Volume 24 No. 2

November 19, 2019

AMS Food Banks Donation (November 14 - December 15)

As in previous years, EOAS will assist the AMS Food Bank. The AMS Food Bank supports UBC students who are in need of emergency food-relief; most of their clients are graduate students at UBC who pay international tuition, are supporting families, and struggle with rent, bills, and food costs. The donations received supply those who need access to food, household items, and personal hygiene products up to six times per term and the food bank relies heavily on the hard work of volunteers to keep their operations running smoothly.

A donation box will be stationed in the EOAS Main Office (2020-2207 Main Mall) between November 14 to December 15 (Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm).

Most Wanted Items:
•    Canned beans, kidney, black bean, chickpeas, vegetables, soups, stews, chili, tuna, salmon, and chicken
•    Canned fruit, packed in its own juice or water
•    Pasta sauce
•    Pasta and rice
•    Mac and Cheese   
•    100% nut butters
•    Cereal
•    Granola bars
•    Snacks
•    Coffee & tea
Other Items:
•    Toothbrushes
•    Toothpaste
•    Dental Floss
•    Shampoo & Conditioner
•    Soap
•    Feminine Hygiene Products
Due to health and safety issues we cannot accept the following items:
•    Homemade items
•    Expired food
•    Products containing alcohol
•    Open packages of food

For anyone who may need to use the Food Bank, their hours of operation are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am-4:00pm and appointments can be made directly with an AMS support staff.

Employment and Opportunities

Associate Professorship in Resource Geoscience and Geotechnics, Simon Fraser University

The Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University invites applications for an Endowed Chair in Resource Geoscience and Geotechnics at the Associate Professor level, commencing as early as January 2021. A PhD is required as is previous professional (e.g. academic or industry) experience.

Candidates with expertise in soil and rock mechanics, and who currently lead field- and computationally-based research examining geohazards related to the resource sector and natural hazards are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will develop an internationally recognized, externally funded research program, and supervise both Masters- and Doctoral-level graduate students.

For additional information about this position, see here.

Programs and Events

Earthquake and Tsunami Aftermaths: A roundtable discussion

You are invited to attend a roundtable discussion on the social and political aftermaths of seismic events. This event is open to the public, so please share widely. You can find further details below and at: http://ow.ly/symm50wXyeF


One year. Eight years. Eighteen years. After disaster, life goes on. Individuals, communities and countries rebuild and restructure, leaving the time of disaster behind while they simultaneously incorporate its affective realities into their everyday lives. This roundtable integrates diverse approaches to understanding the social elements of disaster aftermaths – with an eye towards producing useable knowledge in the present as we prepare for future disasters. The speakers will share their anthropological research in India, Sri Lanka, and Japan, followed by a response focused on Vancouver from the city's lead seismic policy planner.

Date/time: Thursday, November 21, 5:00-6:30pm


3:30 – 4:30     [space limited] An optional pre-event tour of the exhibit Shake Up: Preserving What We Value, led by the curator, Jennifer Kramer

                         @ Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC

4:30 – 5:00     Coffee, tea and refreshments

                         @ CK Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC

5:00 – 6:30     Roundtable discussion

                         @ Room 120, CK Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC

Please note that space is limited for the pre-event exhibit tour at MOA. RSVP for the tour here.

Registration is not required to attend the 5pm roundtable event – please just show up!


  • Edward Simpson, Professor, Social Anthropology, SOAS University of London
  • Michele Gamburd, Professor, Anthropology, Portland State University
  • Chika Watanabe, Lecturer, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester


  • Micah Hilt, Lead Seismic Policy Planner, City of Vancouver / PhD Student, UBC Geography


  • Sara Shneiderman, Associate Professor, Anthropology and School of Public Policy & Global Affairs, UBC
  • Jennifer Kramer, Associate Professor, Anthropology and Curator, Museum of Anthropology, UBC

This roundtable event is being held in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association / Canadian Anthropology Society joint conference (though you will not need to register for the conference in order to attend this roundtable). The event is supported by the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Arts, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, the Department of Anthropology, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Museum of Anthropology.

Earth Sciences Seminar with Dr. Anna Mittelholtz: "The Magnetic Field of Mars: Progress and Puzzles"

Abstract: Magnetic fields play a big role in the evolution of a planet and can be used as a tool to understand the interior of it. Orbital spacecraft missions, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), have acquired magnetic field data of Mars, collectively providing full global coverage at different altitudes. Those data carry information about fields of internal origin, specifically the crustal field, and of external origin, fields generated by the Sun and in the ionized upper atmosphere. Time variable external fields induce electric currents in the subsurface, providing information about the electrical conductivity structure and thus, material properties of the martian interior. In this talk, I will give an overview of what we have learnt from the variety of orbital and surface measurements.  I will then specifically address the timing of the ancient dynamo, and the distribution of magnetization in Mars’ crust from observations of locally strong static crustal field.  
Host: Dr. Jessica Pilarczyk
Thursday November 21st, 2019: Simon Fraser South Sciences Building Room 7172 at 3:30 pm

Refreshments will be served (bring your own coffee mug!)

EOAS Colloquium Nov. 21: "High Resolution Coastal Ocean Models and their Applications to Support Management"

On Thursday at 4pm, Laura will present a colloquium talk intended for the broader departmental audience titled, "High-resolution coastal ocean models and their applications to support management" (abstract below).

