Below are news items from the UBC IRES community.

The underappreciated benefits of wild bees

Bees both pollinate natural systems and are extremely important for agricultural crops. Freethink features Dr. Claire Kremen to discuss how all of the benefits provided by native bees may be at risk.

Canada gave out free money to help homeless people. It reduced rough sleeping and busted stereotypes

Dr. Jiaying Zhao is featured in Big Issue for busting stereotypes. Her study found that unhoused people are more likely to spend a lump sum of money on rent, food, housing, transit and clothes, despite public perception otherwise.

Sep 9: Science in the field special | CBC Radio

Dr. Timothy Rodgers is featured by CBC Quirks and Quarks for a study he co-authored that found specially designed gardens could reduce the amount of a toxic chemical associated with tires entering waterways by more than 90%

Sep 9: Science in the field special

Aaron Aguire, an IRES masters student, is featured by CBC for his time spent walking around the city of Vancouver, studying bats. He was trying to understand how bats use urban and natural landscapes in the city and how this impacts their diversity and abundance. He also spent a lot of time happily explaining his work to curious onlookers.

Canada study debunks stereotypes of homeless people’s spending habits 

The Guardian features a study led by Dr. Jiaying Zhao which found that unhoused people are more likely to spend a lump sum of money on rent, food, housing, transit and clothes, despite public perception otherwise.  

Scientists and poets agree – we love the smell of fresh rain

Postdoc Dr. Sahil Bhandari (mechanical engineering) is featured in the Province and Vancouver Sun for why we love the smell of fresh rain. "The smell of rain, especially after a long dry spell kind of tells me: ‘I can do agriculture, there’s water here. My survival is not going to be at risk in this area now.’ The brain is saying: ‘This is a good place to live. We can live here now.'”

Coral reefs ‘may not be as vulnerable to climate change as previously thought’

" High-frequency coral bleaching can be fully mitigated at some reefs under low-to-middle emissions scenarios where, for example, the Paris Agreement commitments are fulfilled". Dr. Simon Donner, an IRES professor, is featured in Express for his co-authored paper that found coral reefs in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean have increased their thermal tolerance and adjusted to higher ocean temperatures.

Is climate change as dangerous as doomists make it out to be?

Dr. Simon Donner, an IRES professor, is featured in a podcast by iheartradio for how his research shows that courage and openness to transformation is necessary for solutions to climate change, not fear and gloom.

For these researchers, an ideal summer night is spent chasing bats through Vancouver’s parks

Aaron Aguirre is featured on CBC as part of a specialized team spending the summer gathering more information about the city's urban bat population to protect the mammals — and their billion-dollar benefit to the economy — as one of the deadliest wildlife diseases in North America creeps closer to the coast.

10 Minutes to Save the Planet – Dude, where’s my alternative to cars?

If everyone drove 10% less in the US, it would be equivalent of taking almost 30 coal power plants offline in a year. How can these moments be something humans want to do? Dr. Jiaying Zhao discusses how to make this powerful action enjoyable.

Anticipating Canada’s crisis response decisions can save critical time in future wildfire seasons  

Today, both Canada and the United States are dealing with unprecedented levels of smoke from wildfires. And while forest management practices and climate change are partly to blame, so is the failure of governments to give people the right tools to make effective proactive crisis decisions. IRES’s Robin Gregory is featured by breaking down preparation to 3 crucial factors. (Featured image: mikhail serdyukov/ unsplash)

Canada and U.S. cooperation needed to solve our wildfire crisis

IRES professor Robin Gregory is featured in the Globe and Mail as he argues that reducing the threat and damage from wildfires can happen - but not without implementing the well researched forest management policies that are co-ordinated among all levels of government.

Rain gardens filter out tire toxin lethal to salmon, B.C. study shows

A study co-authored by Timothy Rodgers, Amanda Giang, and civil engineering researchers found that ​​specially designed gardens could reduce the amount of a toxic chemical associated with tires entering our waterways by more than 90 per cent. 

Vulnerable groups need more support with poor Toronto air quality, say climate experts

IRES professor Amanda Giang discusses how low income, immigrant populations are more exposed to air pollution and many lack the resources to protect themselves.

