Omicron Variant and UBC Term 2 – Student Update

A message from UBC Faculty of Forestry Students Services and Graduate Student Services,
December 22, 2021

Dear Faculty of Forestry Students, 
I hope that this finds you safe and well, as you all prepare for a well-deserved break.
I would like to follow up on today’s communication from President Santa Ono regarding the interim period of online learning that will be happening at UBC until January 24, 2022.  This letter is to outline what you can expect from the beginning of Winter Term 2 until January 24th.  Links to student support and other resources are also listed below.  Our hope is that this information will provide you with some certainty and allow you focus on enjoying your holidays.
First and foremost, we are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution.  This interim period of online teaching will provide us with the time required to make the best choices possible moving forward in light of the rapidly evolving Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.  The safety of our Forestry community is our primary concern.
In order for you to better prepare for this interim period of online teaching, please keep the following in mind:

  • Most classes will be delivered synchronously using Zoom, and recordings of many classes will be made available for asynchronous learning as necessary.  Your instructor will provide confirmation of this and any further details that you will need to know.
  • Classes will be held at their originally scheduled times.  For those of you who are currently outside of Canada, we hope you are able to return for the start of term.  If you are unable to return by this time, and the time zone differences make it difficult to attend, please consult with your instructor for instructions on how to proceed.
  • Instructors will continue to offer scheduled office hours.  These will be delivered 100% online unless otherwise specified.

 Buildings, Facilities, and Research: 

  • All Faculty of Forestry buildings and facilities will remain open to students, faculty, and staff.  We recommend mask use in the buildings, especially in shared offices and laboratories, and medical-grade masks are advisable.  We also recommend for those who have travelled during the holidays to work from home for a period of one week upon their return.  Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, including those specific to the Omicron variant (sore throat, sneezing, congestion, headache, fatigue), should not come into work and should seek testing for COVID-19.  Research activities will continue within the Forest Sciences Centre.  However, please contact your supervisor for specific directives or details about the use of laboratories and shared office spaces.

 Support for Students: 

  • For undergraduate students, the Student Services Team will be available to support you virtually.  Their contact information is below.
  • For graduate students, including Professional Masters Students, the Graduate Services Team will be available to support you virtually.  Their contact information is listed below. 
  • UBC offers mental health and well-being support to all students, as does the Faculty of Forestry.  Please see below Resources section for a link to further information.

 What We Ask of You: 

  • Stay safe and healthy.  Follow local health restrictions carefully.
  • If you are abroad, please organize your travels to allow for potential quarantine requirements to ensure that you are able to attend classes on campus starting January 24th.
  • When Winter Term 2 begins, stay involved in your classes by making yourselves fully available, as you normally would, for classes, group work, team meetings, lab work, research, etc.  When in doubt, ask your Instructor or Supervisor.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  Our hope is that in-person learning will resume on January 24th.  In the meantime, we very much appreciate your attention, cooperation, and patience during this time.  We sincerely look forward to seeing you all back in-person soon.


Resources and Support 
Please refer to for the latest information from UBC during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculty of Forestry, Student Services Team (Undergraduates)
Dr. Sarah Gergel, Associate Dean, Academic

Dr. Scott Hinch, Associate Dean, Students

Chiara Longhi, Director of Student Services

Ana Curcin, Student Advisor/Recruiter

Janna Rumary-Kellett, Student Advisor/Recruiter

Lydia Braam, Student Engagement Officer

Nazlyn Pirani, Forestry Co-op Coordinator

Sanya Sivic, Wood Co-op Coordinator

Joris Jun, Transfer Program Manager

Support for Mental Health and Well-Being
Please click here for full details on the counseling and support offered to Faculty of Forestry students and community.

Faculty of Forestry, Graduate Services Team

Dr. Shannon Hagerman
Associate Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies Graduate Program Advisor

Julie Morey
Director, Graduate Student Academic Services

Jorma Neuvonen (Professional Masters Students) 
Assistant Dean, Professional Education and International Collaboration

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