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UBC Publications

Trek 2019-11-30

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 Nature in Freefall
One million plant and animal
species are at risk of extinction.
UBC experts are part of
the fight to save them.
Rewind: The horrors of in-person course registration
Gourmet grods shore their culinary adventures
Raffi has the Last Word
Nature in Freefall
One million plant and animal species are
at risk of extinction. Conservationists are
calling for bold strategies and urgent action.
Passenger pigeon
Ectopistes migratorius
Cowan Tetrapod Collection No. B002440
Beaty Biodiversity Museum
The passenger pigeon once numbered in the low billions,
accounting for about a quarter of all birds in North America.
Up until the late i8oo's, people viewed them as a never-ending
resource. They were hunted for food, for feathers used in mattresses,
and for agricultural fertilizer. People also hunted them purely for
sport, in some cases catching them for live trap shooting. In one
hunt in Michigan, 50,000 passenger pigeons were killed each day
Finally, in the i89o's, some people realized that humans might be
causing the unthinkable: the elimination of the most abundant bird
species in North America. Laws were passed to protect it, but it was
too late. Numbers of passenger pigeons continued to decline, due
in part to the destruction of their nesting habitat as well as their
numbers passing below the needed density for communal breeding.
Long after they were extinct in the wild, the last captive passengei
pigeon, a female named Martha, died of old age at 1:00 PM on
September 1,1914, in the Cincinnati Zoo. This moment marked
a remarkable milestone for humanity: as an early case in which
the exact date of a human-caused extinction is known, it showed
our actions can have extreme consequences, forever altering
fundamental characteristics of the natural environment.
- Darren Irwin, UBC professor of zoology and former director
of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum
A Voice for the Future
Student uses Al to design a voice-activated
wheelchair for his brother
Registration isn't
what it used to be.
And that's a good thing.
Table Talk
Gourmet grads share
stories and recipes
32 The 2019 Builder
Awards recipients
33 The 2019 alumni UBC
Achievement Award
The Last Word
With Raffi Cavoukian, DLitt'OS
Q: What's the most important lesson you ever learned?
A: Young children are whole people, worthy of respect.
1 Editor's Note
52 Prez Life
55 Class Acts
57 In Memoriam
34 Research Findings
49 n=
41 Quote, Unquote
 "This ^Bird
Has Tlown
Why is there a picture of a dead pigeon on the cover?
Why not a tiger, a gorilla or another charismatic
mammal from the endangered list? A corpse is morbid.
And this one of a passenger pigeon all the more so,
because - as zoologist Darren Irwin describes on the
facing page - the Europeans who arrived in North
America hunted the exceptionally populous species
into extinction a century ago.
But disturbing as the story behind the image is, anthropogenic extinction is not the only
thing that this dead bird represents. The shocking loss of the passenger pigeon has been
cited as something that propelled the growth of the modern conservation movement, which
is characterized by the acknowledgement that human action has a direct impact on the
environment, and that we have an obligation to protect and conserve it, guided by science
There are contemporary accounts from the 1800s that describe skies darkened by massive
flocks of passenger pigeons and filled with the thunderous sound of their beating wings
To go from such an awesome spectacle to hardly a sign of one in the wild within one human
generation must have been a wake-up call. Earth's last known passenger pigeon, Martha,
who was kept in captivity, was a public phenomenon, attracting both curiosity and concern
About 30 years after Martha dropped off her perch at the Cincinnati Zoo, wildlife ecologist
Aldo Leopold wrote in a popular essay: "Our grandfathers, who saw the glory of the fluttering hosts,
were less well-housed, well-fed, well-clothed than we are. The strivings by which they bettered our lot
are also those which deprived us of pigeons. Perhaps we now grieve because we are not sure, In our
hearts, that we have gained by the exchange."
Martha was preserved and has been displayed in museums for most of the time ever since -
a sad reminder of the consequences of human excess. The rapid demise of her kind led to laws
that have enjoyed some success in averting the loss of other species at risk.
But despite the growth of the conservation movement and increasing public awareness,
current efforts are not adequate enough to offset our ever-growing consumption of resources,
our wastefulness, and our pollution. The landmark IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity
and Ecosystem Services released this year describes a natural world in freefall, with around
one million plant and animal species at risk of extinction. The top five causes all relate to
human activity, from how we use our lands and oceans to the introduction of invasive species
"We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and
quality of life worldwide," says Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair.
As dire as the warning is, it is accompanied by a loud and clear message that it isn't too late
to contain the downwards trajectory, but it will take transformative social change. With the
stability of Earth's ecosystems at stake, conservationists are calling for bold and urgent action,
and the enactment of novel evidence-based strategies to prevent the loss of biodiversity.
You can read about some of them in this issue
As the passenger pigeon slips out of living memory, let's not dwell on what we've lost,
but instead focus all of our energy on those species that can still be saved
Vanessa Clarke
EDITOR   Vanessa Clarke,BA
Rachel Glassman,8/\'7S
Eric Davenport
CHAIR   Ross Langford, BCom'89, LLB'89
VICE-CHAIR   Debra Hewson, BA'81
TREASURER   Barbara Anderson, BSc'78
PAST CHAIR   Randy Findlay, BASc'73
Barbara Anderson, BSc'78
Shelina Esmail,8/\'93
Ross Langford, BCom'89, LLB'89
Amir Adnani, BSc'oi
Stephen Brooks, BA'92
Randy Findlay, BASc'73
Debra Hewson, BA'8i
Leslie Lee, BCom'84
Rahim Moloo, UB'05
Shorn Sen, BCom'84
Aleem Bandali, BA'99
Ian Banks,BA'92
Miranda Huron, BA'02, MEd'16
Patricia Mohr, BA'68, MA'70
Fred Withers, BCom'77
Santa J. Ono
Lindsay Gordon, BA'73, MBA'76
Heather McCaw, BCom'86
Natalie Cook Zywicki
Trek magazine is published two times a year
in print 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: trek.magazine@ubc.ca
Letters are published at the editor's
discretion and may be edited for space
Jenna McCann
604822 8917
Address Changes 6048228921
via email alumni.ubc@ubc.ca
alumni UBC/ UBC Welcome Centre
toll free 8008833088
Volume 75, Number 2 | 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 V6T1Z3
£*S    FSC* C011267
One million plant
and animal species
are at risk of extinction
For the sake of future
generations, how can
we conserve Earth's
"We're Pruning      Legal Rights
the Tree of Life"   for Nature
To preserve
humans need
to live within
their means.
It's happened
elsewhere. Why
not in Canada?
A Last Love
Letter to the
"All is not lost if we
do the right thing."
The Iconic
Can satellite
save the African
How to
Conserve Half
the Planet...
going hungry
 Triage of Life
Fish Banks
The Big
The Birds...
A tool for
An idea for
& the Bees
Looking out for
in Area
our oceans
Strike at UBC
It will take more
the pollinators
Sharing the land
than carrots.
with other large
 Reading the warnings of Dr. Sarah P. Otto, you can't help but envision a world
reduced to humans, rats, crows and cockroaches, all squabbling over the last
surviving dandelions. In the Anthropocene, it appears that human impact has
grown so overwhelming that only a small, hardy and not-always-helpful band
of human-tolerant plants and animals may endure with us to the last.
Actually, Otto's academic writings are less apocalyptic, but no less
panic inducing. A UBC theoretical biologist and Canada Research Chair in
Theoretical and Experimental Evolution, Otto penned an article last year in
the Proceedings of the Royal Society titled "Adaptation, speciation and extinction
in the Anthropocene." It is an understated survey of literature exploring human
impacts on the biosphere, and it concludes, in sober but worrying tones, that in
everything we do - and in places we don't even go - humans are changing the
natural world in a cumulative and potentially disastrous way. It's not just that we
are cutting down the forests, dispersing the topsoil, overfishing the oceans and
overheating the atmosphere. It's not just the hunting or the pollution. Rather,
we have nudged the biological world so hard that even the process of natural
selection has changed. As Otto puts it: "Species are not being selected simply
for what is 'good' in nature; they are being selected for traits that help them
survive human influence."
Despite the dire takeaway, "Sally" Otto (so-called to differentiate from
mother Sarah) looks nothing like a modern-day Cassandra, cursed to tell a truth
that no one wants to hear. Far from dour, Otto is upbeat - effervescent - with
a practical but stylish mop of curls and a beaming smile. She's also frank and
entertaining in recounting the indiscretions of a 12-year-old Sally, whom few
people likely expected to ever take seriously. Born in New York City in 1967,
Otto says that she moved houses 18 times in her first 18 years, changing schools
nearly as often. Her father was a salesman whose consummate skill seemed
to be finding the next job. So, by seventh grade, Otto was pretty disconnected
from school and starting to skip, though still turning up for math class. Indeed,
after she completed the advanced curriculum, the teacher let her and the other
mathletes play cards. And that, she says, "was probably a great way" to learn
math and the laws of probability.
Otto confesses that she's not sure she would have made it through high
school, but her mother, Sarah Cutler, could see Sally's spark. Cutler got
her daughter an interview for the International Baccalaureate program at
the Washington International School, one of the top-rated private schools
in Washington, DC. They, too, recognized Otto's potential, granting
a full scholarship. Soon enough, the erstwhile slacker found herself sitting
before chemistry teacher Ingrid Pritchard. "It was miraculous," Otto says.
Mrs. Pritchard began describing a world made of atoms and, for Otto, "it was
an instant reveal. For the first time, I could see that there were underlying
rules connecting everything around us."
School became a pleasure, and a mission. Otto went from Washington
International to Stanford University, where she chose genetic engineering,
thinking - wrongly - that it would involve lots of math. (It was mostly chemistry.)
So she tweaked her studies to math and biology, earning a BSc and PhD and
going on to claim a staggering list of fellowships and prizes, including, in 2011,
a "Genius Grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.
In a cable news world in which everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this
raises a reasonable question: What's a genius? And why, say, should we listen
to Sally Otto, rather than acting on our own entitled intuition? For the MacArthur
Foundation, a genius is someone with "extraordinary originality and dedication
in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." It's not just
brilliance. The MacArthur folks are investing in the combination of talent and rigor,
 innate intelligence and hard work. The Foundation awarded Otto US$500,000,
no strings attached, as "an investment in [her] originality, insight, and potential."
Otto spread the money around like Johnny Appleseed sewing fruit for
a prosperous future. She split the first $iook between the Nature Trust of
British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect the Twin
Lakes and the Sage and Sparrow Grasslands, both in BC's Okanagan region.
She gave $iooKto a hospital in Borneo, Indonesia, that cares for the families
of loggers who agree to become forest guardians; Otto describes it as an
investment in the complementary health of the human community and the
environment. She set up a MITACS Science Policy Fellowship and a Biodiversity
Research Centre internship program. And she still has $100,000 in the bank for
a yet-to-be-identified final investment.
Beyond her diligence and generosity, Otto's principal genius appears to flow
from her enduring adoration for mathematics. As an expert modeller (she is
co-author with Queen's University Professor Troy Day of the book, A Biologist's
Guide to Mathematical Modelling In Ecology and Evolution), Otto also loves math for
its capacity to break big, complicated issues into manageable, understandable
components. She says, "Math is powerful in that way. There aren't many things
that can convince you of how completely wrong you are. It's so precise. You can
be absolutely sure you are right about something, but then you follow it through
with a model and find a key piece that you missed."
Using models that are, in the Einstein tradition, "as simple as possible, but no
simpler," Otto has sought insight or illumination at the micro and macro levels.
At the micro level, she interrogates the budding
yeast Saccharomyces cerevlslae to help understand
species adaptation and mutation. At the macro
level, she develops models that have forged new
ground and helped explain puzzling patterns in
the biological world, such as why so many species
reproduce sexually.
Otto's models also explore evolution's limits -
and it was in recognition of how hard humans are
pushing species beyond these limits that led her
to write the Royal Society article mentioned above.
It's based on years of reading that she says left her
"absolutely panic-stricken." Otto documented the
degree to which humans overwhelm nature. Most obviously, we chip away at
wild populations by hunting and by encroaching on their habitat: since 1970,
we have seen populations of wildlife decline by 60 per cent.
But we also damage the gene pool in odd ways. We trim the population
of elephants with the longest tusks, mountain sheep with the biggest horns
and foxes with the prettiest coats. Our hook-and-line fishing style selects for
smaller-mouthed fish, and our gillnets weed out the boldest and most aggressive
genotypes among rainbow trout. In a wild world where initiative was once an
advantage, humans have created a niche for laziness. "For example," Otto
writes, "the portion of sedentary individuals within the great bustard populations
increased from 17 per cent to 45 per cent over a 15-year period, with collisions
being the major source of death for migrating individuals." The big birds are so
likely to die flying into glassy condo towers that fortune now favours the laggards.
We break up the landscape, isolating species in a way that favours plants that
reseed locally and birds that remain put - reducing the connectedness of the
biological world. And we recruit hunting partners that also kill not from need but
from habit: US pets perpetrate 2.4 billion "cat predation events" every year. Global
extinction rates have risen so dramatically that more than one in five species of
vertebrates, invertebrates and plants are now at risk of extinction. And climate
We have nudged the biological
world so hard that even the
process of natural selection
has changed. As Otto puts it:
"Species are not selecting for
what is 'good'in nature; they
are selecting for traits that help
them survive human influence."
change is making everything worse. As Otto says,
"Humans are pruning the tree of life."
Yet, she writes, the processes remain dangerously
out of our control. "As diseases and their vectors become
better adapted to life within our cities, pests become
better adapted to our crops, and our prey become
better adapted to our means of harvesting. As we have
witnessed with the evolution of antibiotic resistance,
humans may impose selection, but we will often not
retain the upper hand."
So, Otto says, we need to act, quickly and decisively.
"If you were a business owner and you knew big changes
were coming - like climate change - you would work hard
to ensure your business had the capacity to change and
was resilient, with a lot of buffers. Same with the natural
world. But by reducing their numbers and fragmenting
their populations, we've hobbled the capacity of many
species to adapt, lessening their resilience as we enter
a period of dramatic climate change."
Regrettably, we're not responding - not globally and
not locally. As a former director of UBC's Biodiversity
Research Centre, Otto has fought hard, and so far
unsuccessfully, for endangered species protection in BC.
She says, "We imagine biodiversity loss as something that
is happening off in Brazil. But we look in this province and
we don't have the laws to regulate and prevent habitat
destruction and fragmentation for our most endangered
species." The federal Species at Risk Act only covers
federal lands- about one percent of the province. Thus,
"99 per cent of land lacks protection for species at risk.
And, as a consequence, we're watching as many species
continue to decline, such as the southern mountain
caribou, with two more herds going extinct this year."
The good news, Otto says, is that some solutions are
obvious and actionable. "For example, I love the way
we're becoming conscious of having to density our urban
environment. Let's expand this thinking to all sectors.
Every industry should be asking itself how to succeed
without further expanding our human footprint; how
can we grow the food we need more efficiently without
continuing to expand agricultural lands; how can we
capture the most solar, geothermal, and wind energy
from within our cities and farms rather than going to
another pristine area and destroying it?"
The bad news is that Otto's warning seems to be
landing on deaf ears, not just in BC, where you might
expect a New Democratic Party/Green Party coalition to
be responsive to environmental issues, but everywhere.
"It's just too easy to keep hurting nature and hoping for
a quick and easy technological fix," Otto says, "but I don't
think there is a technological solution [for biodiversity
loss]. We need a cultural solution. We need to reduce
our impacts. We need to live within our means."
It's an elegantly simple warning that leaves an
unanswered question: will we listen? D
 The world's 3,500 botanic gardens are home to about
one third of known plant species and are a crucial part of
the fight to conserve rare and endangered plants. UBC's
garden is best known for its extensive collection of maples
(including/lcerpe/7fap/7///t/m, or five-lobe maple, of
which there are fewer than 140 individuals left in the wild).
It also conserves magnolias, mountain-ashes, snowbell
trees and rhododendrons - all vulnerable in the face of
threats like climate change and habitat encroachment.
Pictured here is the deciduous tree Franklinia alatamaha,
from the Carolinian Forest Garden. It is one of two species
cultivated at UBC thought to be extinct in the wild. Known
onlyfrom a small area in the US state of Georgia, along the
Altamaha River, Franklinia alatamaha was last collected
in 1803.
(Photo: Daniel Mosquin, research manager at the
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research)
■      ■   -'vW1'
-   ' . -2 A* *
 Can you imagine a world without southern resident killer
whales, mountain caribou, elephants, giraffes, cheetahs,
tigers, leopards, rhinos, gorillas, and orangutans? Or a world
where these magnificent animals survive only in zoos and
aquariums, as faint, caged shadows of their wild selves?
Most people would be horrified by such nightmarish
scenarios. Yet despite decades of dedicated conservation
efforts, that is where we are headed. The World
Wildlife Fund's Living Planet Index, which monitors over
3,700 vertebrate species, reports an average population
decline of roughly 60 per cent since 1970. A 2017 article
published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences crunched the data on thousands of populations of
mammals and concluded we are in the midst of a "biological
annihilation." A 2019 report by hundreds of scientists with
the Intergovernmental Policy Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that a million species
are at risk of extinction due to human activities.
In response to the global biodiversity crisis and changes
in the way we view other living entities, a radical idea is
gaining traction around the world. Laws and cultures are
changing to recognize that animals, species, and even nature
itself - rivers, coral reefs, mountains, and ecosystems -
have rights. Rights have the power to modify our beliefs and
behaviour in profound ways, as abolitionists, suffragettes
and Indigenous people can attest.
Just a few years ago, suggesting that non-human animals
or ecosystems ought to have legal rights might have
provoked puzzled looks or even ridicule. The idea is no
longer funny or far-fetched. Scientific discoveries sparked
by Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees have obliterated
old theories about animals as automatons. Not only our
closest relatives, the great apes, are complex, emotional,
sentient creatures. Researchers have also discovered
amazing capabilities in species from ants to elephants,
octopuses to ravens. New discoveries reveal the remarkable
communications and networking among trees and other
types of plants.
Scientists agree that everything is connected. Humans
are related to all other forms of life and are composed of the
same elements as mountains and rivers. As British physicist
Brian Cox wrote in his book Forces of Nature, "there is no
fundamental difference between inanimate things, such
as planets, and living things such as bacteria and human
beings; all objects in the Universe are made of the same
ingredients" and shaped by the same laws of nature.
In recent years there have been revolutionary
breakthroughs across the world as governments,
communities, and courts have recognized the legal rights of
non-human animals, endangered species, and ecosystems.
Among the beneficiaries so far have been chimpanzees,
orangutans, spectacled bears, Asiatic lions, rivers, lakes,
forests and, in Bolivia and Ecuador, Mother Nature herself.
One of the first breakthroughs came in 2006, in an
unlikely place. Citizens of Tamaqua Borough, a small
community in rural Pennsylvania, were deeply concerned
about a proposal to spread urban sewage sludge on
farmland. After regular environmental laws failed, they enacted a pioneering municipal bylaw that
recognized the rights of nature. Since then, in response to environmental threats such as tracking,
more than three dozen American communities - from Santa Monica, California, to Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania - have enacted bylaws elevating nature's rights above corporate rights in an effort
to protect both human and ecosystem health.
In 2008, Ecuador passed the first Constitution to include the rights of Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
Since then Ecuador has revised more than 70 laws and policies to incorporate nature's rights. Ecuador's
courts have begun interpreting these rights, including the first case in the world where a judge ruled
that nature's constitutional rights had been violated. The Vilcabamba River had been damaged by
highway construction, and a court ordered the government to carry out restoration activities.
