Connecting to practice
Located in the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research at UBC’s Okanagan Campus, CEAR provides infrastructure to support and help coordinate EA research across Canada and across disciplines. CEAR’s facilities are accessible to university colleagues from outside UBC and to those from government, First Nations, industry, and other sectors who want to participate in research and training. The setting and approach provide an opportunity for students to benefit from interaction with practitioners.
Integrating research and learning
Many of the challenges and development issues that EA addresses, and the impacts of policy changes that affect EA practice in Canada are being actively debated by Canadians. EA provides a key setting for addressing different perspectives on resource use, and for informing and improving resource planning and management. The demand for EA practitioners from a range of fields is strong and growing. Research and teaching in EA has long been interdisciplinary. The field typically requires practitioners with a breadth of scientific, technical and administrative knowledge, and many of those working in EA have graduate training. At CEAR, graduate student research and training can be conceptually broad, but also focused on specific projects, regions, sectors or resources. Graduate learning opportunities at UBC’s Okanagan Campus include a range of advanced and innovative qualitative and quantitative tools – including the use of statistical methods, geographical information systems, modelling, risk analysis, consultation and participation, field methods, and coursework covering a variety of key development and resource sectors.
EA is a diverse and inherently interdisciplinary field. The assessment work environment emphasizes strong analytical abilities, solid writing and communication capabilities, and the skills to understand and synthesize information from a range of scientific, applied science and social science disciplines. CEAR faculty members come from the social and physical sciences and applied sciences, and together they provide a strong interdisciplinary foundation for learning and skills development.