Students and Food Security
in the North
UNBC’s Dome Greenhouse
Presented by Cameron Bell
December 9th,
Food Security in the North
• Restrictive growing
• Unfavourable
economic climate
• Unsustainable
dependence on
imported food
• Lack of a culture
of seasonality
What role can the university play in working towards food security?
Our Branding:
• Trademarked 2007
• Environmental focus in
teaching and research
• Natural setting
• New projects include
biomass and UFM
• AASHE Sustainability Project
Award 2010
•Creation of Green Fund
(Monday, 2:50, Room 514)
• Motivation and justification
• Can instigate criticism
Biomass Heat Distribution System
• Heating/Cooling
• Electrical Distribution
• Cogeneration ready
• 8 buildings
• 93,000 m2
Students for a Green University
• Est. 2007 – Re Est. 2008/2009
• Educate, motivate, and inspire
environmental changes
• Bike blended smoothies
• Stringing disposable cups
• Annual Car Count
Let’s build a greenhouse!
December 2010 - Cam Bell and Mike Stanyer
Jan 2011 – 1st application to Green Fund
Unsuccessful, but feedback given
May 2011 – 2nd application
Conditional Approval
UNBC Development Office Donation
Integris Credit Union and PICS contributions
Budget and Funding
Budget Item
Greenhouse Kit
Building Supplies
Regulatory Costs
Funding Source
UNBC Green Fund
Development Office
SGU (Fundraisers)
The Growing Dome ™
15 - 42 feet in diameter
Geodesic dome shape
Passive solar heating
Extends growing season
Appropriate technology
for northern climate
• Sustainability of
Key Features in the Growing Dome
Approximately 300 sq ft of growing space in raised beds
Water tank is a thermal mass (“power pack”), passive solar
heat collection, opportunities for hydro/aquapnics?
Unexpected Considerations:
Unaccepted proposals
Consultation with stakeholders
Building code requirements
Insurance and ownership
Management plan and Operating Practices
Greenhouse Advisory Committee
• Greenhouse Advisory Committee
Students for a Green University
Northern Undergraduate Students Society
Thirsty Moose Pub
Green University Centre
Prince George Public Interest Research Group
Enhanced Forestry Lab (and curators)
Purchasing and Risk Management Department
Facilities Management Department
Environmental Engineering Student Association
Unexpected Considerations:
Project Logistics
Need for a foundation
Unexpected construction costs
Construction delays,
Working with contractors (donated services)
Water supply
Food Safety and Agricultural Practices
Changing plans and new opportunities
• Location
• Beetlecrete beds
• Partnerships
with Commerce
The Fun Stuff!
• Volunteer Operated (plus Greenhouse Admin.)
• Research opportunities
• Academic engagement
• Community involvement
• The Thirsty Moose
• Seed saving
• Getting people involved
and excited about local
food production!
Conclusion: Never Give Up!
Related Research: Undergraduate Thesis
• Developing evaluation criteria for on-campus
food production systems
• Aim to help UNBC plan for long-term
expansions in food production (campus farm?)
• Suggestions, resources, questions, interested
in the outcome?
[email protected]
[email protected]

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