UBC Reports | Vol. 58 | No. 1 | Jan. 3, 2012

UBC Reports

January 2012
American Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Carl Wieman, brought to UBC to help reform science education. Martin Dee Photograph

UBC welcomes world’s scientists to Vancouver

In February Vancouver will play host to more than 8,000 researchers from more than 60 countries. UBC experts are helping lead discussions on some of our most vexing global challenges.

AAAS by the numbers

The American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its Annual Meeting in Vancouver for the first time.

John Robinson, Executive Director, UBC Sustainability Initiative, Professor, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Geography. Martin Dee Photograph

Regenerative Sustainability: From damage control to improving the environment

A new sustainability agenda is emerging that looks at whether buildings, systems and human activity can actually improve the environment.

By John Robinson, Executive Director, UBC Sustainability Initiative, Professor, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Geography

Dr. Montaner is the organizer and a speaker for the AAAS symposium, Toward the Control of HIV and AIDS Through Comprehensive Treatment as Prevention, Sunday, February 19th 10 – 11:30 a.m., followed by a topical lecture on the same topic. Marlis Funk Photograph

Test drives helping defeat HIV/AIDS: B.C. approach points way to ending world epidemic

Two current campaigns in British Columbia are proving to be game-changers in the effort to defeat HIV/AIDS. They may point the way to end the world epidemic.

By Dr. Julio Montaner, Director, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, past President of the International AIDS Society, Professor of Medicine and Chair of AIDS Research at UBC

Professor Christensen is an organizer and a speaker for the AAAS symposium, Predicting the Future Ocean: The Nereus Program, Saturday, February 18, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Martin Dee Photograph

The Oracle meets Nereus: Predicting the Future Ocean

The Nereus program is a collaborative effort that makes predictions based on complex data, and uses 3D gaming technology to present a science-based view of how oceans may look.

By Villy Christensen, Professor, UBC Fisheries Centre

Beating Alzheimer’s:
a progress report

As the toll from Alzheimer’s grows, promising new agents are emerging. But they face significant hurdles in moving from discovery to clinical practice.

By Dr. Patrick McGeer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Professor Saddler is a speaker in the AAAS symposium Food, Feed, and Fuel: Optimizing Economic and Sustainable Biofuel Production, Friday, Feb. 17, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Darin Dueck Photograph

From the Forest to the Highway: How close are we to advanced biofuels?

New methods of breaking down plant cellulose mean advanced biofuels may be commercially viable by 2020.

By Jack Saddler, Professor and Head of the Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy Group, UBC, Faculty of Forestry

Professor Bakker is an organizer and speaker for the AAAS symposium Water Security: Multidisciplinary Responses to a Global Challenge, Friday, Feb. 17, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., and a topical speaker on the same subject. Martin Dee Photograph

Moving toward genuine water security

Without integrated watershed planning and management, communities are vulnerable. But the science is lagging when it comes to integration.

By Karen Bakker, Director, Programme on Water Governance, Professor, UBC Department of Geography

Professor Sheppard is an organizer and a speaker for the AAAS symposium Beyond Climate Models: Rethinking How to Envision the Future with Climate Change, Friday, Feb. 17, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Martin Dee Photograph

Seeing is believing: New ways to envision our future with climate change

It is clear that traditional scientific communication methods underpinned by global climate change models are not stimulating the action needed. Researchers are identifying ways that communication to foster social change can be improved.

By Stephen Sheppard, Director, Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, Professor, UBC Faculties of Forestry and Applied Science

Professor Werker, AT RIGHT, here with researcher Whitney Weikum , is an organizer and speaker for the AAAS symposium The Effects of Early Experience on Lifelong Functioning: Commitment and Resilience, Friday, Feb. 17, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Martin Dee Photograph

Look who’s talking! What we are learning from babies about language acquisition

By six months babies recognize frequent words. But language acquisition actually begins much earlier, even in the womb.

By Janet Werker, Director, UBC Infant Studies Centre, Professor, Department of Psychology

Dirk Zeller is an organizer and speaker for the AAAS Symposium Underreported Yet Overoptimistic: Fisheries Catch Reconstructions and Food Security, Sunday, Feb. 19, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Bad fish arithmetic: government reports and actual catches don’t add up

More than 12,000 people live along the Alaskan coast and have a long history of catching and eating fish. They catch nearly 1,000 metric tonnes of fish annually.

By Dirk Zeller, Senior Research Fellow, Sea Around Us Project , UBC Fisheries Centre

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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