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News and Events | Issue 4, 2020



Ice, not rivers, may have covered ancient Mars

The surface of Mars was scarred by glaciers, not free-flowing rivers as previously thought. UBC researchers analyzed more than 10,000 Martian valleys, using an algorithm to uncover evidence of extensive subglacial erosion.






Understanding the biology of cannabis

Due to historical prohibition, much of the chemistry and biology of cannabis remain a mystery, and we need to do more to crack its secrets. “In the end it’s just a plant and we can’t manage it better if we don’t understand it as fully as we understand potatoes or corn,” explains UBC botanist Jonathan Page.





The dazzling diversity of BC’s bumble bees

The humble, understudied bumble bee isn’t nearly as popular as honey bees—but these fuzzy insects are incredibly varied and further research could allow us to understand the challenges they face.






Earthquake sensors record massive drop in human activity

Seismometers detect vibrations caused by earthquakes, but they also pick up the background noise of human activity. Lockdown measures to combat COVID-19 led to a 50 per cent reduction in seismic noise around the world.



Online science


UBC Homecoming 2020 Join our virtual celebration featuring an all-star line-up of UBC notables, familiar faces and surprise guests.
September 25-27




Generations at Work
In this free webinar, participants will learn how to better communicate with and work with diverse generational groups.
October 1



Woman with laptop


Investigating UFO Videos
Pseudoscience debunker Mick West delves into videos of flying saucers and science communication challenges.
October 1






Researchers call for support for underrepresented biologists

Researchers from five institutions, including UBC, outline strategies to support Black, Indigenous, and people of colour working in ecology and evolutionary biology.



Question mark



Online chemistry classes in the time of COVID

Associate Professor of Teaching Jay Wickenden (PhD '14) explains how he handled the switch to online classes and offers tips for teachers and students engaged in distance learning.



Howard Soon



Helping kids become sea smart

“Over 30 of the species I’d studied or interacted with would go extinct within my lifetime,” says Elaine Leung (BSc ‘04). The biologist founded Sea Smart to help children understand the importance of ocean conservation.








Moving science and engineering outreach online

It was a strange summer for the science outreach community at UBC as activities shifted online. Our dedicated coordinators explain why creating online outreach opportunities for youth isn’t as simple as just digitizing curricula. Some activities, such as Saturday clubs, are continuing this fall.



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