Please email Elise (eolson@eoas.ubc.ca) with your availability between 11am Thursday and 12pm Friday if you would like to talk with Laura while she is visiting. Also, please let Elise know if you are interested in joining a group for a meal with Laura, particularly graduate students interested in lunch on Thursday.

Abstract: The coastal ocean is a dynamic, complex region where multi-scale processes interact and create conditions suitable for rich ecosystems. For instance, the combination of processes such as land and river runoff, local and remotely-forced upwelling, and wind and tidal mixing can bring nutrients to the surface waters, triggering high primary productivity rates. These coastal waters are also subjected to the direct impact of human activities like fishing, aquaculture farming, wastewater runoff, etc. These anthropogenic perturbations along with other pressures exerted by climate change can lead to negative effects in the coastal ocean (e.g., pollution, hypoxia, ocean acidification, sea level rise, etc.), which in turn can negatively affect ocean-dependent human activities. Since global and regional ocean models usually lack the necessary spatial resolution to fully represent many nearshore processes, there is a need for high-resolution coastal models to address some of these issues near shore. These coastal models can be used to understand the physical and biogeochemical drivers in different regions, how these processes can change in the future, and what the implications of these changes are. Furthermore, they can be useful tools to help inform the decision-making process of managers, regulators and the private sector alike. In this presentation I will focus on a couple of examples of high-resolution coastal ocean models developed to support management decisions regarding local ocean acidification and aquaculture issues.

IRES Seminar: "Household Water Insecurity Research: Advancing SDG 6 and the Global Water Agenda"

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Jepson discusses an emerging framework of research on household water insecurity –identifying the advances and opportunities this interdisciplinary approach offers for supporting SDG6 and the global water agenda. She expands these ideas through empirical cases taken from ongoing projects on household water insecurity in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast region, where she has been working since 2015.She concludes with some reflections on frontiers, challenges, and opportunities –returning (but probably not resolving) the tensions at this intersection of critical work, social scientific inquiry, and the operating space of science-policy dialogues supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Details: November 21st, 12:30pm-1:30pm in AERL 120.

Visiting Talk on Geochemical Behaviour of Arctic Mine Tailings

Gary Schudel is a PhD candidate from UQAT who will be giving a 20 minute talk next Monday, November 25th at 12:30 in 5104. There will be plenty of time afterwards for questions for those who want to stick around or participate in a discussion (the room is booked until 1:30).

Abstract: Acid mine drainage (AMD), which occurs when sulfide minerals are exposed to atmospheric oxygen and water, is one of the most significant environmental challenges in the mining industry. Given that the costs of reclaiming acid-generating wastes can be up to 100 times greater than for those of non-acid-generating wastes, it is critical to accurately predict the acid-generating potential of wastes as early as possible in the development of a mine. In mineralogical terms, the acid-generating potential of a waste is controlled by the balance between the rates of sulfide oxidation (i.e., acid production) and the rates of carbonate dissolution (i.e., acid neutralization). Although prior studies have shown that temperature and, to a lesser-known extent, salinity, exert influence over these reaction rates, these factors are not commonly considered in predictions of the geochemical behavior of mine wastes.

Using laboratory-scale column tests, this project seeks to assess the influence of arctic conditions (i.e., low temperatures and high salinity) on the mineral weathering processes that affect the long-term geochemical behavior of sulfidic mine wastes. Eight kinetic column tests were mounted, with four testing the effects of freeze/thaw cycles and four operated under ambient laboratory conditions. Within each set of four, two columns were rinsed with deionized water and two were rinsed with a KCl and NaCl solution (5 g/L each). The tailings used in this study were characterized before kinetic testing using various physical, mineralogical, and chemical analyses. Oxygen consumption tests were performed each month prior to flushing the columns in order to estimate rates of sulfide oxidation. Following each flush, leachates were collected and analyzed for pH, Eh, electrical conductivity, acidity, alkalinity, and metal concentrations, as well as concentrations of sulfate, thiosulfate, and tetrathionate. The results of this study will be used to better understand the long-term evolution of tailings in impoundments at arctic mine sites.

Special Seminar from Dr. Bruce James: "Using the Movement of Fluids in Geological Time to Improve Reservoir Characterization"

Details: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 · 3:00 pm, ESB 5104

Abstract: Fluids, such as oil, gas, and water, can move within a reservoir over geological time. This talk will show how recognising these processes and incorporating them into analysis can greatly improve reservoir characterization and provide powerful insights to optimise development plans. I will use 3 very different examples to illustrate this. Firstly, a deepwater oil field, that had long been considered an “ugly duckling” was re-evaluated incorporating knowledge of historical fluid movement which had created compositional grading. The new analysis revealed better connectivity, higher recoverable oil volumes and a previously unrecognized tar mat, which demonstrated that producer locations should be higher on structure and the potential need for a waterflood. Secondly, the Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea was reassessed with the knowledge of historical advective gas mixing. This showed that Sunrise, previously thought to have a high risk of compartmentalization, was actually well connected both vertically and laterally. This analysis changed the number and locations of planned development wells, significantly reducing the potential development cost. Finally, in the Alberta Oil Sands, analysis showed that the redistribution of “solid” bitumen and water had occurred as a result of biodegradation. This explained the puzzling water mobility and “upside down” transition zones. This knowledge is important in predicting the lateral movement of steam/heat needed for the optimum design of thermal oil recovery. The movement of fluids within a reservoir over geological time happens more often than is commonly thought and is an under utilized tool for reservoir characterization. It is particularly valuable for offshore development where information is sparse. The most important key to using it is simply asking the question "could it have occurred?"