Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
- Understanding how engagement in environmentalism is related to social class, political ideology, and gender
- Examining the way that definitions of morality play a role in consumer tastes and environmental movements
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
ADVICE AND INSIGHTS FROM UBC FACULTY ON REACHING OUT TO SUPERVISORS
These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.
Graduate Student Supervision
Master's Student Supervision
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
Food Justice activism transforms poor communities of colour in the United States by increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. While the language of food justice has been incorporated into Canada, few studies have empirically analyzed how Canadian food activists interpret its central tenets and goals. I interviewed volunteers, committee members, and the lead organizer of a justice-oriented local food organization that implemented an emergency food program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic. My findings show that participants understand and enact food justice in two different but complementary ways. First, participants respond to the stigma that free food recipients face by strategically redefining the meaning of free food recipients. This redefinition occurs through four mechanisms of destigmatization: combining social categories, removing blame, drawing equivalences, and restoring agency. Second, when conceptualizing an ideal local food organization, participants demonstrate a thick democratic imagination. Specifically, they visualize a grassroots, anti-bureaucratic, and culturally inclusive food hub that facilitates food education through a community kitchen and garden. Moreover, participants prioritize Indigenous led-food initiatives and systems, revealing a thick and imaginative democratic imagination. The significance of these findings is twofold. On the one hand, my research reveals how the availability of symbolic resources (e.g., the concept of a shared community) facilitates the destigmatization of low-status groups. On the other hand, my research demonstrates that food activists on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have thick democratic imaginations and that these imaginations expand when accounting for Indigenous reconciliation. Altogether these findings show that while interpretations of food justice are contextual, it retains its transformative potential.
In order to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change, we must transition to a low-carbonenergy system. However, the process of decarbonization faces significant cultural andpolitical barriers, especially within fossil fuel producing regions where the impacts ofdecarbonization policy are felt most directly. To overcome these barriers, both scholars andpolicy makers have begun to call for a just transition for affected communities in an effort tocentre justice and equity concerns in the process of decarbonization. While the limited attemptsat implementing a just transition program have largely been confined to the coal sector, theCanadian Federal Government has started to develop a more expansive just transition frameworkfor the entire fossil fuel sector. Little is known, though, about how those living and working inthe Canadian Oil Sands, home to 97% of Canadian fossil fuel reserves, feel about this proposal.To address this gap, I orient this study around the question: how do those living and working inthe Canadian Oil Sands interpret the proposal for a just transition? Using data collected through18 semi-structured interviews with industry and community members in the Oil Sands town ofFort McMurray, I show how the cultural and political conditions endemic to fossil fuelproducing regions are largely incommensurate with a just transition program as it is currentlyconceptualized in the scholarly literature and materialized through government policy. Drawingon my participants’ perspectives on climate change, low-carbon energy alternatives, regionalpolitics, and the proposal for a just transition specifically, I offer evidence for this conclusionwhile also advocating for the continued development of just transition programs, albeit ones thatcenter the localized cultural conditions and concerns of the communities for which they areintended to serve.
- Political Energy and Political Evaporation: Evaluating the Practice of Shopping for Food System Change (2022)
International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society,
- Eating for Taste and Eating for Change: Ethical Consumption as a High-Status Practice (2019)
- Explaining support for renewable energy: commitments to self-sufficiency and communion (2019)
Environmental Politics, , 1--21
- Is there an “ideal feeder”? How healthy and eco-friendly food consumption choices impact judgments of parents (2019)
Agriculture and Human Values, 36 (1), 137--151
- Gendered citizenship and the individualization of environmental responsibility: evaluating a campus common reading program (2018)
Environmental Education Research, 24 (2), 191--206
- Reinterpreting the gender gap in household pro-environmental behaviour (2018)
Environmental Sociology, 4 (3), 299--310
- The Practice of Green Consumption (2018)
Environment and Society, , 187--206
- Using Semi-Structured Interviews to Identify the Place and Prominence of Shopping for Change in Local Food Movements (2018)
- Extension of What and to Whom? A Qualitative Study of Self-Provisioning Service Delivery in a University Extension Program (2017)
Food Systems and Health, , 177--198
- Organic vs. Local: Comparing individualist and collectivist motivations for “ethical” food consumption (2017)
Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l'alimentation, 4 (1), 68
- Small-p politics: how pleasurable, convivial and pragmatic political ideals influence engagement in eat-local initiatives (2017)
The British Journal of Sociology, 69 (3), 670--690
- The power of social norms for reducing and shifting electricity use (2017)
Energy Policy, 107, 43--52
- Environmental evaporation: the invisibility of environmental concern in food system change (2016)
Environmental Sociology, 2 (1), 18--28
- Environmental Harm and “the Good Farmer”: Conceptualizing Discourses of Environmental Sustainability in the Beef Industry (2016)
Rural Sociology, 81 (2), 172--193
- Environmental Politics and Women's Activism (2016)
The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies,
- Food activists, consumer strategies, and the democratic imagination: Insights from eat-local movements (2016)
Journal of Consumer Culture, 18 (1), 149--168
- Locating Gender in Environmental Sociology (2015)
Sociology Compass, 9 (10), 920--929
- Teaching & Learning Guide for Locating Gender in Environmental Sociology (2015)
Sociology Compass, 9 (11), 1000--1004
- Are we counting what counts? A closer look at environmental concern, pro-environmental behaviour, and carbon footprint (2013)
Local Environment, 20 (2), 220--236
- Downshifting: An Exploration of Motivations, Quality of Life, and Environmental Practices (2013)
Sociological Forum, 28 (4), 764--783
- Egregious Emitters (2013)
Environment and Behavior, 46 (5), 535--555
- Scaling up alternative food networks: farmers’ markets and the role of clustering in western Canada (2012)
Agriculture and Human Values, 29 (3), 333--345
- Public views on forest management: value orientation and forest dependency as indicators of diversity (2011)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 41 (4), 740--749
- Rethinking ecological citizenship: the role of neighbourhood networks in cultural change (2011)
Environmental Politics, 20 (6), 843--860
- David Boyle & Andrew Simms, The New Economics: A Bigger Picture (2010)
Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 6 (2), 70--71
- Rural-Urban Differences in Environmental Concern in Canada (2009)
Rural Sociology, 74 (3), 309--329
- Towards a sociology of consumerism (2008)
International Journal of Sustainable Society, 1 (2), 172