Schedule of Events: Oct. 26 to 30

The University of Alberta's Sustainability Awareness Week runs Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 30. All events take place online using Zoom or Google Meet. Some events require free registration on Eventbrite to access the meeting link.


Need help? Please reach out if you have any issues with registering or signing into an event.


11 a.m.–Noon

An Exploration of Risk Perception and Governance of Drinking Water Consumption Patterns in First Nations Communities

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Many Indigenous communities across Canada suffer from lack of access to clean drinking water. Ensuring individuals and communities have safe water to drink, either from their home or from their local environment, requires the consideration of multiple factors, including individual risk perception. Learn about this team’s research over a two-year period in the Dene Tha’ First Nation and Kátł’odeeche First Nation to unpack the issue of risk perception and its meaning to local community members.

  • Florence Glanfield: Co-Director of SKIPP and Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research)
  • Molly Chisaakay: Dene Tha First Nation
  • Kevin Ahkimnachie: Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta 
  • Sharlene Alook: Master's Student, Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology 
  • Brenda Parlee: Associate Professor in the Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology

Noon–1 p.m.

Green Spaces 101

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In this workshop participants will learn about the Green Spaces certification program, social, economic, and environmental sustainability on campus, and how to green your space in a meaningful way.

Behn Jang is a program coordinator with UAlberta’s Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO). EMSO works to minimize the University of Alberta’s impact on the environment on behalf of all members of the university community. This includes projects related to climate, energy, water, waste, transportation, green buildings, and food. Behn has worked with EMSO since 2018 and leads the Green Spaces program.

2–3 p.m.

U of A Sustainability Showcase

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In this showcase organized by the Sustainability Council, students across the spectrum of our programs will respond to questions about the role of sustainability in their academic journey. You will hear from:

  • A student's research into green materials for skyscraper construction, completed as part of the Certificate in Sustainability.
  • Graduate students who further the sustainable ventures of local organizations as Sustainability Scholars.
  • A student who founded a student group to experiment with all kinds of campus-based renewable energy.

Noon–1 p.m.

Table de Conversation: Industrie de la mode/habillement et la responsabilité citoyenne

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Venez participer à cette table de discussion et discuter d'un sujet chaud. La mode et le développement durable sont-ils des amis ou plutôt des ennemis? Quels sont les grands défis que le secteur de la mode doit relever afin de devenir plus durable? Venez partager vos connaissances et vos expériences sur ce sujet dont l'importance est grandissante.

1–2 p.m.

What does Fairtrade really mean?

Register on Google Forms (space is capped at 25).

In 2018 the University of Alberta was designated a FairTrade Campus by FairTrade Canada. But what does Fairtrade mean and does it really make a difference? This workshop will give a high level overview of third-party certifications and, with an activity, teach attendees the difference Fairtrade makes.

Shannon Leblanc is the Program Team Lead with Energy Management and Sustainable Operations. Her work relates to climate, energy, water, waste, transportation, green buildings, and food.

2:30–4 p.m.

Sun, Fire, and Water: Optimizing Climate Change Response with Artificial Intelligence

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In this panel, learn how artificial intelligence is being harnessed in solar energy projects, fighting fires, and improving the effectiveness of water treatment. Panlists will discuss how artificial intelligence can be harnessed to mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as to better manage renewable resources.

Nicole Bonnett: PhD candidate in the School of Urban and Regional Planning

Jessica Zerb: masters student in the Department of Renewable Resources whose research focuses on applying Machine Learning techniques to forecast fire weather indices.

Moosa Moghimi Haji: postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computing Science whose research interests include smart grids.

James Bell: research associate in the Department of Computing Science whose research focuses on applying reinforcement learning to optimizing water treatment.

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Energy and Sustainability in our Communities

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In this panel, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Future Energy Systems will share research that explores the interface of new energy technologies and our everyday lives, and how different approaches to energy in our communities can promote sustainability throughout our society.

  • Neelakshi Joshi is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the Urban Environment Observatory and in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
  • Muhammad Saad Arshad is a MSc Student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is a 2019 Sustainability Scholar.
  • Andrea Miller is a MSc Student in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.

Noon–1 p.m.

The Future of Sustainable Energy with Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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This event will include a series of short presentations by members of the University of Alberta EcoCar team. Learn what EcoCar does and has accomplished over the years, an introduction to hydrogen fuel cells, and various applications of hydrogen fuel cells in the industry.

1–2 p.m.

Sustainability Reporting & Ratings

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In this presentation, learn about sustainability reporting and measurement at the University of Alberta. Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), is a system used by the University of Alberta which reports on sustainability as a whole. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of a reporting system like STARS and look at how the University measures greenhouse gas emissions to improve the sustainability of our buildings.

  • Shannon Leblanc is the Program Team Lead with Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
  • Behn Jang is a Program Coordinator with Energy Management and Sustainable Operations

5–6:30 p.m.