The Shipping Climate Crunch – We count on goods from around the world. But they come with a price.

The global shipping industry — including those ships at the Burrard Inlet — is making decisions right now that will determine whether it helps or hurts efforts to meet climate change goals, say IRES researchers Imranul Laskar and Amanda Giang in the Tyee

These young Canadians are banging down the government’s door asking for climate jobs

Manvi Bhalla and a group of peers deliver mock job applications to the constituency office of Carla Qualtrough. Their message is clear: young people want green jobs, and those jobs could help Canada meet its climate commitments.

Forget herbicides. Sandblasting will whack those weeds

Claire Kremen discusses the need for substantive changes to accomplish agricultural sustainability and to think about the environmental costs of simplified solutions and systems

Nose for trouble: B.C. scientists brace for a deadly bat fungus

Aaron Aguirre discusses the deadly bat fungus that has up to a 95% mortality rate and why we should care about it.

Opinion: We must eliminate persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic plastics before it’s too late

Dr. Gunilla Öberg along with other experts shares her opinion that categorizing harmful plastics as PBT pollutants can help governments to control, or eliminate altogether, the creation and usage of toxic or otherwise harmful plastics. They hope the UN will make the right choice.

El Niño is on our doorstep, but not all are created equal. So what does it mean for Canada?

Dr. Simon Donner discusses El Niño, an unusual warming in the Pacific Ocean, that coupled with the atmosphere, can cause a rise in the global temperature. 🌍🌡

Metro Vancouver mulls Biorock for shore and habitat protection

Emma Gosselin's study proposes that Biorock could be used for shoreline restoration and is influencing Metro Vancouver.

Bats in Vancouver: The secret city nightlife

Dr. Matthew Mitchell (land and food systems) and Aaron Aguirre (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability) discuss how they will spend the summer collecting data on bats in Metro Vancouver

How to Make Thoughtful Choices in a Complex World

Dr. Robin Gregory discussed how to foster critical thinking in a complex world using the Decision Playbook.

What is happy climate action? A B.C. academic’s plan to protect the planet and spread joy

Dr. Jiaying Zhao discussed why we should reframe the way we talk about climate change and the "happy climate approach."

Global food production may decline by 9% owing to climate change, says expert

A study conducted by IRES Director Dr. Navin Ramankutty found that staple crops like rice and wheat are under threat from climate change.

Is talking about climate change actually making it worse?

In Episode 6 of Planet Wonder, Dr. Jiaying Zhao discussed how the language we use about climate change affects our motivation to do something about it.

IRES students Jaden Phillips and Lea Anderson wrote an op-ed for the National Observer

“Inspired by high school climate strikes and building on the success of the university divestment movement, a new era of student organizers is turning its attention to Canada’s banks,” write the authors.

Debt, financial fears impacting Canadians’ mental health, survey finds

Dr. Jiaying Zhao of IRES and nursing professor Dr. Emily Jenkins explained the connections between poverty or financial stress and depression and anxiety.

What does Canada’s journey to net zero look like?

Dr. Simon Donner discussed Canada's journey to net zero.

Citizen-run conservation booms in South America, despite state neglect

PhD student Rocío López de la Lama discussed her study which concluded that the legal frameworks and support mechanisms for private land conservation in South America are insufficient, making it difficult for independent actors to protect and maintain conservation areas.

Messaging, visual cues can reduce the use of plastic produce bags, says study from UBC prof

Dr. Jiaying Zhao found that visual cues or motivational messages in grocery stores can reduce the use of plastic produce bags.

Yes, happiness and climate action can go together

Dr. Jiaying Zhao explained how we can use our understanding of behaviour to incorporate happiness into meaningful climate action.

Can the heat from running computers help grow our food? It’s complicated

PhD candidate Sarah-Louise Ruder co-wrote about the benefits and drawbacks of capturing the heat emitted by computing hardware and reusing it to grow crops indoors.

Managing Metro Vancouver’s water supply as global temperatures rise

Dr. Kai Chan commented on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found that climate change will affect our water supply.

UBC prof discusses new approaches to eco-climate crisis

Dr. Kai Chan discusses eco-climate activism and the roles of academics in this cause.