Current Students

Current Students

Claire Armour

I’m Claire and I hail from Calgary, Alberta, though as of late I’ve been skiing, hiking, biking, and drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee in the lovely mountain town of Canmore while working at the Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Health & Safety. I completed my undergrad at UBC in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering just down the road from the Forestry Building. Our CAPSTONE project was to design a plant to process wastewater and spent brewer’s grain in order to produce biogas via anaerobic digestion with a methanogenic strain of bacteria. During my undergrad I also took some classes in geography, GIS, First Nations & indigenous studies, and water/air pollution which piqued my interest in pursuing a career involving sustainability, landscape ecology, and environmental policy. I’m looking forward to combining my technical background in natural resources with the bigger picture of environmental management. I’m especially interested in water and hope to do some project and research work on hydropower and fresh water resources. Though I don’t miss the constant rain, I’m excited to return to UBC, hone my programming skills, look at lots of maps, and get my hands all dirty.


Ronny Bi

Ronny Bi was born and raised in Qingdao, a beautiful coastal city in China. He moved to Vancouver when he was in grade 9 and recently completed his bachelor’s degree in wood product processing at the University of British Columbia. After finishing his undergraduate courses, he desired to expand his knowledge in environmental management and sustainability. By joining the MGEM program, he looks forward to understand more geospatial and data analysis skills, and explore the applications of geomatics and remote sensing to solve environmental issues. In his spare time, he likes traveling, hiking and playing basketball and he is a fan of Toronto Raptors.


Ayodeji Carew

My name is Ayodeji and I was born in cradle city of Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Back in Nigeria, I studied Glass Technology and worked for a few years before leaving for Qatar. I worked as a procurement officer for about 2 years in the vast construction industry of Qatar. It was at that stage of life that I decided to start a new career in environmental protection, something which I have always wanted. I have a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resources Management at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany. I relocated to Canada just after completing my bachelor’s degree. I live and work in the beautiful city of Surrey. I presently work as a Shipping/Inventory Control Clerk for Cold-logic which is a storage company under Sobeys. Getting admission into the master’s degree in Geoinformatics and Environmental Management at UBC is a great privilege. I already used ArcGIS along with some other modeling software during my studies in Germany. I am so excited to embark on this new journey and learn more about how environmental disturbances can be managed and controlled with the aid of software. I am a huge soccer fan.


Irene Carrasco

Irene was born and raised in North Vancouver. From an early age she developed an interest in outdoor education and environmental stewardship. She completed a degree in Physical Geography from McGill University and worked as an RA in the university’s Atmospheric and Environmental Research lab. Upon graduating, she worked at the environmental non-profit Pro-Vert Sud Ouest and later as a Katimavik Eco-Intern at a zero-waste art studio in Montreal. Since returning to Vancouver, Irene has worked as a tour guide, sharing her knowledge of the region’s history and environmental processes. Irene is excited to be back on the West Coast where she loves to eat fresh seafood and spend time outdoors. She aims to pursue a career in the natural resource sector and is looking forward to broadening her spatial analysis skills through the MGEM program.


Farong Chen

Farong Chen was born and raised in Nanjing, a city on the east coast of China. He spent three years finishing the first half of the exchange programme at Nanjing Forestry University and got an opportunity to get to Vancouver in 2017. During the undergraduate education, the growing interests in nature and geomatics made him decide to start further study specialized remote sensing and data analysis. After achieving a bachelor’s degree in forest resource management, he comes to the MGEM. He is now anxious to learn ecological knowledge and develop GIS skills. The issue he is most concerned with is the pollution in the ocean. Therefore, he is prepared to apply these skill sets obtained from this program to deal with ocean pollution and other environmental issues in the future.


Jordan deBoer

Jordan is born and raised on a farm outside of the small rural town of Londesborough, Ontario and has spent the last four years in Hamilton, Ontario obtaining a degree in Biology and Environmental Sciences with a minor in GIS from McMaster University. Throughout his childhood, Jordan has been constantly exposed to the outdoors and has developed a passion for it. This passion was further solidified through his schooling at McMaster and work in a wetland ecology lab for the past 3 years. Throughout this work experience, Jordan has worked on numerous projects, some highlights include mapping the spread of invasive Phragmites across Ontario road systems and monitoring post-fire regrowth of Canadian forests. Jordan hopes to use the skills obtained in Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management program to build open the skills he has learned in his undergrad and kickstart his career in the environmental and geomatics sectors.


Wenjie Fan

My name is Wenjie Fan, currently working for Forsite Consultants as a Forestry Engineer. I wish I could learn more programming and Arc skills from this program to make myself more competitive in the industry.


