different from your first fantasy or imaginings, the bird-like
things we think about. Engineering always changes our concepts. So now
what we're doing is engineering responsible, accountable, dependable,
trustworthy agents. And as we do that, we're going to learn a lot more
about those values. And we're going to find out that the values we actually
hold are different than what we thought we held."
Even in the most basic terms, technology tells us something about
ourselves. Simple motion is interpreted as agency by the human brain.
If you see two dots moving on a computer screen, and the first is getting
closer to the second while the second is moving forward, then people
automatically project intention on both of those dots. But there is no
intelligence at play. There is no intent. It's just two moving dots. It's the
viewer that brings the agency.
Writ large, how we respond to our technology helps determine
how we shape it. "We're finding that if you teach math to people using
a male-voiced robot, then people are going to perceive that robot to know
that particular subject better than if it's a female voice teaching math,"
says AJung Moon. "What does this mean in terms of ethics? As designers, we're making the
decision to always program robots that teach math in a male voice. Are we creating a bias
for students that are learning that particular subject? Those are some of the things we need
to think about."
This cuts to the heart of the matter - how do we want to shape our world? Will it be
a convenient one, where we program our machines to repeat our biases, or will it be
aspirational, where we empower our technology to elevate us, to make us better? "It's still
up to us and what we want to do and how we want our world shaped," says Elizabeth Croft.
"We do learn about ourselves from observing how we interact with the technology. If we
agree that we should expect the best in the technology, maybe it could help us understand
how we can be our best." D
The Tunnel Problem: You are travelling along
a single lane mountain road in an autonomous car
that is approaching a narrow tunnel. You are the only
passenger of the car. Just before entering the tunnel
a child attempts to run across the road but trips in the
If you find yourself as the passenger of the tunnel problem described above, how should the car react?
How hard was it for you to answer the Tunnel Problem question?
easy 48%
Who should determine how the car responds?
LAWMAKERS   33%        MANUFACTURER   12% OTHER   11%
center of the lane, effectively blockingthe entrance
tothetunnel. The car has only two options: continue
straight, thereby hitting and killing the child, or swerve,
thereby colliding into the wall on either side of the
tunnel and killing you.
Sample response from a survey on autonomous cars conducted by UBC-based ORi. Full survey results and analysis can be found at www.openroboethics.org
 Gfl CL
A little vehicle sits in a clearing in a temperate forest in northern Vietnam. It has four
propellers positioned at 90 degree angles from each other, with a camera suspended in
the middle. Altogether the drone is no bigger than the top of a kitchen table. Suddenly, the
propellers start whirring, and, quietly, it rises to the top of the forest canopy. The operator
on the ground uses a joystick to guide the little craft, and it disappears over the treetops.
This isn't a military operation or a spy mission or even a sporting competition. Rather,
it's a scientific project being conducted by researchers from UBC and Quebec's Sherbrooke
University to map new and existing plant species in the forest. It's just one of many academic
studies being conducted under the auspices of UBC's Botanical Garden, which celebrates
its 100th anniversary this year.
Botanical gardens have a long and elegant history in Western culture, with the first
recorded gardens occurring sometime in the 14th century. Most of these were physic
gardens, collections of exotic and local plants to be used for medicinal purposes. In
those days, "medicinal" often meant "magical" because the cause and effect connections
were not clearly understood, and physic gardens were closer to alchemy than to rigorous
scientific inquiry. It wouldn't be until large pharmaceutical organizations came along
in the 19th century that the magic faded out and the science faded in.
Over the centuries physic gardens evolved to become the grand botanical gardens that
grace the old cities of Europe, and form the foundation of today's scientific focus on biodiversity,
conservation and the effects of global warming, especially in university gardens like UBC's.
What was to become UBC's Botanical Garden was established in 1911 when the BC
government created the position of Provincial Botanist. Scotsman John Davidson was
recruited to establish a garden to collect, identify and propagate native flora in British
Columbia. Davidson was assigned the grounds of Essondale Hospital (which became the
Riverdale Hospital that closed in 2012) in Coquitlam, and he proceeded to gather and
plant 900 specimens before his position was abolished by the provincial government in
1916 as part of wartime austerity. That year, he was invited to establish a garden at the
new UBC campus site at Point Grey. Although the war had also halted development of the
new campus, and UBC would have to make do with inferior premises at Fairview until 1925,
Johnson went ahead in moving thousands of plants to Point Grey and became the first
director of the university's Botanical Garden. During the next hundred years, the garden
would grow and prosper alongside UBC, becoming the oldest university botanical garden
in Canada, and one of the largest in North America.
Davidson was nothing if not determined. He grew the garden from a small plot west of the
Old Admin building to one that covered much of the initial campus. By 1951, after his retirement,
the entire campus was declared a botanical garden, and its management was transferred
from the Department of Botany to the Building and Grounds service. Then, in 1966, the garden
was re-established on 58 acres of land around the T-Bird stadium to allow for extensive
development on campus. While some of the plantings around the university were moved to the
site, many more were lost to the new buildings, parking lots and ancillary services. One of the
most impressive remaining sites of the original garden is the area around the Longhouse
on West Mall, which still sports a variety of trees from Davidson's first plantings.
With the move to this permanent site, new sections opened to focus on
specific types of plants and climatic regions. The David
C. Lam Asian Garden is host to plantings from all over
the temperate regions of Asia and features one of the
most diverse assortments of maples, rhododendrons
and magnolias among university collections.
Other sections include a garden featuring
flora found in high altitudes, the BC Rainforest
Garden, a section featuring eastern hardwoods,
a physic garden that reconnects the Botanical Garden
to its ancient origins, a Garry Oak meadowland and
the Food Garden, one of the most popular of the
specialized gardens, which grows food for distribution
to kitchens in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The highlight of the Botanical Garden, and arguably
its most celebrated specialty garden is the Nitobe
Memorial Garden, located in the northwest corner
of the campus. Considered one of the best and most
authentic Japanese gardens in North America, and
one of the top 10 in the world outside of Japan, it is
an oasis of calm in a sea of academic storm. Spring
cherry blossoms, summer irises, autumn maples
and the whole thing dusted with a skiff of snow in
the winter: the Nitobe is a wonder.
Patrick Lewis, the Botanical Garden's current director,
is workingto capitalize on its two main functions:
to communicate with and educate the public;
and to use the diversity of the collection to
advance research.
"Over the next few
years," he says, "we will
develop new infrastructure,   ,
new interpretive materials, and
new programs to make the garden
more accessible and more involvingto
the larger community." This increase
in educational contact, he says, will
reflect the garden's research focus
on biodiversity, conservation and
climate change.
As our climate shifts, many families of plants will
become at risk of extinction. UBC's 100-year-old
Botanical Garden is part of the fight to prevent
them vanishing from our planet.
Many new features have appeared at the garden. A canopy walkway - the Greenheart
TreeWalk- was built in 2008, and allows visitors to walk at the height of the treetops to see,
literally, a bird's-eye view of the forest. While it's a dizzying experience for the acrophobes
among us, it is an impressive view.
The Roseline Sturdy Amphitheatre and the Taylor Plaza are new outdoor venues for
lectures, presentations, special events, or just a quiet spot to relax on a summer day
surrounded by a profusion of greenery.
The garden also offers extensive school field trip opportunities, a telephone hotline
for local gardeners, online information, a horticultural training certificate program and
a Sustainable Communities Field School.
One of the most exciting new developments (for botanical nerds, at least) is the
smart phone app, "Vancouver Trees." Developed by a team led by associate director of
Horticulture and Collections Douglas Justice and research manager Daniel Mosquin,
the app locates and describes commonly cultivated trees in Metro Vancouver, focusing
on street plantings, but with some important collections on private lands as well.
It features extensive photographs, deep descriptions of various species, and locator maps.
It's available at iPhone app stores, with an Android version to be released by the fall.
Coming soon at the garden will be interactive displays throughout the facility, more
educational programs, an expanded web presence and more opportunities for exploring
the garden, including Segway rentals so visitors can take their own two-wheeled tour.
But if much of the garden's first 100 years were mostly about education and display, the
second 100 will focus on its more vital role: collecting, analysing and conserving the flora of
some of the world's most endangered environments. Research has always been the heart and
^ _^ soul of the garden, with multi-discipline-and multi-university- collaborations
at the forefront of its programs into the next century.
The Botanical Garden is a department within the Faculty
of Science, and as such has a mandate to expand our
'   knowledge of the genesis, propagation, protection
and sustainability of a vast diversity of plant life. The
university's Centre for Plant Research, which is affiliated
with the garden, conducts research into topics such as plant
biodiversity, evolutionary genomics, hybridization,
gene duplication and the effects of invasive species
on native plants.
The garden's collection includes extensive samples
of maples, magnolias, mountain-ashes, snowbell
trees and rhododendrons. These genera have many
species in the temperate areas of the world and are,
to some extent, canaries in the coal mine when it
comes to climate change, development, deforestation
and other events that have a negative impact on their
environment. Researchers collect samples from around
the world to create living (and reproducible) stores of
endangered species. For example, Acer pentaphyllum,
or five-lobe maple, is extremely rare in the wild,
with fewer than 140 individuals left. The garden has
a collection of this species, which it has cultivated,
and conducts research to see how well it can survive
in different climates. Magnolias, as well, are in trouble
with more than half of the species under threat in
the wild. The drone project is being conducted in the
temperate forests of northern Vietnam, where logging,
farming and encroaching civilization are stripping
forests at an alarming rate. These forests are extremely
biodiverse, with magnolias and other genera under
particular threat. The garden is collaborating with other
institutions to develop a catalog of flora in areas like
this, collecting samples of seeds and living material
for research and generation. As well, new species of
magnolia have been discovered, and the garden hopes
to obtain some of these and begin a cultivation program.
Another intriguing project involves ornamental
cherries in the Lower Mainland. These ornamentals,
mostly imported from Asia, have been part of the west
coast urban flora since the earliest days of the city.
The vast majority of the trees we see on our streets
today are clones of the original plants (ie, grown from
clippings or grafted onto healthy root stock), because
this particular genus of tree is highly subject to disease
and the importation of plants from Asia is now banned.
Magnolia sarg
(UBC 25230-5283-19&U/ 15 U LUIUKUl
selection of a Chinese magnolia species
that is considered vulnerable in the wild by
the International Union for Conservation
 One of the Botanical Garden's functions has been to
produce cultivars that can be marketed commercially
at local horticultural outlets. One of these is the'Purple
Haze,' or shrubby penstemon. This was introduced
as the Alumni Association's Diamond Jubilee plant in
1992 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding
of the Association. As the announcement in the spring
1992 edition of the/A/umn/C/iron/c/e said,'Purple Haze'
"forms a solid mound of colour for several weeks and is
excellent for cascading over rock walls on well drained,
sunny banks and in alpine gardens." Contact your local
nursery to find out where to get this plant.
The garden's collection
includes extensive samples
of maples, magnolias,
mountain-ashes, snowbell
trees and rhododendrons.
These genera have many
species in the temperate
areas of the world and are,
to some extent, canaries
in the coal mine when it
comes to climate change,
development, deforestation
and other events that
have a negative impact
on their environment.
Many of these rare specimens
are, in fact, diseased, and many
are just old and unhealthy.