In 2010 Bolivia passed a law called Law on the Rights of Mother Earth. Bolivia also sparked a global
movement to establish a Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth.
New Zealand is a world leader in recognizing the rights of nature, sparked by the efforts
of the Maori. Like Canada, New Zealand is striving to achieve reconciliation with Indigenous
peoples. Te Urewera National Park was created in the 1950s on land that had been illegally taken
from the Maori over the course of the previous century. The Maori had consistently pressed
for recognition of their relationship to this region, expressed as rangatiratanga [authority],
whanaungatanga [kinship], and kaitiakitanga [stewardship].
In 2014, New Zealand passed a revolutionary law that changed the status of Te Urewera National
Park to that of a legal person with a variety of rights. Those rights involve maintaining Te Urewera's
biodiversity, ecological systems, and cultural heritage in perpetuity. The law empowers a guardian
to defend the ecosystem's rights. Most remarkably, title to 200,000 hectares was transferred from
the government to the newly created legal person. In other words, the land now owns itself. From
a western legal perspective, this is mindboggling. As Dr. Nick Smith, the Minister for Environment,
said, "If you'd told me 15 years ago that Parliament would almost unanimously be able to agree
to this, I would have said, 'You're dreaming, mate.'"
Negotiations between the Crown and the Maori produced a second ground-breaking law in
2017 recognizing the Whanganui River as a legal person, with a range of rights. The law defines
the river in Maori terms as comprising both the physical and metaphysical elements of the
watershed, and transferred the Crown's title in the riverbed to the river itself. In 2018, the Maori
and the government agreed to designate Mount Taranaki as a legal person, with the same rights
and protections as the Whanganui River and Te Urewera.
In today's interconnected world, ideas can travel with startling speed. Colombia's Constitutional
Court ordered the government to recognize the rights of the Atrato River and create a guardian based
on the New Zealand model. Columbia's Supreme Court extended rights to the Amazon rainforest.
A court in India ruled that the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers have rights, and later clarified that these
rights extend to all natural entities in these watersheds, from glaciers and waterfalls to forests and
meadows. A court in Bangladesh made a similar ruling. Laws recognizing the rights of nature have
been enacted in Mexico and Uganda.
Many Indigenous people in Canada possess a worldview, concisely summarized in the phrase
"all my relations," which goes beyond aunts and cousins to include ravens, killer whales, water,
rocks, and more. In his outstanding book Canada's Indigenous Constitution, Professor John Borrows
indicates that nature's rights are an integral component of many First Nations' legal systems.
Some Canadians, and lawyers in particular, may struggle with the concept of granting rights
to an ecosystem or a river. And yet it is far from unusual in our legal system to extend rights to
non-human entities. For example, corporations are designated by the law as legal persons and
enjoy a wide range of rights.
It is time for Canadians to embrace the rights of nature. This innovative approach would enable
all of us to reflect on our relationship with the place we call home. Recognizing that nature has rights
could help us transcend the destructive and misconceived perception that humans are separate
from our environment and inherently superior to all other creatures. The air, water, soil, plants,
wildlife and even the spirit of this incredible country make us who we are, and sustain us physically,
mentally, and emotionally. We have to finally understand, as conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote,
that nature is not a commodity that we own, but a community to which we belong.
The diversity of life on Earth is one of the most extraordinary wonders in the universe. Facing
a global biodiversity emergency of our own making, we must acknowledge the incalculable value
of what we are losing, and respond with unprecedented and heroic measures. D
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DoWd R. Boyd /s on ossoc/ofe professor of law,
policy and sustainability at UBC's Institute for
Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and
the author of The Rights of Nature: A Legal
Revolution that Could Save the World
(ECW Press, 2017). He is also currently serving
as the United Nations Special Rapporteur
on human rights and the environment
In 2017, the Whanganui River in New Zealand was
recognized as a legal person, with a range of rights.
». 4<
David Boyd, PhD'10, says it's
time for Canada to embrace the
legal rights of non-human animals,
endangered species, and ecosystems.
 We were standing on a mound in the middle of the vast Serengeti plains
- my wife Anne and I holding hands as we gazed to the west into the
setting sun. This was to be our farewell to the Serengeti after 50 years
of biological research in the most spectacular wildlife area in the world.
We were being filmed by a crew of four capturing the scene from
behind us. Suddenly, 50 metres away, up popped the heads of two male
lions, staring at us. We stared back until we noticed that there was dead
silence behind us. Turning around, we saw the crew now back in their
trucks straining their necks like ground squirrels in their holes, wondering
what was about to happen. The lions, of course, weren't interested in
us. They were using the hillock just as we were - to get a good view. We
enticed the ground squirrels back out of their holes to finish filming.
The documentary we were working on is The Serengeti Rules, which
begins in the 1960s, when a group of young scientists set out to discover
how nature works. I was one of those scientists. Five decades later, as I've
transitioned from conducting research to helping the next generation of
scientists conduct their own research, it's become my job to share what
I've learned with the world outside of scientific journals.
What better way to do this than through film? The Serengeti Rules tells
the story of how researchers elucidated the rules that create ecosystems
and keep them together. These are the organizing principles that
determine what species can live in an ecosystem without going extinct.
I was born in Africa and was familiar with the countryside and
habitats. But when I saw the Serengeti for the first time at the age of
21,1 realized it was unique in the number of species it hosts and the
spectacular migrations they performed. Why was the Serengeti different
from any other place on Earth? What kept it that way? There had to
be some higher order rules that allowed the Serengeti to exist - some
frameworkto explain it. And these rules should also explain all other
ecosystems in the world.
The Serengeti Rules starts by documenting my long-term study, along
with that of four other researchers, showing how mankind has damaged
our environment, causing ecosystems to unravel and sometimes collapse
completely. It illustrates these changes in the Amazon (environmental
scientist John Terborgh), marine systems with killer whales (ecologist
Jim Estes), the rocky shores with starfish (ecologist Bob Paine), and river
habitats (zoologist Mary Power). In all these cases, the film shows how
the rules of ecosystems have been abused by humans.
Then comes the Serengeti. This system had already collapsed by the
19th century due to an introduced disease called rinderpest. It killed off
most of the migrating animals - indeed most of the wild animals of Africa.
It was a catastrophe. My research recorded how the system was able
to repair itself, taking a century to do so. Humans are still damaging our
ecosystems, and this damage will disadvantage our grandchildren. But
if we protect our ecosystems, use them carefully and even return lost
species, we can, as in the Serengeti, repair them and keep them healthy.
All is not lost if we do the right thing.
Nicolas Brown, the director of the film, was most interested in how five
scientists got started and what drove us to ask our scientific questions at
such an early age. To show us in the 1960s, he used actors to represent
our early work. In my case, he also had the advantage of existing footage
of me in the Serengeti taken by David Attenborough in 1967 and again in
1972, which was spliced into the film. We filmed the modern scenes in
2016, out on the plains and in the woodlands.
is not lost
right thing^
These scenes describe how I elucidated the rules one by one,
each taking, by chance, about a decade to finally unveil.
The first and most important rule was that all ecosystems have
a self-governing mechanism so that populations can't get out of
control - regulation. If humans overrule this mechanism, there are
consequences such as outbreaks of insects and extinction. There are
eight rules in all and it took me 50 years to discover all of them. But the
research isn't finished. There is much further to go. I've handed over
this work to younger colleagues.
The message that ecosystems can be repaired needs to resonate
with the public and we can share this message through documentaries
such as The Serengeti Rules. The film shows the damage humans
can cause but also how the right decisions can lead us to live in
balance. Hopefully, it makes others ask themselves questions about
stewardship of our environment, just as I did many decades ago. D
The Serengeti Rules has been shown around the world at film festivals,
earning numerous awards. It will be streaming on Netfllx In the near future.
 Young Tony Sinclair as depicted
in the 1960s in the film.
Photo: The Serengeti Rules.
± zoologist explains his love of the
Serengeti, and why it's important for
scientists to reach out to the public.
'By Tony Sinclair, professor
emeritus of zoology at UBC
Elephants are key to Kenya's ecology, culture and economy,
yet conflict with humans is threatening their survival.
Can satellite technology provide a lifeline?
By Roberta Staley
Photos: Tallulah Photography
Twigs and other vegetation snap and crackle underfoot as a group of men tread warily through
the dense and lush Nyakweri Forest in southern Kenya's Maasai Mara, tracking elephants.
Despite their vast bulk, the pachyderms are difficult to find, their wrinkled grey hides blending
chameleon-like into the variegated woodland, soft round feet moving almost soundlessly on
the damp forest floor. Such stealth also makes them dangerous, and the group - consisting
of conservation rangers, an armed wildlife officer, a veterinarian and UBC alumnus Jake Wall,
PhD'15 - are extra cautious, especially since their target is a herd of bull elephants, creatures
unafraid of asserting their claim to this verdant jungle.
The group follows elephant spoor - a broken branch here, a footprint there, the occasional
pile of fresh dung - and receive advice via walkie talkie from Marc Goss, CEO and helicopter pilot
for Kenya's Mara Elephant Project (MEP), who is flying high above the Nyakweri canopy, helping
trackthe herd.
Other than the sporadic radio crackle, there is silence. They must come close enough to the
herd to tranquilize one individual and attach a tracking collar. The armed Kenya Wildlife Service
officer stays at the front of the group, in case an elephant
charges. The team knows the drill: "get behind the gun;
don't run; stand your ground."
Suddenly, the loud cracks of splintering branches
- elephants feeding - indicate the herd is close.
Veterinarian Campaign Limo, accompanied by Wall, who
became director of Research and Conservation for MEP
earlier this year, move towards them. It is imperative the
animals aren't spooked, so Limo creeps further forward
by himself, dart gun at the ready, the syringe barrel full
of tranquilizer M99, or etorphine, which will render an
elephant paralyzed but still conscious. Limo must get
to within 40 to 50 metres of his target animal - about
two-thirds the length of a hockey arena - for a precise
hit into muscle. If he hits bone or tendon, the M99 will
not be absorbed and the team's tracking efforts will
have been in vain.
A detonation of startled crashing indicates that Limo
has hit his target. Now, the team must find the animal in
the thick underbrush, all the while moving as silently as
possible to avoid alerting a nearby herd of feeding Cape
buffalo - huge, burly, aggressive creatures that attack
with the slightest provocation.
 Left: A young bull elephant is
fitted with a tracking collar.
Right: Jake wall is director of
Research and Conservation for
Kenya's Mara Elephant Project.
As many as 10 million elephants
roamed the African continent in
1930. Decimated by poaching,
habitat loss, sport hunting and
conflict with human populations,
they now number just 415,000.
The spoor trail is faint, and the ranger team communicates with the helicopter for help. Five
minutes later, as copper-tailed monkeys hoot warnings and black and white butterflies dance
in frenetic circles about their heads, the team finds the empty syringe, with its bright pink
feathered tail piece. M99 takes effect in 10 minutes, so the elephant must be close to collapse.
One keen-eyed tracker detects a trail, and 15 minutes later, the team spies a grey-brown mass
off in the distance. A young bull elephant is down, but lying on his sternum, limbs splayed out,
left leg tucked underneath his body. With his weight bearing down on lungs and heart, the team
must work fast to get the tracking collar on and administer the antidote - epinephrine - in order
to minimize stress. Kneeling down beside the elephant's huge head, Wall drops his blue bag,
which contains tools for cutting the heavy Kevlar band to size and bolts to secure it.
Powered by six D-cell lithium batteries, the high-tech collar contains GPS software, an
inexpensive VHF beacon and an expensive Iridium satellite transmitter with data storage
capability that transmits data to a software tracking system Wall co-developed called
EarthRanger. Linked to the Iridium satellite system, a constellation of 66 active satellites
orbiting the planet, EarthRanger gives conservationists 24-hour, real-time access to their
collared research subjects, and features an alert system that allows them to intercede in
instances of poaching or conflict with villagers trying to protect their crops. It has become
a key tool for Protected Area Management initiatives throughout Africa.
Rangers help Wall pull the heavy collar over the elephant's neck and tighten the bolt using
a socket wrench. Since the pachyderm is young, about 20 years of age, the collar must be left
loose enough to accommodate future growth as well as the breeding period, called musth, when
male elephants' neck muscles swell. It is not ideal, as the collar might slip off. Other frustrating
fails may include malfunctioning batteries.
But collaring is the elephant's best hope in terms of the survival of his species. According to
the Washington office of the World Wildlife Fund, as many as 10 million elephants roamed the
African continent in 1930. Decimated by poaching, habitat loss, sport hunting and conflict with
human populations, they now number just 415,000. Elephants are deemed "vulnerable" by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they will become endangered
unless circumstances threatening their survival improve. Keeping track of their movements
not only helps protect them from poachers and human-elephant conflict, but supplies data to
determine the size and location of ranges they need to thrive.
While Wall continues the collaring, the vet checks the heart rate and looks for wounds to
treat. The elephant's foot and tusks are measured, and a portion of tail hair is taken for carbon
isotope analysis. By determining the C3 and C4 ratios,
which are associated with different plants in the diet,
scientists can determine where the elephant is feeding
and whether it might be raiding farmers' crops - a key
factor in human-elephant conflict.
Through all of this the elephant half-sits, fully
alert yet incapable of doing anything beyond a slow,
meditative flap of his ears, his trunk flaccid in front of
him. He manages a deep-chested, drawn-out rumble,
suggestive of deep disgruntlement. Despite the surreal
experience, most elephants "will get up and start eating"
afterwards, Wall remarks when the pachyderm is safely
on his feet, blowing a deep, sonorous call to his herd,
then vanishing like a shadow back into the forest.
Back at MEP's headquarters, doors and windows
are flung open to the breeze to help keep the interior
cool. (A male lion has been hanging out in the bush
about 50 metres away, deterring casual strolls.)
Wall peers up at an enormous, 65" Sony television
screen mounted adjacent to his computer. It displays
tiny elephant icons against a green and brown
background that indicates geographical variance,
such as forest and open grassland.
"That's him," Wall says with satisfaction, pointing
to one of the icons, which is labelled "Fitz." It's the
newly collared young bull, named in honour of the
owner of Angama Mara safari camp, which paid the
$26,000 cost of collaring the animal, a fee covering the
hardware, helicopter time, drugs, and ongoing digital
and field monitoring. Fitz is one of 21 MEP-collared
pachyderms that Wall and the ranger team track and
 monitor on an annual budget of just $900,000, made up entirely of donations. "It's a struggle to
raise enough money to keep protecting elephants," Wall says.
And yet, as a keystone species, the African elephant is invaluable for myriad reasons, not least
of which is the eco-tourism dollars each animal brings into a country, an estimated $1.6 million
over its lifetime - in comparison to $21,000 for its raw ivory, according to the Sheldrick Wildlife
Trust, a 42-year-old Kenya-based organization that operates an orphan elephant rescue and
rehabilitation program.
Despite the success of today's collaring, Wall is slightly disappointed. With only metre-long
tusks, Fitz isn't a likely target for poachers, and countering poaching is one of the motivations
for collaring. From 2010 to 2012 alone, 100,000 elephants in Africa were killed for their ivory.
While poaching has declined, thanks to harsher penalties and the vigilance of organizations like
MEP - which also runs intelligence operations to disrupt poachers' clandestine killing operations,
confiscate their smuggled ivory and arrest them - the slaying of elephants remains a constant
threat, due to the high demand for ivory in Asia.
But Fitz's collar will still be useful. The youngster is integrated into a bachelor herd of bulls;
following his movements will allow monitoring of his older buddies by proxy, including those
whose larger ivories make them attractive to poachers.
The icons on the screen leave digital colour trails, allowing precise monitoring of an elephant's
location and direction of travel, as well as its speed. If a digital trail turns into a longer streak,
it indicates that a normally placid elephant is running. This is a warning that an elephant may
be fleeing for its life, possibly from poachers or armed villagers.
The system also indicates when an elephant breaches a virtual "geo-fence" by moving
into farming areas. At this time of year, maize crops are ripening. The sweetcorn is loved by
pachyderms for its high caloric content and taste. However, villagers depend on it for food and
income and have no qualms about protecting their precious harvest with spears and arrows.
These are emergency situations calling for immediate action - day or night - from MEP's
teams of rangers, who are connected to EarthRanger's short message service (SMS) and
stationed in temporary camps across the 11,500-square kilometre range MEP monitors.
Each ranger team consists of four to eight men, mostly local Maasai who have undergone
rigorous training in weapons handling, conflict resolution, advanced first aid and elephant
wrangling, which is when the animals are driven out
of crop fields with chili bombs and firecrackers, among
other benign deterrents.
The rangers receive a text message or email informing
them of changes in the behaviour of a collared elephant
that could indicate crop raiding, poaching, or, if an animal
is immobile for a five-hour stretch, severe injury or
death. In the case of injury caused by humans, such as
snaring, or wounds from arrows, spears or guns, MEP's
mandate is to dispatch a helicopter and veterinarian to
anaesthetize the animal and treat it. "It's incredible what
elephants can heal from," says Wall.
It is largely the result of Wall's inventiveness that
MEP has become a leader in Africa for hi-tech wildlife
management. He began developing EarthRanger
while undertaking his PhD with UBC's geography
department, focusing on geospatial studies of elephants.
During this time, he worked with Kenya-based Save
the Elephants, writing the code and designing the
database that the organization used to track 300
pachyderms across the continent. Wall was profoundly
influenced by a now-retired zoology professor, Tony
Sinclair ("Mr. Serengeti" - see page 10). "He was a true
ecologist," says Wall. "He did unbelievable research in
the Serengeti on migration and was a legend at UBC."
As they journey across
the savannah, elephants
transport seeds in their
dung, contributing to
plant biodiversity and
recycling nutrients. By
eating bushes, pushing
over small trees and
digging up soil, they help
open up forests for the
expansion of grasslands.
Once the elephant is
tranquilized, various
measurements are
taken while the
collar is fitted.
 The icons on the screen leave digital colour trails, allowing
precise monitoring of an elephant's location and direction
of travel, as well as its speed. If a digital trail turns into
a longer streak, it indicates that a normally placid elephant
is running. This is a warning that an elephant may be fleeing
for its life, possibly from poachers or armed villagers.
Wall figured out how to upload data in real time onto Google Earth while creating a backend
supported by a geographic information system (GIS) provided by California-based Environmental
Systems Research Institute. He went on to create a toolkit for movement-ecology analysis,
using GPS tracking data and cloud-based computingto calculate elephant range across Africa.
Such data is invaluable for conservation initiatives and the development of public policy at
the national level, informing African governments about crucial migration corridors that preserve
connectivity between the vast feeding ranges needed by elephants, who travel anywhere from
five to 65 kilometres a day in their search for food and water.
As Wall was finishing his PhD, he was approached by Vulcan Inc. in Seattle, the data company
started by the late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen. Vulcan was interested in
elephants and the application of technology in conservation. Wall had reached his technological
limits and was worried about security and the possibility of poachers hacking into his system.
Acting as a consultant for Vulcan, Wall worked with their developers to build EarthRanger,
recently achieving the goal of creating interface capabilities that have enabled the integration
of data from various feeds: collared elephants, MEP's ranger vehicles and helicopter as well as
individual trackers.
The data collected is nuanced, highly detailed and analyzable, providing a rich store of
information to facilitate further study by PhD students and post-docs. "We're hoping that
that data collection will help inform our conservation practices," says Wall. As an example,
he points to the possibility of having farmers switch maize for sunflowers or essential oils like
lavender - crops shunned by elephants. However, such agricultural changes must be made in
collaboration with local communities, and switching will require more comprehensive study,
such as ensuring that there are consistent markets for new crops, Wall says. Conveniently,
MEP will soon accommodate additional researchers at its headquarters, thanks to construction
of a new research camp with living quarters and a self-serve mess hall.
