Jennifer DeBoer

 
Chris Gaston
Modesto
United States
 

Research Topic

Environmental Threats and Opportunities in the US Pulp and Paper Industry

Research Description

Broadly, I am interested in researching interconnections between businesses and ecosystems. My current research investigates the potential role of environmental phenomena in shaping US pulp and paper companies’ strategic orientations. Within this context, I examine (a) when and why pulp and paper companies respond to various environmental issues, such as energy and water scarcity, air and water pollution, forest fires, insect disturbances, renewable energy sources, climate change, etc., (b) how companies respond strategically to perceived environmental threats and opportunities, and (c) the extent to which companies integrate environmental initiatives into their business models. In this work, I seek to advance theories of sustainable management through rigorous qualitative research.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I most enjoy the community my graduate program provides me. I have learned so much by way of my peers, professors, and advisors, and have cultivated many meaningful and lasting friendships.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I was pleasantly surprised when I learned of both UBC’s and the Faculty of Forestry’s global rankings. I’m proud to be studying at such a reputable university and faculty.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC because of the research opportunities it provided me. I was very interested in multidisciplinary research and UBC has provided me countless opportunities to benefit from faculty with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I pursued an MBA in Sustainability to study the interdependent relationship between businesses’ economic and environmental performance. Yet, I discovered that economic performance often took precedence over environmental performance in business courses, whereas environmental performance often took precedence over economic performance in environmental studies courses. Following my MBA, I observed numerous practical economic and environmental issues while working for a private hospitality company in a national park setting. Tensions between economic and environmental pressures intrigued me, both in academia and in practice. I wanted to explore these tensions and potentially work towards addressing them. Thus, a Ph.D. in sustainable business management was a perfect fit.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

In many ways, professional experiences have helped prepare me for graduate study. Often, the research questions I’m interested in exploring relate to previous professional experiences. For example, while working in a national park, I noticed that businesses located near the national park appeared to be far more environmentally responsible than businesses I’d observed in city environments. When I began my graduate program, I began to research relationships between geographic location and business sustainability, only to find little research had investigated these relationships. As a result, I collaborated on a quantitative study relating attributes of companies’ geographic locations with attributes of companies’ environmental practices; the study was later published in a prominent business sustainability journal.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I enjoy spending time outdoors – hiking, camping, kayaking, biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, etc. Vancouver is a wonderful place to live for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Be a student! As a graduate student, you are bound to make mistakes (everyone does). When you do, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, learn from your mistakes and move forward.

 
 

I decided to study at UBC because of the research opportunities it provided me. I was very interested in multidisciplinary research and UBC has provided me countless opportunities to benefit from faculty with diverse backgrounds and experiences.