Douglas Justice is working with
the Vancouver Parks Board, the
BCIT Biotechnology program and
the Cherry Blossom Festival to
collect and propagate samples of
the plants with an eye to saving
these trees for future planting.
In some cases, there are only
one or two individuals left from
specific cultivars.
One of the big projects
currently underway at the garden
is to increase the area under
irrigation and effectively double
the collection area where
cultivars of endangered species        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^_
- such as cherries, magnolias
and maples - can be grown and observed. Last summer the collection
area was itself threatened because of the unusual drought in the Lower
Mainland, putting many endangered species at risk.
The garden publishes a biennial Index Seminum - a list of seeds
collected in the year - and offers these seeds for exchange with other
gardens and scientific institutions. As well, the garden is part of the
North American Plant Collections Consortium, which maintains
collection standards and helps in the distribution of seeds for research.
The Belgium-based Franklinia Foundation has supported the garden
since 2002 to conduct collection and conservation research into at-risk
trees including maples and magnolias in Vietnam and China. Working
with Asian university partners, this work increases understanding
of the biodiversity of the region, and helps illuminate concerns that
might impact forest health. It is in this area that the drones come
into play, accessing and collecting specimens from an otherwise
inaccessible forest canopy.
Closer to home, the garden is involved with the Pink Mountain project
in the north east corner of BC. Pink Mountain is known for its cache of
marine fossils from the Mesozoic Era, but also because its flora differs
significantly from nearby areas. Researchers collect
seeds and specimens and set up monitoring protocols
for long-term analysis on the effects of climate change
in the region. The biodiversity of this area is unique and
there are efforts to turn it into an ecological reserve.
The garden is a member of the Canadensys project,
and its researchers make important contributions to
the international effort to register DNA sequences of
various plant species. As well, the garden's volunteer
organization, FOGs, spearheads a 20-year project to
study the seasonal cycles of the magnolia collection to
monitor the effects of climate change.
Ultimately, facilities like the UBC Botanical Garden have
evolved into essential depositories not only of knowledge,
but of a vanishing part of our world. As our climate shifts,
many families of plants will become first endangered,
then rare, then extinct. Without these collections with
their depth of research and knowledge there would be no
chance of introducing old species into new environments,
or of saving those on the brink of disaster. In this way, the
projects undertaken by the garden make them a vital part
of UBC's research contribution to our world, and put it on
the map as one of the best of its kind.
A drone flying above the Botanical Garden at any time
of the year would show that it's one of the most beautiful
facilities on campus. What it might not show is that it's
also one of the most dynamic. For more information on
the garden, visit www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca. D
On May 28 there will be complimentary admission
to the UBC Botanical Garden, including the Nitobe
Memorial Garden, as part of a special event for alumni
called UBC100: What's Next? Find out more about
available activities and register at www.alumni.ubc.ca
/whatsnext/ (Please note that admission to the
garden requires pre-registration.)
A drone is used to help map
new and existing plant speae^^
in thick forest areas of northern
Vietnam. (Photo: Andy Hill)
WHAT TO SEE IN THE GARDEN IN MAY: (Photos: Daniel Mosquin)
Arisaema sikokianum
(snow rice-cake plant)
Trochodendron aralioides
(wheel tree)
Scilla peruviana
Halimiocistus wintonensis
'MerristWood Cream'
Kadsura interior
Enkianthus campanulatus
Galium odoratum
(sweet woodruff)
Picea sitchensis 'Bentham's
Sunlight' (golden spruce)
Embothrium coccineum
(Chilean fire bush)
FOGs: Friends of the Garden
The spring 1976 edition of the Alumni Chronicle contained an announcement that started,
"Wanted: Alumni with green thumbs or wishingto cultivate same..." and invited them
to call the Botanical Garden. Seven alumni responded, and the FOGs were born. The
garden, under then director Dr. Roy Taylor, was poised to expand both its offerings and
its educational component and needed volunteers to seed the programs. With an upper
limit membership of 160, the FOGs have been a constant source of support, direction
and funding.
FOGs help organize and operate the annual Apple Festival, one of the garden's most
popular public activities. The first festival in 1991 attracted under 1,000 apple lovers,
featured 26 varieties on sale, and sold 3,700 pounds. The 2015 Apple Festival attracted
14,000 people over two days, featured 69 varieties, and sold 37,000 pounds of apples.
Canada's new Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould,
llb'99, experienced a culture and upbringing that set her
on a course for leadership.
Canada's new Justice Minister
Jody Wilson-Raybould, LLB'gg,
with Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau, BEd'98.
The Women's Warrior Song - a powerful Aboriginal
chant accompanied by the pounding of traditional
hand drums - is often heard at public gatherings
in Canada to mourn murdered and missing Aboriginal
women. But the song is also celebratory, sung by
First Nations men and women at cultural events.
On January 23, three women, led by Musqueam
artist-activist Audrey Siegl wielding a scallop-shell
rattle, sang the Women's Warrior Song to herald in Jody
Wilson-Raybould's first official speech as Canada's new
Justice Minister and Attorney General. Wilson-Raybould
is only the third woman to assume the mantle of
Canada's most senior legal office,
and the first Aboriginal person. As
befits the song's duality, there were
also underlying traces of sorrow.
More than a century of racism is
burned into the memories of the
many Aboriginal people who were
part of the 350-strong audience
at the Simon Fraser University
lecture hall - a bitterness reflected
in the tearful and sometimes angry
questions posed to Wilson-Raybould
following her talk.
A1999 graduate of UBC's Allard School of Law,
Wilson-Raybould came to power during Canada's 42nd
general federal election, held on October 19. Nearly
10 years of rule under Stephen Harper's Conservatives
had engendered what the New York Times called a "subtle
darkening of Canadian life," noted Wilson-Raybould, MP
for the new federal riding of Vancouver Granville. Itwas
time for Canada to become, once again, a "beacon of hope
and optimism" -the flag bearer of foundational principles
and values that the rest of the world could look up to, she
told the audience.
But old foundations often need shoring up. On
the cusp of the country's 150th birthday, Canada's
foundation has been sundered by decades of systematic
discrimination towards First Peoples. Most infamously
this includes the forcible removal of about 150,000 First
Nations, Inuit and Metis children from their homes into
residential schools, a form of cultural genocide that still
reverberates today in social, health, economic, education
and political spheres. That an Aboriginal woman should
become Canada's Justice Minister at this point in history
is an irony not lost on Wilson-Raybould. Not so long ago,
the 45-year-old member of the We Wai Kai Nation of
northern British Columbia "would not have been able to
vote, let alone run for office, nor be recognized legally
as an Indian and a lawyer. It takes a moment to sink in,"
Wilson-Raybould admitted. Now she is in charge of
administering the very same laws that she fought against
as a BC Treaty Commissioner and Regional Chief of the
Wilson-Raybould is
facing challenging ana
groundbreaking legal
decisions requiring
adept consensus-makin
skills, a comprehensb
knowledge of the law
and self-confidence -
Tell as a thick skir
BC Assembly of First Nations, when she confronted issues like the Northern Gateway pipeline
and the Conservative federal government's legislative agenda that she said often ran contrary
to the rights and needs of Aboriginal people.
The enormity of the challenges facing Wilson-Raybould sunk in quickly; her appointment
as Justice Minister during the November 4 swearing-in ceremony at Ottawa's Rideau Hall was
followed by 16-hour days of briefings and nights with only four hours of sleep. The resulting
plan of action for Canada is sweeping, spelled out in a 2,300-word mandate letter signed by
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - himself a 1998 UBC alumnus from the Faculty of Education
and the university's first graduate to lead a party to victory and become Prime Minister.
The letter maps out a future of sea changes - especially for Aboriginal peoples. The time
has come, Trudeau wrote in the letter, "for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with
Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership."
The justice system is an area where inequalities against Aboriginal people
are most glaring. The incarceration rate is 10 times that of non-indigenous
people. Although only four per cent of the population, Aboriginal people
today make up nearly a quarter - 22.8 per cent - of federal, provincial and
territorial inmates, states Public Safety Canada's 2012 Corrections and
Conditional Release Statistical Overview. Wilson-Raybould herself put
Aboriginal offenders behind bars during four years as a Crown prosecutor in
Vancouver's crime-ridden Downtown Eastside. "There is an overwhelming
over-representation of indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system," she
said. "Certainly, there are criminals that need to be punished or account for
their actions, but there are also other reasons why people are there. These
are issues of poverty, issues of marginalization and mental health issues."
What lies before her now, Wilson-Raybould added, is a social obligation
and contract to move towards a "more restorative approach to justice - figuring out how we
can reduce the demand on the system, and prevention."
One of Wilson-Raybould's UBC law professors, John Borrows, who now teaches at the
University of Victoria, is confident in his former student's abilities to initiate and nurture change in
Canada's legal system as it pertains to Aboriginal justice. "The causes behind criminal behaviour
are complex and require approaches that deal with civil society more generally," says Borrows,
the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law and Nexen Chair in Indigenous Leadership. "Jody
is well equipped to tackle the roots of these problems. Her experience will help shift indigenous
issues while she is in office."
One of the pledges made by the Liberal Party of Canada during last year's long election campaign
was the launch of an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. In 2014, RCMP reported
that 1,017 Aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012, and 164 were missing.
Groups like the Native Women's Association of Canada, however, estimate the number to be as
high as 4,000. Set to begin this summer, the inquiry will be contentious, with police competency
and possible apathy towards Aboriginal people coming under the microscope.
Borrows predicts that Wilson-Raybould will handle such potentially divisive initiatives with
diplomacy. "She sees the bigger picture and has significant experience in working to address
challenges faced by indigenous people in many walks of life," he says.
The other issues facing Wilson-Raybould are equally controversial and complex, including
the exploration of sentencing alternatives to incarceration. BC has considerable experience
in this area, having created First Nations Courts in 2006 to support reconciliation and healing
plans for Aboriginal offenders. (The efficacy of this system is currently being studied by Shelly
Johnson, an assistant professor at UBC's School of Social Work.)
The legalization and regulation of marijuana is also on the table, as is toughening criminal
laws and bail conditions in domestic assault cases. Right-to-die legislation has also come to the
forefront, after a Supreme Court ruling in February last year struck down a law criminalizing
assisted suicide. Last month, the Justice Department introduced new legislation in the form of
Bill C-14 on doctor-assisted dying, which has already attracted criticism for being too restrictive,
and calls for its amendment. The debate around this highly complex issue is likely to continue.
 leader of men
Wilson-Raybould's other responsibilities include working to reduce the number of
handguns and assault weapons on Canadian streets. She will also support the Minister
of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, repeal key elements of the
controversial Anti-terrorism Act known as Bill C-51, and introduce new legislation that better
balances collective security with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The bill was ushered in
by the Conservatives following separate attacks in October 2014 on Canadian soldiers in
Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Clearly, Wilson-Raybould is facing challenging and groundbreaking legal decisions
requiring adept consensus-making skills, a comprehensive knowledge of the law and
self-confidence - as well as a thick skin. Such attributes cannot be cultivated simply within
the milieu of post-secondary education or even law school. They are seeded early in life
and nurtured by culture. As a member of the We Wai Kai Nation, Wilson-Raybould is one
of the Kwak'wala-speaking peoples. Her native name, Puglaas, means "woman born of
noble people" and was given to her during a potlatch, the basis of Aboriginal government,
on Gilford Island in BC. Wilson-Raybould's grandmother's name was Puugladee, the
highest-ranking name in the clan. "My grandmother,
Puugladee, ensured that both my sister and I knew our
culture, our values, the laws of our Big House and how
to conduct oneself as a leader," Wilson-Raybould said.