Wall maintains a level-headed objectivity when it
comes to his research. But he is obviously driven not
only by his love for elephants, but for Africa itself.
Wall's mother worked with the Canadian International
Development Agency until 2013; his father was a career
diplomat with Global Affairs Canada. As a result, Wall
attended high school in Kenya and fondly recalls long
hikes through the African bush.
Elephants are valuable not just as a tourist draw but
for the crucial role they play as environmental architects
and gardeners, says Wall. As they journey across the
savannah, elephants transport seeds in their dung,
contributing to plant biodiversity and recycling nutrients.
By eating bushes, pushing over small trees and digging
up soil, they help open up forests for the expansion of
grasslands, benefitting a multitude of ungulates such
as zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, antelopes and giraffes
populating the savannah. But habitat loss has contracted
elephant ranges and reduced their sources of food,
forcing them closer to human habitation.
Despite the cutting-edge science he is developing
and the data he is collecting, Wall is distressed by the
feeling that it may not be enough. "I feel a sense of
responsibility towards elephants. But it's more than
that; it's the environment. These environmental systems
are collapsing before our eyes. So it's a sense of panic;
sometimes I lie awake at night - stressed about what
we're doing to the planet." Despite such a disheartening
reality, Wall is unwavering in his work, never taking his
eye of his ultimate goal. "We want to move from conflict
to co-existence, where wildlife and humans can live
sustainably for the long term." D
Every day there are roughly 386,000 new mouths to feed, and in that
same 24 hours, scientists estimate between one and 100 species will
;o extinct. That's it. Lost forever.
To deal with the biodiversity crisis we need to find a way to give
nature more space - habitat loss is a key factor driving these extinctions.
But how would this affect our food supplies?
Our research, published in Nature Sustainability in 2018, found it could
mean we lose a lot of food - but exactly how much really depends on how
we choose to give nature that space. Doing it right could mean rethinking
how we do agriculture and conservation altogether.
A fair deal
OK, but how much space are we talking about here?
There have been numbers flying around since the early 1990s. Some
researchers say a quarter of all the space on Earth, while others say
three-quarters of all land and sea. Those in the middle ground, however,
seem to suggest one half.
Leading scientists are increasingly endorsing the figure, including
natural scientist E.O. Wilson, who wrote a book on it, and the former chief
scientist at the World Wildlife Fund, Eric Dinerstein. These individuals
are mobilizing funds, researchers, computing power and social capital
to see what it takes to achieve this vision - through their organizations,
The Half-Earth Project and Nature Needs Half.
The idea might seem crazy, but then again, maybe we need crazy
ideas to get us to think about the better world we might be able to create.
And there is something about handing over half of the planet to nature
that has an air of fairness to it - well, on the side of nature at least.
The global agricultural footprint
The reality is, most people would likely want to help save other species
too (aside maybe from mosquitoes and some other pesky creatures).
The upside seems massive and obvious - not in the least that our children
will be able to enjoy these beautiful beings for generations to come.
But is it possible to conserve so much land and still feed everyone?
Agriculture and settlements already cover 37 per cent of the Earth's
ice-free land, so it's difficult to see how we could set aside half the planet
in a way that honours the needs of other species, without losing some
of our agricultural lands.
Dinerstein and his colleagues found that some locations, such as
the Midwest United States produce so much food that it would be
"delusional" to even suggest returning them to nature.
But previous research didn't quantify or map the scale of these
trade-offs at a fine enough resolution to identify what's really at stake.
Feeding people and conserving species
Our research did just that.
It found that conserving habitats for other species could cost up
to 29 per cent of the calories we currently produce from our food
crops. But it also found that these food losses can be minimized to
as little as three per cent depending on how that land is allocated
to conservation.
If people manage landscapes so they are shared between
agriculture and nature conservation - and make agricultural
landscapes kinder to other species - it may bring effective results
while avoiding large losses in food availability.
The trick here is making our agricultural landscapes less hostile to
other life. This is no small ask.
At the country scale, the study identified places where food losses
would be large, including India (22 per cent) and China (12 per cent).
These two countries have the greatest number of undernourished
people on the planet, 195 million and 134 million respectively. It also
identified other areas, such as in Indonesia, that may be less available
for conservation than previously thought.
Clearly, conflicts between nature and agriculture need to
be navigated carefully. Protecting the world's most vulnerable,
malnourished and food insecure populations must remain a priority.
And synergies between conservation and poverty reduction need to be
the primary focus.
Large potential co-benefits
But it isn't all bad news.
The study also showed that giving half the planet to nature could
increase temperate and tropical forest cover by 30 to 40 per cent,
which would help tackle climate change and so likely reduce the
agricultural losses from extreme weather.
What's more, giving nature space might increase aspects of
biodiversity important for crop yields like bees - boosting the amount
of food we can produce in a given area - and help to offset some of the
losses that might come from conservation.
Paula Ehrlich, the president and CEO of the E.O Wilson Biodiversity
Foundation and head of the Half-Earth Project, shared her thoughts on
the scientific study:
"Identifying where conservation areas can protect the most species is
key to reversing the species extinction crisis and ensuring a healthy planet
for all of life, including people. Once identified, conservation protections
must integrate into their planning and management systems the cultures
and economies of Indigenous peoples, who are de facto the original
There can be little doubt that the idea of giving half the planet back
to nature is visionary and aspirational. We think these new findings
have important implications for how humans see their needs against
those of other species. D
This article is republished from The Conversation
(theconversation.com) under a Creative Commons license.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of
Carly Vynne Baker and Eric Dinerstein to the writing of this
article, and Paula Ehrlich for her comments.
Along with some of their UBC and international colleagues,
Zia Mehrabi (L) and Navin Ramankutty (R) are now
involved in a new project, "Whole Earth," to assess the
contribution of working landscapes to nature conservation
and human well-being.
 English grads might remember the immortal words of Captain Boyle in Sean
O'Casey's masterpiece, Juno and the Paycock: "I'm telling you, Joxer, the whole
world's in a terrible state of chassis." His wife Juno and his daughter have
left him, his son's been murdered and the inheritance he was promised has
disappeared. His life lies around him in ruins.
It's not an inapt observation for our own time. Climate change, unchecked
resource extraction, industrial and big city pollution, ocean acidification
and a litany of other environmental disasters would indicate that our world,
indeed, is in a "terrible state of chassis."
Captain Boyle had no means - emotional, physical or financial - to get
himself out of the impossible situation he'd created for himself. We, on the
other hand, can intervene in our own destruction and change conditions
for the better.
One such intervention involves a forthright, honest and clear-headed
vision about how we should go about saving endangered species. It does,
however, come with some obstacles.
"We're not doing very well saving at-risk species," says Dr. Tara Martin,
a professor in the department of Forest and Conservation Sciences and head
of the Martin Conservation Decisions lab. "We often spend the majority of
our budget on species with a low likelihood of recovery at a high cost. If our
objective is to save as many species as possible, it's not a good way to spend
our conservation money."
Martin points out that we spend our own money in a much more analytical
way: how much does an item cost? Will it solve the need we think we have?
Would a different item be a better bet? Am I taking away from other essential
resources? "The strange thing is that we haven't been doing that kind of
analysis in conservation. We've been shopping without price tags, assuming
that we have infinite resources to do everything, everywhere."
Cost is important, but it's difficult to know what the price tag would be.
"We need more money for species conservation and recovery," she says,
"but how much more? We have no idea what it would cost to save every
species at risk in Canada."
Dr. Martin and her team have developed a process that asks these key
questions about at-risk species. The Priority Threat Management tool
assesses the likelihood that a particular species can be saved and identifies
the management strategies that will recover the most species for the
least cost. The process examines a group of at-risk species in a region
and determines what conditions are causing the species' decline. Then, it
analyses the interventions that could be done to either eliminate or mitigate
those conditions, and estimates the costs of the interventions. Next, the
researchers estimate the probability that those interventions, were they to be
accomplished, would actually save the species from extinction.
Canada passed the Species at Risk act in 2002, and since then has listed
more than 600 plants and animals at risk of extinction. The act requires the
federal and provincial governments to do something to protect all these
species, but doesn't spell out how that should be done, nor does it estimate
how much it would cost to do so. As a result, different government agencies
and non-government organizations try gamely to save some of these species,
and while some efforts are successful, others are not. Wildlife Preservation
Canada, for one, has been marginally successful with its programs to save
the Oregon spotted frog and the western painted turtle. The burrowing owl
population in Southwest Saskatchewan, on the other hand, a poster child
for soon-to-be-extinct creatures in Canada, continues to decline in spite of
ongoing efforts to save it.
And that's the crux of the problem. The burrowing owl is a spectacular
creature, emerging from its ground-level nest to soar to great heights above
the prairie in search of prey. But, with fewer than a thousand breeding pairs, it's
in great jeopardy and the likelihood of saving it is in doubt. With widespread
loss of habitat, pollution, and the fact that it migrates between here and
Mexico, there's little that can be done unilaterally by Canada that would change
the conditions of its existence. Yet, money is still being spent on its survival.
To date, the Priority Threat Management tool has been applied to a third of
the Australian continent including the entire state of New South Wales. Case
studies are also being undertaken in Southwest Saskatchewan, Saint John
River in New Brunswick, the Fraser River Estuary, the Kootenay Bioregion and
along the BC Central Coast and its salmon population. (See www.taramartin.
org/research/tor details of current projects.)
"If we can increase the probability of recovering species to greater than
a coin toss, then it may be possible to save a species," says Martin. "If there
are no management actions that will increase the probability of recovery
to more than 50 per cent, it's unlikely that any effort will save the species,
and we're better off investing in species that have a greater probability of
recovery. We might still decide to invest in species that have a low likelihood
of recovery because we value that species highly and we're willing to take
the risk of failing. But we need to be explicit about that."
One of the main criticisms of using Priority Threat Management is that it
relies on an economic model to determine which actions will save the most
species for the least cost. This criticism holds that the ultimate decision to
invest money in a particular species should be social, reflecting the values,
cultural traditions and social benefits a species may have. And since we
don't fully understand the relationships particular species have to their
environment - how the survival of one species may depend entirely on the
survival of another - it's not reasonable to base those decisions solely on
economic criteria.
Another criticism of Priority Threat Management is that it provides incentive
to industry to push some species to the point where their protection would be
deemed too costly and unlikely to succeed. As well, critics say it gives some
support to the idea that the efforts to save some species will have an adverse
effect on a given industry, imperilling the economy and destroyingjobs.
Martin stresses that some critics are misinterpreting the purpose of the
Priority Threat Management analysis. She points out that the tool does take
social values into consideration in its computations, as well as environmental
and economic ones. The southern resident Orca whales in the Salish Sea are
a good example. These creatures have high value to coastal indigenous
peoples, and are a valuable tourist resource. But saving the killer whales also
involves rescue plans for the salmon they feed on, developing strategies to
deal with ocean warming, carbon sequestration and ocean stratification,
and ensuring that both the tourism industry and indigenous cultures are
part of the mix.
She also notes that the analysis doesn't suggest giving up on a species
because it is too expensive. Rather, if it determines that no amount of
management activity or investment will save a species, it makes no sense to
continue funding rescue attempts. "This happens when we leave it too late to
act," she says. "For example, it's been 16 years since the southern mountain
caribou was identified as at-risk, but no strategy has been developed to
recover the species. During this time critical habitat has continued to
be fragmented by industrial logging, recreational activities, oil and gas
development and the effects of climate change. These long delays serve
 industry rather than species, and allow business-as-usual to continue unabated. By the time an action
plan is produced, it may be too late because the population has continued to decline and there may
be insufficient habitat left to protect. By contrast, our approach is fast and inexpensive in comparison
to action plans produced under the Act."
Since passage of the Act in 2002, the situation for the vast majority of the 600-plus at-risk
species or environments has either stayed the same or become even more dire. In response, the
federal government has pledged $1.3 billion for the cause. But how this money will be used is hard
to determine. Two federal entities - Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change
Canada are responsible for managing the money. Martin is hopeful the Priority Threat Management
tool can be applied going forward.
"We've spoken to provincial and federal departments and made many presentations and even
undertaken a case study together in Southwest Saskatchewan," says Martin. She reports some
resistance to change, and an unwillingness to give up certain approaches. As well, the Priority Threat
Management process is very transparent, so there's some fear of backlash over the unavoidable
tradeoffs it would present. Still, she's seeing some positive response from government.
NGOs, she says, are extremely interested. Projects are underway with The World Wildlife Fund,
the Pacific Salmon Foundation, the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance (comprising 22 First Nations), the
Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (comprising four First Nations), the Raincoast Conservation
Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.
In spite of the work being done, is it too late? "It is too late for some species. But it's not too late
for many, many more. There is a better way of doing things, a more timely and effective way of
determining how we can be more successful with the resources we have. We have to make decisions
now with the data we have at hand."
It may well be time to cut our losses and invest in the species we have a chance to save.
The Priority Threat Management tool is one way of focussing on the at-risk species that have
a chance rather than on ones that are lost.
Or as Juno Boyle says in Juno and the Paycock, "It's nearly time we had a little less respect for
the dead, and a little more regard for the living." D
Tara Martin with her kids during
the climate strike in September.
The Fraser River Estuary
Tara Martin photographs
wildflowers in the Gulf
and San Juan islands.
Photo: Stasia Garraway
The Fraser River Estuary, with its three
million people, industrial centres, agricultura
productivity, salmon fishery and historic
First Nations culture, is home to more than
100 species considered at risk. Most at-risk
species have a reasonable chance of survival,
including the southern resident killer whale,
"In the Fraser River Estuary," says Dr,
Tara Martin, "we estimate that an investment
of $350 million over 25 years will be needed
to give these species a chance to survive."
Governments might shudder at such a cost,
but, as Martin points out, the economic
advantages of a healthy ecosystem and
flourishing flora and fauna benefit all aspects
of the economy. A healthy killer whale
population, for example, attracts millions
of dollars for the tourism industry.
To save the most species at risk, we may have
to accept the loss of a few that are beyond help
By Chris Petty, MFA'86
 There's no shortage of dire warnings about the world's fisheries. The collapse of the East
Coast cod fishery in 1992 and ongoing problems with the West Coast salmon fishery are just
two close-to-home indicators that underline the fragility of ocean resources. Fisheries in the
Mediterranean are quickly being depleted, while some fisheries off the coasts of Africa and
Asia are already on deathwatch, due to the trifecta of overfishing, climate change and pollution.
And while 14 percent of the Earth's landmass is protected from extractive use, just two per
cent of global oceans are in actively managed marine protected areas (MPAs).
With overfishing, the degradation of vital marine habitats, the destruction of "by-catch"
species, illegal fishing and a general lack of governmental oversight, there is some doubt that
the next generations of humankind will have access to the great bounty of ocean resources
that we enjoy today. Worse still, this September the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) reported that unchecked pollution and CO2 production have caused the oceans
to become warmer, more acidic, less able to hold oxygen and more permanently stratified.
This attack on Earth's oceans is, among other things, creating havoc on already challenged
fish populations around the globe.
But hope does exist. Strategies are being developed to mitigate the dwindling supply of fish,
and none as interesting and exciting as some of those at UBC. Rashid Sumaila, director of the
Fisheries Economics Research Unit and Tien Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Ocean
and Fisheries Economics, is part of an international team that is using methods immersed in
economic theory to stimulate both awareness of and solutions to this crisis. He and the team
are investigating "fish banks" - both on the high seas and within national waters - as a way to
maintain vital fisheries and, at the same time, generate economic growth.
Sumaila, whose research centres around bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the
analysis of global marine issues, formulated his interest in oceans and fisheries while pursuing
his PhD in Norway. "You can't get away from fish and the ocean in Norway," he says with a laugh.
His initial interest was in the economics of oil, but the economics of the world's fisheries as they
impact the ocean fascinated him. He tells his students that the ocean is too big, too important
to destroy. "I tell them that since it's 70 per cent of the world's surface we can't afford to mess
it up. If you mess up 70 per cent of your exam, you're going to fail. It's the same in the ocean."
Tying the economics of the oceans' fisheries to the current situation of that resource was
a no-brainer. One of his recent efforts was to examine the state of high seas fisheries. "High
seas fishing starts 200 nautical miles from the coast," he says, "and for most of the time there
aren't many fish that far out." His research has shown that fishing on the high seas is not
economically viable.
In a recent paper in Science Advances, "The Economics of Fishing the High Seas," Sumaila and
the research team analyzed the relative profitability of high seas fishing in the countries that
have the largest fleets (China, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Russia being the top six).
The results were surprising. Using data from UN reporting agencies, and ship location data from
Global Fishing Watch, which can track vessels in near real-time globally (visit globalfishingwatch.org
to view the real-time map), the team learned that most of the high seas fishery is unprofitable.
Governments around the world subsidize their fleets to the tune of $4.2 billion annually,
which is more than double the profits made. The team also found that forced labour and
low-wage labour were rampant and, combined with subsidies, the only way to rationalize these
fisheries in the first place. While some specific high seas fisheries are profitable before subsidies
- Chinese efforts in the northwest Pacific, for instance - on aggregate, current high seas fishing
by China, Taiwan and Russia (countries that take 51 per cent of the high seas catch) would not
be profitable without government subsidies and low labour costs. Other large high seas fisheries
- Japan, South Korea, Spain and the US - showed profits ranging from negligible to around
$250 million after subsidies were applied. These fisheries would prove unprofitable if subsidies
were eliminated and fair wages paid.
"The richest part of the ocean is within the 200-mile limit," Sumaila says. As it turns out,
research shows that less than one per cent of the fish caught on the high seas spend all their
time beyond the 200-mile limit. Most return to off-shore locations to feed, grow and reproduce.
Tuna, for instance, is a major high seas catch, but 78 per cent of tuna, according to research,
The key to a sustainable world fishery may
well lie in our ability to monetize conservation.
By Chris Petty, MFA'86
go in and out of country waters. Why not fish these
closer to shore, suggests Sumaila, where profitability is
almost assured, without subsidy, and where oversight by
national governments is more likely to regulate the catch.
By turning the high seas into a restricted fishing
area - a fish bank - fish stocks would flourish, ready to
be fished when they return to country waters. Policing
such a fish bank would be daunting, Sumaila admits,
but with emerging technologies and existing fining
protocols through the World Trade Organization,
establishment of huge no-take zones would be possible.
It's an idea already embraced by the UN. "There is one
high seas reserve, established near the end of Obama's
term," says Sumaila. "It's in Antarctica. I don't know how
they did it. Russia and China blocked it at first but the
Americans were able to get it done."
But the most fascinating idea for fish banks comes
from the study of a reserve area off the northeast
coast of Spain on the Costa Brava - the Medes Island
Marine Reserve. The reserve was established in
1983 by the Catalan government. It provides for a one
square kilometre no-take zone in an area with one of
the largest biomass of fish in the Mediterranean. The
no-take area has become even richer in fish biomass
and provides local fishers with large fish spillover outside
the zone. But the most impressive result of the reserve
is the massive increase in tourism in the Medes Island
area. From a small tourism economy before 1983, it
now generates more than US$12 million annually for the
local ecotourism economy through diving, snorkelling,
 glass-bottom boats and other ocean activities. "This is a case of the fish being
more valuable alive than dead," says Sumaila.
