ECON 364B: The Economics of Sustainable Development – Course & Regional Service Placement (Winter Term 2)

Program Overview

ECON364B is a 3 credit course on campus in May followed by a 3 month regional service learning placement from June to August. This page describes the regional service learning placement associated with ECON364B; find more information on the international service learning placement associated with ECON364B here.

To take ECON364B, students must first complete its mandatory prerequisite course, ECON364A, during Winter Term 2 (Jan.-Apr. 2020). Students can register for the prerequisite course on the SSC here. Acceptance into ECON364B requires submitting an application. A link to the application can be found in the left sidebar.  Students who apply to ECON364B and are not registered in ECON364A will be force registered in the course when accepted into the program.

ECON364B requires participation in the Regional Service Learning Program, which includes pre-departure learning sessions, a mid-placement workshop, and post-placement coursework, discussion and public engagement (see below).

Course Description

The Economics of Sustainable Development is a 3 credit course integrating an international/regional service learning approach with rigorous academic studies. The aim of the course is to both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of the process of economic development as it affects economically disadvantages communities. In particular, students will explore the problems and concerns of developing communities in relation to ways that resilient, healthy communities are able to create sustainable livelihoods, to support rather than deplete the regional environment, and to build local economies that ensure the well-being of all community members.

Regional Service Learning Placement Description and Past Placement Example

As a part of the ECON 364B course, students in the past have worked in partnership with our regional community partner, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT), in Tofino, BC.  In previous placements, students have worked with CBT on research/inquiry studies that brings together social, cultural, economic, and environmental information to tell a story about the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region and measure the vitality in these communities. The aim of the regional service learning placement is to both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of the process of economic development as it affects their local communities. The UN SDGs provide a global and universal lens to examine wide issues of poverty, climate action, ocean health, economic growth etc, and will help to frame this regional placement in the global context as discussed in the course.

This placement is part of a new partnership and is best suited to students who are open to ambiguity and ready to not only collaborate effectively in the internship activities, but to also participate in establishing a respectful, professional and reciprocal relationship with the host organization and community.

Regional Partner: Clayoquot Biosphere Trust

Two decades ago, residents in Tofino and its surrounding communities were looking for ways to be more sustainable while continuing the traditional economic activities of the region, such as logging and fishing. They came together and formed the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, which aims to find solutions for a better ecosystem and environment.

In January 2000, Clayoquot Sound was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This recognition celebrates the unique ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound and the people who work so hard to encourage a respectful and sustainable relationship with our environment. The mission of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is to assist the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Region Community to achieve its vision by providing funding and logistical support for research, education and training initiatives that promote conservation and sustainable development. The CBT will facilitate the sharing and exchange of knowledge and experience both locally and globally. The CBT will accomplish these objectives by working creatively and proactively within the framework of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere programme.

Regional Service Learning Program 

ECON 364B is part of the ISL program and requires full participation in:

  • ECON 364A classes on campus from January-April 2020
  • Pre-departure learning program from March-May 2020
  • ECON 364B classes run on campus for May 2020 (2 x 4hrs per week)
  • 12 week placement from beginning of June to the end of August 2020
  • Mid-placement workshop
  • Return seminar and final course-work on campus in September 2020
  • Re-entry debrief and public engagement presentation on campus in September – October 2020


Students who have completed their second year (54 credits) by January 1, 2020 and who have completed a minimum of nine credits in Economics.

To take ECON364B, students must complete its prerequisite course, ECON364A, during Winter Term 2. Students can register for ECON364A on the SSC here; no application is required. Students who apply to ECON364B and are not registered in ECON364A will be force registered into the course when accepted into the program.


Tofino housing is limited, particularly in the summer months when Tofino experiences its peak tourist season.  As such, the living environment will be determined in the coming months.  Students should be prepared to live in possible options such as homestay with family, rental space, or hostel/shared living environment.


Date Activity
Now
Program application open. Applications to ECON364B are currently being reviewed in the order they are received.
November 17, 2019 Deadline to apply to ECON364B
January 7, 2020 First day of lectures for mandatory prerequisite course, ECON364A
January 17, 2020 Last day to register for the mandatory prerequisite course, ECON 364A
January-April 2020 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (succesful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions).
May-August 2020 ECON 364B course + 12 week regional placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through.
September 2020 ECON 364B post-placement seminar and assignments due (exact times TBA)
September – October 2020 RSL post-placement reflection sessions and Public Engagement Presentation

*Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.


Please see the Funding Opportunities Widget on the right for more information. The finalized cost per student is yet to be confirmed, but 2020 costs are noted below.

Location Full Program Fee
Tofino $2,900 - $3,200

NOTE: The RSL Program fee is separate from UBC course tuition. Tuition dues will be appear on your Student Services Centre account at the beginning of the term(s) in which you receive course credit.  

The program cost includes:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions at UBC
  • Housing in Tofino
  • Transportation from UBC to Tofino return
  • Orientation program in Tofino
  • In-session debrief and workshop partway through your placement
  • Reflection materials and post public engagement events
  • Program management fee

*Fees may be adjusted before offer. Program costs vary primarily due to cost of living expenses.

All expenses not covered in program costs are responsibility of the student. Costs not included are tuition, food during placement, local transportation while on placement, personal items, and daily incidentals. You will be required to bring your own laptop.


To apply please fill out and submit an online application. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview. After interviews, you will be notified of a decision; successful candidates will be sent an offer letter with further details on the program and detailed instructions on how to accept. You will have approximately one week after receiving the offer letter to accept and pay a program deposit. Your selection into the RSL program includes meeting eligibility requirements, as well as your initial application and your performance in the interview.

Don’t wait to apply, limited spaces exist!

Pre-Departure Overview

The pre-departure learning program is designed to prepare you for an regional service learning placement. This will include:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions taking place over the academic term leading up to departure led by staff and community development professionals.
  • Creation of a learning and development plan
  • Participant-led events/presentations
  • Facilitated meetings with your placement team to explore learning topics

Post-Placement Overview

You will participate in post-placement activities in September- October 2020, including:

  1. A full day to debrief in September 2020
  2. Return seminar and final coursework in September 2020
  3. Presentation at a Global Development Symposium in October 2020