Erskine Programme Visitor Profile: Professor Horacio Brown

Where have you come from and what do you teach?
I worked at the Faculty of Forestry & Nature Conservation, Universidad de Chile since 1991. I did my B.Sc. Forestry at Universidad de Chile (1992), while my M.Sc. (1996) and Ph.D. (2007) at the University of Canterbury.  My teaching and research focuses on carbon, water and nutrient fluxes in forest ecosystems applied to sustainable forest management and ecological restoration.

What interested you in the Erskine Programme/Why did you want to come to UC?
This is my second time as an Erskine fellow (2014, 2018), and I think the Erskine Programme provides a great opportunity to interact with colleagues, and explore and discuss new research and teaching ideas. Also to interact with other Erskine fellows and to open to new disciplines. Personally having a sabbatical in New Zealand, also provides me with the opportunity to benchmark my work identifying weaknesses and strengths, while also opportunities, which might be difficult to see while being at my home institution for a long time.

What have you been doing at UC?
At the moment, I’m teaching a three-week module about plant ecophysiology for the FORE219 course “Introduction to Silviculture”, and also interacting with postgraduate students at the School of Forestry. I’m co-supervising a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. student, and I’m interested to contribute towards refining their research ideas and the methods to test them while at the same time keeping them within the time frame of their studies.

Professor Bown (centre) with doctoral students Serajis Salekin (left) and Cristian Higuera (right)

What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?
I’m enjoying University life enormously; just to name a few, the interaction with colleagues and students, the coffee breaks, the interesting conversations and challenges, having more time to read the forestry literature and also reading in my leisure time, the time to share with friends, and last but not least, the time talking with my teenage daughter while cooking together.



Empowering Women’s Safety & Wellbeing in Work

Each year UC Careers organises the Annual Careers Event for Women, where staff and students come together to celebrate 51% of New Zealand’s population in work.

This year’s event, Empowering Women’s Safety & Wellbeing in Work, draws on topical stories shared in the media to support women to thrive in work.   

We have three empowering ladies joining us at this year’s event, HR manager (Lane Neave) Georgie Mortensen, senior solicitor (GCA Lawyers) Emily Flaszynski, and registered clinical psychologist Hannah Blakely, who will share their knowledge and wisdom to support students with career development. This includes knowing their work rights, including their right to safe workplaces, and how to support their health and wellbeing throughout their cycles and life experiences as women.

L-R: Georgie Mortenson, Emily Flaszynski and Hannah Blakely

With drinks and nibbles provided at the start of the event, this is an invaluable networking opportunity for both students and staff.

Our guest speakers will form a panel later in the evening for staff and students to ask questions. This is a unique opportunity to share real-life stories and scenarios, and hear from professional women in support of women in their career success.

We encourage you to share this event with your colleagues and students, and join in the conversation before the event through Instagram and the UC Careers Facebook event page using the hashtags, #UCCareers and #EmpoweringWomen

UC Careers would like to give a special thanks to postgraduate students Kara Kennedy and Danielle Dubien who joined Robyn Cummins and Sarah Tabak from UC Careers to plan and organise this event. They have an amazing amount of enthusiasm and passion for supporting and empowering women to thrive in work.

So you are looking for data?

Here are some sources at the UC library and from the internet that can inspire you, if you’re looking for data.

Being able to analyse data is an important skill. So the chance is high that at some point in your academic career you will be asked to analyse or find interesting data. 

If you are in that situation and you need data for one of your courses or just you need some inspiration for an interesting research assignment, then check out the new Library guide with lots of links to interesting data-sets.

Here are some examples of what is included:

  • If you are looking for data on economic, environmental, health, political or sociological topics, you can find millions of data points in the Gallup World Poll or the Pew data-sets. 
  • For financial data of companies worldwide, you can dive into the Bloomberg terminals or visit the Orbis database.
  • If you are interested in NZ statistics, you can get access to NZ Stats’ Integrated Data Infrastructure (a room with dedicated computer is now available at the UC business school).
  • And the official statistics of almost all countries can be found in the World Bank’s data archive .

Check the whole list of what is available, here.

Free careers seminar for parents of teens

Guiding teenagers through the various career and study options available to them in the modern world can be a challenge, but UC’s Careers team can help.

Its free Parents as Career Educators seminars are on in August, where UC Career Consultants will talk with parents and caregivers of secondary school aged students (Years 9-13) about how to support their rangatahi in making informed decisions about their futures. 

The seminars will cover:

  • The world of work: looking forward
  • How to make informed career decisions now and in the future
  • How parents can assist
  • Career development resources 

This seminar will be held in the Engineering Core on UC’s Ōtautahi Christchurch campus at 7pm on Thursday 9 August and repeated on 16 and 23 August – so choose the one date that suits you best. 

UC staff and their friends are welcome to attend. Register online via the events website.