Initially, local recreational and commercial fishers were dead set against
the reserve, thinking it would have a negative impact on their incomes and
their community. But within five years both fishery and tourism profits were
greater than before the reserve was established. Could this formula work in
other locations? Sumaila thinks so. He and the team have developed a detailed
business plan that plots expenses and incomes from
start-up to year eight.
They acknowledge that start-up costs are formidable.
Establishing, maintaining and policing the reserve
(to eliminate fishers from outside the local area) requires
a substantial outlay from local government. Creating
tourist infrastructure is also expensive: dive shops
must be designed and built, boats and gear purchased,
advertising devised and disseminated, and tourist
facilities developed. As well, local fishers need to be
compensated for the initial loss of fishing income.
But the business model takes all these issues into
account. Maintenance of the reserve area would be
covered by a portion of access fees paid by divers and
snorkellers, while fishers would be compensated by
a portion of these fees and through profit-sharing with tourist facilities. Although
local governments would be tasked with policing and providing some of the
Initially, local recreational and
commercial fishers were dead set
against the reserve, thinking it
would have a negative impact on
their incomes and their community.
But within five years both fishery and
tourism profits weregreaterthan
before the reserve was established.
Could this formula work in other
locations? Sumaila thinks so.
infrastructure necessary to support the increase in
tourist activity, the increase in tax revenue would be
a win on all sides.
While it's true that the Medes Island area had rich
resources to begin with, there are many areas in the
Mediterranean and along the coasts of Africa, South
America and Asia that could flourish under a similar
plan. And while existing reserves that are poorly
managed often don't result in an increase in fish
biomass, ecotourism does increase in areas labelled
"protected," because of the attraction of exploring
a pristine habitat.
Rashid Sumaila continues to make presentations to
governments around the world, to the UN, to the High
Seas Alliance and at industry conferences. "The creation
of fish banks is a logical idea," he says. And with the
promise of economic gain attached, it just might become
a practical one.
Such solutions may not address the overwhelming
environmental threat currently faced by our oceans.
But in a world mostly focused on economic growth
and development, a business model that can solve
potentially devastating problems is a high calling of
academic research. D
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The scene from the roof of the
Robert H.Lee Alumni Centre on
September 27, as students, faculty
and staff added their voices to
those of activists around the world
calling for climate justice. The UBC
climate strikers gathered outside
the alumni centre and the AMS
Nest before relocating to City Hall
and downtown to join the main
throng of Vancouver protesters.
(Photo: Zubair Hirji)
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 To Save
Biodiversity and
Feed the Future,
First Cure
"Plant Blindness''
Vanishing animals
command headlines, but
declining plant diversity
also imperils humans
From our perches in the urban jungle - or even in the
leafier parts of suburbia - we often have a tough time
naming the last plant we saw. Even if we just ate part
of it. This is a symptom of "plant blindness," a term
coined two decades ago by researchers who showed
that modern civilization is perilously disconnected
from the plant kingdom. Our blindness has progressed
even further since then, to the point where we hardly
recognize the plants that feed us every day.
That threat came sharply into view this spring when the
United Nations reported that one million plant and animal
species are at risk of extinction. Much attention focused
on loss of animals - particularly the rhinos and other large
charismatic ones. But the decline of plants should be just
as unnerving, say researchers in a paper published shortly
after in the journal Plants, People, Planet.
While all species have an intrinsic value, plants also
provide tangible environmental, economic and cultural
benefits. Even the wild ones. Plant breeders have used
wild tomatoes, for instance, to increase resistance
to pests and diseases so that the crop can be grown
on a large scale. Other plants remediate polluted
soils, or provide people with construction materials
and medicines. And all plants clean and regulate the
air we breathe.
"Unfortunately, we're losing species faster than we
can study and account for them," says Tara Moreau,
associate director of Sustainability and Community
Programs at the UBC Botanical Garden and a co-author
of the study. "Plant extinction should not be an option,
and public education is key."
As people worldwide become ever more urban, it is
not surprising that plants become less visible in our lives.
What is surprising is how far we have departed from
knowing even the food plants that we still interact with
every day, at every meal.
"It's amazing how many people don't even know what
a potato plant is," says Moreau. Despite this disconnect,
she and her fellow study authors say that food plants
can still offer a bridge to reintroduce people to the
world of plants in general, as well as to the vital work
of conservationists.
People's connection (or lack of connection) with
the natural world has long been recognized by social
scientists as having a significant influence upon their
outlook and actions. Moreau also points to recent
studies suggesting that nature itself has beneficial
effects on cognition and well-being. It's reasonable to
surmise, then, that sustainability education offered in
a natural setting could be a powerful way of increasing
the public's appreciation of plants and the urgency of
safeguarding biodiversity.
Visited by more than 250 million people every
year, the world's botanical gardens are crucial
 allies for addressing plant blindness, and the researchers' paper describes
a range of informal education initiatives - including one at UBC - that have
already emerged from collaborations between botanical gardens and related
organizations, and often with a focus on food and agricultural plants.
"Food literacy - engaging people on understanding where our food comes
from - has long been a focus of my work," says Moreau, who is a former
consultant with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. While doing
her post-doc at UBC, she started an urban farmer field school that integrated
climate change education. It was popular, but Moreau soon realized she was
preaching to the choir. "They already got it. They got sustainability, they got
the food connection - that's why they were there. I was interested in reaching
the people that don't get it, that don't feel connected, that would never look
for a workshop like this."
After taking up her position at the UBC Botanical Garden, Moreau established
the Sustainable Communities Field School field in 2015, in collaboration with
a local non-profit called SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation).
They purposely targeted local businesses and organizations, offering them
team-building workshops in the context of learning
about plants and being in nature.
Much of the field schooling takes place in the
food garden, which was established in the 1980s and
contains about three-hundred food plants - from furry
little kiwifruit to red-stemmed rhubarb to delicately
fragranced herbs. It's an intentionally sensory
experience, with participants encouraged to smell,
touch, taste, listen and look closely.
By focusing on food plants as an educational tool,
Moreau says she is capitalizing on the existing public
interest in various food movements, cooking, celebrity
chefs and special diets.
"I feel like I'm a dating website, where I'm trying to connect people to plants
and finding the right match. Some people connect to plants through food, some
people connect to plants as medicine, other people just love forests."
The team-building exercises are based on communication and
problem-solving around four main topics: sustainable food choices, biodiversity
conservation, waste reduction, and water conservation. If a team expresses
"Ifeel like I'm a dating
website, where I'm trying
to connect people to
plants and finding the
right match. Some people
connect to plants through
food, some people connect
to plants as medicine, other
people just love forests."
interest, Moreau is happy to tackle more complex
topics such as global food systems or food poverty.
The intention is that participants become more
conscious of their habits and the consequences of their
choices. "The goal is critical food literacy," says Moreau,
"so that people are equipped with questions that they
can ask and answer when they're out in their day-to-day
life: 'How would I bring in a plant-based diet into this
catering event that I'm organizing?' or 'how do we better
support this in our workplace?'"
Moreau was inspired by field schools run by the UN
in the 1980s for farmers in Asia and Africa, aimed at
mobilizing community knowledge to reduce the use
of pesticides. Rather than relying on outside experts
coming in and calling the shots, the schools tapped
into local knowledge around these practices - opening
a dialogue, empowering the farmers, and getting buy-in.
Because the UBC field school's ultimate aim is
behaviour change, psychology is employed in its
design. "We use behavioural science to inform how
we communicate," says Moreau. This is the domain
of research faculty partner Jiaying Zhao, whose work
focuses on how cognitive science can contribute to
sustainability. Based on an examination of the cognitive,
motivational, and sociocultural factors that shape
perceptions of climate change, she looks for optimal
ways to engage the public on biodiversity conservation.
As a result, the program is less prescriptive that it has
been in the past. The tour guides celebrate what people
are already doing and encourage them to think and do
more, rather than chastising them for not doing enough.
There is more emphasis on exchange and discussion,
and less on expert decree. "Should" and "ought" have
never been the greatest motivators.
In 2017 Moreau, Zhao and their research colleagues
at UBC tested their educational model by surveying
field school participants, as well as general visitors to
the garden. They found the field school participants to
be more knowledgeable about environmental issues
after completing the program. They were also more
connected to nature, and more willing to engage in
pro-environmental behaviours compared with other
garden visitors.
Encouraged by the findings, Moreau established and
chairs a group to support food literacy programming
in other public gardens around North America, freely
sharing the curricula her team has developed. "As an
educator, ultimately I want people to feel connected
to nature," she says. "If people aren't connected to the
natural landscape, they're not going to be allies in helping
to protect it." D
Find out more and book a green team-building experience for
your organization at botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/team-building
 A thump, a small stunned body, perhaps a grisly smear
on the window-pane: most of us have seen or heard
a bird crashing into glass, but it's hardly an everyday
experience, and we might be forgiven for assuming that
such avian accidents are isolated cases of bad luck.
3ird collisions, however, are much more common
than most of us realize. In fact, buildings are glassy
death traps, knocking out birds in droves. UBC student
researchers who undertook the macabre task of
counting telltale bodies, feathers, and smears found
that as many as 10,000 birds a year die from colliding
with buildings on the Point Grey campus alone.
The campus shares skies and trees with a particularly
robust population of birds. This is due to its location
near the Fraser River Estuary, where birds from three
continents cross paths as they make their way along
the Pacific Flyway, a vast migratory route from Alaska
to Patagonia that's travelled by at least a billion birds.
That we need these creatures may be obvious:
pollinating plants and transporting seeds, birds are
essential to ecosystems - and, besides, they are lovely.
What would poetry be without birds? No "thing with
feathers," (Emily Dickinson), no whistling blackbird's
inflection and innuendo (Wallace Stevens), no darkling
thrush "to fling his soul / Upon the growing gloom"
(Thomas Hardy). Less obvious may be how, exactly,
we can stop the thing with feathers, the blackbird,
and the thrush from smacking into our windows.
UBC students, staff, and faculty from SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies)
Sustainability program have collaborated on an innovative answer. They've used campus as a living
lab to create official design guidelines, part of UBC's Green Building Action Plan, to make our
buildings less of a bird-bashing menace.
The Bird Friendly Building Design Guidelines draw on what scientists know about birds' visual
perception. Birds see glass as thin air, or they mistake reflections for real, inviting landscapes. This
means that windows in bird-friendly designs should be screened, glazed, or patterned to make the
glass perceptible (window markings must have spaces no larger than two inches by four inches,
otherwise birds will think they can squeeze "through" the gaps). The guidelines also recommend
strategies such as installing motion-sensitive light fixtures, or simply drawing shades, to minimize
the light pollution that disorients migrating birds at night.
These details might seem burdensome at first glance, but the array of bird-friendly solutions
in various UBC buildings attests that designing with biodiversity in mind also encourages a diversity
of creative problem-solving. For instance, the Bookstore's designers created
visual markers for birds by asking the UBC community to submit their favourite
literary quotes, and then etching those words in small white text across the
windows. At the Beaty Biodiversity Research Centre, some windows are
tucked behind exterior mesh screens, which let in plenty of light but appear
solid to birds. On other panes, volunteers have doodled cheerful patterns
with oil-based markers.
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) tucks windows
behind a "living wall" of vine-covered mesh. The plants lose their leaves in
winter, letting in more light during rainy months and providing more shade
during summer. In 2017, SEEDS hosted a campus-wide contest to design
bird-friendly decals for other CIRS windows. The winning creation, by PhD
student Lora Zosia Moon, featured intricately-patterned depictions of campus
flora and fauna, protecting birds while educating the public about wildlife at UBC.
All these design innovations are not costly, nor are their benefits just for the
birds: window screens naturally regulate buildings' temperatures, and window
art gives spaces a quirky and personal touch. With this in mind, all new buildings
at UBC will comply with the bird-friendly guidelines by 2020, part of the university's goal for campus
buildings to make net-positive contributions to biodiversity by 2035. That's a lofty hope, perhaps,
but one that's both possible and necessary.
Surely, the poets would agree. "Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!" cries Keats
in "Ode to a Nightingale." Granted, there might not be any nightingales at UBC - but thanks to
some creative design, their comrades will warble on, "singfing] of summer in full-throated ease."
Rhona McAdatn
We, we multitude
sun-blossomed on leaves or
dark-spotting petal
pistil stamen. Knowing each
flower's golden mean.
Sweet comfort there
for our young.
Priming our baskets
with pollen.
A day's work
and a day's work and a day and a day
more. All this purpose
purpose purpose.
The weeds the woods
the garden.
Those single single
destinations, never mix this
with that:
one source in its
many places.
We fly, we crawl, we gather.
And again.
Our futures waiting to be lardered.
So many homes
we have, our
dark places, combed and tunnelled,
crumbed with our
comings and goings.
The neatness of our labours:
with food
for an afterlife
we will not witness.
Our one season this
duty, duty.
(One often winning entries
for a poetry competition run by
Border Free Bees and co-judged by
UBC Okanogan's Nancy Holmes)
How many species of bees can you name?
Honeybees, bumblebees... That's about as far
as most of us get - but honeybees, though much
discussed these days, are far from the only pollinators
we rely on, nor are they native to Canada. In fact, there
are more than 800 bee species in Canada, and about
20,000 in the world.
Dr. Nancy Holmes, a poet and creative writing
professor at UBC Okanagan, wants us to look more
closely at the pollinators buzzing around us. She
began learning about bee diversity four years ago,
and was astonished by the many species in her own
garden: a rainbow of bees - iridescent blue, green,
purple, jet-black - ranging in size from several inches
to as miniscule as a grain of rice. "Suddenly I see
things I've been blind to all my life," she says. "It's
been a beautiful revelation in my own backyard."
Holmes' revelation was threefold: First, wild
bees are seriously cute. Second, they're essential to
ecosystems - one mason bee, for instance, pollinates
400 times more efficiently than a honeybee. Third,
wild pollinators are in grave danger, threatened by
a trifecta of disease, exposure to pesticides, and
loss of habitat.
Part of the problem, according to Holmes, is that
most of us aren't even aware that wild bees exist.
Without a place in our imaginations, we "erase
them from our possible caring and stewardship."
To change that, Holmes teamed up with
Dr. Cameron Cartiere, an artist and professor at
Emily Carr. If it strikes you as odd that a poet and
an artist are insect advocates, consider: who better
than two creative communicators to bedazzle dusty
research into compelling community action? The duo
founded Border Free Bees, a public art initiative that
partners with scientists to raise awareness about
wild pollinators, and empowers "citizen-scientists"
to create bee habitats.
Since the monotony of lawns
and shrubs in urban areas
has starved pollinators
of the diverse plants
they need, Border
Free Bees transforms underused city land, such as BC
Hydro rights-of-way, into vibrant meadows. In 2015, they
created their first "pollinator pasture" at the Bridgeport
Industrial Park, inviting 600 elementary-school students
to cultivate and plant sunflowers on the plot; other children
harvested mustard seeds from the meadow, and volunteers
crafted "insect hotels" to encourage native bees to take
up residence there. The following year, to encourage
conversations about the plight of pollinators, the group
planted flowers in the shape of huge bumblebee wings,
visible from the airport flight path overhead.
While the Richmond pasture is carefully cultivated,
the initiative also "re-wilds" other plots of underutilized
land, rescuing hearty weeds from development sites and
transplanting them onto their pollinator havens. (The weeds
might not look like much, Holmes says, but they suit the
bees just fine.)
Whether partnering with developers-turned-weed-
donors or with sunflower-planting schoolchildren,
community involvement is central to the initiative's
ethos. Perhaps no project better exemplifies this than the
Kelowna Nectar Trail, for which 101 families, businesses,
churches, and schools each committed to planting and
caring for a small garden. The community created more
than seven kilometres of "flowery stepping stones" for
pollinators to travel safely through the city.
Inevitably, Holmes has become known as the local
"Bee Lady." Strangers phone the poet asking how to
manage swarms and hives. "I don't know what to do about
that!" she laughs. "I'm not a beekeeper!" Maybe not, but
Border Free Bees is irrefutable proof that poets, scientists,
and schoolchildren all have a role to play in conservation.
With many stewards, the trail of flowers grows, and the
bees buzz on. D
Human-modified landscapes
present challenges for
the other large mammals
with whom we share them.
looking forthe best solutions
By Chris Cannon
In the wild hinterland of the south Okanagan,
among several thousand square kilometers
of semi-arid brushland and cliffs formed by
long-forgotten glaciers, a graduate student from
UBC's Wildlife Restoration Ecology (WiRE) Lab
investigates how human-made changes in the
landscape are affecting mule deer populations in
British Columbia.
Nearby, between Penticton and the US border,
another student maps the vulnerability and physical
connectivity of California bighorn sheep.
Somewhere in the middle, a third student fits
cougars with tracking collars to study the predator's
relationship with the large prey in the valley -
specifically, the deer and the sheep.
"So we're going to see how one student's data is
eating another student's data," laughs Adam Ford,
founder of the WiRE Lab at UBC's Okanagan
campus in Kelowna. With the WiRE Lab's focus on
the interaction between mammals co-existing in the
same ecosystem, it should come as no surprise that one
student's subject might occasionally serve as another
subject's snack.
Established in 2016, the WiRE Lab launched with only
two students - one studying human-bear conflict in the
Bow Valley of Alberta, the other looking for new ways
to count wolves with a combination of camera traps
and sound recordings of their howls.
It's since grown into a bustling research center
for studying the relationship between humans and
large animals, and the impact of human activity on
the interactions between predators, prey, and plants
in human-modified landscapes. Newer student
projects range from moose-harvesting practices
among Indigenous communities to the movements
of mountain goats in Cathedral Park to the study of
wolf-human contact along the rugged west coast of
Vancouver Island.
 Left: A wolverine overpass in Banff, Alberta
Below: Data is collected to determine how mule
deer are affected by human-made changes
to the landscape. Photo: Chloe Wright
Activities such as
can disrupt migration
routes and separate
predator and prey, creating
humans and
Through field experiments, GPS tracking, computer
models, and satellite imagery, Ford and his students
study how individuals and communities affect nature
through forest management practices and urban
growth, as well as how activities such as road-building
can disrupt migration routes and separate predator
and prey, creating large-scale conflict between humans
and wildlife. This is especially true for large terrestrial
mammals, which lie at the heart of the lab's research.
"Big animals have a special role to play for people,"
says Ford, who is also assistant professor in the
Department of Biology and the Canada Research Chair
in Wildlife Restoration Ecology. "These animals are also
an important part of food security and cultural practices,
and they are often elevated in conservation. So when
people talk about conserving Yellowstone to Yukon, or
the indicators of successful management in a protected
area, they're often thinking about things like grizzly
bears and caribou."
Ford himself was thinking of these things long before he
could turn it into a profession. An avid fly-fisherman while
he was still in high school, and later working as a fishing
guide in the Northwest Territories during breaks from
college, he'd stand in Alberta's Bow River or at the spot
where the Mackenzie River drains out of Great Slave Lake
and think about why fish congregate where they do.
"Fish are in predictable spots called lies," he recalls.
"And I got really curious about that. I'd look up from the river
and across the land, and I thought that must be the same for
deer and moose and the other animals."
Measuring animal congregation has since become his
academic obsession. Where do these animals want to be?
Why do they want to be there? What impacts do those
choices have on other animals and their own population?
By the time Ford earned his PhD from UBC's Department of
Zoology in 2014, he had studied a range of mammals, from
chipmunks on Vancouver Island to leopards, wild dogs, and
antelope in Kenya.
Above: A tagged mule deer.
