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Office of Sustainability

Supporting Student Research

Supporting Student Research in Sustainability

The University of the Fraser Valley is open to supporting students’ research proposals regarding sustainability.   Upper level students can design and propose research projects, once approved, a supervisor (faculty member) is designated, and the project can begin.  It’s a win-win relationship, valuable research is explored, students earn credits, and UFV is supporting the environment.  See below "Student Compost Presentation" for example of research work completed in a UFV course.

Student Compost Presentation (in PDF format)

A recent success is the approval of a 409 biology research project, with Pat Harrison, Biology Instructor supervising, involving the composting breakdown and research of 14 “compostable” consumer products, such as diapers, tooth floss, picnic ware, pens, shopping bags, and the new “SunChip” bag.  Using the scientific method, a UFV student, designed a research project where a sample of consumer products are placed in an active backyard compost bin, along with controls, and their breakdown observed.  Each item is also being researched as to its structure, most are plant derived, with plant based derivatives, such as corn, soya bean, and wood being the main component.

In addition, the other component of this project is the research of the economics of these products, using a sample it will be determined if there is significant difference between the cost of the compostable products versus the traditional market products available.  Once complete, the research report and its results will be published and placed in the library for other students, staff, faculty, and community to review.  With this information, any future on campus composting that will allow fruit and vegetable waste, may also include these tested compostable consumer materials.

Student’s may look in their selected department for “Directed Studies” and discuss with the contact, usually a Professor or department head, regarding any research proposal regarding sustainability.  For more information, contact Pat Harrison, Chair of the Centre for Environmental Sustainability.

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