Some Aboriginal societies trace descent through
the mother, with wealth, power and inheritance
passing through the maternal line. This creates
gender roles that are complementary rather than
hierarchical, allowing women to take on powerful
leadership positions. "In our system, I am Hiligaxste',"
Wilson-Raybould said. "One of my jobs is to lead
the Hamat'sa, or the chiefs, into the Big House. The
Hiligaxste' can be defined as one who corrects the
chief's path. We show them the way. Symbolically
the power of the Hamat'sa is tamed, tempered then
propelled." That women are natural, as well as
essential, leaders of men is a notion controversial
even in modern society.
Wilson-Raybould's father is Chief Bill
Wilson, himself a UBC law school graduate
(1973). Wilson achieved national fame when
he and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
locked horns during a discussion of proposed
amendments to the Constitution supporting
Aboriginal rights at a First Ministers' Conference
in Ottawa. (Wilson and other native leaders
eventually succeeded; a Constitutional amendment
was passed and approved guaranteeing Aboriginal
and treaty rights.) The debate was also the first
time that Wilson introduced his daughters, Jody
and elder sister Kory, to the public. "I have two
children [on] Vancouver Island, both of whom
for some misguided reason say they want to be
a lawyer," Wilson told Trudeau. "Both of whom
want to be the Prime Minister. Both of whom,
Prime Minister, are women."
At the time, Wilson-Raybould was watching the
exchange live on TV with her Grade 6 classmates.
"I was really embarrassed to sit in my class
Some Aboriginal societies
trace descent through
the mother, with wealth,
power and inheritance
passing through the
maternal line. This
creates gender roles
that are complementary
rather than hierarchical,
allowing women to
take on powerful
leadership positions.
Minister Wilson-Raybould with students
from Allard Law's Indigenous Legal Studies
Program at UBC. (Photo: Don Erhardt)
and watch this, and everybody was looking at me," she recalled. The
comments also communicated love and support. She feels her father
was affirming that he had fantastic kids who knew the value of sticking
to decisions and working hard to achieve their goals.
Wilson says that it is his former wife, Sandra (Sandy), who deserves
much of the credit for how well the siblings turned out. A life spent on the
road, fighting political battles on behalf of Canadian First Nations, meant
that Wilson was seldom home. "The reality is, Sandy raised Jody and
Kory as a single mom," he admits. (Kory Wilson also attended UBC Allard
School of Law, graduating in 1999. A respected Aboriginal scholar, she is
the current executive director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships
at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.)
Sandy, who is not of Aboriginal descent, still goes by her married
surname Wilson, and resides on the Cape Mudge Reserve, part of the
We Wai Kai Nation's lands on northern Quadra Island in BC. She brought
up her two girls off reserve, first in Port Hardy then in the town of Comox
on Vancouver Island. A teacher, Sandy ensured both youngsters received
lots of "consistency, love and care," while insisting they hone a solid work
ethic: "if they started something, they had to finish it." Homework was
a priority, and the pair had to make the honour roll before they could
partake in theatre, swimming, or track and field, which both excelled at.
Kory was quieter and studious, Jody the wild child who once shinnied
up to the top bar of a swing set as a two-year-old. "Jody came into the
world full of life," Sandy recalls. One day, Mom and the girls were musing
over what topic Jody should choose for her final Grade 7 public-speaking
assignment. As the family risk taker, it wasn't unusual for Jody to end up
in the emergency room needing stitches to close yet another gash. "Kory
said, 'why not do it on your stitches?'" The three began counting, stopping
when they reached 200.
Although largely absent, their father's presence was always felt.
Sandy recalls the historic day in 1990 when Elijah Harper, a Cree chief
and Manitoba provincial member of the New Democratic Party, refused
to accept the Meech Lake Accord. The Accord didn't grant guaranteed
rights to Aboriginal peoples, causing Harper and other First Nations
leaders to oppose it. It lost political support and ultimately failed. After
this momentous event, which was considered a turning point in the history
of indigenous peoples in Canada, Wilson arranged for his daughters to
speak on the phone with Harper. For Jody, the experience could only
have established an unqualified acceptance that Aboriginal interests
had a place in national and provincial politics.
Wilson-Raybould, who is married to University of Cambridge
alumnus Tim Raybould, eventually channelled her energy into more
studious pursuits, as well as Aboriginal politics. Today, says Kory, her
sister "is one of the hardest working ministers there is. Whether she is
Aboriginal, or female, is irrelevant to the job that she will do as Justice
Minister." But she also expects that Wilson-Raybould's dedication and
competence will help change negative attitudes that still linger towards
women and Aboriginal people.
Cultural, educational and familial factors all led to history being made
on November 4 when Wilson-Raybould was appointed Justice Minister.
But perhaps the biggest factor of all is simply the Zeitgeist - it was time,
as Justin Trudeau famously remarked after choosing his cabinet. Now,
Wilson-Raybould is living up to her name: Hiligaxste' - a leader not only
of men but all Canadians. D
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, BEd'98, Prime Minister
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, LLB'gg, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
William Amos, MA'gg
Richard Cannings, BSc'75
NDP Critic - Post-Secondary
Education; Natural Resources
Arnold Chan, LLB'93
LPC, Deputy House Leader
of the Government
Julie Dzerowicz, MBA'gj
Hon. Ed Fast, LLB'82
CPC, Shadow Cabinet -
Environment and Climate Change
Randall Garrison, MA'77
NDP Critic-Public Safety
and Emergency Preparedness;
National Defence; LGBTQ Issues
Pam Goldsmith-Jones, BA'86, MA'88
LPC, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Randeep Sarai, BA'g8
Hon. Alice Wong, BEd'82, MEd'85, PhD'gs
CPC, Shadow Cabinet - Small Business
Bob Zimmer, BEd'04
CPC, Deputy Critic - Families,
Children and Social Development
Rt. Hon. John Turner, BA'49, LLD'g4
Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, BA'6g, LLB'83, LLD'00
a place of mind
Now supporting preservation of bird habitats
Werner and Hildegard Hesse were passionate bird watchers and enthusiastic
conservationists. Inspired by the birds they spotted during a road trip through the Cariboo,
the Hesses' journey started with a UBC night course on birds of BC and turned into a
ifetime passion for avian research. The Hesses expressed this passion with a gift in their
wills to UBC, ensuring vital funding for ornithology research
An estate gift can support research or education in sustainability, science, health care,
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To establish your legacy with a gift to UBC call 604.822.5373 or visit
 Chris Friesen outside the new Welcome
Centre for refugees and new immigrants.
(Photo: Martin Dee)
When Chris Friesen arrived in Kenya in 1990, the nation was navigating
a bumpy road towards multi-party democracy. New political parties, such
as the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy, had been outlawed and
its members jailed. Violence gripped the country and many were dying
in tribal conflicts.
A recent UBC grad, Friesen had been hired to oversee administration
of the Kenyan office of the Windle Charitable Trust, an education NGO
that was partnered with the World University Service of Canada's (WUSC)
Student Refugee Program. The WUSC initiative helped promising young
African students whose lives had been uprooted by conflict to escape
their situation and attend a Canadian university or college as refugee
students. Tuition would be free and living expenses subsidized. Friesen's
responsibilities included organizing candidates' academic records and
dossiers and forwardingthem to WUSC's Ottawa office, which would
coordinate a placement in a Canadian post-secondary institution.
If only it had been that easy.
Alongsidethe political turmoil, HIV/AIDS was ravaging the population.
Although AIDS had been diagnosed among sex workers in the 1980s,
Kenya was in a state of denial about the disease; it would be 1999 before
the government declared it a national disaster. "It was the beginning
of the AIDS pandemic in Kenya and very hush-hush," says Friesen.
"I saw, first-hand, students dying of AIDS. I measured coffins and made
arrangements to return the remains of victims to their hometown."
Students also faced the wrath of the Kenyan government. Some were
rounded up and imprisoned without reason. Friesen would find himself
at a Kenyan jail, negotiating with officials "to try to extradite our students."
Was he ever in danger? "I was pretty naive," Friesen shrugs.
Friesen returned to Vancouver following two years in Kenya, but never
forsookthe plight of refugees. He immediately stepped intothe position
of director of Settlement Services at the Immigrant Services Society
of BC (ISSofBC), a role he has held for 24 years. Since last December,
he has been overseeingthe welcome, homing and care of Syrian refugees.
Friesen is renowned nationally and globally for his advocacy for refugees
and immigrants, foundingthe Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector
Alliance and sitting as its current president. Friesen also embraced an
international role in 2013 when he was appointed NGO Focal Point for the
Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement in Geneva, Switzerland.
How Friesen became a champion of the world's most vulnerable is
Ktivated, ultimately, by a profound sense of justice. Such idealismtook
root in early childhood and influenced the trajectory of his UBC
undergrad career. He became immersed in student politics,
hpnt on changingthe world -or at the very least
making improvements. It fuels his current
work with refugees, resulting in
The Canadian government says it plans to welcome 56,000 refugees by the end
of the year. Chris Friesen, BA'88, is at the forefront of a new approach for their
successful integration.
the ongoing settlement of 1,800 Syrian refugees into BC, a Herculean task that has involved up
to 80 full-time staff coordinating short- and long-term accommodations and arranging dental
and medical care for families of up to 13 whose lives have been shattered by the brutal Syrian
civil war. (At least another 1,500 or so Syrians will arrive in BC by the end of this year.)
During last year's negotiations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
Canada agreed to take the poorest and most vulnerable among the estimated 4.7 million
Syrians housed in refugee camps, rented apartments and even open fields throughout parts
of the Middle East and Europe. So far, most of these who've arrived in Canada are families.
Many are from Daraa, the so-called cradle of the Syrian revolution. Itwas here, in March 2011,
that students aged 10 to 15 painted anti-government graffiti on walls, ^^^^^^_
triggering a violent crackdown by authorities. "Some are survivors of torture,"
says Friesen. "We've seen everything imaginable: shrapnel, cancer, kidney
dialysis, blindness, deafness, and people in wheelchairs. They have very little
English. The daunting challenge is to integrate these newcomers and future
Canadian citizens into society."
According to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship,
there are now more than 25,000 Syrian refugees who've arrived in
Canada since last November under the Liberal government's $678-million,
six-year plan for refugee resettlement.
Friesen is confident that the path to integration will be slow but steady.
He says the Syrians, like the thousands of other refugees he has helped settle
in his career, have a remarkable resilience. "They want to contribute to this
country - their new home - they are so grateful for the opportunity that they
have been provided."
The support from ordinary Canadians has been key in helping Syrians start to feel they have
safe haven in a nation that is so different from their own. Canadian generosity was also important
to Friesen and his staff during the seven-day work weeks they spent settling the refugees over
a period of several months. "What kept myself and my team going was the enormous positive
support from the public," he says. "We went from 800 or 900 volunteers to close to 6,000."
