Urban Forestry

The view of a city across a river on a sunny day

UBC Forestry Summer Institute

Urban Forestry

Tentative Schedule: 2 weeks (July 22 – August 02, 2024)
Course Duration:  60 hours
Leading Instructors: Dr. Sara Barron & Dr. Andrew Almas

This is an introductory course to Urban Forestry, exploring the roles played by urban forestry and greenspace systems in a rapidly changing world. Topics include the impacts of urbanization on urban nature and urban ecology, history and evolution of urban forestry, urban forest conservation, urban forest management, climate change, society and human well-being, design and planning, urban/rural interface issues, and urban forest governance and policy.

Course Objectives

This course introduces concepts and skills through lectures, field trips, and assignments. Students are introduced to key aspects of the theory and practice of urban forestry and to essential practical skills such as plant and tree identification, arboriculture, basic planning and design, resource planning, and community involvement. Communication skills are a fundamental component of this course and students will develop their communication skills through the use of various tools including writing, visual aids and group work. Collaborative decision-making and social engagement techniques will be introduced.

The student will be able to:

  • Read with intent as a method to efficiently synthesize and summarize information
  • Articulate questions necessary to understand complex urban environments and relationships between urban greenery, urban trees and people, at various scales
  • Gather and use information during site visits and field trips for use in projects and assignments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various players involved in urban forest governance, planning and management
  • Assess potential short and long-term impacts of risk mitigation and maintenance / monitoring strategies
  • Evaluate the merits and disadvantages of a site-specific urban forest management plan, design/build project, tree planting program or ecological restoration initiative.
  • Demonstrate basic communication of urban forestry topics and ideas

Learning Activities and Assessment

  • Classroom participation and discussion quality
  • Homework and group projects
  • Field tour and practice
  • Field trips
  • Cultural and academic sharing with UBC students
  • Final presentation  

How to Apply

Please read the instructions on the UBC Forestry Summer Institute page to submit your application.

Tentative Program Schedule

Sunday, July 21 Monday, July 22 Tuesday, July 23 Wednesday, July 24 Thursday, July 25 Friday, July 26 Saturday, July 27
9-12 AM Arrive and settle in at UBC Welcome remarks, UBC and forestry introduction, course orientation Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture Victoria day trip (optional)
1:30-4:30 PM UBC campus tour UBC campus tour: Museum visit Lecture Lecture Pacific Spirit Park activity
Sunday, July 28 Monday, July 29 Tuesday, July 30 Wednesday, July 31 Thursday, August 01 Friday, August 02 Saturday, August 03
9-12 AM Vancouver day trip (optional) Lecture/Guest lecture Field trip Lecture/Guest lecture Lecture/Guest lecture Presentation of group projects Back to China
1:30-4:30 PM Lecture/Guest lecture Lecture/Guest lecture Cultural sharing by UBC students /Discussion & Preparation for group projects Presentation of group projects and Graduation Ceremony