Zhixiu (Angel) Han

I’m Zhixiu (Angel). I was born in Shandong Province in China and I completed high school at my hometown. I moved to Vancouver for my undergraduate education at UBC in Environmental Sciences in 2015 and I graduated in 2019 with a B.Sc degree. Environment pollution has become a serious problem in China for a long time. I worried about the air and water pollution at my hometown and I worked in a local Environmental Monitoring Station for a month to learn about the situation. Also, the beautiful natural view in western Canada has ignited my interest in environmental protection and inspired me to expand my knowledge in the field of GIS. Through graduate studies, I hope that I will learn advanced approaches for future environmental management.


Ben Hegman

I was born and raised in Vermont, USA. I received my undergraduate degree in Economics with a focus on natural resource and environmental economics from the University of British Columbia. My undergraduate degree introduced me to the economic challenges and considerations of project management as well as analysis of big data. I love exploring the outdoors, you’ll probably find me mountain biking, skiing, hiking, or climbing in my spare time. I look forward to combining the hands-on geomatics skills gained from the program with more theoretical economic ideas to tackle environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest.


Liam Irwin

Liam was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Adventures around the rugged west coast of the province in his youth created a strong passion for learning about the natural world. Liam completed a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation graduating in 2019. During his undergrad he enjoyed multiple valuable summers participating in numerous research projects with the Stream and Riparian Research lab at UBC. Post graduation Liam transitioned to the forest sector working as a forestry technician based out of Prince George, BC. Liam is excited to bring his previous experiences and gain a comprehensive understanding of how geospatial tools can better inform management decisions in the province, helping us tackle the scale of 21st century environmental issues.


Chunchen Ji 

My name is Chunchen and I am from Jiaxing, China. I received the bachelor’s degree of Environmental Sciences from the University of British Columbia. Through these four years in UBC, I gained knowledge from a variety of disciplines and applied scientific knowledge to solve environmental issues. I worked with CityStudio Vancouver and investigated the impact of herring nets in False Creek, Vancouver. I am interested in photography and travelling. Before attending UBC, I will visit a new place and explore its beauty using cameras. I look forward to furthering my knowledge of geospatial tools and technologies. After completing the MGEM degree, I want to work as an environmental consultant and work with organizations on a range of environmental issues. I want to contribute my effort to environmental management by regulating natural resources and reducing pollution and contamination. I also want to drive economic growth while maintaining sustainability.


Cody Lai

My name is Cody and I was born in North Vancouver. Having grown up in the forest and mountains of the North Shore, I have a natural affinity for the outdoors and this has led me to complete my undergrad in the Urban Forestry program at the University of British Columbia. Through the co-op program I worked and lived in South Africa (2017) and Taiwan (2018) conducting forestry related research. Last summer in Taipei, I worked for the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute to project the population expansion and contraction of the subalpine coniferous forest in Taiwan using R and ArcGIS. This experience has motivated me to further my study in spatial data science and the MGEM program. In my spare time I’m an avid rock climber, ski tourer and a kayaker. In the spring of 2019, I had the opportunity to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in a kayak with a group of friends. I am looking forward to this year’s program and to further my career in geomatics.


Bingqian Li

I was raised in Xian, a western city in China. In 2017, I came to Vancouver to obtain my undergraduate degree, and my program combined biology and forest science. I have been living in Vancouver for 2 years so far. I really like this city, especially the weather in summer. In my undergraduate stage, I chose Geomatics as my concentration area, since I think GIS is an excellent tool in forestry work and landscape management, besides that I am also very interested in ecology and programming. In the coming semester, being a part of MGEM program, I hope I will have improvement from study and teamwork, like gaining Geomatics-related professional skills that can help me develop my future career, meeting different friends from diverse backgrounds, and practicing my problem-solving ability. I really hope we will have great moments with all future classmates and professors in the coming year.


Guyu (Sam) Lin

I was raised in Xian, a western city in China. In 2017, I came to Vancouver to obtain my undergraduate degree, and my program combined biology and forest science. I have been living in Vancouver for 2 years so far. I really like this city, especially the weather in summer. In my undergraduate stage, I chose Geomatics as my concentration area, since I think GIS is an excellent tool in forestry work and landscape management, besides that I am also very interested in ecology and programming. In the coming semester, being a part of MGEM program, I hope I will have improvement from study and teamwork, like gaining Geomatics-related professional skills that can help me develop my future career, meeting different friends from diverse backgrounds, and practicing my problem-solving ability. I really hope we will have great moments with all future classmates and professors in the coming year.