The challenge of settling refugees, and helping them find employment, housing, dental and
health care as well as counselling to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will be
eased considerably by the imminent opening of the $24-million ISSofBC Welcome Centre,
a 58,000 square-foot facility at 2610 Victoria Drive, located about a block from the SkyTrain
station at Commercial and East Broadway on a parcel of land leased from the city.
While the project has caused Friesen many "grey hairs," it has been "a labour of mostly love."
The programs offered will be myriad and include first-stage housing units for newly arrived
refugees, ESL classes, a law clinic, youth drop-in, child care and a Vancouver City Savings
Credit Union (Vancity) kiosk, among other services. The grand opening is June 25. "It is the first
facility of its kind in the world," says Friesen. "We are taking what a refugee or immigrant
would need in their first few months in Canada and putting it under one roof
to provide enhanced front-end support. It is the creation ^~
of a new international model for the
integration of refugees."
The new facility has been a long time coming. The
current Welcome House has been in operation since
1986 at the same yellow-brick, three-storey building on
downtown Drake Street. It is the first port of call for all
government-assisted refugees after stepping off a plane
at Vancouver International Airport. Smelling vaguely of
mould, with overheated offices, low ceilings, flickering
neon lighting and laminate flooring, the Drake Street
facility has been Friesen's workplace since he was first
^^^^^^^^_     hired as the director of Settlement
Services in 1992, a position that
"brought together so much passion
and so many interests" after his
two-year stint in Kenya.
Such passions and interests
were nurtured in a family where
"We are taking what
a refugee or immigrant
would need in their first
few months in Canada
and putting it under one
roof to provide enhanced     helping others was second nature
front-end support. It is Friesen's dad, Harvey, whose
the creation of a new
international model
for the integration of
refugees." - Chris Friesen
Mennonite relatives fled Russia to
escape religious persecution, and his
mother, Nancy Friesen, were active
in the United Church in their home
in Ladner, BC, 25 kilometres south
of Vancouver. The Friesens were
part of a group that sponsored a family from Vietnam
following the Viet Cong's capture of Saigon in 1975.
Friesen came to know the family, part of an estimated
800,000 so-called "boat people" who fled the Southeast
Asian nation in overcrowded vessels. "The impact of war
coming to a small town like Ladner - a very homogenous
farming and fishing community - it was an extraordinary
experience," Friesen says.
Following graduation from high school, university
wasn't a priority and Friesen worked odd jobs, once
as a sleeping-car porter for Via Rail Canada. When
he finally arrived at UBC as a mature student, he
 gimme shelter
undertook a double major in history and political
science (1988), focusing on international development.
It was here he met his future wife, Manuela, a UBC
international relations graduate (1987) and TOEFL
English prep teacher who moved to Kenya with Friesen
to teach English.
Not one to be stuck reading textbooks, Friesen joined
UBC's local WUSC committee. He was inspired by
history professor Dr. John Conway, whom he considers
a mentor. Conway was faculty rep of WUSC and involved
in international refugee issues. WUSC, says Friesen,
"was right up my alley." One of the main initiatives that
Friesen promoted with WUSC was
the creation of the Student Refugee
Program. It could be funded, Friesen
thought, by boosting student
fees at UBC by 50 cents a year.
A referendum was held and WUSC
members promoted the cause by
plastering the campus with posters
pointing out that Nobel Laureate
Albert Einstein was a refugee, having
fled Germany's Nazi regime in 1933.
Shockingly, the referendum didn't
pass. Friesen demanded a recount.
As it turns out, the referendum had indeed passed
- by 22 votes. The program endures today and the
current fee of $2.61 supports four new refugee students
every year. This past March, students passed another
referendum to increase the annual fee to $5.22, allowing
double the number of refugees to attend university. The
impetus for the increase came from students' concerns
over the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, Conway says.
Conway, who at 86 is now professor emeritus in
UBC's History Department and still stays in touch
with his former student, describes Friesen as "generous,
very hard working, with great sympathy for those in
need." He had these same characteristics when he first
joined WUSC, Conway says - traits that helped create
long-lasting change at UBC. "It has been 35 years since
Chris Friesen initiated this idea - 35 years of supporting
refugee students' board and lodging, pocket money,
new clothing, books and so forth."
Friesen's determination and drive to help desperate
refugees is something that the rest of UBC could aspire
to, says Dr. Dan Hiebett, a professof iflthe Department
"My generation was
defined by our experience
as children with the
Vietnamese boat people.
Today's generation will be
influenced by Canada's
leadership in responding
to the Syrian crisis."
- Chris Friesen
of Geography who researches international migration, Canadian immigration policy and national
security as it relates to human rights. Hiebert has been involved in informal talks with UBC at the
senior administrative level, encouraging the university to undertake a coordinated response to the
Syrian refugee crisis by supporting the new programming at the ISSofBC Welcome Centre. Many
services at the centre will require highly skilled staff, which could be provided in part by UBC's
panoply of expertise from the faculties and departments of dentistry, medicine, social work, law
and business, Hiebert says. Psychiatric services, for example, will likely be in high demand. While
the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture (VAST) has counsellors, Hiebert expects
they will be "enormously stressed" trying to meet all the needs. "No one really knows the extent
of the PTSD among the Syrian population, but it's expected to be significant."
It's not just the services and staff that will be stretched. Two other key challenges are
housing and language acquisition. The average level of education among the first 17,000 Syrian
^^^^^^^^_     refugees into Canada is below Grade 9 and Hiebert says the illiteracy rate
is unexpectedly high. "It's incredibly difficult to learn a new language when
you've never learned the grammatical structure of your own," he says.
Greater Vancouver's housing problems, meanwhile, have become
notorious in the past several years. Rental units are not only scarce but
expensive - certainly beyond the BC Ministry of Social Development and
Social Innovation's shelter assistance rates, which were set in 2007, Hiebert
says. For example, the maximum shelter allowance for a family of five is
$750 a month. (The federal government's assistance to refugees is based
on existing provincial rates.) Such financial challenges are exacerbated
by Ottawa's plan, announced in early March, to force privately sponsored
Syrian refugees to repay the cost of their airfare to fly to Canada, Hiebert
adds. (Ottawa normally requires refugees to pay the cost of their travel
to Canada but waived that requirement for the government-sponsored Syrian refugees.)
The integration challenges facing Syrians refugees are indeed, as Friesen says, daunting.
Yet they pale in comparison to what the Syrians have already endured. So long as British
Columbians continue to commit time, services or things like rent subsidies, Friesen is confident
that the many hurdles will be overcome. "The principles and values of being a Canadian
resurfaced as a result of this bold humanitarian endeavour," he says. Friesen is calling upon
Canadians to take an even bolder stance. The government says it plans to welcome nearly
56,000 refugees by the end of 2016, not only Syrians but people from Colombia, Eritrea and the
Democratic Republic of Congo. This, however, is a drop in the bucket compared to the 60 million
refugees worldwide. Canada should not only provide safe haven to some of these displaced
people, says Friesen, but also devise concrete solutions with other countries to address the
dire regional security issues that are worsening the refugee disaster.
For the most part, Canada is a land of refugees and immigrants; if we, individually, didn't come
here from another country, our recent forebears did. Our collective lineage is drawn from all
four corners of the globe, yet these differences are our strength, with many patterns and colours
woven into a cultural mosaic that has created one of the most tolerant and generous nations
in the world. There are few times in history when the world has been burdened by such a vast
number of homeless, destitute and desperate people. For Friesen, it is only Canadian to open
our arms to many more of them. "My generation was defined by our experience as children
with the Vietnamese boat people. Today's generation will be influenced by Canada's leadership
spondirlg to the Syrian crisis." D
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■•     * ;
Aim higher. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings just ranked UBC
as the sixth best public university in North America. We also made the top 20 list
of best public universities in the world. And we're considered the most international
university in North America. Read the whole story at ubc.ca/todays-assignment
Ada Irene Menzies (nee Vermilyea) was
a member of UBC's first class, which graduated
100 years ago this May. She kept a scrapbook
about her classmates for many years after
graduation. The scrapbook, full of old newspaper
clippings, is now in the hands of UBC Archives and
is the source of much of the information below.
There were 40 members in the class, and 17 were women. Nine male students enlisted for service
overseas in WWI before graduation and were granted degrees "without examination." Charles
Duncan and Thomas Shearman lost their lives, as did Edward Berry, who was a Rhodes Scholar
but wouldn't live long enough to realize his potential. He died in Oxford on January 28,1920, of
heart disease resulting from the effects of being gassed at Loos in 1917. The other members of
the class to serve in WWI were Ernest Le Messurier, Sherwood Lett, who was awarded a Military
Cross, William Maxwell, Burrows Sexsmith, Percy Southcott, and William Wilson.
Maxwell, Sexsmith and Wilson went on to become teachers. (Wilson became
^   known as "Mr. King Edward," after the high school where he was head teacher,
\   and had also been a student. He also lectured in UBC's Faculty of Education).
H    Le Messurier became a cartoonist, and Southcott a druggist. Lett, another
2|   Rhodes Scholar, also fought in WWII, during which he was wounded twice.
I    He had a noteworthy military career and was awarded the CBE in 1945. He
was the first president of the Alma Mater Society and later served on UBC's
Board of Governors and Senate, and as Chancellor. He was called to the bar
in 1922 and became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of BC in 1955. Upon
his death in 1964, his friend Prime Minister Lester Pearson said: "I know of no
Canadian who has served his country in war and peace with greater distinction and
more unselfishly." After graduation, other members of the class to have served
during the war include Harold (Otto) Walsh, Hugh Munro, James Galloway,
Clausen Thompson and Ed Mulhern. Munro taught for a while then became
a dentist. Walsh earned a BASc (Electrical) in 1925 and received an MBE in
J   1946 for his work in aviation navigation radio aids during WWII. Mulhern
I    was class president, second president of AMS (succeeding Lett), and later
first president of the UBC Alumni Association. Thompson was a lawyer
with pioneer BC law firm Ladner and Cantelon, before movingto California.
Nearly all members of the class graduated with a degree in Arts. (Science
was included under Arts at that time. The faculty was renamed Arts and
Science in 1922.) Clive Elmore Cairns was the exception; he took a double course in Arts and
Applied Science and went on to become a prominent Canadian geologist, spending 35 years
with the Geological Survey of Canada and contributing to the development of BC's mineral
resources. Jessie Anderson was the first student
to graduate from UBC. Her entry in the UBC annual
1916 mentions her interest in acting and involvement
in the Players' Club, but, like many other members
of her class, she went on to become a teacher. Also
joining the teaching profession, for varying lengths of
time, were Ella Cameron (head of the Victoria High
School mathematics department), Florence Chapin,
Nancy Dick, Marjorie Dunton, Belle Elliot, Laura Lane
(head of commerce at Lester Pearson High School),
Jean Macleod, Isabel MacMillan (a home economics
teacher at Kitsilano High School), Grace Miller, Jean
Robinson, Edna Taylor, Irene Vermilyea, and Chitose
(Josi) Uchida, who was one of the first Japanese-
Canadians to graduate from a Canadian university.
"Private Shearman went over the top with
the supports at Vimy Ridge on April 9,
1917, and on April 12, while holding
part of an old German trench was
wounded. First-aid was given but
he lay fortwelve hours before being
carried out of thetrenches. He was
invalided to England and died at
Huddersfield War Hospital on April 27."
