As a strategist for teaching and learning initiatives, Eric leads and supports teaching and learning projects within the Faculty of Science. Working with faculty, educational technologists, and students he is involved with the design, implementation, revision, and evaluation of new courses, such as Communicating Science (SCIE 300), Topics in Sustainability Science (SCIE 120), and Introduction to Sustainability (SCIE 220). Eric also frequently consults with faculty on implementing communication skills instruction into science courses and holds training workshops on this topic. Further details are provided below.
Communicating Science (SCIE 300)
A third-year course that gives undergraduate students practical experience communicating science to diverse audiences in engaging and creative ways. While SCIE 300 is a science course for science students, we do not focus only on communicating to scientific audiences. Instead, SCIE 300 introduces students to a variety of methods for communicating scientific information to diverse audiences. When considering non-expert audiences, for example, students contribute to a course blog and produce their own podcast and video about current scientific research.
Story by UBC Public Affairs
Review by former student
Sample student work: Chelate: It’s not too late
Topics in Sustainability Science (SCIE 120)
SCIE 120 focuses on topics (e.g. ocean acidification, energy) arising from first-year chemistry and biology courses and discusses the scientific aspects of each within the context of sustainability.
Fundamentals of Sustainability (ASIC 220, formerly SCIE 220)
ASIC 220 explores the three pillars of sustainability – science, society and economics – and examines how human behaviour and social institutions influence both what sustainability is and the decisions that follow. The course challenges students to consider interdisciplinary perspectives - from science and engineering, to economics and business, and the social sciences - in analyzing and proposing solutions to complex problems.
Sustainability Capstone (currently BIOL448, to become ASIC 420)
The Sustainability Capstone (BIOL 448G) is designed to tie together a student’s sustainability education at UBC. It explores systems in nature and society in the context of sustainability and also re-examines the familiar three pillars of sustainability – science, society and economics – highlighting the uses and limitations of the model. The course emphasizes active learning and the acquisition of critical thinking skills. Assessment was done using pre-conception, group, and reflective assignments, including a community-based experiential learning project.
2011 and 2012: Communicating Science (SCIE 300)
2016: First-Year Seminar in Science (SCIE 113)
Teaching and Learning Projects and Resources
Science Writing Resources for Learning (ScWRL)
This project provides students with the resources they need to learn and educators the resources they need to teach the most important skills associated with good science writing. Since the onset of the project in 2012, the team has focused on developing these resources to address the skills that students find especially difficult to master, based on student feedback and rigorous assessment of scientific written work. These resources are freely available on our website. The resources include videos (UBC Science Writing YouTube Channel) and podcasts (UBC Science Writing Podcast Channel). You can also follow us on Twitter (@scwrl_ubc) and like us on Facebook.
Writing Across the Curriculum
Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Writing Centre, designed to support the teaching and learning of writing in the sciences. WAC supports educators in developing skills and resources to effectively teaching science-specific writing in their courses. WAC services, including workshops and a community of practice, aim to engage colleagues across the sciences and create a space for sharing practices, resources and perspectives on science-specific writing.
First-Year Seminar in Science (SCIE 113)
Portions of The First-Year Seminar in Science are currently being evaluated and revised based on both student and instructor feedback. This includes an analysis of the peer-review component of the course.
Other Teaching and Learning Activities
- Project management (e.g. Biology 140 renew)
- Course and program evaluation (e.g. surveys, focus groups in SCIE 113, SCIE 300, ASIC 220, BIOL 448, Master of Data Science)
- Curriculum development (e.g. Sustainability Pathway)
- Guest speaking (e.g. BIOL 200, SCIE 300, CHEM 540D, RHSC 515)
- Coordination of Skylight Development Grants and Science Academic Equipment Fund
- Student mentoring (e.g. alumni events, career discussions)