Orr with elementary school students by a water tap

Landscape architect and MA student Catherine Orr worked with Oak and Orca Bioregional School to implement a rain garden for the kids as part of a rainwater management system.

Two graduate students resting on a small boat

Masters student Chandra Brietzke and research assistant Paige Bennett take a break from lake sampling while studying muskrat ecology with Dr. Trevor Lantz.


Kat Zimmer (MA 2016) researched the integration of permaculture design in undergraduate course curriculum at universities across North America.

The UVic School of Environmental Studies is a leader in three dynamic areas of research:

We embrace a full range of learning opportunities spanning natural and social sciences, humanities and traditional ecological knowledge. Our faculty are engaged in active research programs with diverse themes—making an impact around the world and right here on campus.

Effective environmental action and research require engagement—with the land and those who live on it. Bring your studies into the world and make a real difference by collaborating with local and international communities, First Nations, government agencies, environmental and other non-governmental organizations and corporations.

I approached Oak and Orca Bioregional School about my idea for a rainwater system, because they teach project-based learning and both teachers and students were excited about the design process. Education, collaboration and creativity are key to improving how we manage urban rainwater.
Catherine Orr, masters student

Students in our interdisciplinary MSc, MA and PhD programs work closely with a supervising faculty member and advisory committee to complete a thesis—engaging in original research projects that transform knowledge into positive action.

Our graduate students have access to a wide variety of research facilities across campus. In addition to our modern Ethnoecology, Restoration and Conservation Ecology, and Visualization labs, UVic’s location on southern Vancouver Island provides us with easy access to marine and alpine ecosystems, freshwater wetlands, rivers, lakes and the temperate rainforest.

For more information, see our admissions and program requirements, FAQ, and ES Graduate Student Handbook.

What are our faculty studying?

See more videos from the Environmental Studies playlist on YouTube.