Cook Virtually with the CFB: Sustainable

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Join the Campus Food Bank in a virtual Cook With Us session where you’ll learn to cook a delicious plant-based recipe from the comfort of your own home! Tune in at 5 p.m. to cook alongside the chefs or simply watch the meal come together.

Volunteers will work through the recipe, taking breaks for questions and to share tips and tricks for the recipe. Ingredients and recipe information will be shared on the Campus Food Bank website and social media for participants ahead of the session. The workshop will take around one hour, and participants can choose to stay and eat together afterwards.

11 a.m.–Noon

Sustainability through an Intersectional Lens - A Graduate Research Showcase

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In this panel discussion, graduate students from a range of disciplines represent their ongoing research on sustainability from an intersectional perspective.

  • Rebecca Sockbeson is the Associate Director of Intersections of Gender and Professor in the Department of Education.
  • Angeline M Letourneau is a PhD student in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology. She will present on "The Energy Speedbump: Exploring how masculinity can slow down the energy transition."
  • Carrie Karsgaard is a PhD Student in Educational Policy Studies. She will present on "Teaching the Trans Mountain Pipeline: (Anti)colonial Public Pedagogy on Instagram."
  • Rezvaneh Erfani Hossein Pour is a PhD Student in the Department of Sociology. She will present on "Imagining New Environmentalisms: Social and Political Capacities of Environmental Activism in the Middle East."
  • Irene Friesen Wolfstone is a PhD Student in Education Policy Studies. She will present on "Intersectionality. Sustainability. Incongruent Paradigms."

12:15–1 p.m.

Opportunités de financement pour la recherche en développement durable à la UofA

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Découvrez comment accéder à des financements pour soutenir vos recherches liées à la durabilité et au développement durable. Ces subventions et allocations pourraient rendre vos recherches encore plus intéressantes et réalisables. Jusqu'à 6 000 $ sont disponibles en financement par projet! De plus, des subventions allant jusqu'à 50 000 $ sont disponibles pour les groupes d'étudiants souhaitant se servir de l'université (y compris le campus, nos communautés et nos laboratoires et salles de classe) comme laboratoire vivant pour des innovations en matière de développement durable.

3–4 p.m.

Get Outside: The Value of Parks with professor Glen Hvenegaard

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The benefits of parks go beyond stargazing by the campfire, admiring flora and fauna during a hike or paddling across a lake. Take a virtual walk in the park and learn more about the value of parks to tourism, natural ecosystems, conservation, research and more.

After watching a presentation recorded at beautiful Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and produced by the Alumni Association, ask your questions directly to professor Glen Hvenegaard in a live Q&A.

4–6 p.m.

The Need for a Transition to a Plant-Based Food System in Canada

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For the sake of Canadians’ health, environmental commitments, and desire to avoid inflicting unnecessary suffering and death on animals, is it necessary for Canada to transition to a plant-based food system?

Join this workshop to engage with a distinguished panel of academics and policymakers. Discuss the benefits of such a transition, how it might work, and how various stakeholders can make the most of the opportunities provided by a transition to a plant-based food system in Canada.

  • Moderated by Howard Nye, an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta.
  • Sue Donaldson is co-convenor of the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (APPLE) research group at Queen’s University.
  • Andrew Fenton is an associate professor in the Philosophy Department at Dalhousie University.
  • Will Kymlicka is the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University.
  • Jordan Reichert is deputy leader of the Animal Protection Party of Canada and the West Coast Campaign Officer for the Animal Alliance of Canada.
  • Vasile Stanescu is an assistant professor and director of the program in Speech and Debate at Mercer University.
  • Tony Weis is an Associate Professor in Geography at Western University.

Noon–1 p.m.

Climate Change Impacts Your Health

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We know climate change impacts the ocean and cryosphere. But what does this mean for human health? This presentation from the Precision Health Signature Area unpacks key findings from the most recent IPCC report focused on changes to our oceans and cryosphere. Sherilee Harper will show that environmental effects—warming water, decreased ice, thawing permafrost—have undeniable impacts on human health.

Sherilee Harper is a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health and an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. She is a lead author on the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

1–2 p.m.

Sun-In-A-Box: Engaging Edmonton with Portable Solar Energy

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In this presentation, learn about the Sun-In-A-Box, and how three U of A students engaged Edmontonians in hands-on interactive workshops centered around green energy systems. This team developed a portable, off-grid solar energy system for powering smartphones and other electronic devices. With open-source designs ready, they set off to teach elementary and high school students about green energy and helped people build their own solar energy systems. Please join us to learn more about the Sun-In-A-Box, how they initiated this project, and how you too can pursue solar energy initiatives!

  • David Roszko is an Electrical Engineering E.I.T. pursuing a masters in neuroscience at the University of Alberta.
  • Ashley Roszko is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Community Engagement program at the University of Alberta and a former Sustainability Scholar
  • Nathan Olson is an Electrical Engineering E.I.T. with several years of experience in electrical project management in a variety of areas including consumer, public sector, and industrial manufacturing.