New EOAS initiatives funded by the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and the Faculty of Science’s Strategic Initiatives Fund

January 25, 2022
From left to right: Shandin Pete and Laura Lukes

Laura Lukes, Shandin PeteSarah Bean Sherman

In the recent 2021/22 UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) and the Faculty of Science’s Strategic Initiatives Fund (SIF) competitions, four projects developed by EOAS faculty members were selected and funded.

The Earth Science Experiential and Indigenous Learning (EaSEIL) project is funded by TLEF and led by Laura Lukes and Shandin Pete. The project aims to create space for collaborative reflection among students, instructors, staff, and community members to reimagine, develop, and transform field-based experiential learning across multiple programs, departments, and faculties at UBC, including geological sciences. The focus of transformation is on three foundational pillars: increased opportunities for interdisciplinary education; the respectful integration of Indigenous Knowledge, histories, and ways of knowing into course content; and an increase in accessibility and inclusion through the development of online field-based learning options.

Laura Lukes is also the project lead for Developing a toolkit for assessing student understanding of how Indigenous issues intersect with their field of study (funded by SIF). A key part to successfully designing and implementing an Indigenized curriculum is having the ability to determine the impact on student learning and experience. This initiative will produce a performance measure toolkit for instructors and unit leads across the Faculty of Science to measure impact on student learning and progress towards ISP goals. The data produced from toolkit utilization will inform efforts to redesign courses or graduate research traineeships. It will also assist the broader faculty of Science community in identifying evidence-based practices for indigenizing the curriculum.

Shandin Pete also leads the SIF-funded project Developing relationships and partnerships with Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students in UBC Science. This project aims to engage and partner with Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students in UBC Science to learn more about their experiences, needs, and desires with respect to curriculum, pedagogy, research, educational programming, and advising. This project stems from the interests of Indigenous faculty and students in UBC Science who crave more opportunities to engage with one another, to share their ideas and concerns, and to advise on decolonization and reconciliation work in UBC Science.

Bean Sherman is part of the team that will carry out the SIF-funded initiative Teaching & Learning in Science through the lens of Indigeneity, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. This project is a guest speaker series that features prominent and influential thought leaders in inclusive STEM education. The series will feature guest speakers who will address topics relating to their expertise in inclusive STEM education that are of interest to the UBC Science teaching and learning community. Speakers will represent various disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics, geology, etc.), identities (IBPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, etc.), and specialties (curriculum, pedagogy, research).