Terrestrial Research on Ecosystems & World-wide Education & Broadcast || An Innovative Graduate Training Program
TerreWEB was established in 2011 after a group of UBC scientists led by Dr. Suzanne Simard received a six-year NSERC CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) funding with a goal to incorporate state-of-the-art communications with natural and social science research.
The goal of TerreWEB is to create an enriched, innovative, collaborative graduate training environment that addresses key scientific gaps in understanding the impacts of global change on terrestrial ecosystems and developing strategies for mitigation and adaptation, and evaluating the factors underlying global change communication deficits, developing novel communication strategies for addressing these deficits, and measuring the efficacy of those strategies.
The NSERC CREATE program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative programs that: encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities; and facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.
TerreWEB involves 11 UBC faculty members and 34 collaborators who expressed concern over scientific communication methods and wanted to embrace the communication revolution that has the potential to influence the effects of global change in our behaviour. TerreWEB’s overall goal is to develop collaborative, graduate educational programs that focus on global change, behavioural decision making and multimedia communications for informing stakeholders and the public using interactive assessment research and complex systems theory that contribute to the development of communication strategies for the dissemination of knowledge and to alter human behaviour. TerreWEB trains Master and PhD students from various backgrounds to become better communicators of their global change research, using TV, film, internet, mobile applications and more, in order to benefit the general public and contribute to a “greener future”. This innovative program includes researchers from UBC Faculties of Land and Food Systems, Forestry, Arts, Science, and Education, as well as Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT). The principal co-applicants come from Forest Sciences, Botany, Geography, Soil and Biometeorology, Microbiology and Immunology, Theatre and Film, and the Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability (IRES), the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), and the School of Journalism.
TerreWEB students conduct research in their UBC home departments and in addition participate in TerreWEB training initiatives. Training initiatives for graduate students are through research projects on global change and communication research based on workshops, the development of new courses and laboratory and institution rotations (internships) with collaborating institutions in Canada and abroad. The TerreWEB program encourages students to develop a broad network of contacts with industry, governmental- and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and academia world-wide. TerreWEB students work closely with the non-academic and international academic sectors to embark on several mandatory exchanges and internships to allow them to explore possible career pathways as well as gain those crucial connections to increase their competitiveness for global change-related positions.