PICS-SFU Initiatives

Past Initiatives


Science in Action energy workshop

Exploring Energy: Conversion, Consumption and Conservation

Brought to you by SFU-Science in Action and PICS

Students from grades 4 to 8 have a hands-on opportunity to explore different ways to generate “green” energy using wind, sun and water as a power source.   The program looks at topics such as generating electricity from renewable sources, finding out how much energy is required to light different kinds of bulbs while pedaling a bike, and learning about the effects of green house gases on the climate. For more information follow this link.

Whether you use three wheels or four, we want to know!

Reducing GHGs on SFU transportation

Transportation accounts for the largest share of the provincial GHG emissions – up to 37.1% of the total GHG emissions in 2011.  SFU’s is committed to reducing its carbon foot print in all its activities, one of them transportation.   SFU transportation emissions are from supply of goods and services, as well as indirect contributions from commuter and business travel. 

SFU Facilities Services in partnership with the Sustainability Office, SFU Institution Research and Planning, Sustainable SFU and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions are sponsoring a GHG Transportation Project focusing initially on commuter travel.   In order to assess opportunities for alternative mobility programs that meet commuting needs, SFU needs to understand first the commuter travel GHG footprint.   A survey to map the behaviors on commuting travel is being undertaken as a first step.


Three Minute Thesis Competition at SFU!


•The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is an academic competition which  challenges graduate students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

•The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) was developed by The University of Queensland in 2008; In 2011 3MT competitions were held at 43 Universities.

•This past February and March 2013, SFU hosted its First 3MT Competition. Go to SFU Graduate Studies to learn more.

PICS - Climate Solutions Heat

The PICS - Climate Solutions Heat, hosted by PICS-SFU, took place on February 20th, 2013

Mary Ann Middleton, a PhD student from Earth Science was the Judges' choice winner.  And Amin Nouri, a Master student from Chemistry was the People's choice winner & runner up from the judges.  The winners of the PICS Heat advanced to the SFU 3MT Competion Finals.

Participants of the first 3MT Thesis Competition - Climate Solutions Heat

A special thanks to all the graduate students who participated in the PICS - Climate Solutions Heat!!!

3-Minute Thesis Competition: Climate Solutions Heat


Heather Munro (REM)
Trade-Offs between Carbon Offset and Timber Harvest Revenue Opportunities in British Columbia Central Coast: A Decision Analysis Approach (Slide, Presentation)

Amin Nouri (Chemistry)
Electrocatalysis in hydrogen fuel cell (Slide, Presentation)
Isabelle Larocque (Earth Sciences)
Hydrogeology and coastal aquifers (Slide, Presentation)
Mary Ann Middleton (Earth Sciences)
Groundwater-surface Water Interactions (Slide, Presentation)
Michael Ton (Geography)
Ecological resilience to compound disturbances (Slide, Presentation)
Vinu Subashini Rajus (SIAT)
Ambient, Interactive Displays and Controls for Sustainable Living (Slide, Presentation not available due to technical problems)          
Shannon Holding, PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences, winner of the SFU Climate Change Research Poster Competition

Climate Change Research Poster Competition

- Sustainability Opportunities Fair  -

Seven Graduate students had the opportunity to share their research to the SFU Community. The students were really engaged sharing their research to Faculty, students and alumni who took a look to their posters.

This year's winner of the SFU Climate Change Research Poster Competition is Shannon Holding, a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences. Working with Professor Diana Allen, Shannon presented her project "Water Security for Island Communities," part of the UNESCO GRAPHIC (Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change) Programme and conducted in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy Bahamas.  Learn more at

The winner will receive up to $1,000 dollars to defray costs at a national or international conference related to his/her research. 


  • Tyler Herrington, Ms Candidate, Department of Geography/"Path Dependence of Regional Climate Change".
  • Heather Munro, Ms Candidate , School of Resource and Environmenta Managementl/“Trade-Offs between Carbon Offset and Timber Harvest Revenue Opportunities in British Columbia’s Central Coast: A Decision Analysis Approach”
  • Shannon Holding, PhD Candidate. Department of Earth Science/“Water Security for Island Communities”
  • Isabelle Laroque, MSc Candidate, Department of Earth Science/“A framework for identifying climate change impacts and management strategies related to groundwater resources in coastal communities”
  • Mary Ann Middleton, PhD Candidate, SFU Department of Earth Science/ “Evaluating Climate Change Impacts on Groundwater Sensitive Streams”
  • Vinu Rajus, PhD Candidate, School of Interactive Art and Technology/ “Ambient, Interactive Displays and Controls for Sustainable Living”
  • Nat Wilson, Ms Candidate, Department of Earth Science/
    “Characterization and interpretation of polythermal structure in two subartic glaciers”

Brought to you by: Faculty of the Environment, Sustainable SFU, the Sustainability Office and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions - Members of the SFU Sustainability Network-, Carreer Services and Volunteer Services.

To learn more about the students and their research click here.


Carbon Talks Public Dialogues

In September 2011, the SFU Carbon Talks partnered with Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) to bring to the community the monthly Carbon Talks public dialogues (formerly known as the Brown Bag Lunch Dialogues series).  The main goal of these public dialogues is to raise awareness and education of innovations and innovators in the low-carbon economy and to profile key emerging issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

To watch the recordings of past events visit this link.