Photo: TJ Gooliaff, MSc'18
Below: A tagged bear
encounters human equipment.
By using conservation study to inform conservation practice,
the WiRE Lab injects science into the decision-making
process, whether through direct advice to policymakers or
through influencing public perception
of the critical issues we face.
But despite his expertise, he doesn't lead his lab
students in the field, preferring instead to work as an
assistant - carrying supplies and taking directions -
to give them a leadership role in their projects.
"They are there to cut their teeth on those experiences
on their own," he says. "And as long as they're doing it
safely and have the resources to pull that off, I'm really
happy for them to experience the world as they need
to without me getting in the way."
In the face of massive anthropogenic impacts on that
world, in which a large proportion of the Earth's animals
and plants face potential extinction, the work can take
a personal toll, and the responsibility can be daunting.
There is always bad news for nature in the headlines
- another upward tick in ocean temperature, another
last-of-its-kind forest or reef, another cornerstone
species winking out of existence.
But the work continues.
"The goal is not to get caught up in the negativity
of it," says Ford, "to look for the victories."
These victories are often of the political stripe.
Restoration ecology comes down to pushing policy
change as much as studying conservation, trying
to build partnerships with people, governments,
and the private sector, and trying to help them build
partnerships with each other.
By using conservation study to inform conservation
practice, the WiRE Lab injects science into the
decision-making process, whether through direct
advice to policymakers or through influencing public
perception of the critical issues we face.
"It's not just conservation," says Ford. "I want each
student to place their work in the context of what
ecological theory they are advancing. How are you trying
to save the world? What motivates me is not how do
I prepare my kids for this changing world, but how do
I prepare the world for these kids?"
The centrality of policy is key to the WiRE Lab's
work. Rather than just picking questions out of thin
air and saying let's see if we can translate this science
into something that would change policy, they target
questions - identifying the problem first, and then
designing experiments to figure out how to solve it.
("Choose any of our projects and I can tell you the
policy relevant to it," says Ford.) They then translate
these solutions to fill the knowledge gap for the public
and policymakers and generate real-world changes in
human behaviour.
Although the WiRE Lab has only been around for
three years, restoration ecology has been tackling
these sorts of problems for decades. For large animals,
the prevalence of human-created barriers - such as
roads, pipelines, and high-tension power lines - has
had a detrimental effect on their populations. Isolating
animals from their food sources, mates, or protective
environments can have a dramatic cumulative impact
on the species.
While it is not realistic to remove these obstacles
entirely, experiments have shown that these negative
effects can be mitigated through projects such as
bridges and tunnels - and even a "salmon cannon" that
launches fish over dams - that allow animals to bypass
barriers and enjoy greater freedom of movement.
By conducting experiments like these and translating
the results into real-world solutions for policymakers,
restoration ecologists have made significant strides
towards reducing the impact of human infrastructure
on the natural world.
But the rest of us are part of the equation too.
Politicians have more contact with constituents than
with scientists, and those voters are the people they
listen to. Ford would like to see more individuals
voicing their environmental concerns face-to-face with
politicians, telling them that glyphosate spraying in
the forest is no longer acceptable, that we need to find
better policy on letting fire return to the landscape,
that we need better road-mitigation strategies to make
them more permeable for wildlife and safer for people.
These aren't just federal and provincial issues, either.
The discoveries and insights that come out of the WiRE
Lab also find their way to local governments that are
keen to act on environmental issues directly affecting
the local community.
Ford emphasizes that these local changes can have
large repercussions. By supporting biodiversity and
conservation efforts on a small scale, communities can
help bring about pilot programs that, if successful, can
provide crucial data and blueprints for larger changes
that affect the province, or even the planet.
"I feel like the biggest conservation solutions are
actually about people rather than what we can learn
from nature," Ford says. "I'm not a social scientist,
but I do try in my work to see science as a way of
resolving problems. So if I can put something on the
table that everybody can agree on, then perhaps
they can come together more closely to take action
collectively, to make the change that they want to
see in the world." D
$100 million
and counting
Thanks to the generosity of
almost 16,000 donors, UBC's
Blue & Gold Campaign for
Students has already exceeded
its original target of $100 million.
students is inspiring—we want
to keep the momentum going
and help even more students.
That is why we are doubling the
target to $200 million by 2022!
We are counting on alumni like
yuu lu Lidiibiuiiii li it: livers ui
our students for generations
to come.
Please donate today at
j V
t* GOLD     Change their world so they can change ours
*>m w cur
Created in 2017 as a part of alumni UBC's 100th anniversary, the Alumni Builder Awards recognize a cross section of alumni
from all faculties who have contributed to the university and enriched the lives of others. In doing so, they have supported
alumni UBC's vision of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and exceptional UBC. We are proud to honour
the 2019-20 Alumni Builder Award recipients whose generous contributions have been recognized by their UBC faculty.
<Sc, LLB'91
For her pivotal role in the competitive mooting
program at the Allard School of Law and her
tireless dedication to mentoring law students.
For his distinguished leadership and advocacy
in support of the Film Production Program and
for his invaluable contributions to the UBC
community in the Toronto region.
Q/%e/ma (f^Aam pcm
BEd (Sec)'5B
For her contributions to the Faculty of
Education and her persistent efforts to
make studying at UBC more accessible
to Indigenous students.
For her outstanding contributions to the
field of speech language pathology education
and research and to the School of Audiology
and Speech Science within the UBC Faculty
of Medicine.
BSc (Pharm)'74
For her national leadership in pharmacy,
philanthropy, and commitment to
volunteering for UBC.
For his long and distinguished record of leadership,
volunteerism and support for the UBC Faculty
of Applied Science.
C/l4a^ar oAsuufi
MASc'n, PhD'15
For her leadership in water research, and her
ongoing advocacy for the School of Engineering.
For her advocacy of the local arts community
and valued work as a community connector.
BSc (Agr)'75, PhD'81
For her dedication to education and commitment
to excellence in agricultural sciences and food
chemistry in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.
For her long record of support, dedication
and distinguished leadership in support
of transformational experiences for UBC
Sauder School of Business students.
For his long record of volunteerism with the
Department of Computer Science and for his
continuous advocacy and support of fostering
connections and opportunities for intellectual
growth within the CS alumni community.
For his distinguished and long record of
service within the Faculty of Forestry.
For his loyalty and engagement as an
alumnus, his long-time leadership in the
profession, and his selfless dedication
to the underserved.
 k.^i>i^,*/M*f-i,*iVi ****** * **<*<*;*>»** <* * *•*** **"'%*;&$£■&■ i.* * *^*   **    *   ******* ****v**f   **>
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alumni UBC is committed to an exceptional UBC    .
A   k . i     A f and a better world. This November at the alumni UBC
^ffCthb&v&tyL&tVl   ^rtWCUPvUR' Achievement Awards, we honoured seven inspiring members
of the UBC community who, through their extraordinary
t ' presented by    OOVOSn endeavours, have demonstrated this vision.
Congratulations to this year's recipients
Tara Cookson
Dr. Cookson is a distinguished scholar of gender equity
and social policy. Her research has contributed greatly
to policy debates by revealing that aid programs intended
to alleviate poverty can actually place oppressive
burdens on vulnerable mothers. She is the co-founder
of Ladysmith,a feminist consultancy that rigorously
collects and analyzes gender equity data for international
development and humanitarian organizations.
Douglas Clement
CM., MD'sp
Dr. Clement is a pioneer in the field of
sports medicine who co-founded Canada's
first sports medicine clinic. He taught sport
medicine at UBC for more than 20 years
and was an early advocate for exercise as
a key to preventing heart disease. A former
Olympic athlete, Dr. Clement inspires
community spirit through sport.
Gwendolyn Point
Dr. Point of the Sts'ailes First Nation is an educator,
scholar, healer, knowledge keeper, cultural advisor, and
leader. Her commitment to revitalizing and sharingSto:lo
language, knowledge and practices has had transformative
impacts on her communities. She is known as a "bridge
builder" across Indigenous and settler communities -
one whose eloquence, personal strength, passion for
education, and spiritual leadership inspires healing.
Deborah Buszard
Professor Buszard is a visionary
champion for UBC Okanagan with
a talent for forging productive community
partnerships, notably with the City of
Kelowna and the Okanagan Nation
Alliance. As deputy vice-chancellor and
principal, she has led efforts to double
research funding, increased access
to education for Aboriginal students,
and promoted a healthy environment
in which to work and learn.
David Morley
CM., MEd'08
Mr. Morley is the president and
CEO of UNICEF Canada. He brings
to this role more than 40 years of
experience in human rights and
community development, including
his leadership of organizations such
as Doctors without Borders Canada
and Save the Children Canada. He is
known for his exceptional leadership
and his commitment to addressing
humanitarian issues.
John MacDonald
O.C, BASc'sp, DSc'Sp
Dr. MacDonald is a pioneer of Canada's
high-tech industry. His novel use of
satellites to produce high-resolution
images of Earth is what made ubiquitous
technology like Google Maps possible.
Dr. MacDona Id's company wasalso
involved in developing NASA's Canadarm,
an iconic remote-controlled robotic arm
deployed on the Space Shuttle system.
In 2001 he co-founded the successful
solar energy company Day4 Energy Inc.
Dominic Barton
BA'84, LLD'12
Dr. Barton isglobal managing partner
emeritus, McKinsey & Company, and has
helped organizations from all sectors
to set direction and drive change. He is
also a prolific writer, who emphasizes
the role business leaders can play in
positive social outcomes. He chairs
the Canadian Minister of Finance's
Advisory Council on Economic Growth,
and in September 2019 was appointed
Canada's ambassador to China.
alumni ubc 2020
Find out more at alumni.ubc.ca/awards
Do you know a graduate, student, faculty or friend of UBC who deserves to be recognized
as a leader, advocate, artist or visionary? This is your chance to bring them into the limelight.
To nominate online, visit alumni.ubc.ca/nominate | nomination deadline: Friday, January 31,2020
Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure can heavily influence how much natural gas leaks
from wells below the ground surface at oil and gas sites, according to UBC research
However, current monitoring strategies do not take this phenomenon into account, and
therefore may be under- or over-estimating the true magnitude of gas emissions.
The unintentional leakage of natural gas from oil and gas wells into the surrounding
subsurface - known as fugitive gas migration - is a major environmental concern that
can lead to groundwater contamination and the emission of greenhouse gases into
the atmosphere,
"Currently, subsurface gas migration is monitored using infrequent or short-term
location-restrictive measurements," says Olenka Forde, a geological sciences PhD student
and lead author of the study. "Our study shows that the magnitude of gas emissions
to the atmosphere can depend on atmospheric pressure before and during the time
of monitoring, so short-term, one-time measurements may not be representative of
average emissions."
Variations in atmospheric pressure tend to compress or expand soil gas, with the most
significant impact at sites with deep water tables, explains Forde. During a high-pressure
system, soil gas is compressed and pushes leaked natural gas deeper underground, where
it will likely not be detected at the surface. When atmospheric pressure declines, natura
gas trapped below the surface during the previous high-pressure conditions can escape to
the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
To evaluate this effect, the team ran a field experiment in an area of significant historic
and ongoing oil and gas development near Hudson's Hope, in northern BC. Over a period
of five days, 30 cubic metres of natural gas (98.3 per cent methane) was continuously
injected 12 metres below the ground surface. Atmospheric pressure and methane
emissions were then continuously measured for 24 days during and after gas injection
The researchers controlled for depth and rate of well leakage, which are key factors that
influence fugitive gas migration
"We found that the magnitude and duration of atmospheric pressure changes directly
influenced the amount of natural gas coming out the ground and being emitted into the
atmosphere," says Forde. "Under high pressure conditions, methane emissions decreased,
sometimes even below the detection limit. But when atmospheric pressure decreased,
methane emissions increased rapidly - at times more than 20-fold in less than 24 hours."
As a result, continuous monitoring over a longer period of time is key. "This will help
to more accurately detect and evaluate gas migrations and emissions and thus, the risks
posed by leaking oil and gas wells," says Forde,
There are over four million onshore hydrocarbon wells around the world, a portion
of which are known to suffer loss of structural integrity, which can lead to this type of
subsurface leakage and resulting greenhouse gas emissions
"The results of our study allow us to move towards refining and improving regulations
and monitoring methods," says co-author Aaron Cahill, co-director of the Energy and
Environment Research Initiative at UBC. "This will help determine which leaky wells should
be prioritized for remedial action to limit the most substantial greenhouse gas emissions."
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas
emissions in BC. Researchers at UBC have developed
a hydrogen supply chain model that can enable the adoption
of zero-emission, hydrogen-powered cars - transforming
them from a novelty into everyday transportation
in just 30 years
The researchers have provided an analysis of the
infrastructure needed to support hydrogen cars, SUVs and
mini vans in BC. They recommend a refuelling infrastructure
extending from Prince George in the north to Kamloops and
Vancouver in the south and Victoria in the west. Production
plants would capture by-product hydrogen from chemica
plants or produce it from water electrolysis and steam
methane reforming. A network of refuelling stations would
be established to serve consumers in major urban centres,
"Hydrogen-powered vehicles are a strong alternative
to battery electric vehicles, which don't always comply
with fast-refuelling, long-distance travel or cold weather
requirements," says lead author Hoda Talebian, a PhD
candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at
UBC. "We believe we have created the most comprehensive
model for hydrogen adoption in a region like BC, where
demand is still low for these types of vehicles."
The researchers, all affiliated with UBC's Clean Energy
Research Centre (CERC), analyzed future demand for
ight-duty hydrogen vehicles and included the potential
effects of policy tools like BC's carbon tax and the low
carbon fuel standard
"Provided BC maintains those policies, and assuming
enough hydrogen vehicles are available, our model sees
hydrogen demand growing significantly every year," says
co-author and CERC program manager Omar Herrera
The researchers note that hydrogen cars like the
Toyota Mirai and Hyundai's Nexo are already available in BC,
and a public retail hydrogen station opened in Vancouver
last year - Canada's first. By 2020, Greater Vancouver and
Victoria are projected to have a network of six stations,
"The momentum for hydrogen vehicles is growing, and
BC is leading developments in Canada by providing supports
ike car sales rebates and incentives for building fuelling
stations," says engineering professor and senior study
author Walter Merida.
"However, we need a solid refuelling network
to truly promote mass adoption. We hope
that our framework contributes to its
development and to
the CleanBC plan,
which includes
a zero-emission
vehicle mandate
by 2040."
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Biological siblings of people with
gambling disorder also display
markers of increased impulsivity and
risk-taking, according to a UBC psychology
study. The findings suggest people with
gambling disorder - a psychiatric term for
serious gambling problems - may have pre-existing genetic
vulnerabilities to the illness
This study is the first to investigate vulnerabilities to
gambling disorder by looking at siblings. The disorder, which
is associated with severe negative consequences including
depression, bankruptcy and family breakup, affects up to three
percent of the Canadian population
"Impulsivity, risky decision-making and altered brain reward
processing are observed in people with gambling disorder,"
says lead author Eve Limbrick-Oldfield, a postdoctoral research
fellow. "We wanted to find out whether these markers
represent pre-existing vulnerabilities or are a consequence
of how gambling changes the brain. To test this, we studied
gamblers' siblings since they share similar genetic material
and environment."
The researchers worked with 20 people with gambling
disorder, 16 siblings and a control group of healthy volunteers.
The participants were asked to complete questionnaires and
cognitive computer tests that measured their impulsivity and
risk-taking behaviour. They also underwent brain scanning in
an MR I while playing a slot machine task, to measure brain
responses to rewards and wins.
The researchers found that both the problem gamblers
and the siblings reported increased risk-taking and impulsivity
compared to the control group. For example, problem gamblers
and their siblings were more likely to act impulsively when
experiencing negative emotions, and placed larger bets when
making a risky choice,
nterestingly, the siblings showed no alterations in the brain
response to rewards compared to the control group, leaving
the possibility that the brain activity found in problem gamblers
may have developed as a result of gambling experience
The researchers note that siblings of problem gamblers
were particularly difficult to recruit for the study because
family relationships are often strained as a consequence
of gambling problems
"Since our study had a relatively small sample size, we hope
it will encourage other researchers to replicate it so we could
earn more about how genetics play a role in the gambling
disorder," says study co-author Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones,
director of the United Kingdom's National Problem Gambling
Clinic, from where the group with gambling disorder
were recruited
Bowden-Jones said the findings also highlight the potential
for public awareness and gambling prevention
Researchers at UBC Okanagan are collaborating with Fenix Advanced Materials of
Trail, BC, to design and develop a battery that is smaller and more powerful than what's
currently available
Using raw materials from BC-based companies, the goal is to create a tellurium-based
cathode - a tiny device that will be used to make all-solid-state, lithium-tellurium batteries
Tellurium - a rare metal byproduct of copper and lead-zinc smelting - has characteristics that
will enable miniature, all-solid-state lithium-tellurium battery devices with both high energy
density and a high safety rating.
Rapidly expanding use of portable electronics and the evolution of electric vehicles is
driving global demand for smaller but more powerful battery technology, explains Jian Liu,
an assistant professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan
"Improvements are necessary thanks to many other emerging devices such as medica
implants, wireless sensors and radio-frequency identification," says Liu. "Due to the limited
space and high-reliability requirements in these new devices, researchers are exploring
technologies that possess high-energy density and more stable configurations."
One tellurium atom can store two lithium ions and two electrons - making it a potent
material for storing and releasing electricity,
"Due to its high density, tellurium provides a much higher volumetric capacity than other
cathode materials, such as sulfur and selenium," explains Liu. "With the advantages of high
volumetric energy density and excellent safety, all-solid-state lithium-tellurium batteries have
the potential to power high-end electronic applications where a smaller size, but higher energy
output is required."
Strategic partners of this new research collaboration are all members of Metal Tech Alley -
a consortium of sustainable companies that encourage and support economic development
in Southern BC
Don Freschi, CEO of Fenix Advanced Materials, says the collaboration with UBCO will
result in next-generation batteries that will have an added economic benefit
"We want to utilize and add value to the raw materials readily available in our region
especially from Fenix, Teck, Retriev, Eagle Graphite and Deer Horn," says Freschi
"This can stimulate our rural economy and advance our technological capability through
circular economy."
Whether they're aiming to avoid high
financial management fees, control their own
investments, or enjoy the thrill of playing the market,
more consumers are opening investment accounts
and making their own stock picks.
But a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business has found that less
experienced investors are failing to diversify - and could be putting themselves
at serious financial risk. The effect is so pronounced that many amateur
investors would be better off choosing stocks at complete random
For the study, researchers first asked participants to create portfolios
of financial assets using tables of previous returns, and then assessed the
participants' level of financial literacy. The researchers found the investors
with poor financial literacy tended to choose positively correlated assets -
for example, stocks in oil companies and forestry - which tend to fluctuate
in value together,
"An amateur investor might buy stocks in lumber, mining, oil and banks,
and believe they are diversifying because they're investing in different
companies and sectors," says David Hardisty, study co-author and assistant
professor at UBC Sauder. "But because all of those equities tend to move in
unison, it can be quite risky, because all the assets can potentially plunge at
the same time."
