IRES Student Symposium -- Thursday, April 11

The IRES Student Symposium is on Thursday, April 11.  The IRES Student Symposium showcases research done by our Masters and PhD students. This is the last seminar event for the academic year.  The IRES Seminar Series resumes September 2019. 

Student Symposium Time:  2pm to 4:30pm.  Cash bar and dinner starts at 4:30pm in the AERL Lobby.  RSVP coming soon.

Student Symposium Location:  AERL Theatre

There will be 6 RES student speakers.  Their bios are listed below.  Talk details coming soon.  Stay tuned!

April 11, 2019: IRES Student Symposium
2pm to 4:30pm

John Driscoll (PhD Program)


John is a Ph.D. student in Kai Chan’s lab. His research focuses on the relationship between seafood and food security, and more specifically, on the challenges that growing seafood demand pose for marine biodiversity and ecosystem health. He received my B.A. in biology from the College of Wooster (Ohio), and a Master’s of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University (Halifax). John’s master’s thesis research focused on the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate large-scale environmental impacts of the Maine lobster and New England herring fisheries.

Prior to arriving at UBC, he spent 3.5 years as the sustainable fisheries campaign manager for a Canadian environmental organization; in this capacity, he co-negotiated a landmark marine habitat management agreement with the British Columbia groundfish bottom trawl fishery. This effort was recently awarded Vancouver Aquarium’s Murray A. Newman Award for significant achievement in aquatic conservation. John has conducted a number of fisheries sustainability analyses for the Seafood Watch/SeaChoice programs. In addition, he has approximately 350 days-at-sea experience in fisheries, primarily as a fisheries observer in Alaska and New England and secondarily as a salmon fisherman in Alaska.

Naya Arriagada Oyarzun (MA Program)


Naya was born and raised in Chiloé Island, Southern Chile, surrounded by nature and unique rural life. She graduated from Sociology in Chile in 2013 and has professional and academic experience in social research. In Chile, she has worked as a project manager for national and international public opinion surveys, as well as research assistant and consultant for UNDP. Her previous work in academic research has focused on regional social movements and conflicts, but currently is looking to broaden her scope to environmental conflicts and governance towards sustainable solutions for the affected communities.

Naya is working under the supervision of Dr. David R. Boyd. Her research is focused on social movement’s outcomes and social resilience in coastal communities where collective action regarding marine resources is contentious. Specifically, her research explores the links between governance and policy changes, social capital and adaptive capacity in the salmon farming conflict in Chiloé.

Krista Cawley (MSc Program)


Krista grew up in the coastal town of Powell River, and has had a keen interest in marine systems and sustainability since childhood. Her in-depth knowledge of the coastal waters of BC emerged from several years working as a sea kayak guide and instructor. She joined IRES in 2017, supervised by Dr. Stephanie Chang, after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences at UBC in 2016. Her research interests focus on flood protection in coastal communities bordering the Strait of Georgia, and oil spill hazards. She is also a Research Assistant in the Resilient-C Project, focusing on developing indicators for coastal community vulnerability. In her spare time, she enjoys sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, climbing, and slacklining.

Victor Lam (MA Program)


Victor is broadly interested in cultural and social-behavioural dimensions of climate change. Specifically, he has been focusing on the interaction between climate change communication, climate movements, and religious environmentalism. His current thesis focuses on how religious publics articulate and disseminate messages on climate change, by examining how religious environmental organizations frame climate change in their participation of the resistance movements on the Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. Particular vernaculars and modes of communication, such as the use of religious language and metaphors, as well as the emerging use of social media, have emerged as important instruments for bridging climate change understanding among such audiences.

Victor completed his BASc in Sustainability, Science and Society at McGill University. Prior to beginning his current studies at UBC, he worked in Hong Kong for three years in the field of energy policy and governance on the Asia-Pacific region in the Department of Geography and Asian Energy Energy Studies Centre at Hong Kong Baptist University. Victor enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, swimming, running, and gardening.

Steve Williams (PhD Program)


Steve has extensive professional experience in evaluation, impact measurement, and data visualization for sustainability and social change projects. He combines his experience with information design to design and facilitate public events and collaborative professional development trainings, using data to engage the public and stakeholders in sustainability dialogue, and integrating art and theatre into public engagement. Steve is currently a PhD candidate at UBC evaluating the societal impacts of participatory processes such as the Energy Futures Lab in Alberta. Steve previously held the role of Director of CSR for SAP managing the company’s global technology donation program and is now pursuing a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany.

Connor Robinson (MSc Program)


Connor is a second-year MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Gunilla Öberg. He grew up in Vancouver, a place that he once thought of as having a steady, secure water supply given the amount of rain we receive and the highly-engineered nature of the urban water system. This notion was quickly flipped on its head, however, as he learned more about how environmental systems work and at the same time the effects of climate change started to be locally seen.

Connor received his Bachelor of Environment with a major in Global Environmental Systems from Simon Fraser University. During his undergraduate studies, he acquired a keen interest in water resources management, particularly in working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable management of this important resource for its many purposes. As an undergraduate, he served as a research assistant, assessing the regulatory environment surrounding distributed energy resources at water and wastewater utilities, under the supervision of Dr. Steve Conrad. His MSc thesis is focusing on analyzing and mapping the nature and extent of scientific and technical production in the wastewater treatment field, and creating an interactive tool that experts and policymakers can access to easily learn more about the field or aspects of it.

See you on April 11!


Thursday, April 11, 2019