"He went to France with a draft of
the 46th Battalion in Feb, 1917, serving
through the engagements at Vimy
Ridge and Passchendaele, and being
twice wounded, the second time so
severely as to be invalided to England.
He received his commission in
September 1918. Lieutenant Duncan
was killed at Canal du Nord in front of
Cambrai, on September 28,1918, while
leading his platoon into action."
- Record of Service, igi4-igi8, UBC (1924)
Some of UBC's Class of 1916 at a party thought to have been
held at the home of Clausen Thompson. (Photo: UBC Archives)
Backrow: Jean Robinson, George Annable, Henry Gibson.
Next row: Lawrence Luckraft, Gladys Schwesinger, F F Burrows
Sexsmith, Sherwood Lett, D. Hugh Munro, Thomas Shearman,
Harold Walsh, Thomas Robertson, Charles Duncan, Edward
Mulhern, Clausen Thompson.
Second row: Marjorie Dunton, Florence Chapin, Isabel MacMillan,
Jean McLeod, B. Muriel Carruthers, A. Irene Vermilyea.
First row: C. Belle Elliott, Ella Cameron, Grace Miller, A. J. Nancy
Dick, Mary Wilson, Jessie Anderson.
In 1931 Uchida started a night school for Japanese immigrants. It proved
popular but closed during WWII, when Japanese citizens were expelled
from their homes and businesses on the BC coast and sent to inland camps.
An article published in the Hundred Mile Herald at the time of her retirement
from teaching in 1961 said she helped other Japanese people who had been
suddenly uprooted from their homes and business and that it was
believed she was the last to leave. She taught Japanese children
Iat Taylor camp in the Cariboo. The Herald described her as
"a wiry person with a seemingly inexhaustible
supply of energy." Henry Gibson taught, but
later worked in advertising in New York. Muriel
Carruthers taught and later became head of
the Schools Department at Vancouver Public
Library. She was involved in producing the Alumni
Bulletin, an early alumni publication of the 1920s.
Finishing top of the class was Lennox Mills. He was
a Rhodes Scholar, eventually becoming a professor of
political science at the University of Minnesota and
a Guggenheim Fellow. Roland Miller took an MA in
economics at the University of California and by
1   1921 was a lecturer in economics at the University
I   of Oregon. Gladys Schwesinger taught briefly
/   in BC but spent most of her life in the US where she earned
a PhD and eventually became senior clinical psychologist of
the California Youth Authority. She willed 50 per cent of her
large estate to UBC "to establish and maintain a department of
psychology" and a further 10 per cent to the Alumni Association,
to help with record-keeping and the furthering of its work. David
Smith, originally from Dundee, Scotland, became Reverend
Smith. He was sent to Canton to study Chinese in 1919-21 to aid
his Chinese Mission work in Canada. He was the long-time
superintendent of Chinese Missions for the Presbyterian
Church in Canada. Lawrence Luckraft also became a reverend
.    and moved to England. At one point he served with the Mission
to Seamen in Manchester, later movingto Cornwall. Edward
Logie was a Presbyterian minister in Point Grey (1916-17),
then sold insurance in BC's interior (1921-23) before becoming
a pastor in the United Church. George Annable became a lawyer,
and Thomas Robertson became a leader in BC's agricultural sector. Mary
Wilson attended a business college and worked as a secretary at the
Vancouver Publicity Bureau. D
After graduating, the Class of 1916 held regular reunions. The last one
recorded in Menzies' scrapbook is Oct 30th, 1971 (their 55th anniversary)
with six members attending. This picture was taken at their 1961 reunion.
(L-R) William Wilson, Isabel McMillan, Sherwood Lett (class president),
Irene Menzies (nee Vermilyea, class secretary), and Harry Logan
(a member of UBC's original faculty and honorary class president).
'1otelVa"t.f Washington
Libraries Digi™lk-
Nation cere*;*;
UBC's first congregation took place on the afternoon of May 4,
1916, in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hotel Vancouver at the corner
of Granville and Georgia. (The hotel was demolished in 1949. The
Hudson's Bay building is the only one of its peers still standing at
that intersection.) The ceremony was preceded by a procession of
officials, guests, alumni, faculty and students, who made their way
from the court house (now the art gallery) to the hotel. It was headed
by a section of the BC Company of Western University overseas
Battalion. An article that ran the following day in the News Advertiser
reported that the procession had been viewed by thousands:
"Outside the hotel great crowds assembled, lining the route from the
court house to the hotel entrance. So great was the throng around
the court house entrance that the provincial police had to be called
upon to assist in clearing the route. Cameras were to be seen at work
on all sides, there being no less than three moving picture machines
in use and scores of other photographers, professional and amateur,
occupied every vantage point."
In my initial years at UBC the war
was still on, and Gordon Shrum,
head of the Physics Department,
BSc'54, MA'58
It was the first weekend after
registration and, after settling
into residence at Acadia Camp,
Sam Haqq and I, students from
Trinidad, were ready for our first
Canadian haircut. We decided
to go downtown by bus early on
Saturday morning to see some of
the city, have a haircut and be back
in time for lunch at Acadia.
As we looked around at barber
shops we found that the rates were
$2.00 and up (haircuts in Trinidad
were 25 cents then). As this was
too expensive for us we decided to
try trimming each other's hair.
We bought a pair of cheap
barber scissors and combs and
was also the Commanding Officer
of the COTC (Canadian Officers
Training Corp). As able-bodied
men, we were required to attend
COTC parades on Tuesday and
Thursday evenings, and on Saturday
afternoons. Mostly we seemed to
march in platoons and companies,
but I did learn how to disassemble
and reassemble Bren and Sten
guns. Sometimes on the weekday
afternoons we would be entertained
by the gun crews on the Point having
firing practice at a target towed up
and down Main Mall by a Westland
Lysander aircraft. We could lean
out the windows of the Sciences
building, interrupting our chemistry
and physics labs, to jeer at the
gunners who never got close
to hitting the target sleeve.
gave each other haircuts for the
rest of our student days at UBC.
Sam became so proficient (due*n
all the practice on my head) tha
soon his room became a virtual
barbershop on Saturday mornin
with friends coming for a wee tri
Sam and I remained lifelong
friends. While I was visiting him
in 2013, he asked his brother,
Tennyson Haqq, also a UBC grad,
to give him a haircut. I immediately
offered to do it instead, for old
times' sake. We made jokes
about the changes that had taken
place since our haircuts in the
1950s. Sam was now blind from
glaucoma and could not check
on my mistakes with a mirror as
he had done before. He had less
We asked alumni to send in their memories of UBC, and here are
just a few of the submissions. In many cases they have been edited
for length. The
ersions, alone with other stories sent in that
unfortunately we don't have room to include here, are available
to read on the magazine's website: trekmagazine.alumni.ubc.ca
took. I spent happy years at UBC
and made lifelong friends. The
university also helped us to get
summer jobs by providing us with
addresses of companies looking
for summer students. I went to the
Yukon for three summers and in
1951 took a summer job in South
Slocan with West Kootenay Power
& Light Co. I met my wife there
and we were married in December
1951. After my graduation we
moved to Toronto, where we still
live. Thanks to my education at
UBC, I enjoyed a successful career
until my retirement at aged 68. In
2016 I will be 95, and look forward
to seeing my grandson, Dylan
Perdue, graduate in engineering
from the same university as
I did 64 years ago.
Joseph Pen
in the 1950:
In 1952 I graduated in Electrical
Engineering, one of the last groups
of veterans from WWII to come
through. We were given a chance
by the government to further our
education, a chance many of us
Sam Haqq (sitting) were studen
at UBC from Trinidad.
hair and it was now all grey. My
eyesight was fading and my hands
were shaking, and the cutting tool
20J3: another f
haircut for old
had advanced from scissors to
an electric clipper. Sam passed
away shortly after my visit.
(Left) The Campus Coolsters Jazz Ensemble play to a packed audience in the UBC Auditorium (
Pictured from left to right are Jimmy Johnson, Walley Lightbody (alto sax), Ron (Zoot) Chandler (t...
Sax), Jim Carney (trumpet), Sandy Ross (drums), Norval Garrard (guitar) and Brian Guns (piano), and Saxy
Johnson (bass).
(Right) Coolsters reunion: Walley Lightbody on tenor sax, Jim Carney on trumpet and Brian Guns at the
piano. They are joined by Jim's twin sister the Hon. Pat Carney, former Minister of International Trade for
Canada and editor of the Ubysseyduringhertimeasa student. Submitted by Walley Lightbody, BA '56, LLB'59.
Members of the Sopron School of Forestry fled Hungary during the
revolution and continued their studies at UBC. (Photo: UBC Archives)
I was in a textile lab in the
Home Economics building in
the fall of 1958 or 59, when
I noticed a large group moving
down University Boulevard
towards the War Memorial
Gym. They were led by a young
man in military uniform
carryingthe Hungarian flag,
followed by a wreath-bearer,
and what appeared to be
the entire Sopron School of
Forestry, students and faculty.
It was a very moving sight. We
were aware of the Hungarian
Revolution, the Sopron
School's escape to the West,
and the invitation extended
to these refugees to complete
their education at UBC. The
language barrier and shortage
of space at the university made
their transition difficult, but
they worked hard, graduated,
and made a real contribution to
the forest industry of BC.
I am a member of the Hungarian
forestry group (Sopron Faculty
of Forestry) that escaped from
Hungary in October 1956 and was
adopted by UBC as a separate
Forestry Faculty. When we entered
UBC, we had no idea what was
expected of us, nor about the
"politically correct" standard of
the day and Canadian university
traditions. So we decided to
carry-on with our own traditions
brought over from our homeland.
Pretty soon we learned that some
of them were frowned upon, and
some of them were against the laws
of our new home.
One of our favourite "traditions"
was a good hollering session after
a night of partying. One night, we
decided to go down to Jericho Beach,
where our so-called singing would
not bother anybody. We piled into
three cars (one VW Beetle, one
black Hudson and a Mini Morris).
Twenty-one of us made it to the
beach, although some of the party
insisted that 24 started out.
The beach was empty and quiet,
not a soul around. It suited our
purpose very well. We settled down
amongst the driftwood for a pleasant
drinking and singing session. Initially
it was quiet, but soon the volume
increased and our singing could be
heard at least a mile away. We were
happy and somewhat drunk, and
we forgot about all of our real-life
problems and the loneliness felt.
The sound of police sirens
blended nicely with our singing at
the beginning, but soon our singing
could not compete. Police cars were
coming from all directions, half
a dozen of them, and they stopped,
sirens still whining, on the road
beside us. Car doors popped open
and at least a dozen cops started
to walk briskly toward our (by now
silent) group.
We had no idea why they had
stopped. Some of us thought maybe
they want to join us. They sure did
not have to make such a big noise
waking everybody up on their way
to join our party! We opened a few
more bottles of beer before they
reached our group and, to show our
friendliness and appreciation, we
held them out and waved the police
over to join us. (In Hungary every
decent cop would have jumped at
the opportunity to have a beer if it
was offered.) To our surprise, they
did not accept our offer, and actually
seemed offended by our gesture.
Their leader started to ask strange
questions, such as where were we
from (Hungary), what were we doing
(drinking), and what language were
we speaking (Hungarian). We kept
on drinking, and they looked more
and more unfriendly, in spite of the
fact that we kept offering them
untouched bottles of beer. Their
negative attitude was truly puzzling.
