UBC BEST Courses

BEST 200 Foundations in Bioproducts and the Bioeconomy
An introduction to the production, use, and attributes of renewable products–including bioenergy–derived from biobased materials. Sustainability paradigms related to the bioeconomy are explored, as well as potential environmental and socio-political impacts associated with biobased technologies and transitions to sustainable economies.


BEST 201 Plants, Carbon, and Environment
An introduction to plant biology, with special emphasis on growth and development, highlighting the biological mechanisms of radiation energy capture, and water and nutrient acquisition in the production of plant biomass.


BEST 202 Alternative Energy Systems
Introduction to safe, clean, and sustainable supplies of energy. Description of energy production from direct solar energy, bioenergy, liquid biofuels, hydro and tidal, wind, and geothermal. Economic, social, environmental, and policy issues raised by current systems of energy use and production.


BEST 203 Ecology of Managed Ecosystems
Provides a foundation in managed ecosystems and community ecology. This course provides a broader understanding of all plant-based ecosystems, their components, influences, disturbance alterations and impacts, and classifications.


BEST 300 Biobased Polymers and Products
Examination of occurrence, synthesis, derivatization, physical properties, processing, and application of major bio-based polymers from biomass. The manufacturing processes and uses of biobased products with a focus on new product development and commercialization in the bioeconomy are examined.


BEST 301 Bioenergy
Module-based course providing an interdisciplinary approach to three areas of bioenergy. All three modules will cover the basics of the technology systems involved, the social and environmental implications of biomass use for energy, and the policy and economics of bioenergy systems. Students will be assigned readings and problem sets around a particular controversy within each module and will also engage in seminar-style discussions.


BEST 302 Laboratory in Bioeconomy Technology (I)
Laboratory modules for bioeconomy technologies; bioenergy and bioproducts. Experiments will align with courses content taught in Year 3, Terms 1 courses.


BEST 303 Applied Biotechnology for Bioproducts

Provides understanding into the applied biotechnology for the production of useful chemicals from plant-based sources. Students will be able to describe constraints to biological transformation along with the potential to form innovative chemicals.  Use of microbiology and enzymology for processing and enhancing value of forest and agro-based bioproducts; saccharification of biomass, fermentation, and product upgrading with biocatalysts.


BEST 304 Laboratory in Bioeconomy Technology (II)

Laboratory modules for bioeconomy technologies; plant breeding and fermentation, applied biotechnology Experiments will align with courses content taught in Year 3, Terms 1 courses.


BEST 308 Land Use Management and Planning
Exploration of current land and resource management strategies related to the production of biobased materials, including economic analysis of land use problems, mapping of biophysical land attributes, and analysis of natural feedstock supplies. Perspectives related to resource development, land use conflicts, and impacts to local communities are examined.


BEST 400 Biomimicry and Biocomposites
Focus on applied chemical and physical aspects of natural material formation as template for biomimetic materials. Introduction to principles of self-assembly, hierarchical structures, biocomposites, and unique adaptive structures.


BEST 401 Carbon and Energy Economics
Understanding key issues for carbon management; protocols for carbon accounting and methodologies for emissions inventories and carbon costing. Economics and business response to climate change.


BEST 402 Industrial Ecology
Introduction to systems analysis in order to understand how human activities such as energy and materials consumption, waste generation and pollutants can be managed and tracked through material and energy flow analysis. Concepts in sustainability around technology and material use; relevance of biological ecology to industrial ecology; life cycle analysis: components and applications; and approaches to design.


BEST 403 Integrated Strategies for Bioproduct Innovation
Integration of previous course curriculum to develop a novel material for a defined problem providing the students opportunity for developing project management experience. The course will highlight ways that design merges aesthetic and functional attributes utilizing new biobased materials and manufacturing in order to understand innovation in product development. Students will demonstrate of out-of-box thinking, service learning and teamwork.