More experienced investors know to hedge their bets by including
negatively correlated assets, which are likely to move down when others go
up - or uncorrelated assets (ones that move up and down independently of
the others) in order to mitigate losses
The researchers also found that the amateur investors were actively
preferring correlated assets because they seemed less complicated and
more predictable
"If it seems predictable, it seems safer and easier to track," explains
Hardisty. "Whereas if you have a combination of assets that all go in different
directions, it seems chaotic, unpredictable and riskier."
ronically, when the study participants were encouraged to take more risk
when creating a portfolio, the amateur investors ended up making safer, more
diversified selections, compared to when they were encouraged to avoid risk,
"This shows that amateur investors rely on a definition of risk that greatly
differs from the objective definition of portfolio risk," says assistant professor
and study co-author Yann Cornil
The researchers found that when amateur investors are shown the
aggregate returns of portfolios (and not merely the returns of each asset
composing the portfolio), they can see that having negatively correlated
or uncorrelated assets is the winning investment strategy - even if it might
seem counterintuitive to play both sides,
Hardisty hopes the research will encourage investors to educate
themselves on investment strategies, and use the diversification tools that
online investment services provide to properly balance their portfolios,
"In the best-case scenario you could make lots of money and have
an extra vacation or buy a car or something like that," he explains of the
positively correlated accounts. "But if your whole portfolio crashes you could
risk losing your life savings. So, the best-case scenario isn't that much better,
but the worst-case scenario is a whole lot worse."
Is gender bias in hiring really a thing?
Opinions vary, but a study by a UBC psychologist and researchers in
France reveals that hiring committees who denied it's a problem were less
likely to promote women
"Our evidence suggests that when people recognize women might
face barriers, they are more able to put aside their own biases," says Toni
Schmader, a UBC psychology professor and Canada Research Chair in social
psychology. "We don't see any favourability for or against male or female
candidates among those committees who believe they need to be vigilant
to the possibility that biases could be creeping in to their decision-making."
The study was unique in that findings were based on actual decisions
made by 40 hiring committees in France, charged with filling elite research
positions with the National Committee for Scientific Research (CNRS)
for two consecutive years. Past research in this area has relied mostly on
hypothetical scenarios, such as presenting a large sample of participants with
identical resumes bearing either male or female names and asking who they
would hire. By contrast, the decisions made during this study had real impact
on scientists' careers
With cooperation from the CN RS, the researchers were able to first measure
how strongly hiring committee members associated men with science. They
did this using an "implicit association test" that flashes words on a computer
screen and measures how quickly participants are able to assign those words
to a particular category. People who make a strong association between men
and science have to think a bit longer, and react more slowly, when challenged
to pair female-related words with science concepts.
Both men and women on the hiring committees tended to show the
science = male association, which is difficult to hide in such a test,
"There's research suggesting that you can document a 'think science,
think male' implicit association showing up with kids as early as elementary
school," Schmader says. "We learn associations from what we see in our
environment. If we don't see a lot of women who are role models in science,
then we learn to associate science more with men than women."
These implicit associations are distinct from people's explicit beliefs about
women in science. In a separate survey that asked panellists directly whether
women in science careers are impacted by such things as discrimination and
family constraints, some hiring committees minimized those issues. Others
acknowledged them
When the researchers compared these implicit and explicit beliefs with
the actual hiring outcomes, they learned that committees attuned to the
barriers women face were more likely to overcome their implicit science/
male associations when selecting candidates for the job. Among committees
that believed "science isn't sexist," those which implicitly associated science
more with men promoted fewer women. The difference was especially
pronounced in year two of the study, when committee
members would have been less conscious of the fact that
their selections were being studied.
The findings show that awareness and
acknowledgement of the barriers women face might
be key to making sure implicit biases don't affect
hiring decisions. They also point to the importance
of educating hiring committees about gender bias
and how to guard against it, Schmader says.
 Voice- Operated
Wheelchair Brings
By Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
Watching his older brother Daniel struggle with Duchenne muscular
dystrophy - a disease that progressively weakens the muscles and eventually
leaves the individual unable to walk- is one of the hardest things UBC
student Michael Ko has ever had to do in his life.
In response, Michael, currently in his fourth year in UBC's engineering
physics program, turned to technology and his knack for invention to help his
brother do simple tasks and find a measure of enjoyment in life.
Daniel, now 28, was diagnosed with the condition as a child and needed
a wheelchair by age eight. Two years ago, he started having difficulties
speaking following an operation that involved his vocal chords. This meant
that Google Assistant, which he relied on to manipulate his environment,
could no longer recognize his commands.
"Due to Daniel's physical challenges, being able to use Google Assistant
to play music and do other things is very important," says Michael. "I realized
that with a voice-assistive device he could continue using Google Assistant
and keep some of his independence."
Fired up with the idea, Michael taught himself basic programming and
electrical engineering throughout the summer of 2018, relying mainly on
YouTube videos and trial and error to build a controller that responds to
Daniel's voice. As a result, Daniel was able to access Google Assistant by
saying an easy keyword, instead of having to enunciate "Hello Google"
or "Okay Google."
A year later, a new challenge came along when Daniel's arms got
weaker and he found it increasingly difficult to operate his wheelchair.
"This chair is important to our family and we've made many good
memories with it," says Michael. In the past, while using the electric
wheelchair, his brother could join family dinners, go out to meet friends
or enjoy a visit to the mall.
Once again, Michael set to work, diving deep into voice recognition
programming to build a voice-activated micro-controller that operates
Daniel's wheelchair when given simplified vocal commands.
Along with programming the software, Michael designed the joystick
controller and mount, figuring out how to manipulate the wheelchair's
joystick using mechanical motions and making all the electrical
connections work.
The family now calls the setup Eva, after a character in one of the brothers'
favourite films, Wall-E. Eva is built to recognize simple commands, turning
left when Daniel calls out "Eva, L" or going right when he says "Eva, R."
Eva may well be the first personalized voice-operated wheelchair, but
Michael is less concerned about accolades and more intent on helping people
like his brother, who face incredibly difficult situations in their day-to-day
lives. With two years left in his program at UBC's faculty of applied science,
he's looking forward to learning as much as he can about engineering and
computer science in order to develop more assistive devices in the future.
"Sometimes the challenges we face can seem overwhelming," says
Michael, "but at the same time I think it's important to remember that we
can always try our best to overcome them and that eventually, we will." D
The family calls the setup
Eva, after a character
in one of the brothers'
favourite films, Wall-E.
Explore your giving options with our professional gift planning team.
www.giftandestateplanning.ubc.ca or 604.822.5373
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Birds come in an astounding array of shapes and
colours. But it's their physical prowess - like a bald
eagle's incredible ability to soar - that captivates
human imagination
An enduring mystery is why bird species with similar
flight styles or body sizes don't have consistent wing
shapes. All hummingbirds, and some species of falcons,
hawks, kingfishers and passerines can hover, but the
birds have strikingly different morphologies and are
only distantly related. Ravens soar like eagles while their
look-alike cousins, crows, stick more closely to the ground
UBC research helps explain why. Bird species tend
to reshape the range of motion of their wings - rather
than wing shape or size itself - as they evolve new
ways of flying,
"Birds essentially swim through the air. They flex,
extend and bend their wings in flight," explains lead
author Vikram Baliga. "As a bird specializes in a flight
style, nature doesn't appear to reshape the size or shape
of the wing as much as it remodels the wing's range of
motion. Much like a swimmer adjusting their stroke."
Hovering birds, according to the research, are
relatively restricted in their ability to extend their elbows,
but have a generous capability to move their wrist,
"Hummingbirds basically tucktheir elbows in and
predominately rely on rapidly swinging their wings at
the wrist joint," says Baliga. "For birds that glide, it's
more about maintaining the position of the limbs to keep
steady sail. The most restricted species in our study are
the bald eagle {Haliaeetus leucocepalus) and the sooty
shearwater {Ardenna grisea), both of which frequently
soar and glide."
 Wings from
several birds.
from UBC's
Beaty Biodiversity
Museum. Photo:
Vikram Baliga.
Baliga and UBC zoologists Douglas Altshuler and
IIdiko Szabo categorized 61 species of birds by flight
style - from hovering to gliding to soaring. Using
samples collected by the UBC Beaty Biodiversity
Museum, the researchers manually measured the
shape, flexibility and extendibility of each species'
wing. They also built an evolutionary family tree of
the birds to then determine how range of motion
evolved in the wrists and elbows of birds' wings.
This work provides insights for drone and aircraft
design. Engineers are looking to nature, using
bioinspiration to improve flying performance,
"By looking across avian flight diversity, our
research has determined one component of how
birds use their wings," says Baliga. "We're working
towards understanding how wings in nature morph
during flight so that the knowledge can be applied to
unmanned aerial vehicles - particularly in turbulence,
wind gusts, or when attacked by aerial predators,
"Evolution has tested a range of wing designs and
motions for specific circumstances. Looking at the
restrictions that nature places on birds of different
sizes and flight styles can help us understand
what does and does not work when designing
new technology." D
This fall my 18-year-old daughter enrolled in my
alma mater. Where did the time go?
If anew season of life has you thinking about
buying or selling a home, let's talk. We can grab
coffee and reminisce about the days when UBC
was mostly parking lots.
Give me a call or text 604-329-3288
I'm a UBC grad.
Now I'm a UBC dad.
Officers of the Board of Directors:
Ross Langford,
BCom'89, LLB'89
Debra Hewson,
Barbara Anderson,    Randy Findlay,
BSc'78 BASc'73
Members at Large:
Barbara Anderson, BSc'78
Shelina Esmail,SA'93
Ross Langford, BCom'89, LLB'l
Amir Adnani, BSc'01
Stephen Brooks, BA'92
Randy Findlay, BASc'73
Debra Hewson, BA'81
Leslie Lee, BCom'84
Rahim Moloo, LLB'05
Shorn Sen, BCom'84
Aleem Bandali, BA'99
Ian Banks, BA'92
Miranda Huron, BA'02, MEd'16
Patricia Mohr, BA'68, MA'70
Fred Withers, BCom'77
Barbara Anderson      Shelina Esmail Ross Langford
Shorn Sen Aleem Bandali Ian Banks
Miranda Huron Patricia Mohr Fred Withers
Santa J. Ono
Lindsay Gordon,
BA'73, MBA'76
Heather McCaw,
Cook Zywicki
TREK .  39
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"Ourplanet is the only one with badgers and
dragonflies — and chocolate! It's worth fighting for.
David Suzuki on the biodiversity and climate crises. (Georgia Straight, September to)
"Although she doesn't speak in a powerfully
rhetorical way — the kind of thing that we expect
to hear from politicians or celebrities — she's a lot
like the kid in the Hans Christian Andersen story
who points out that the emperor has no clothes.
She's just so blunt and direct and uncompromising
and that's just extremely powerful."
UBC Okanagan professor of environmental humanities Greg Garrard, on the attention Greta Thunberg is drawing
to climate change. (CBC News, October 26)
"We need a fundamentally
new energy technology
that can be scaled within
the span of a human
lifetime. Achieving this
goal requires scientists
to be afforded the
opportunity to do daring
work. This program
provided us with a safe
environment to take the
long shot - given the
profound impact this
could have on society,
we should remain open
to it even if there is an
unknown probability
of success."
Professor of chemistry and
chemical and biological
engineering Curtis Berlinguette
commenting on a group of
scientists' partnership with
Google to investigate cold fusion,
a type of benign nuclear reaction
hypothesized to occur at room
temperature. (UBC News,
May 27)
I want to be clear, UBC does not endorse the views
of controversial speakers or the organizations that
book them or any other speakers who are invited to
its campuses. The fundamental issue here is what
the university stands for. I believe, and the Vancouver
Senate statement on Academic
Freedom clearly articulates, that
UBC must be an open and
inclusive forum, where members
of the University have the
freedom 'to engage in full
and unrestricted consideration
of any opinion. Selectively
shutting down conversations
on complex and challenging
-_i undermines that crucial
foundation that enables
challenge of the status quo.
Ultimately, silenced opinions
are not subject to 'full and
unrestricted consideration'."
Provost Andrew Szeri commenting on free
speech and speakers who rent UBC venues
whose views are considered by some to be
inflammatory or offensive. (UBC News,
June g)
letting the oufdens in my life go. It's a time to reconnect with yourself ana teel gji
Tuqa Al-Shakarchi, a second-year dental hygiene student and president of the AMS Thaqalayn Muslim Association,
commenting on UBC opening an additional temporary prayer room for Muslim students during exam time. (UBC News, April 17)
"Diversity is essential in all facets
of our societyy and certainly so
in engineering... For exampley
a man who doesn't have the lived
experience of using an intrauterine
device (IUD) should not be the lead
designer on this type of product."
UBC alumna Annalies Tjebbes, who graduated through the biomedical
option in UBC's electrical engineering program. (UBC News, May 14)
"You can't blueberry your
way out of a depression!
Nor will a detox enema help.
An anti-inflammatory diet may
help to prevent those illnesses
associated with inflammation,
including depression, but it
isn't a form of treatment."
Clinical assistant prof Diane Mcintosh,
who is a leading proponent in Canada of
the emerging theory that depression is
a disease caused by the body's immune
system. (Globe & Mail, October 20)
"We all have that resiliency within us -
especially if you come from a place where
you've had to learn to survive... By any
number of statistics, I shouldn't be where I am.
I've fallen and got back up, survived violence,
worked two orthree jobs to make ends meet
om. In my journey, I Keep getting
"... the era of writing letters and
asking nicely [is over]...We are
demanding action, and we are
willing to cause disruption and
make certain sacrifices in order
to do that because we realize that air the conventional methods
of campaigning and trying to communicate have failed."
PhD student Maayan Kreitzman, who is a volunteer with Extinction Rebellion Vancouver.
(Vancouver Sun, October 25)
as a single mom. ...
better and healthier.'
Alumna Dawn Johnson on graduating from UBC's Allard
School of Law. She was a child in the foster system, lived
on the streets, survived abuse, became a teen mom, and
dropped out of school in Grade 7. (Globe & Mail, May 21)
"Often, resources for music education... are cut or not available
in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus
on math, science and English. The irony is that music education,
can be the very thing tharimproves all-around academic
achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more
holistically in schools.'
- Professor of education Peter Gouzouasis discussing a study he led that found high
school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science
and English exams than their non-musical peers. (UBC News, June 14)
 Need help with information
management at your organization?
UBC iSchool students are available to help
you collect, organize, preserve, digitize
and make information available!
Employer options
Paid work opportunities
Students are available year-round for 4 or 8
month co-op work terms beginning in January,
May and September.
Professional experiences
Hands-on work, project based or independent
work (120 hours), and job shadow experiences.
Types of work for students
Archives & Records Management
Preservation & Digitization of Information
UX & Information Design
Information & Data Analysis
Library & Information Services
Information Systems
Qualitative & Quantitative Research
Information Policy
Hire a UBC iSchool graduate student for all your information needs.
Faculty of Arts
Contact Kevin Day, UBC iSchool Educational Services Coordinator
ischool.edsc@ubc.ca | 604-822-2461 | slais.ubc.ca/hire
 Crisp fall days, freshly sharpened pencils, and... waiting in line? For those at UBC before the
mid-8os, the words "back to school" likely conjure memories of in-person course registration
Variously described as "a horror," "nightmarish," and "a test of endurance," the process
involved rushing around campus and standing in a series of lines in orderto gain entry
to one's desired courses
"At UBC, as in the army, it's 'Hurry up and wait,'" complained the Ubyssey in 1959,
"The system brings ulcers."
Ever resourceful, students schemed to beat the queues. Some planned with military
precision their route to collect the punched cards signifying entrance to each course,
strategically weighing the distance between registration locations against the popularity
of each desired class, then running from building to building in a cloud of anxiety.
Registration line, September30,1951.
Photo courtesy UBC Archives
(UBC 1.1/6629)
To claim prime spots in line, others simply showed up at 6:00 AM. A student could also
licitly skip the lines, according to the Ubyssey in 1963, if she were pregnant or a "girl who
faints in lineups."
Was every so-called girlish swoon 100 per cent authentic? It's doubtful: a little creativity
was useful for victory at the registration desks. Allegedly, one student donned overalls and
pretended to be a maintenance worker; another told guards he was a professor manning the
desk; a third flashed a printed press badge and claimed to be a reporter. Another student,
hobbling pitifully on crutches to the front of a line, made a miraculous recovery the moment
he'd completed his paperwork, striding away sans crutches.
Registration even inspired tortured poetry: "My feet ache/o god, how they ache ... I hate
having to number myself like an/i.b.m. machine/it's inhuman ... now look here professors,
why do you have/to go on lunch just when I get to the front of the line?"
The moans, ulcers, and aching feet eventually joined the annals of history. By 1987,
students could register by telephone, and, by 2001, online. Today's students still rush to nab
coveted spots in courses, but they do so with one click - at home, in pyjamas, tea in hand,
no fainting required. D
Evan Elman, like Odysseus, is a man of twists and
turns - someone in possession of intense focus
and discipline, with an impressive ability to steer
himself into seemingly-endless calamities. (He'll
cheerfully say things like, "So after almost dying in
Antarctica, I swallowed paint thinner by accident.")
Somehow, he's still here to tell the tale. After working
as a line cook throughout his time at UBC, Elman
entered Vancouver's high-end dining scene at
places like the Flying Pig, Hawksworth, and Relais
& Chateaux's Wedgewood Hotel. Along the way, he
had a few adventures.
There was his stint in Antarctica as sous-chef
on a Russian research-vessel-turned-cruise-ship,
where he spent his rare breaks getting up close and
personal with 600 penguins ("some pecked at me"),
and the rest of his time cooking for 120 passengers.
The cooking and dining conditions were far from
ideal. During one storm in the Drake Passage, some
of the roughest seas in the world, "We got hit with
a rogue wave that knocked everybody's plates off
their tables at dinner," Elman recalls. In the kitchen,
pots of boiling water and hot oil flew off the stove,
and outside it was so cold that seawater froze onto
the boat, slowly dragging it sideways and requiring crew members to pound
its side with sledge hammers throughout the night. Elman says he feared
for his life. "I was thinking, This ship's for sure gonna capsize." Regardless,
he made dinner.
The Antarctic storms actually weren't so bad, Elman reflects, compared to
the month he spent cooking on a fishing boat: "That was bad, because those
guys were a bunch of sociopathic fishermen from Courtenay." A drunken
fisherman cornered Elman in the walk-in fridge, threw boxes of food out
the window, and hit him in the face with a metal bar. "It was aluminum, so
it wasn't devastating," Elman says. "But my nose was bleeding everywhere.
I got $5000 for the month - not worth getting beat up in a cooler."
Aside from the hazards of catastrophic storms, aluminum bars to the
face, and drinking paint thinner in Tierra del Fuego (someone had stored it
Evan Elman, BA'14
in a water bottle; Elman was fine, although he did
have to endure "a Russian doctor screaming" as he
threw up over the toilet, "getting fed charcoal by
some Californian doctor," and "burping up paint
thinner for the next two weeks"), the chef values his
time working in extreme conditions. On the ships,
he says, "I had nowhere to run. I had no vices. I had
no contact with the outside world. I had no one to
give me a hug and tell me things would be okay."
The result, though emotionally trying, was a creative
immersion: "If you lock yourself in a room for 50 days,
you're going to make something incredible, and
you're going to train yourself to become more diligent
and more patient."
Diligence is certainly a quality Elman possesses;
he's no stranger to 80 consecutive work days and
15-hour shifts. Eventually, though, the fascination
with all-encompassing work and far-flung adventure
began to wane. When Elman met his now-fiancee,
with whom he has a baby girl, for the first time
he wanted to slow down and stay close to home.
"I have so much more to lose at this point," he says.
