Benjamin Scheufler (Natural Resource Conservation)

Urban Biodiversity Coordinator at UBC Campus & Community Planning in Vancouver, BC

UBC Forestry Co-op student, Benjamin Scheufler, stands next to a tree, looking up at it.

UBC’s campus is full of an extraordinary variety of life — flora, fauna, fungi, and people, all of whom contribute to a diverse urban ecosystem. This summer, I have had the amazing opportunity to help to protect & steward this biological diversity by working with the Social Environmental Ecological Development Studies (SEEDS) Program, at UBC’s Campus & Community Planning Department. The SEEDS Program is an internationally-recognized initiative which facilitates applied, interdisciplinary, student-led research to advance sustainable development on campus (and beyond!). As the program’s Urban Biodiversity Coordinator, I have been able to work with a team of inspiring people who are passionate about sustainability. My work is split into two main categories: project management, and knowledge exchange.

At the project management level, my work involves connecting 3 groups of people: staff & community partners who can provide research opportunities, students who can provide innovative solutions, and faculty who can help to guide student learning (at a course-wide or individual scale). By helping to scope, monitor and guide these projects, I help to make sure everyone is able to get the most out of their experience!

At the knowledge exchange level, I help to facilitate engagement between the UBC community, and the reccommendations & toolkits that have been developed through student-led research. For example, I have helped to organize and collaborate on UBC’s first Biodiversity Days celebration this May (in partnership with the UBC Botanical Garden), which saw over 4000 people engaged in learning activities related to biodiversity.

This work term has been an awesome experience so far: it has been incredibly exciting to be a part of a diverse knowledge network, and to meet many inspiring people from across campus — including the teams at the UBC Botanical Garden and the UBC Sustainability Initiative. I have also been able to learn along the way, becoming much more adept at project management and organizational skills. Looking forward to continuing this work over the rest of the summer!

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