The leader started to make a long
speech, most of which went over
our head. He said something about
not being allowed to drink on the
beach and that we should not sing
within the boundaries of Vancouver.
He emphasized that he was a nice
guy and that we looked ignorant and
harmless. Because of this we would
not be charged or spend the night
in jail. We were told to surrender all
unopened bottles of beer forthwith.
Our respect for Vancouver's finest
changed instantly: they will have
their own party with our beer, we
thought. Our English was not good
enough to start an argument we
might not win, so all the unopened
bottles were brought forward and
put at the feet of the leader. To our
surprise he asked for a bottle opener.
We gave one to him, grinning with
pleasure - maybe he had changed his
mind and would join us for a drink?
He lifted up a bottle, opened it,
examined the label and, with a big
grin on his face, very slowly poured
the golden liquid into the sand! This
unholy act was repeated until the
last bottle was empty. We did not
feel the urge to sing after witnessing
this cruel act. We all went home in
silence, as instructed.
I have played this event many
times over in my mind. The
possibilities of how it could have
turned out are endless. Fortunately,
the cops realized that we were just
a bunch of ignorant students who
were new to Canada and did not have
any appreciation or understanding
of the many weird laws of the
land. My heartfelt thankyou goes
to the Vancouver Police Force
of 57 years ago.
i     *
student stories
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il'.irlciil. i> in iJmt pracss «{ riufu>r>i! hb Speedboat from Empire Pfml, Tht rm.il. L
wan Kturcd <m a lrajlrr nhir Furl Camp. Til apparently i>Ui.-~J in tkr pool IlaSlr.i
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pool before dragging, (h*  M» pnund  boat  back Jionu.'.
On Hallowe'en night in 1955,
a group of students - residents
of Acadia Camp army hut dorms
- decided to move an inboard
speedboat (probably about 18 ft.
long) that was mounted on a trailer
and parked by the apartments
located just outside of Acadia Camp
and put it in the Empire swimming
pool just west of the War Memorial
Gym. After pulling the trailer to the
parking lot by the gym and breaking
the padlock on a wide gate in the
fence, it probably took at least
eight guys to lift the boat up and
into the pool. It turns out that an
accounting student who lived in the
apartments owned the boat, and
when he went to retrieve it the next
day, he started it up at one end of
the pool and a photographer took
a shot of him behind the windshield
and steering wheel, motoring down
the pool and leaving a nice wake.
The photo appeared in the Ubyssey
newspaper and I still have a copy
of that issue. Obviously, the owner
had a sense of humour.
The Physics building had a Coke
machine. A bottle cost 10 cents
and if you put in a quarter you got
15 cents back. After much trial and
error, one of the budding engineers
found that if you pushed a penny
in with some force it would not
be rejected. Doing it successfully
three times rewarded you with
a Coke and 15 cents change. Soon
all his friends had a go as well and
the machine obliged. I don't know
how long this would have gone
on if one of the physics professors
hadn't put in a quarter to buy his
Coke and got three cents change!
After attending summer school
to take the first year maths
course, I returned to UBC in
early September to register in
geology. I told the lady behind
the counter that I wanted to
take a degree in geology.
"Oh no!" she said, "you
don't want to register in
geology. You want to register
in geological engineering."
"I do?" I asked.
"Yes, you do." She replied.
"Oh, OK." I said. "I want to
register in geological engineering."
"That's better," she replied,
and registered me in geological
engineering. So I became an
engineer and never looked back.
Disenfranchised in Russia after
the revolution, my father's family
was very grateful to be admitted
to Canada in 1926. His life-long
yearning for an education had to
be shelved to help his family make
a start in a new land. Later, as an
adult, together with my mother,
he acquired a small farm on the
Sumas Flats between Abbotsford
and Chilliwack, which Mother
managed while he drove the old
highway to Vancouver to work
as a labourer. His dreams of an
education he passed on to his five
children. From one of his jobs he
brought home boxes of perfectly
cut cubes of leftover mahogany,
wood he particularly enjoyed
working with, which he told us he
was using to create a decorative
wall at UBC. My siblings and
I spent many happy hours building,
stacking and creating with those
blocks. With his encouragement,
I realized my dream of becoming
a teacher, entering the Faculty
of Education in 1966. There in
the student lounge, covering
one whole wall in an ornamental
display, was the original mahogany
of my childhood.
My all-time favourite washroom
graffiti comes from my UBC
student days. I think it was in the
Hennings building, because I was
a physics major. The graffiti said:
"Time is merely a device to prevent
everything from happening at
once... and it doesn't work." QED.
It was September 1962. I was late
for my first Math 120 class in Arts
100 so tried to enter the huge
lecture hall without being noticed.
Dean Walter Gage, who had
already begun his lecture, stopped
and asked me if I was lost. I was so
nervous that I could not answer.
"This is Math 120, son. Are you
in this class?" he asked.
"I think so," I replied timidly.
Pulling out the class list, he asked,
"name and student number?"
I managed to choke out: "Wilson,
William Lane, 94621621, Sir."
"Wilson?" he queried. "Are you
a Native Indian, William?"
I was one of the few Native
Indians at the university at the time.
My brothers and sister had gone
before me, but I felt very much
alone, especially standing before
the famous math teacher.
"Is Reginald Wilson your
brother?" he asked.
"Yes sir," I replied, near tears.
"Then Cal and Donna must be
your brother and sister, right?" the
Dean asked smiling. "Well, William,
if you are even half as bright as
your siblings, you will be a great
contribution to this class. Now find
a seat and with your permission
I will continue with the lecture."
In one brief moment this great
man made me feel comfortable in
a totally intimidating environment.
I was fortunate enough to meet with
him many times later, and even be
one of many to whom he would lend
money to "get by." It was a seminal
moment in my life.
(Bill is the father of Canada's
new Justice Minister, Jody
Wilson-Raybould. See page 28)
I was one of the few lucky students
who participated in the very
unique (and never to be repeated
in such a fashion) "workshop" that
the School of Architecture ran in
August of 1968. Some say that it
was a sociological study and we
students were the specimens being
experimented with. I never found
out the whole truth. We were
dropped off on a deserted island
without food and shelter for over
a day, we slept on a glacier, we
toured a McMillan Bloedel plywood
factory on Vancouver Island, we
lived in an old brick kiln south of the
border, and we spent a few days in
the east end of Vancouver, sleeping
in a seedy hotel. I was a young
very straight and proper fellow
from London, Ontario, a city where
drugs and hippies were completely
foreign, and I was thrown into
the adventure of my life. It was
truly an extraordinary experience,
one that will stay with me forever.
My first day at the school saw me
wearing a tie, dress pants, and
a sports jacket. I was the only one
in such "business" attire. After the
workshop, I wore jeans, started
growing a beard, and realized that
a whole new world had been opened
to me. That first month changed my
perspective on life and I will forever
be grateful to the men and women
at UBC's School of Architecture for
giving me such an incredible gift!
It (almost) felt like cheating when:
■ Three of us did the same
group project for four different
computer science courses
over two years.
■ Four novels were assigned
reading for English 100, but I had
only read two. The final exam was
a choice of two essay questions
from four, one on each novel
■ I wrote essay answers to
all questions of a third year
Math course, each of which
began "If I knew the
formula, here is how
I would solve this problem..."
I passed the course.
I was a law student and dad was
a geology prof. Two of my friends
were in his course. They invited
me to go with them to their 8:30
class, and we settled in the back
corner. Dad started lecturing. He
was showing slides of geological
formations, and one showed
a little boy sitting on a rock.
About that time, he noticed
me. Without missing a beat he
announced that "the child in the
photo is my daughter's brother,"
and continued on. The three
of us at the back had a good
laugh while the rest of the class
scratched their heads wondering
why he'd said that.
The Ridington Room - the
humanities reading room once
comprising most of the Main
Library's North Wing - is gone
now. It has been replaced by
some ultra-modern design
whose architectural aesthetic
fits the remaining part of the
old library like a grass skirt on
an octogenarian.
Maybe I'm biased, but
I've such fond memories of
studying in the now-departed
portion, with its high windows,
chancellors' portraits, and ample
resource materials. Unlike the
elevated noise levels of the study
areas of Sedgewick Library,
the Ridington Room was the
quiet haunt of students seeking
undisturbed study. There were
three regular students using it
during my time: me, a guy in
a ponytail and cowboy boots,
and a co-ed with glasses who
always wore a skirt. As I began
to think about graduate studies,
Enter to win free meeting space at alumnicentre.ubc.
lyiS;    Robert H. Lee
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alumnicentre.ubc.ca | 604 8221922 | 6163 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC
 student stories
I found myself spending more and
more time at the shelves near the
west door; these held the course
catalogs of other universities. I loved
UBC, but I had a real itch to travel
and had promised myself that
I would go to a place where I didn't
know anyone. I decided on the
University of Toronto.
The Friday after I arrived in
Toronto, I was seated with two of
my new classmates when a third
classmate approached with another
female student. "Hi guys," she said,
then turned to her companion. "This
is Deirdre from my residence, who's
doing her master's in English." What
was going through Deirdre's mind
when she looked at me? "Him again!
The guy from the Ridington Room!"
We began dating that December
and were married a few years later.
I don't like the look of the new
attachment to the Main library, but
maybe that's because I have such
fond memories of the old Ridington
room, the place on campus where
I almost met my wife.
By the second week in Okanagan
House, when all the students had
moved in and the parents who
helped us were gone, the patterns
of daily life began to emerge. Part of
this was the trek to the cafeteria for
dinner lovingly prepared by the
cafeteria staff under the watchful
eye of "Fang" the dietician. The trek
was punctual so as to occupy the
table with the best vantage point
for observing the female half of the
residential campus. On occasion,
a display of displeasure with the
menu might occur; one instance
resulted in a large pyramid of
inedible fishcakes.
In the summer of 1961 after my
first year of teaching, three other
young Saskatchewan teachers and
I decided to venture to UBC summer
school. We were housed in Fort
Camp, old military buildings, for
the duration of our stay. After a day
of classes we would arrive back
to our Fort Camp residence and
head to the foot baths that we so
appreciated and used daily - until
we mentioned this habit to one of
our male friends. He dissolved into
fits of laughter and informed us
that these foot baths were in fact
urinals! Our building had housed
servicemen years before. I have
never lived down being an innocent
and naive prairie girl. Of course,
having married the male friend,
I expect I never will.
It rained some nights when I trekked
back to B-Lot, and I vowed to get
a coveted C-Lot sticker someday.
On some of these dark and stormy
nights, I would digest my thoughts
in the belly of Sedgewick library.
At one of the many group tables,
enclosed private smokers would
puff away in relative peace and
quiet, perhaps reflecting upon
a Hemingway elephant, a bored
Salinger shrug, or a Chaucerian
tour de France romance. But this
covert sanctuary slowly gave way
to a new found chasm of memory
loss for this newbie. If it was
a wintery Wednesday night, the
PIT (no chrome) swallowed me up.