His definition of slowing down, of course, is not
entirely sedate. Elman became executive chef at
Dinner in the Sky, where staff and guests float in harnesses, strapped to an
outdoor table, 100 feet off the ground. Most recently, Elman started Verde
Experiences, offering private fine-dining and catering meals infused with
cannabis. The company creates gourmet food, he says, with the option to
dose precise amounts of cannabis - a classy upgrade, his website says, on
the days of "getting far too stoned and waking up the next morning covered
in Cheeto dust, realizing I'd binge-watched all three 'Robo-Cops.'"
In the absence of adrenaline-pumping conditions, what keeps Elman
excited in the kitchen? His diners taking their first bites. "It's just this moment
- a 10-second window - where all you hear is quiet, cutlery clinking on the
plates, and then, Oh my God, this is sooo good. Being able to change people's
experience for that brief moment is so gratifying." Quiet, when you're doing
what you love, is as thrilling as 10-metre waves in the Drake Passage.
 Gwendolyn Richards, MJ'13
Naz Deravian, BFA'94
When Gwendolyn Richards was a crime reporter at the Calgary Herald,
she'd show up at crime scenes in red, patent, peep-toe high heels. She spent
her work days listening to a police scanner, then rushing to the scenes of
accidents or interviewing people who had lost loved ones in shootings. At
the end of those devastating days, Richards would seek refuge in her kitchen,
where the "bright, hot, sour flavours" she brewed up, like her red shoes,
created a bit of stubborn happiness.
The comfort that cooking evoked was especially welcome for Richards
in April 2008, when she was reporting on a gang war gripping Calgary
with near-record numbers of homicides. Desperate to immerse herself
in something that wasn't unrelentingly sad, she started a food blog,
Patent and the Pantry.
Ever since, she's been sharing with readers her cooking successes and
struggles (scones were nearly her Waterloo), focusing on enjoyment rather
than feats of culinary perfection. "Cooking doesn't have to be a contact
sport," she says - It's just meant to make you happy.
Following that brightness, Richards left crime scenes behind to become
a food journalist and eventually published a cookbook. She knew what
her book's theme would be when an editor at the Herald banned her,
a self-declared citrus fanatic, from pitching any more lemon recipes.
In a characteristically bold move, instead of reining in her obsession,
Richards made it the star of the show and created Pucker: A Cookbook
for Citrus Lovers.
Richards wrote, food-styled, and photographed the recipes for Pucker
while working full-time at the newspaper - recipe-testing until 3:00 am, then
whizzing back to the office by 7:00. The worst part was not the exhaustion,
she says, but the piles of dirty dishes: "Nobody tells you about that part! If
you're a famous chef you have minions to do that, but not so much when
you're just doing it at home."
The sleepless, minion-less grind was worth it, Richards says, when she
heard from people who loved the results. She delights in knowing she's
created dishes that strangers crave and share around their dinner tables.
Does Richards cook in red heels, too? "No high heels in the kitchen!"
she says. "That's not safe." For cooking, she prefers pyjamas.
Naz Deravian is fascinated by memory. It's at the centre of her
award-winning blog and cookbook, both called Bottom of the Pot, in which
she weaves together recipes and reminiscences about her family's life in the
wake of the Iranian Revolution. Charting their journey from Tehran to Rome
to Vancouver to Los Angeles, Deravian's writing is laden with wistfulness for
her lost childhood home and bright with a sensual attention to the present.
The results are mouthwatering. Saffron-scented rice with a crust crispy
from the bottom of the pot, sour cherry and feta crostini, fava beans
with mint and pistachio sauce, and "flowers and nightingales ice cream"
are a few of the delights in Bottom of the Pot, which makes Persian
home-cooking accessible - and enticing - to the uninitiated.
As passionate as Deravian is about cooking, she's quick to say that
she's not a chef but a storyteller. Having graduated with a BFA in theatre,
she worked in film and television in LA until her eldest daughter was born,
when the demands of being a new mom made her eager for a way to be
creative on her own terms. Cooking had always been a respite - "I call
my cutting board my yoga mat" - so she began a food blog, and then
transformed the collection of vignettes and recipes into a book through
a gruelling writing process she likens to childbirth.
If Bottom of the Pot is Deravian's baby, it is also a tribute to her mother.
Renowned in Iran as a professor, poet, and Iran's first female lyricist,
Deravian's mother had to improvise a way to support the family when they
immigrated to Canada. On a whim, she offered to supply a Vancouver deli
with homemade Persian bread - not mentioning to the deli owner, of course,
that she had never baked bread in her life. Somehow, she got the contract,
necessitating a frantic long-distance phone call to a favourite bakery in Iran
to ask how, exactly, a person makes bread. Across the chaos of "the dialing of
rotary phones, a lot of crackling on the line, and plenty of yelling'alio, alio' over
and over again," Deravian's mother scribbled down the method yelled back
to her. The poet turned out to have a knack for baking. Her bread business
succeeded wildly, and the family's livelihood in Canada was secured.
For Deravian, part of the magic of food is that the tastes of home are
transmittable across phone lines and portable across continents. Cooking
offers her a path back to the people and places she left behind as a child,
evoking memories with every whiff: "A bottle of rose water, the bitter tang
of a dried lime. Sometimes that's all it takes."
 Sage and Sausage Palmiers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) | iT
Shallots | x2 Finely chopped
Free-range Sausage meat | isog
Ground Pork | isog
Sage | 10 Leaves, finely sliced
Puff Pastry | 375g Rolled Out
S+P | To Taste
1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, then gently fry the
shallots for 10 minutes until soft. Transfer to a mixing
bowl to cool. Add the sausage meat, pork mince and
sliced sage to the bowl, season and mix well. To test
if the seasoning is right, fry a little of the mixture in
a pan until cooked, then season to taste.
2. Unroll the pastry sheet and spread evenly with the
pork mixture, leaving a lcm border around each edge.
Roll up each long side to halfway so they meet in the
middle. Chill in the fridge for at least l hour (or wrap
well in cling film and freeze until ready to cook).
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the chilled roll
into slices about 7mm thick, then arrange over
2 baking sheets, leaving a 5cm gap between each
slice as they'll spread a little as they cook. Bake for
20-25 minutes until golden and puffed. Serve warm.
 *   t
Borani-yeh Laboo | Yogurt Beet Dip
Naz Deravian
Nothing brightens up a meal and everyone's
moods more than a bowl of this fuchsia
Borani-yeh Laboo. The tang from the vinegar
and yogurt balances and cuts through the earthy
sweetness of the beets, and the tarragon adds
a fresh bite. You can cook the beets by steaming
them on the stovetop or in the oven. Or you
can simply use store-bought cooked beets.
Scoop up with warm lavash bread, or spread
on crisp endive leaves for a striking mazeh.
Serves 6
i medium beet, cooked and peeled
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
'A teaspoon kosher salt
i teaspoon dried mint
i teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
Olive oil for drizzling
Into a medium bowl, grate the beet on the
large holes of a box grater. Add the rest of the
ingredients, except the olive oil, and mix to
completely combine. Taste to make it delicious,
keeping in mind that the flavors will develop and
deepen as the dip rests. Cover and place in the
fridge for at least 1 hour for the flavors to develop
before serving. Stir, drizzle with olive oil if you like,
and serve.
MAKE AHEAD; Prepare up to 3 days in advance
and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
If the yogurt weeps, simply stir to incorporate
again. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian.
Copyright © 2018 by Naz Deravian. Reprinted
with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights
reserved. Photography by Eric Wolfinger.
Makes about 30 cookies
2 3/4 cups (685 ml.) flour
iteaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
11/2 cups (375 mL) sugar, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F (i8o°C) and prepare a cookie
sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda,
baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, beat together the butter and 11/4 cups
(310 mL) sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down the
side as necessary. Beat in the zest until well combined.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg, then the
lemon juice, beating until incorporated. Add the flour
mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
Using a spoon, scoop outi-inch (2.5 cm) balls of dough
and roll them between your hands to form spheres.
Drop into a small bowl of the remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL)
of sugar and roll gently with your fingertips to coat the
dough on all sides.
Space the dough balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the
cookie sheet and bake until the edges are cooked butthe
tops are still puffy, about 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies
will be barely golden at the edges and still look ever so
slightly uncooked on top. Cool on the cookie sheet for
a few minutes, until the tops have fallen and crinkled.
Remove to a cooling rack.
 UBC Diploma in
Accounting Program
"The decision to pursue an accounting career thr
was an easy one. Not only does the program offer students flexibility
by providing evening classes, DAP's strong value in diversity and
strengthening communities align with my own values as well."
Tina Ma
BSc (SFU), UBC DAP Student
Find out how to put your career aspirations into action at sauder.ubc.ca/dap
Support UBC with time and knowledge:
Apply to become a Convocation Member of Senate
Under the University Act, academic governance of
The University of British Columbia is vested in two Senates,
comprised of faculty, staff, alumni and student representatives
that meet monthly throughout the academic year.
As a Convocation Member of Senate, you can have a real
and lasting impact on the operations and future direction
of The University of British Columbia. All members of
the convocation are eligible, except for current faculty
members. The three year term begins September 1st, 2020.
During your three-year term, you may help to:
• Set academic policies
• Review and revise admission standards
• Establish new departments and schools
• And much more! Visit http://senate.ubc.ca for more.
Twelve positions on the Vancouver Senate
and two positions on the Okanagan Senate
are waiting.
Don't wait - nominations are due
January 31st 2020.
Visit facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/2019-2020-triennial-elections
for more about the nomination process,
or connect for more information through
elections.information@ubc.ca / 604-827-0003
Current female enrolment
rate in UBC's school of
biomedical engineering,
which is fast closing in
on a milestone of student
Research led by UBC sociology
professor Neil Guppy, based on
a study of over 5,000 heterosexual
couples between 1986and2015,
found that the number of daily
minutes spent by women on
housework dropped by 65 minutes
over the 30-year study period,
while it rose by 40 minutes for men.
Number of therapy dogs who visited UBC campus
weekly during exams to provide a little canine therapy
for anxious students. Survey research led by Professor
John-Tyler Binfet, the director of UBC Okanogan's
Building Academic Retention through Kp's (B.A.R.K.)
program, showed that students who interacted with the
therapy dogs experienced a significant reduction in stress.
15 to 17
Percentage of
nations that are
close to reaching
goals, according
to the Green
Growth Index,
to which UBC
business professor
Jose Pineda was
a contributor.
Amount by
which UBC
has reduced its
annual water
over the last
20 years, even
as enrolment
has increased
by 24,000
Age of the oldest
tree in Vancouver
(a red cedar in
Stanley Park),
according to
Ira Sutherland,
a PhD student
in UBC's Faculty
of Forestry.
Number of cake slices
served in one week of UBC
graduations this May on
the Vancouver campus.
The extent to which Halloween
is more deadly for pedestrians
than average autumn nights,
accordingto a UBC study,
Number of books that have been banned
or censored somewhere in the world but
are now on a searchable online database
co-created by UBC's Florian Gassner,
a senior instructor in UBC's department
of Central, Eastern, and Northern
European studies, (kasselerliste.com/the-list/)
UBC professor of
computer science
Ivan Beschastnikh and
colleagues found that
25 out of 46
relationships survived
one partner snooping in
the other's phone, while
1    relationships
The amount of money over the last 10 years left
unclaimed by BC winners of the lottery, according
to a study from UBC psychology prof Peter Graf.
Whether you're a sports fan, love to travel, enjoy live theatre,
need a car, or simply enjoy getting a great deal, you're sure to
find an offer you love on our list of exclusive alumni UBC partners.
Visit alumni.ubc.ca/savings
$10 OFF
your first thr«« orders of S30 or mow.
adidas Canada
L'Oreal Canada
Avis Budget Group
Broadway Across
PC Express
Pets Plus Us
Choice Hotels
Sparkling Hill
Contiki Holidays
Trip Merchant
Fresh Prep
Vancouver Canucks
Alumni across Canada are eligible
to enjoy a perk from PC Express.
Try PC Express online grocery
pickup or delivery and get $10 off
your first three orders with promo
Shop your favourite grocery stores
like the Real Canadian Superstore
and No Frills now to take
advantage of the exclusive offer!
Interested in becoming an alumni UBC corporate partner?
Contact jenna.mccann@ubc.ca
 • •••••••••J
In September 2019 we launched a monthly contest series open
to all UBC alumni. One lucky winner was selected to receive
a nostalgic treat: a one-year supply of UBC cinnamon buns!
Visit alumni.ubc.ca/contests to enter
Over the next year we will be giving away prizes every month,
courtesy of our many Alumni Savings and Benefits partners.
Be sure to check back regularly for updates and new giveaways,
and while you're on our site, take a look at the many perks
and discounts available to you as a UBC graduate.
• •••<
• • • •<
• • _
• ••••••••J
fresh prep
avis budget group
JANUAR\ coming soon
FEBRUARY coming soon
MARCH coming soon
Enter the December
contest for a chance to
win a two-night stay at the
Swarovski crystal-infused
Sparkling Hill Resort in
Vernon, BC, with a vehicle
rental to transport you
and a guest, courtesy
of Sparkling Hill Resort
and Avis Budget Group.
■"^^^              ^^^B^^K^^^H               ^^^^^^»3M
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Highlights from the busy schedule of UBC
president Santa J. Ono. Follow him on Facebook,
Instagram, YouTube and Twitter (ffiUBCprez
Shared this photo of his family on
campus in 1961. His father, Takashi Ono,
was a math prof at UBC.
t>M with French president Emmanuel
Macron at his official residence, the
Elyse'e Palace in Paris.
Played ball with Kaye Kaminishi, the
last living member of Vancouver's
legendary Asahi baseball team.
^^fXi^/lne. scholars
^ameF°tcUae progrom.
Met Judith Fraser, a former cellist m the
VSO aiod the CBC Radio Orchestra.
at. ■-.. . -.
Embraced Musqueam Chief lOayne Sparrow
after presenting a plaque commemorating the
Statement of Apology made on behalf of UBC
to residential school survivors last April.
Thanked staff at the Chan Centre for
"their tremendous work supporting
the UBC graduation ceremonies'.
Delivered the 2019 Can Distinguished Lecture
at St. Mark's College: "Liberal Arts in the
21st Century: More Important Than Ever."
Signed the charter Dimensions: Equity
and Inclusion alongside federal science
and sport minister Kirsty Duncan.
Ran into some UBC student
s in Paris.
_  bmB
Congratulated Afton Cayford of the
Mathematics Department on his
60th year as a professor at UBC.
W   A
I       \
: _-"-
Ca"ed a flight of my life."
s0me new students on
move-in day.
Journey Across the 5
Mystical Caucasus
JUNE 16-23, 2020
with UBC professor
and geologist Lee Groat
NOV. 4-13, 2020
with UBC coach and
Olympic Medalist Lynn Kanuka
Please contact Worldwide Quest for all bookings and to view detailed itineraries.
1 800 3871483    |    travel@worldwidequest.com
The complete alumni t/BCcalendar is available online at:
alumni.ubc.ca/travel    Don't miss out!Sign-up for our Travel Club e-newslefter.
Travel Club
 Ingenuity that Saves Lives
Ephraim Nowak, BSc'i^, MASc'i8, had recently become manager at
Central Okanagan Search and Rescue when he answered a "one of
a kind call." A small plane had disappeared from radar. It was carrying
former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, Jim Kruk, Ken Gellatly, and Sheldon
Reid. Nowak's team raced to find the site of the crash, only to make the
devastating discovery that there were no survivors.
The accident had a lasting impact on Nowak and his fellow volunteers
In the aftermath, they waited anxiously for the transportation safety board
report, hoping for some closure through an understanding as to why the
crash happened. But their questions would remain unanswered. "The report
ended up coming back inconclusive," says Nowak, "because there was no
form of voice or data recorder on board that aircraft."
In the void of information around the tragedy, Nowak saw a chance
to make a difference by putting his technical savvy to work. He founded
a company, Percept Systems, to create a cockpit video and data recorder
ightweight enough for small aircrafts. Called SkyVU, the recorder will
provide insights as to why small plane crashes happen and ultimately
help to prevent them. Two SkyVU prototypes were deployed in wildfire
helicopters this summer, and Nowak has been flooded with interest from
around the world in the award-winning design
For Nowak, technology has been a lifelong fascination and a family
affair. He and his brother, Raphael, with whom he works closely on SkyVU,
were the sort of children who were taking apart radios at age three and
building remotely operated underwater vehicles to explore Okanagan Lake
at age ten. By middle school, Nowak was running lighting and sound for
a media production company. Studying computer science and electrica
engineering at UBC was a natural extension of his voracious drive to learn
Nowak sees creative problem-solving as inherently fun, whether the
challenge is as serious as improving aviation safety - or as whimsical as
building a bridge out of nothing but pasta. (Among his other accomplishments,
Nowak is champion of the 33rd annual Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge
Building Heavyweight Competition; his pasta masterpiece held 184.3 kilograms
of load before shattering.) For him, the pull lies in the spontaneity and
excitement of a new problem that needs a solution. "I enjoy learning," he
says. "When I wake up in the morning, it doesn't feel like I'm going to work."
Rainbow Representation
You know you've found Tanya Boteju's classroom when you spot the
timeline of feminism on the walls and the big box of rainbow tutus,
leg warmers, and wigs under her desk. Boteju, a high school English
teacher for 17 years, is known equally for her colourful commitment to
feminism and pride, and her signature loud cackle - the sort of gleeful,
head-thrown-back laugh that puts people at ease and cuts through
teenage moroseness like a splash of water in the face
But Boteju (BA'oo, BEd'01) hasn't always been the sort of woman with
a confident laugh and a rainbow tutu at the ready. As a queer teenager
in the early 90s, she says she was "a hot mess." While she cultivated the
persona of an outgoing and model student, she felt like an oddball outsider,
"I was really insecure, really out of touch with myself, really hard on myself
underneath the shiny layer," she says. At the time, Boteju didn't know anyone
who was out. Her teachers never mentioned that LGBTQ+ people existed
She didn't encounter queer characters in books or on TV, nor any characters
who even looked like her. She kept who she was a secret for a long time,
even from herself.
Now, Boteju gives her students what she wishes she'd had in high school
When she takes classes on field trips to see slam poetry, or when she attends
school plays, her wife often accompanies her. "I make it a point to be really
out and open for students, so they can see there are people in the school
who are queer." Boteju started and sponsors the school's Gay-Straight
Alliance and runs workshops on "intentional acknowledgement" of race,
gender, and sexuality. Unwilling to assign her students only books by "old,
white, dead men," she makes a concerted effort to "bring in as much diversity
as possible to the texts we use."
And she has published a young-adult novel of her own, Kings, Queens,
and In-Betweens, enticingly described as "Judy Blume meets Ru Paul's
Drag Race" (Simon & Schuster 2019). For Boteju, the book is "a love letter"
to the drag community she discovered as a UBC student in her twenties,
and a story intended for queer kids of colour who need to see themselves
represented in literature. She wrote the book to give today's teens what she
once craved - a story that "tells you that you are okay, that there are other
people like you - an acknowledgement that people live those lives." D
More Class Acts will be available to read online in the New Year.
i in
{IIIIFIIIIII _r"irtr?»r»r»rV    nnnnnn   ! noOOO
2019 Winner
Best Wedding
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Unforgettable venues - for intimate gatherings or grand celebrations.
