One of the awesome perks of small class sizes is that it is possible to go on field trips. The entire class piles onto one of the university busses, and we go on an adventure!
The most recent field trip that I have been on was a jam packed day, with talks, note taking, and tours. For this adventure we went to the big city, Vancouver.
The first stop (after picking our tutor up from the ferry terminal) was the Vancouver Aquarium. The purpose of our visit was not what you might assume, to learn about marine life. We were there to learn about other people learning! The class that I am currently in is called Global Perspectives, and examines many aspects of the relationship between the environment and poverty around the world. Ecotourism plays a role in this relationship, so that is what we were examining at the aquarium.
After overhearing many comments about the “grumpy fish”, the “cute fish” and “lets go see the sharks!” we moved on to the next destination, debriefing on the bus.
The next place we hit up was UBC campus. There we toured two sustainable buildings, and had a talk from a speaker on environmental world views.
The first building that we visited was the CIRS building (Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability). This building was described as a living lab. It has various types of sensors all over it to create data, and eliminate energy waste as much as possible.
The second building was the CK Choi building. This building was the earlier version of the CIRS, allowing us to see the progress that had been made. This building was very minimalistic, and had fun features such as a composting toilet!
After the building tours we moved onto a talk about environmental world views. This is a topic that we have been discussing quite a bit in class, so it was interesting to get some new perspective.
The aquarium completed, buildings toured, and discussions had, we piled back onto the bus, and headed home. Overall it was a very successful trip, offering the opportunity for different perspectives, and an “off the hill” experience.