Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.79
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Victoria
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 John Ho
Sustainability Coordinator
Campus Planning and Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Environmental Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

The School of Environmental Studies is constructed upon three areas of focus: ethnoecology, ecological restoration and political ecology. This combination makes the program unique in Canada.

Ethnoecology is the study of interactions between people and the ecosystems they inhabit. Students taking courses based on this pillar join faculty Nancy Turner, Trevor Lantz, James Rowe, and Brenda Beckwith as they do more than document traditional relationships to place: they interpret our changing relationship to nature and bring this knowledge to bear on critical issues of land rights, climate change, and the recovery of knowledge.

Political ecology is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to each other and to the environment. Put more simply, it explores the politics and policy necessary in a world where ecology matters. Students taking courses based on this pillar join faculty Kara Shaw and Duncan Taylor in understanding how to create positive change. Understanding the deep blocks to change is the first lesson. The second is that real change happens when we see the subtle shades between black and white solutions.

Ecological restoration is repairing damage we've done to ecosystems. But, repair makes it sound too easy. Students taking courses based on this pillar join faculty Eric Higgs, John Volpe, Brian Starzomski, and Valentin Schaefer in learning that good ecological restoration is about getting the ecology right, but that might only be 25% of the challenge. The rest involves ensuring adequate political support, creating an inspiring design, mobilizing community volunteers, providing long-term economic support, and monitoring and adapting to change complete the picture. These are big challenges requiring an integrated approach.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Geography

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

Geography is an integrative, environmental discipline that at its core asks how people impact, and are impacted by, the natural world. As an interdisciplinary field, problems are viewed from multiple perspectives, including physical science, social science and humanities approaches.

UVic Geography students gain the specific set of tools needed to integrate information from the human and natural perspectives to solve new and complex challenges as they emerge, in the environment and in the world around them.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
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Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Restoration of Natural Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:

The Restoration of Natural Systems (RNS) offers a Diploma and Certificate, which consist of skills-based courses as does another program, the post-baccalaureate Native Species and Natural Process Professional Specialisation Certificate. The RNS Diploma is taken both for undergraduate credits and for upgrading by practising professionals.

The undergraduate BA and BSc degree programs have a stream dedicated to Ecological Restoration that also offer an MA and MSc with this specialization.

In addition to regular degree programs, professional development in partnership with the Division of Continuing Studies is offered. This includes the credit Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma, the non-credit Restoration of Natural Systems Certificate, and the post-baccalaureate non-credit Ecological Restoration Professional Specialization Certificate. Courses for the Restoration of Natural Systems Program can be applied towards a BA or BSc degree. Students can take the Diploma concurrently with their degree and graduate with both credentials.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Human Dimension of Climate Change

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

Human Dimensions of Climate Change (HDCC) is an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor that focuses on climate change from the perspectives of all the major disciplines that emphasize the human elements of climate change, including psychology, economics, geography, anthropology, law, philosophy, political science, sociology, business, environmental studies, and others. Solutions to the many problems of climate change mitigation and adaptation will require an understanding of the human aspects of the problem. HDCC directly confronts these human aspects.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The School of Environmental Studies creates UVic's major sustainability programs. It offers interdisciplinary programs, with courses that examine systemic aspects of environmental issues and explore solutions that cut across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. It also recognizes that many aspects of local, national and international environmental problems are inextricably connected to our dominant cultural values, and attendant political, social, economic and educational institutions. The School offers a Major, Minor and General Program for undergraduates, and collaborates on a field school program called the Redfish School of Change. In partnership with the UVic Division of Continuing Studies the School of Environmental Studies offers professional development programs. The Restoration of Natural Systems (RNS) offers a Diploma and Certificate, which consist of skills-based courses as does another program, the post-baccalaureate Native Species and Natural Process Professional Specialization Certificate. The RNS Diploma is taken both for undergraduate credits and for upgrading by practicing professionals. UVic also offers an interdisciplinary minor program called the Human Dimensions of Climate changes, which integrates knowledge from among the social sciences.

UVic offers 17 sustainability focused undergraduate-level degree programs and 20 sustainability related undergraduate-level degree programs. Sustainability focused undergraduate-level courses were determined if over 50% of that departments courses offered were identified as sustainability focused courses based on our definition of a sustainability focused course. These sustainability focused undergraduate programs can all also be taken as a minor or concentration within a student’s degree program.

List of sustainability-focused undergraduate degree programs and minors (alphabetical order):

1. Ageing
2. Civil Engineering
3. Commerce
4. Entrepreneurship
5. Environmental Restoration
6. Environmental Studies
7. Geography
8. Health and Society
9. Human Dimensions of Climate Change
10. Indigenous Community Development and Governance
11. Indigenous Governance
12. Indigenous Health Studies
13. Public Administration
14. Service Management
15. SMGT (Service Management)
16. Social Justice Studies
17. Social Sciences

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.