Alexander Wilbert Skene, BASc'46
December 6, 7927 (Calgary, Alberta) - February 74,
2079 (Calgary, Alberta)
Alex Skene of Calgary passed away on
Thursday, February 14, 2019, at the age of 97,
Alex was born in Calgary to Ina Fern (Myers)
and George Wilbert Skene. He graduated UBC
with a mechanical engineering degree. His long
career with Imperial Oil led him to many different locales over the course
of 25 years, including Sarnia, before his return to Calgary, where he retired
Alex loved the mountains, swimming, and dessert. Most of all, he loved
his family. Alex was a devoted husband to Patty and an exceptional parent,
grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was incredibly supportive and kind,
with a wonderful sense of humour. Alex is survived by his daughter Susan
(Rick), son George (Stephanie), daughter Catherine (Neil), and daughter
Diane (Stu); four grandchildren - Alexander (Laura), Elaine, Rachael, and
Julianne; and three great-grandchildren - Alexis, Logan, and Leah. He is
also survived by his brother, John, of Kelowna
Beatrice Delane, BA'50
Bea Delane (nee Louie) passed away peacefully
in Vancouver, BC, on June 21, 2019. Bea received
her BA in psychology and thereafter continued
to work in the family business, the H.Y. Louie
Company Limited. Bea married Gerald Delane
(a UBC Engineering graduate) in 1963 at Chown
Memorial Church in Vancouver. After raising
daughters Jill and Heather, she returned to the workforce, taking positions
at the City of Vancouver and later on with the BC Lottery Corporation
She was predeceased by her parents, Hok Yat and Young Shee Louie, and
by brothers Tim, Tong, William, Ernest, Quan, John, Edward, Willis, and
Kenny. Bea was a family-oriented and caring person and will be fondly
remembered as a loving mother, aunt, sister, grandmother, and loyal friend
Stephen F. Kun, BSF'55, MF'58
March 75,7937 - February 27, 2079
Steve is remembered as an active, energetic
man who got things done. His satisfaction came
from planning, working on, and completing his
tasks. His accomplishments were immense,
Steve was born in Drumheller, Alberta, and
attended school there. He enrolled in the
Faculty of Forestry at UBC in 1950, graduating with a master's degree
in 1958. He began his 30-year career with Parks Canada as an assistant
warden in Banff National Park in the summer of 1951. With time taken
for education, he moved through the ranks, serving as Western regional
forester in Jasper, assistant to the Western regional director in Calgary
and Banff, superintendent of Prince Albert National Park, chief of nationa
parks in Ottawa for policy and planning, and superintendent of Banff
National Park. He moved back to Ottawa to work on developing new
national parks, and finally to Calgary as director general of the Western
region. During his career, he visited every national park and historic site in
Canada and travelled internationally, representing Canada in conservation
work. He loved travelling by horseback through the Rocky Mountains, and
came to know well the backcountry and the wardens who worked there.
After his retirement in 1988, Steve embarked on a new career ranching
in the foothills of Alberta and raising pedigreed Canadian pinto horses
He and his wife Gail built a beautiful place that was enjoyed by his family
and friends for 30 years. In 2017, Steve and Gail moved to Cochrane to live
in a retirement community. There, they made many new friends. In 2019,
they moved to Wakefield, Quebec, to be closer to their family and to live
in the province they had so much enjoyed exploring by canoe and on skis
Steve is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gail (nee Jeffery), his son Randal
(Jerene Sutherland), daughter Jennifer (John Robson), two granddaughters,
two great-grandchildren, and his sister, Irene Forgo of Drumheller, Alberta
At Steve's request, there will not be a funeral. His immediate family
held a private memorial. Many thanks to the doctors and staff of the
Wakefield Hospital. Gail's contact address is: 2-106, Chemin des Collines,
Wakefield QCJ0X3G0.
^^■' John Maynard, SCom'57
John Maynard passed away on February 20,
2019, at Cambridge Ontario Memorial Hospital
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marion,
three children, nine grandchildren, and one
great-granddaughter. John was born in North
JM Battleford, SK. He received a Bachelor of
Commerce degree and a diploma in hospital
administration from UBC, and a diploma in health systems management
from Harvard University. John served as director of provincial psychiatric
services and as executive director of the institutional division for the Ontario
Ministry of Health. He was executive director of the Ontario Nursing Home
Association, establishing nursing home accreditation for the Province of
Ontario. As a consultant with Diversicare he performed operational reviews
of large hospitals across Canada and was responsible for the establishment
of the Ontario Veterinary College Hospital in Guelph, Ontario. After leaving
Diversicare, he established John K. Maynard and Associates with his wife,
Marion, to do consulting in the field of housing and healthcare for seniors.
Dr. Crawford S. (Buzz) Holling, PhD'57
Calling him a "wonderful person, inspiring
scientific leader, and incomparable mentor for
many young scientists," Carl Walters, professor
emeritus in the Institute for the Oceans and
Fisheries, mourned the passing of C.S. "Buzz"
Holling on August 16, 2019. Recognized as one
of the world's leading ecologists, having made
major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecologica
resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management, he received
numerous awards, including the Mercer and Eminent Ecologist awards
 from the Ecological Society of America, the Volvo Environment Prize, and
honorary doctorates from Guelph, Simon Fraser, and UBC. He was a Fellow
of the Royal Society of Canada and had received the Order of Canada
Holling was born in 1930 and obtained his PhD from UBC
He worked as a research scientist in the Canadian Forest Service before
returning to UBC, this time as a professor. He was the first director of the
Institute of Animal Resource Ecology (now Institute for the Oceans and
Fisheries), which is where, as a junior faculty member, Dr. Walters was his
colleague. Eric Charnov, Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary
Biology at the University of Utah, was one of Holling's postdoctoral fellows,
and concurs with Walters' assessment. "He was wonderfully supportive
and fun to talk with, particularly when we disagreed, which was often,"
said Dr. Charnov. "Buzz trained many distinguished scholars, which reflects
very much on his mentorship, as noted by Carl. I am proud to have been
among them." Holling left UBC in the late 1970s to direct the International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna, Austria), returned briefly in
the early 1980s, before moving to the University of Florida. After retirement
he lived for several years in Cedar Key, Florida, then returned to Nanaimo, BC,
for the last years of his life
Joanna M. Hay, BSc'58
It is with sadness that we announce the passing
of Joanna Hay (nee Farmer) on 6 May 2019 at the
age of 84. Born in Moose Jaw, SK, Joanna grew
up in Caulfield. She attended UBC from 1954
to 1958, where she spent many happy hours in
the cattle barns and science labs. She excelled
on the grass hockey field, playing right half and
being awarded the Big Block Athletic award two years running. She enjoyed
the team reunions and coached school hockey teams. She enjoyed attending
the PNE and the IPE in Armstrong, leading the Lumby 4H Beef club for many
years. Animals were her lifelong passion, as well as the study of science.
She taught biology, chemistry, and math in Lumby, BC, for over 30 years
and especially enjoyed taking students on trips to the coast at Bamfield
She is predeceased by her mother (Violet) and father (Philip), and survived
by son Nairn (Paula) and daughter Sarah (Simon), and by brother Geoff
(Mabel), and sister Wendy (Lome). Never without dogs and horses, she
threw them some hay before leaving her home of 50 years for the last time.
Dr. M. Leslie Hassan, BSc'58, MD'63
Les passed away peacefully on November 24,
2018, at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife,
Sylvia, his sons, Doug (Mary-Louise) and Tom
(Genevieve), and six grandsons. With a modest
upbringing in East Vancouver, Les was the first
in his family to attend university. He graduated
from UBC medicine in 1963. After a medical
residency in San Diego, he returned to North Vancouver to start a family
practice, which he maintained for 30 years. For his medical care and advice,
he was adored by hundreds of friends and patients. This included many
from the Squamish Nation, who, upon his retirement, honoured him with
a potlatch-style celebration and gave him an ancestral name: "The Healer."
Les' greatest joy was his friends and family. He was a man of many talents
He enjoyed carpentry, home construction, plumbing, and electrical projects.
He had a lifelong passion for the outdoors and enjoyed many trips to fish the
rivers of Haida Gwaii with friends and his sons. He admired the Haida people
and their way of life. Along with going on fishing adventures, he travelled the
world with his Sylvia. Les will be sadly missed
Lome James Reid, BASc'58
Lome passed away peacefully on April 5, 2019,
in Kelowna, BC, in his 86th year. He was born
an only child in Trail, BC, on July 31,1933. He is
S predeceased by his parents, Elsie and Jimmy
Reid. He is remembered and dearly missed by
his loving wife of 62 years, Joan (nee Everard),
also from Trail, as well as his four children
(Sherry, Wendy, Scott, and Jim), and seven grandchildren (Sara, Emily, lain,
Lauren, Eric, Danielle, and Manuel). Lome graduated from UBC in 1958
with a degree in chemical engineering and spent his entire career working
for DuPont of Canada in Kingston, Ajax, Burlington, North Bay, Montreal,
and Wilmington, Delaware. Lome retired at 57 years of age and built a home
on Lake Ontario, in Picton. Lome and Joan became homesick for BC, and
settled in Gallagher's Canyon, Kelowna, and then in Salmon Arm, and
finally Mission Villas, Kelowna
r^'O Theodore J. Cyr, BSc'63, MSc'66, PhD'68
Theodore James Raymond Cyr, of Abbotsford,
BC, passed away on August 17, 2019, at the age
of 78 years, from prostate cancer. He was born
in Prince Rupert, BC, on June 15,1941, to the late
Joseph Phillip Raymond Regis ("Raymond")
Cyr of Mission, BC, and the late Josephine
Alemede Mildred Edith ("Mildred") Cyr (nee
Stokes) of Goodwater, SK. Dr. Cyr attended UBC for his BSc, MSc, and
PhD in chemistry. He completed post-doctoral fellowships in Kyoto, Japan,
and Nottingham, UK, and taught physical chemistry at the University of
Montreal. He worked for CANMETand Imperial Oil. In 1978 he joined
AOSTRA (Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority) as
research manager in the grants program, co-inventing numerous patents
related to oil extraction and recovery. He obtained a PEng from the University
of Alberta in 1988. In 2000 he moved to the Alberta Department of Energy
until his retirement in 2013. He is survived by his brother, Dr. Wayne Cyr of
Abbotsford, children Reiko and Gregory, and his former wife, Dr. Natsuko Cyr,
Stephen Salter, BASc'64
Stephen Salter, the only son of Kate and Steve
Salter, was born in Prince Rupert in 1941. Shortly
thereafter, his family settled in West Vancouver,
He excelled academically and attended UBC,
where he received his degree in electrical
engineering. After graduating, he worked for
BC Hydro designing power lines for the Peace
River project and went on to work in the computer management division
of General Electric. Several years later, he worked as a lead computer
programmer for Datawest before starting his own company, Fimetrics,
 creating computer software for financial planners. He had a loyal following
and developed trusting relationships with his clients. For Steve, living a full
life meant taking care of his family and enjoying simple things like dark
chocolate, and coffee with lots of sugar. He was happiest reading, spending
time with his granddaughter, and being near the ocean watching the eagles,
sea lions, deer, and Hornby Island sunsets. Steve will be remembered best
for his offbeat sense of humour, goofy one-liners, and kindness. He was
a loving dad and grandpa, and we miss him
I  1
Dr. Bikkar Singh La\\\, BA(Hons)'4g&
MA'51 (Punjab University), PhD'66 (UBC)
Dr. Bikkar Singh Lalli (June 5,1928, to Feb 13,
2019) was born in Kotli, in Punjab. He was
the first in his family to do post-secondary
education, and received scholarships throughout
his studies. During his 42-year career, he
taught at Punjab University, UBC, and the
University of Saskatchewan. He received grants from NRC and NSERC to
do research in mathematics, and he supervised seven PhD candidates and
one MA candidate. A distinguished scholar, Dr. Lalli published over 150
journal articles in national and international journals, and he was an invited
speaker at about 40 universities and research institutes worldwide. He
was a visiting scholar in four countries. After retirement, Dr. Lalli moved
back to British Columbia. He devoted his retirement years to championing
education. Dr. Lalli was elected to the UBC Senate in 1999, where he served
as a convocation senator for 18 years. He loved attending convocation
and congratulating new graduates. In addition, he served on other boards
and committees, includingthe Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors,
City of Surrey Seniors Advisory and Accessibility Committee, Kwantlen
Polytechnic University's Foundation Board, and Simon Fraser University's
Komagata Maru Advisory Board. Dr. Lalli was a regular contributor to
community newspapers, and often spoke on television and radio. Parents
and grandparents approached him to seek advice about their children and
grandchildren. A humble and soft-spoken man, Dr. Lalli always took the
time to meet them and provide thoughtful guidance and encouragement
Dr. Lalli also cared deeply about causes related to seniors. He wrote
many successful grant applications for seniors' societies. These resulted
in a computer lab for seniors, wellness workshops and trips, as well as
a health research study entitled "Wellness model for Indo-Canadian seniors:
a research report" (2000). He was recognized by several seniors' societies
for his contributions. In 2011, Dr. Lalli was awarded Doctor of Laws (Honoris
Causa) by Kwantlen Polytechnic University for his community service
His beloved presence will be missed by family, friends, and all those who
knew him. A celebration of life and Bhog (prayers) were held on Friday,
March 8, 2019, at Gurudwara Shahib York Centre in Surrey,
Daniel Brian Cumming, BSc(Agr)'67, PhD'73
Daniel Brian Cumming died suddenly on
November 30, 2018, in Negril, Jamaica, of
a heart attack as he was preparing to run the
10k race of the Reggae Marathon. He was
born on January 6,1945, in Vancouver to Jack
and Lil Cumming and attended King Edward
and Eric Hamber high schools. He graduated from UBC (BSc(Agr), PhD)
and the University of Guelph (MSc). After 20 years as a food scientist and
administrator with Agriculture Canada Research Branch in places such as
Kentville, NS, Summerland, BC, Brussels, Belgium, and Morden, MB, he
spent 10 years in the private sector, helping to develop an innovative bio
waste conversion system. After retiring to South Surrey, he was keen to
devote more time to his family, volunteering, writing, cooking, genealogy,
and his passion, running. He once described the joy of running this way:
"It is getting to a free state of mind where you can let your inner self take
over." He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judi; his daughters, Danielle
(Greg) and Janna (Jason); his son, Cam; and grandsons Charlie and Jonah
Dominic Venditti, MEng'67
Dominic passed away at home of a massive
heart attack. He leaves his wife of 43 years,
three married children, and six grandchildren
Andrea Gayle Allingham, BA'83
Born in Vancouver, Andrea spent her childhood
on Stewart Island, before completing elementary
school in Burnaby. After graduating from Burnaby
South in 1967, she attended UBC, and eventually
obtained a bachelor's degree in linguistics.
After working for the Canadian Correctiona
Service in adult basic education, she taught
English for eight years at Golden Secondary before joining her husband
Philip, BA(Hon)'64, PhD'88, on the faculty of Lakehead University in Thunder
Bay, Ontario. They retired from the Faculty of Education in June 2015 and
returned to Victoria, where two of their four children (Dana and Devon) and
two of their grandchildren (Juno and Jaxon) live. She passed away suddenly
from a heart attack on July 11 at Victoria General Hospital. At her bedside
were her brothers, Mark and Dave Evans, as well as her husband and three
daughters (Gwen, Steph, and Dana). We all regret that she did not live to
see the publication of her first novel, A Wensbury House Mystery: Mine for the
Taking, on July 15 by Apple iBooks. A memorial service took place in August,
Obituaries are included in our biannual print issues, usually
published in May and November, and should be 1100 characters
(about 300 words) or less. Please send original photos by post or
attach high resolution images to your online submission. Tributes
may be edited for length and clarity where necessary. Note that print
issues of the magazine are also published online.
There is no fee for submission.
Due to the high number of submissions, we are unable to guarantee
publication in the next print issue. If you would prefer your submission
be included in the next applicable online issue in lieu of print, please
select that option on the form.
 Raffi Cavoukian, beloved by generations of children
who have grown up listening to his songs, says he was
inspired from a young age by folk singers like Pete
Seeger and Joni Mitchell. But it was his own song - the
iconic hit "Baby Beluga," released in 1980 -that inspired
his passion for ecology. Eight years after it was released,
he sat in on a presentation about belugas at the Ontario
Science Centre and was "stunned" by what he heard
about massive declines in the beluga population.
Raff i's music began to focus on his concern for the
natural world. He released Evergreen Everblue in 1990.
He sang songs about moral issues that mattered deeply
to him, just as his folk heroes had done years before.
His latest song is called "Young People Marching."
It's written for Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old
activist from Sweden who is calling on young people
to demand climate action from their governments.
And it's no surprise that Raffi is inspired by her.
As a part of his ecological activism, Raffi is an
advocate for children and young people. When he
received an honorary degree from UBC in 2005, he
sang "Turn This World Around [for the children]" to the
congregation. In 1996, he came up with a name for his
life's philosophy - "Child Honouring" - and published
a book about it a year later. But child honouring and
activism on behalf of the Earth aren't two separate
things, says Raffi. He writes in his book "that all children
are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence,
with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect" and that
respect for the world that nurtures children is part
of that same philosophy. He argues for "detoxifying the
environments that make upthe ecology of the child."
In a September interview with Slate, Raffi said his new
song "was written for climate strikes... every movement
has had music." Pete Seeger would be proud. D
Who was your childhood hero? |
Hank Aaron, home run champion.
Describe the place you most like to
spend time. | Home on Salt Spring
Island, with my dog.
What was the last thing you read? |
Falter, by Bill McKibben
What or who makes you laugh out loud? |
My dog Luna.
What's the most important lesson you
ever learned? | Young children are whole
people, worthy of respect.
What's your idea oftheperfect day? |
A mix of solitude and a friend's company.
What is your most prized possession? |
My concert guitar, a Takamine cut-away.
What would be the title of your
biography? | Bananaphone Banter
If a genie granted you one wish, what
would it be? | Global climate stabilization,
transformed economy.
What item have you owned for the
longest time? | Joni Mitchell album.
Whom do you most admire (living or dead)
and why? | Greta Thunberg, moral voice of
our time. Why? Conscience, courage.
What would you like your epitaph to say? |
Life - took his breath away.
If you could invent something, what would
it be? I Rainfall percussive energy capture
to increase efficiency of solar panels.
In which era would you most like to have
lived, and why? | Now... dental work is
quite painless.
What are you afraid of ? | Our global
climate emergency.
What is your latest purchase? | A book.
Name the skill or talent you would most like
to have. | Excellent swimmer.
Which three pieces of music would you take
to that desert island? | Dunno. Not much
good without a power charger, right?
What is your pet peeve? | Exxon knew about
global warming; lied, deceived, obstructed.
What is the secret to a good life? |
Curiosity and lifelong learning.
Do you have a personal motto? |
Easy once you know how.
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The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
Underwritten by
Manulife and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used byit, and by its affiliates under licence. ©2019
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Manulife, PO Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2J 4B8.
'Conditions, Limitations, Exclusions may apply. See policy for full details.
Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. Visit Manulife.com/accessibility for more information.
k       For over 96 years. Odium Brown Limited has been one of BC's most respected
^. investment firms, thanks to the vision of our founders, the passion and dedication of
our employees and the trust and loyalty of our valued clients.
Odium Brown is a full-service investment firm providing disciplined investment advice and
objective value-based research with a singular focus on clients. For all your investment
needs including financial, retirement and estate planning,* call 604-669-1600, toll free
at 1-888-886-3586 or visit odlumbrown.com for more information.
Investing for Generations®
Waters tone
Platinum member
j Odium Brown Limited        j @Odlum_Brown        j Odium Brown Community    [Oj OdlumBrown Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund
*Odlum Brown Financial Services Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Odium Brown Limited offering life insurance products, retirement, estate and financial planning
exclusively to Odium Brown clients.


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