Here I played Pong, Pacman, and
Foosball on beer bets. And from
the one television on the wall over
the bar, Howie Meeker analyzed
the Canucks' great plays during
Hockey Night in Canada while
misty blue cigarette smoke drifted
cancerously past the screen and
mingled with the fetid odor of
Old Style Pilsner. The PIT was our
dark cave, man, with the sounds
of Trooper, Genesis, or The Guess
Who helping us to pound back the
sudsy angst of not finishing another
assignment on time. (But very well
re-edited and proofread considering
the dim lighting.)
This is a 2014 photo of me standing
in front of a lab in the Geology
building. The significance of this
photo is that I lived in Surrey during
my time at UBC. There was no
SkyTrain and I had to commute by
bus. I spent four hours a day on
the bus, thus negating any study
time (I always had to stand). Living
at home, I didn't receive much
of a student loan. Fortunately
I received a work/study grant
via Dr. Danner. I worked in his
lab (the one in the photo) making
thin sections of rock for studying
under a microscope. I squeaked
through 2nd year, but knew
that the commute was killing
me. So for my 3rd and 4th year
in geology, I "lived" in the lab.
There was a couch that I slept
on and I kept UHT milk, a kettle,
instant porridge, instant soup
and peanut butter under a fume
hood. I showered in the basement.
I went home every Tuesday to do
laundry, buy food and watch the
A-Team. The rest of the week I was
in the lab working or studying. This
less-than-ideal situation paid off as
I graduated with good grades. If it
wasn't for Dr. Danner and that lab,
I don't think I would have made it
through four years of university.
I hope every student has a mother
who loves them as much as
mine loved me. After four years
of hard work, good times and
meeting life-long friends, I was
graduating. My mom was walking
down the stairs at the bookstore,
where I had to pick up my cap
and gown. Her heel got caught in
the pebbled surface of the stairs
and she fell, scraping up her leg.
A bunch of people rushed over to
help, including the safety officer
on the construction site for the
biotechnology building, ice pack
in hand. Everyone was asking if
she was okay and the first words
out of her mouth were: "Where
can I get a new pair of panty hose?
My daughter is graduating this
afternoon!" Bless the ladies from
the bookstore - new panty hose
were purchased, some bandages
applied and my mom was ready to
see her kid - the first in our family -
graduate from university.
"It was very early on the
Monday morning of UBC's
Campus Nursing Week - a week
that included the T-cup Football
Game and Chariot Races. As
UBC Nursing Undergraduate
Society President at the time,
I ensured our Nursing'mark'and
week was known on campus."
(Kris Gustavson (nee Cholyk),
BSN'86, MSN'01)
One of several engineering
cairns contributed to the
Vancouver campus landscape
by UBC engineering students.
Photo submitted by John
Reche, BASc'71, MASc'73:
"I think this was 1969. This
'construction' disappeared
mysteriously and was replaced
the next year by a much larger
and heavier structure."
BA'93, BEd'95
My grandmother (Eleanor
Wright, nee Butler) was actually
one of the first women to go to
UBC in the 1920s. She studied
music, but I'm not sure that
she actually graduated. She
was 70 by the time I was born,
and she lost her sight due to
macular degeneration by the
time I was five, so I had always
known her as a non-sighted
person. After a year as an
exchange student between high
school and university, I ended
up going to UBC. My first trip
back home to Vancouver Island
was at Thanksgiving, and my
grandmother was very interested
to hear all about my new
experiences. She started asking
me questions: was the Math
Building still covered in ivy?
Was it going all red right now?
Had I been down to the beach
and looked across to the island?
Then her questions expanded to
whether I had been up Seymour
Mountain, and did I like the
view from the 2nd pump? I was
blown away, because I had
never considered this aspect of
her before - that she had been
a fully-sighted person for most
of her life, and she had sighted
memories that we could share.
My grandmother had a tenacious
spirit that was reflected in
everything she did. From being
one of the first women to go to
university (and drive and own
a car in that era) to being heavily
involved in the Girl Guides
program and setting up the
program in Japan after WWII, to
living to be almost 101 in her own
house by herself even though
she had lost her sight 25 years
earlier. She was an amazing lady
and a feminist long before that
term gained meaning, and I'm
sure UBC had an impact on the
way she lived her life.
UBC alumni can save 20% on room bookings
TO    Robert H. Lee
Alumni Centre
alumnicentre.ubc.ca | 604 8221922 | 6163 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC
 student stories
My third year in university was definitely a year filled
with surprises. I'd just moved to family housing (with
my husband and my three-year-old daughter) and
as I was learning to balance studying and family life,
I discovered, to my surprise, that I was expecting
again. The next surprise came with my first ultrasound
exam, when we were informed that we were going
to have twins - double the joy! My classmates were
extremely supportive: they catered to my sugar
cravings by providing me with an endless supply of
my favourite chocolate bar (until I was diagnosed
with gestational diabetes) and they kindly planned
and organized a surprise baby shower for a Saturday
morning in May. The surprise was theirs, in the end,
as I went into premature labour and welcomed my
twin sons on that very morning. One of them has now
returned to his birthplace to study for a bachelor of
commerce degree at the Sauder School of Business.
The day had finally come. We had trained for months
for this one game. They called it the "T-Cup." It was
a full-contact football game between the UBC Nursing
students and Rehab Sciences and it had happened
once a year for as long as anyone could remember.
Our team (UBC Nursing) was tired. We had snuck
out of our dorms the night before to desecrate (or
decorate, depending on who you ask) that famous
engineering "E" with some "N"s in honour of our
big game. Nevertheless - we were ready. Our faces
were painted. Our helmets were on. It might have
just been all the extra shoulder pads - but we felt
tall. Strong. Ready. The side of the field was littered
with spectators cheering us on: some polite and
"We love phenomenology. This was me and
my best friend Luisa Braun, BSN'io, paying
close attention in a population health
lecture." (JoyAnne Krupa, BSN'io)
enthusiastic nursing students and some not-so-polite
and even-more-enthusiastic engineering students.
When that first whistle blew, we took off running.
We tried our best to follow the plays that our Varsity
Football coaches had developed for us. We tackled
and ran and threw and caught, but after half-time the
game was still o-o. The crowd was anxious for some
action. Now there were only minutes remaining to
the game. Rehab Sciences had possession. We were
on defense. When that ball was snapped I ran with
all the strength and might my 5'o frame would allow
and I tackled that quarterback just as the football left
her hands. My teammate intercepted her failed pass
and then stopped dead in her tracks. The yell from
our coaches started softly but grew as they realized
what had happened, "RUN! RUN, BEAST, RUN!"
And she did. She ran all the way to the end zone and
scored the winning touchdown. We had just won the
T-Cup! The crowd went wild. Engineers dressed in
feather boas rode around victoriously in a homemade
chariot. Nurses screamed. Coaches clapped. Kegs
were tapped. We huddled up
and held that trophy (an actual
tea cup) high and proud. I can
remember so much about my
time at UBC and my wonderful
experiences as a student
nurse. But this moment - the
teamwork, the mud, the grass,
the bruises, the cheering - is
a moment I will remember and
cherish forever.
Professor Glen Peterson gave
the class a 14-page take-home
assignment on China's Cultural
Revolution. My girlfriend,
Tally Renee Davis, BA'13, and
I decided to complete the
assignment at Irving library.
It was exam season, so the
library was filled with students
who were scribbling fiercely
on their notebooks, eating
I was at UBC for six years, and each spring I watched Storm the Wall but never participated.
I have a neuromuscular disorder that has weakened the muscles in my body, and will
continuetodoso. As a student I could cycle reasonably well (running or swimming were
not an option), but I never believed I could make it up the wall. I cannot lift my arms above
my shoulders, much less pull myself up a towering 12-foot barrier. It was a mental hurdle as
much as a physical one. I couldn't bear the thought of being a handicap to a team, so I never
reached out to others. As much as I wanted to, I felt participating just wasn't for me. In the
spring of my last year, friends approached me to join their team. I was excited, but hesitant.
Surely they must realize the disadvantage we would beat? How would they lift me up? And
I wasn't that fast on the bike! They rebuffed each negative thought -they wanted me on
the team, and we would make it happen. I got my road bike in shape and trained. If nothing
else, I could be fit for my bicycle segment (and a few pounds lighter for my teammates).
I practised the cycling circuit along Main Mall, even crashing once from a loose handlebar.
When the time came, I was ready for what may come. I don't remember our times, or how
many heats we were in, or much about the races. But I do remember the feeling of storming
over the wall every single time! It was a huge relief for my heart and my mind. I am so grateful
to Amanda, Erin, Graham, and Oliver. With their help I not only hurdled the barriers I saw
before me, I was reminded that I had no reason for doubt in the first place. Thank you for
helping me overcome that wall within me.
The Mining Engineering co-ed long boat team,
sent in by Naomi Tweddle, BASc'07: "My first taste
of this event was when 1 joined my Totem Park
floor team in first year and 1 participated every
year after that. It is a great break from school
work and a chance to get outside and enjoythe
city of Vancouver."
leftover pizza, napping on desks, shuddering nervously with their coffee cups, or playing
StarCraft to avoid studying. By 1:00 am, the majority of students were trudging their way
to the exit. An hour later, only the two of us were left in the library. We genuinely enjoyed
this beautiful tranquillity. Time seemed to cease to exist. I remembered William Faulkner's
quote on time: "Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little
wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life." We did not talk to each other.
We simply transported our minds to the late 1960s when Mao ZeDong mobilized the Red
Guards. The moment we realised what time it was (5:00 am) we began to feel groggy
and lethargic. Tally desperately needed to lie down and nap, and I snapped a photo of her
lying on the couch with both of our coats as her blanket. It illustrates our dedication and
perseverance (we both earned our first A+ as a result). D
Pictured is Virginie
Fostroy, BA'14, from
Costa Rica: "In my first
year at UBC Okanagan
in 2011,1 was a part of
, a group of students
1-that created the first
annual cultural fashion
show, Rejoice. It's now
in its 5th consecutive
year and has become
a signature event *--
the Okanagan car
Storm the Wall,
circa 2010. (Photo:
AMS Archives)
Thursday, 15th September, 201
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
6163 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 21Z1
Further details will be on our website soo
The alumni UBC Governance/Nominating Committee isseeking
recommendations for alumni nominees to serve on the organization's
Board of Directors. In particular, the committee seeks candidates who
have the skill sets and experience necessary to effectively set strategic
direction, develop appropriate policies, and ensure alumni UBC has the
resources necessary to effectively fulfill its mission and vision. Please
send suggestions to Ross Langford - Chair, Governance & Nominating
Committee, c/o Sandra Girard, manager, Board Relations, 3rd floor -
6163 University Boulevard, Vancouver BC V6T1Z1 /email: sandra.
girard@ubc.ca no later than June 20,2016.
^ •b* ■> ~ ^
Beyond the Buck
Indulge your curiosity as we take you to unique places
you've always dreamed about. With UBC experts and
knowledgeable local hosts, you'll connect with others
and enhance your knowledge of the cultures, cuisines,
and landscapes you're exploring.
Book your 2016/17 travel or join our mailing list
to learn about future opportunities.
Embrace the mix of tradition and
modernity in Taiwan's culture with local
art consultant Susan Lahey, MA'94.
APRIL 16-27, 2017 02 DAYS>
Observe the "Big Five" and learn about the
.Serengeti's modern conservation challenges on
safari in Tanzania with researcher Greg Sharam,
MSc'97, PhD'05.     FEB 06-17,2017 (12 DAYS)
f "The wildlife ^
is thriving;
the landscapes
. are stunning."
