September 26, 2019: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Kai Chan, Amanda Giang, and Leila Harris

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall


*** Note: This seminar will not be recorded***

How to Land a Faculty Position


After graduation, many graduate students will go on to hold influential and rewarding jobs in the governmental, policy, advocacy, and/or private sectors. But for those aiming to stay in academia, the competition can be fierce, with less than 25% of doctoral graduates obtaining a tenure-track faculty position. In this panel discussion, we speak with three faculty members with various perspectives on what it takes to set yourself apart when applying for — and hopefully landing — a faculty position.

Kai Chan

Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and Institute for Oceans and Fisheries (IOF)


Kai Chan is a professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Kai is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented sustainability scientist, trained in ecology, policy, and ethics from Princeton and Stanford Universities. He strives to understand how social-ecological systems can be transformed to be both better and wilder. Kai leads CHANS lab (Connecting Human and Natural Systems), and is co-founder of CoSphere (a Community of Small-Planet Heroes). He is a UBC Killam Research Fellow; a Leopold Leadership Program fellow; a director on the board of the North American section of the Society for Conservation Biology; senior fellow of the Global Young Academy and of the Environmental Leadership Program; a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists; Lead Editor of the new British Ecological Society journal People and Nature; a coordinating lead author for the IPBES Global Assessment; and (in 2012) the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Google Scholar:

Amanda Giang

Assistant Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and Department of Mechanical Engineering


Amanda Giang is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. Her research address challenges at the interface of environmental modelling and policy through an interdisciplinary lens, with a focus on air pollution and toxic chemicals. She is interested in understanding how modelling and data analytics can better empower communities and inform policy decision-making. Current projects in her research group include developing digital tools to better understand and respond to environmental injustice in Canada, evaluating the impacts of technology and policy on air quality, and exploring how different kinds of knowledge are used in environmental assessment processes.

Website (personal):

Website (research group):

Google Scholar:

Leila Harris

Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ)


Leila Harris is a Professor at the Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia. She also serves as Co-Director for UBC’s Program on Water Governance (, is a member of the EDGES research collaborative (Environment and Development: Gender, Equity, and Sustainability Perspectives,, and is an Associate of the Department of Geography, and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. Dr. Harris’s work examines social, cultural, political-economic, institutional and equity dimensions of environmental and resource issues. Her current research focuses on the intersection of environmental issues and inequality / social difference, water governance shifts (e.g. marketization, participatory governance), in addition to a range of water governance challenges important for the Canadian context (e.g. First Nations water governance). Current projects include a SSHRC funded project on everyday access and governance of water in underserved areas of Cape Town, South Africa and Accra, Ghana. Dr. Harris is also principal investigator for the SSHRC funded International WaTERS Research and Training Network focused on water governance, equity and resilience in the global South (

Dr. Joanne Fox teaches a class at Orchard Commons

Photo credit: Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing