Douglas Robb

Canadian energy landscapes
Faculty of Arts
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I've always enjoyed teaching and research, and I knew a PhD would allow me to contribute to important conversations pertaining to the Canada's low-carbon transition. My work is fundamentally interdisciplinary, and I wanted to surround myself with a diverse range of academics and practitioners who are at the forefront of research concerning the social, political, and territorial dimensions of decarbonization.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Vancouver sits at the intersection of some of the most urgent challenges facing decarbonization in North America. Many of the social and political contradictions surrounding fossil fuel infrastructure can be explored at the urban scale, and I think of the city as a kind of laboratory for how the low-carbon transition might occur.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

When I decided to return to graduate school, I wanted to combine my visual and design research background in landscape architecture with critical scholarship from the social sciences. After researching many programs, UBC Geography offered the perfect combination. At UBC I'm surrounded by peers and advisors who support my interdisciplinary research and provide a network of expertise and encouragement.

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

I'm constantly amazed by Vancouver's natural landscape, especially the mountains. After a long day of classes it's nice to recharge with a walk along the Seawall. Plus there's always great coffee, wine, or craft beer nearby.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of grad school, but I recommend taking time to get out of the city. There's so much to see and do around Vancouver that can be accessed by public transit or on a bike.


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