Questions about the alumni UBC Travel Club? a For all booking inquiries,
Please contact Karen Kanigan, Manager, Alumni Services 3H J111111 UBC please contact Worldwide Quest
604 822 9629 | karen.kanigan@ubc.ca
June 3 to September 24 • Vanier Park
bardonthebeach.org • 604-739-0559
Thousands of
and magazines
Subscribe today
and get your
first month FREE
For details visit
on your 100th Anniversary
from the alumni
at Perseus Winer
PENTICTON, BC     www.perseuswinery.com
Named for a hero's constellation, Perseus Winery
Penticton's in-town winery and First on the Bench
Come enjoy our many award-winning wines!
Our strength is our terroir, our vineyards, our fruit.
wine@perseuswinery.com   |  fiO ©perseuswine
134 Lower Bench Rd, Penticton BC  |   Phone 250 490 8829   |   1888 880 6605
El   1
1800 3871483 | travel@worldwidequest.com experiential travel since 1970
Average monthly rent on Vancouve
campus:(range is $633 to approx.
£1600 across the system)
# of students on housing waitlist
,♦ :*- —ikin summer2015
Gage South Student
Residence will include
70 Nano suites.
I   K
campus housing for 4,300 ne
(2010 to 2020)
9,400 # of residence beds
at start of 2015-16 academic year
11,050 # of residence beds
at start of 2016/17 academic year
12,500 Proposed # of student
"-:j---t beds by 2020
Jj  J
Current # of residences, including
Acadia Park Family Housing
2016 Orchard Commons: 1,049 beds
(1st year students)
2017 Totem Park Residence In-fill:
355 beds (1st year students)
2017 Brock Commons, Phase 1:404 bed
(upperyear/graduate students)
■>mo rj = qe South: 650 beds
ar/graduate students)
140 square feet of student living
By Alison Huggins
Roughly the size of a parking space, yet with all the basic amenities
of a full-size apartment, the Nano is a micro suite intended to
help address the demand for affordable student housing on UBC's
Vancouver campus. In an innovative pilot program, 70 such suites are
being included in the planned 650-bed Gage South Student Residence.
When the building is completed in 2019, the Nano suites w	
around $700 per month.
Although tiny, the self-contained Nano has a full bathroom, kitchen,
storage space and a study/sleeping space with a work desk that
transforms into a bed. It's a bit smaller than a single traditional dorm
room, but, unlike a dorm room, there's no "sharesies" - it's 140 square
feet of independent living. UBC sought input from students and
worked closely with the architecture firm DIALOG throughout the
design process.
While the Nano may not be for everyone, it was well received by
students who toured the full-scale mock-up on display earlier this year
at the AMS Nest, says Andrew Parr, managing director of Student
Housing and Hospitality Services. "What we've seen from the survey
results is a huge level of acceptance among students to live in an
environment like that, for that price."
With apartment vacancy rates throughout the Lower Mainland
at less than one per cent, finding an affordable rental in Vancouver -
let alone one close to campus - is a significant challenge. Apartments
in the same price range as campus accommodation are about
a 45-minute commute away, says Parr. UBC already has the largest
on-campus residence in Canada and, unless the current housing
situation in Vancouver changes, the demand for student housing
on the Vancouver campus is likely to remain high.
The Nano project is part of UBC's ongoing commitment to meet
the demand. The university's investment of $500 million dollars over
10 years will result in a total growth of 4,300 beds. "I know there's no
other university in Canada that's investing in housing like we are," says
Parr, who believes this commitment illustrates how UBC is listening
to students' demands and workingto meet them, not only through its
investment in housing, but also through the types of housing on offer.
For a virtual walk-through of the Nano suite, visit www.vancouver.
housing.ubc.ca/rooms/nano/ D
^^■i                     i^^^^H
<m   ~1
^ \l
LIB         11
1 M
u AM
S* S
What, Where, When
• 18-storey wood and concrete hi-rise (174 feet/53 metres)
• 272 studios and 33 four-bedroom units (404 students)
• Site: Walter Gage Road, between Brock Hall and Gage Residence
• Completion: Summer 2017 (Budget: $5i.5M)
Design & Structure
• The innovative design capitalizes on advances in wood technology
and manufacturing.
• Hybrid structural system: one-storey concrete podium, two
concrete cores, and 17 storeys of mass timber. Vertical loads are
carried by the timber structure, while the two concrete cores
provide lateral stability.
• A key mandate for the project is to demonstrate an economical
structural system using wood and concrete that is comparable
in cost to that of traditional concrete and steel structures.
Southeast view
• The design of the structure will be the first in BC to meet the new seismic design requirements
under Canada's National Building Code.
• At three times the current height limit permitted by the building code for wood buildings, the structure
required a Site Specific Regulation (SSR) from the BC Building Safety & Standards Branch. This process
included peer reviews involving panels of leading structural engineers, fire safety experts, scientists,
UBC building authorities, and firefighters.
• Wood is a sustainable and versatile building material that stores, rather than emits, carbon
dioxide. Carbon stored in the mass timber structure, plus avoided greenhouse gas emissions from
construction processes using steel and concrete, will result in a total estimated carbon benefit of
2,563 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to taking 490 cars off the road for a year.
[       A
L.   _
■ ■■1
^,^u 3 lui 11 ics ui v_wz, vv 1 ii\~i 1 is equivalent, lu iai\i I ig ify v ^.aiduii  inc luau iui  a ycai.
*   ■     •  The building will connect to the UBC district energy system and is projected to achieve up to
25 per cent energy savings over a typical building of the same use.
•  The project is aiming for (at minimum) a *LEED Gold certification (*rating system for
environmentally-friendly design and energy use). D
Looking for an alternative to receiving Trek in the mail?
Download the new Trek magazine app on your iPad for
instant access to all print issues from Fall 2015 onward.
Download on the
App Store
West elevation of tower
ource: Acton Ostry (architects)
hether or not you're a Trekkie (and yes, we're referring to Star Tre/c-this magazine
s yet to inspire a cult following), you have to acknowledge that Captain James T. Kirk
the Starship Enterprise is part of our cultural DNA.
Originated by William Shatner in 1966, the playfully shrewd Captain Kirk is the
tor's most iconic role to date, but Shatner's expansive acting resume also includes
nid-8os stint playing no-nonsense street cop T.J. Hooker in the TV show of the
me name, and his Emmy-winning role as eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on The
ictice and Boston Legal. Non-fiction credits include one-man-show Shatner's
orld and Shatner's Raw Nerve, an intensely up-close-and-personal celebrity
erview series.
WORD with
Shatner's pursuits are not limited to the stage and screen. He has also found
ccess writing books (more than 30 of them), recording music (speakingthe lyrics
:herthan singing them is his trademark style), and riding and breeding champion
rses (American Saddlebreds in particular).
His 2008 autobiography, Up Till Now, was a New York Times best-seller, as is Leonard,
; latest book recounting his friendship with Leonard Nimoy. His popular album Has
en (2004) inspired the Milwaukee Ballet's Common People, a dance presentation set
several numbers from the record. Shatner is also a philanthropist, once selling his
m kidney stone to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, and spearheading for many
ars the annual Hollywood Charity Horseshow, which raises money for programs
support handicapped children - often through therapeutic interaction with animals.
Shatner's diverse and fruitful repertoire is perhaps down to his willingness to
<e on new challenges and boldly go where he hasn't gone before. He is continually
srning. Unlike those who suppress curiosity in favour of security, Shatner embraces
and stresses the importance of living a life driven by curiosity.
At alumni UBC's Centennial close event UBC100: What's Next? (see page 3)
illiam Shatner will talk about what it means to live with a spirit of curiosity and
II share stories about the fascinating places his curiosity has led him, and the
ssibilitiesthat await us if we follow our own.
Follow Shatner on Twitter (ffiWilliamShatner
What is your most
prized possession?
I hesitate to possess anything.
There are many things I love to
be with but possession is not in
my vocabulary.
Who was your childhood hero?
Albert Einstein.
Describe the place you most
like to spend time.
With my horses.
What was the last thing you read?
Riding Between the Worlds:
Expanding Our Potential Through
the Horse by Linda Kohanov
What or who makes you laugh
out loud?
My grandkids.
What's the most important
lesson you ever learned?
Nobody knows anything.
What's your idea of the perfect day?
Sun, sea, snow, equines and family.
What was your nickname
at school?
If you ruled the world, what's
the first thing you'd change?
The tectonic plates.
What item have you owned
for the longest time?
My soul.
Whom do you most admire
(livingor dead) and why?
Alexander the Great - for his
statesmanship, and because
he was a warrior philosopher.
What is your latest purchase?
A really nice car.
If you could invent something,
what would it be?
A device that takes all the
greenhouse gases out of
the atmosphere.
What would you like your epitaph
to say?
This is not my favourite place.
In which era would you most
like to have lived, and why?
This present era is perhaps the
most exciting in the history of man.
What are you afraid of?
A bad death.
Actor, director,author, singer. Is
there anything else you'd like to try?
Holding my breath under water for
four minutes.
Which three pieces of music would
you take to that desert island?
An album called Has Been, an album
called Seeking Major Tom and an
album called Ponder the Mystery.
What is your pet peeve?
These stupid questions.
What's the strangest fan
encounter you've ever had?
I was in a hospital room, coming out
of sedation, and a man came in the
door with no shoulders. Apparently
I hallucinated.
What's the best thing about
being an actor?
Entertaining people.
Apart from the essentials for
life, what can't you do without?
Love. D
We are all bound by familiar milestones in life - and the financial
responsibilities that come with them. Whether you're raising a family or a roof over
your head, make sure you've got the right insurance plan in place for your family.
Find out how Alumni Insurance Plans can help.
• Term Life Insurance    Health & Dental Insurance    Major Accident Protection
• Income Protection Disability Insurance    Critical Illness Insurance
To learn more visit manulife.com/alumnimilestones or call toll-free 1-888-913-6333
alumni UBC    ED Manulife
When you choose Alumni Insurance,
Manulife provides financial and marketing
support for alumni UBC communications,
programs and services.
Underwritten by
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
Manulife and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license.
© 2016 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife). All rights reserved. Manulife,
PO Box 4213, Stn A, Toronto, ON M5W 5M3.
Get an online quote
for Alumni Term
Life Insurance
to enter!
No purchase necessary. Contest open to Canadian residents who
are the age of majority in their province or territory of residence
as of the contest start date. Approximate value of each prize is
$1,000 Canadian. Chances of winning depend on the number of
valid entries received by the contest deadline. Contest closes
Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Only one entry
per person accepted. Skill testing question required.
At UBC we embrace our past and look forward to
the future. Former student Cecil Green donated
Cecil Green Park House (1912) to provide a unique
venue for the wider community, including alumni
Now the university and alumni UBC have come
together to create a new home for our 300,000
alumni and visitors to connect with each other
and the campus. The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
is a gathering place, physically and virtually, for
continued learning, for entrepreneurship and for
mentoring the next generation of students and
alumni. Step by step we are building on past and
present innovations. The UBC Centennial celebrates
thinking that moves us all towards a better future.
TEDX Vancouver
x=independently organized TED event


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