Announcing the PWIAS Catalyst Collaboration Fund Awardees – Cycle 2

December 12, 2022

Congratulations to the awardees for the second cycle of the Catalyst Collaboration Fund. The fund provides up to $10k support for collaborative research projects and/or events, knowledge translation and mobilization related to the climate and nature emergency.

We look forward to bringing you more updates about these exciting projects and events in the coming months.

Cash Ahenakew, Educational Studies, CRC in Indigenous Peoples’ Well-Being
Project: Indigenous Youth Building and Exchanging Strategies for Climate Advocacy
A week-long workshop to be held at PWIAS in Spring 2023 that brings together 7 Indigenous youth from communities from North and South America to develop strategies for Indigenous-led advocacy against climate colonialism, especially for international audiences. PI Cash Ahenakew will support the young people to strategically and accountably weave impactful narratives that honour their Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies while shifting dominant responses away from false, simplistic solutions to climate change and toward responses that honour Indigenous land rights, self-determination, and the well-being of the earth.

William Cheung, Institute for Oceans and Fisheries
Project: Solving Sustainability Challenges at the Food-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus
A solution-oriented project that aims to address the sustainability challenges of coastal small-scale fisheries at the nexus of addressing climate, food security and biodiversity emergencies, through a case study in Costa Rica. This study will explore the benefits, co-benefits and trade-offs of implementing a portfolio of nature-based solutions in the Gulf.

Greg Garrard, English and Critical Studies (UBCO)
Project: Unintended Consequences
Creating an Open Educational Resources (OER) curriculum at the post-secondary level that conveys and critically examines environmental health and environmental justice (EH/J) knowledge. Eight curriculum modules examining key aspects of EH/J will be introduced using Scholarly Personal Narrative, a methodology in which stories are part of the data. Student and instructor readings will be complemented by a series of podcasts where participants will articulate the aspects of ‘nature emergencies’ their research has uncovered, including ubiquitous, unequally distributed, chemical and radiation exposures.

Sumeet Gulati, Environmental and Resource Economics
Project: Causal Impacts of Human-Trail Use on Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Grizzly Bear Detections in the South Chilcotin Mountains (SCM) Provincial Park, BC.
Data analyses to estimate the causal impacts of human-trail use on the spatio-temporal movements of one of the few stable Grizzly bear populations in BC. With human-bear conflict rising in BC, understanding movement patterns of grizzly bears relative to humans, and identifying human pressures causing displacement may promote a peaceful coexistence.

Leila Harris, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability
Project: Makers’ Lab: Art/Research Collaborations and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
Coordinating spaces for BC-based artists and UBC artist/academics and students to connect, collaborate and create with a focus on exploring the climate and nature emergency. Zoom sharing and brainstorming sessions for artists and researchers working on key linked themes (biodiversity loss, climate grief, water insecurity) will be followed up with an in-person creative workshop and “makers’ lab” where creative teams will be able to act out, and explore their creative ideas (e.g., demonstrations, art installations).

Tabitha Martens, Land and Food Systems
Project: Caring for the Land: Indigenous Defenders, Guardians, Seed Keepers and Love
Exploring how Indigenous guardians, watchmen, and seed keepers express their love and care for the land in British Columbia. This qualitative project will be guided by an Indigenous research paradigm and seeks to complete 15 conversational interviews with guardians, watchmen, and seed keepers (and others who may describe their roles and responsibilities differently) in British Columbia. Interview data will be analyzed to identify emergent themes surrounding love for the land.

Daniel Pauly, Institute for Oceans and Fisheries
Project: Climate Stories
Communicating the experiences and knowledge acquired at COP27 using several forms of multimedia (videos, photos, audio and written storytelling) to reach to the highest number of people possible, and move beyond academic spaces. The project also includes a mural depicting the science and dangers of sea level rise, created in collaboration with First Nations and local artists, to be permanently displayed at the AMS Student NEST and the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries (IOF). Climate Stories is an initiative of SOS Somos OceanoS (We Are Oceans) endorsed UN Ocean Decade Project and led by 2022 Catalyst Fellow, Veronica Relano Ecija.

Kimberly Richards, School of Journalism, Writing and Media
Project: Sustainable Tools for Just Transitions
An open-access archive of performance-based strategies to promote and mobilize support for a just transition away from petro-modernity that prioritizes the experiences of those most impacted by the violence of the existing system. From performance artists developing exercises to guide communities out of denial and fear of our extremely limited carbon budget, to art activists using theatrical tactics to dismantle the apparatus that fuels our current petro-cultures.

Orlando Rojas, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project: With Trees: The New? Material! Relations. Project
A series of forums containing dialogue, activity, co-creative design, and knowledge mobilization to acknowledge the climate crisis and seek new strategies for working with biobased materials as alternatives to petroleum, in particular, biomass (cellulose fibres) from the forest, especially forest residuals. Reciprocal, generative interactions between local scientists, designers, makers and Indigenous knowledge keepers will act as catalysts for new approaches toward this local resource.

Liv Yoon, Kinesiology
Project: A Community-based, Inter- and Trans-disciplinary Approach to Indoor Heat and Air Pollution
A series of 3 virtual workshops to discuss experiences, needs, and resources around the health impacts of indoor heat and air pollution threats in the Vancouver Lower Mainland area among researchers, city partners, policy makers, and marginalized residents. These workshops will subsequently inform a tailored research project to protect vulnerable citizens against negative health impacts of indoor heat and air pollution. This approach entails closely working with, and being guided by, community members directly affected by climate-related hazards.