Esther Li

Esther Li was born in Manchester, United Kingdom. She moved to Hong Kong when she was 3, moved back to the United Kingdom when she was 10 and then immigrated to Canada when she was 17. She is a textbook “third culture kid”, where she has been exposed to different cultures, traditions, and environments throughout her life and gave her an expanded worldview. Esther completed an interdisciplinary degree in Urban Forestry at UBC. Through her studies, she was fascinated by the interconnected relationship between humans and their surroundings in both natural and highly developed landscape and acquired an insatiable appetite for knowledge in geomatics. She is highly analytical and wants to advance her career in geospatial science and to apply for roles pertaining to sustainable resource management. Esther treasures her free time where she rock climbing, trail running, and skiing in the beautiful mountains of BC, the place where she rejuvenates her mind and challenges her body.


Alice Lin

I grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and attended the University of California, Los Angeles where I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minor in GIS. After graduation, I spent some time doing cartography, graphic design, and remote sensing research. I chose this program to gain more technical skills that can be used to help conserve natural landscapes and resources. In my spare time, I enjoy various creative pursuits and spending time outdoors. I look forward to developing my geospatial skill set and applying them to landscape ecology problems.


Jingyi (Jenny) Lin

My name is Jenny and I’m originally from Edmonton Alberta. Prior to coming to UBC I finished my undergraduate studies in Environment Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. I am very interested in continuing my studies in environmental planning and management, thus I will be continuing with a master’s program in Geomatics for Environmental Management at UBC. I wish to pursue a career in the same field post-graduation. Between graduating and entering UBC I took the year to gain some work experience by working for a Wildlife research NGO in Beijing, China. Apart from my studies, I also have an artistic side. I love music and arts even gained a Fine Arts minor with my elective courses during undergrad. On top of gaining my degree and new skills, I also look forward to living in a new environment and meeting new friends. I love experiencing living in new locations, this is also the reason why I have moved around so much in the past few years. I value this opportunity very much, and cannot wait to start the new chapter of my life at UBC.


Blessing Mangwanda

Blessing is a determined and hardworking individual who possesses a drive, self-initiative and a passion for environmental sustainability and climate change. Having grown up in a community dependent on peasant farming, he witnessed poor environmental practices and micro-climates affecting the livelihood of his family and he resolved to improve farming and environmental practices within communities in Zimbabwe. Blessing studied Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Earth Observation at the University of Zimbabwe. Despite his humble beginnings, he graduated top of his class and received the Dean Honor Award. Blessing is also a goal-oriented leader who has demonstrated strong ethos of giving back. While a student and teaching assistant in Geoinformatics at UZ, he worked in partnership with multiple NGOs including GEF, Oxfam, SAFIRE and UNDP to break technological barriers, improve environmental management and scale up climate adaptation for smallholder farmers. Among other milestones, his team developed an environmental and climate information system which has impacted more than 5000+ to date. At UBC, Blessing will pursue the MGEM program to gain the skills and knowledge to grow agro-economies. Blessing plans on starting an NGO that will impact African farming communities heavily affected by climate change. He also wishes to expand his reach to environmental energy with a focus on renewable energy in African societies heavily dependent on non-renewable energy. Blessing is also enthusiastic about business development and data science. In his spare time, he likes to code, learn how to dance and watch movies. Blessing is excited about his upcoming studies and being immersed in the community in Vancouver.


Ruidan Ni

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I gained my B.Sc. in Agronomy and Horticulture at Iowa State University and worked as a Research Assistant focusing on organic agriculture after I graduated. I am particularly interested in sustainable agriculture and geospatial technologies. This led me to the MGEM program at UBC to explore more about forestry and geomatics. I look forward to gain new skills in ecology and GIS and use these skills to develop better strategies for resource management. I enjoy movies and outdoor activities in my spare time. I never lived in a coastal city before, so joining the MGEM program at UBC is going to be exciting!


Seth Odini

Originally from Abuja Nigeria. After completing my Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computing and Engineering from Benson Idahosa University Nigeria, I moved to Saskatchewan Canada in 2013, where I started a new journey in Geomatics and Surveying Engineering. I studied Geomatics Engineering at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. I had the opportunity to work at Associated Engineering in 2014 as Geomatics Technologist Co-op student for 8-months where I got basic training in the field and mapping techniques. Upon completion of my studies in Moose Jaw, I was employed by ALTUS Geomatics Ltd in Lloydminster, Alberta as a survey field representative, I got geomatics experience in Oil and Gas in Northern Alberta. Presently, I work for the Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure as a Senior Project Technologist (Surveyor) where I provide geomatics service to the design and construction delivery departments. I heard about MGEM program at the UBC in 2015, I was interested in understanding new scientific applications with focus on remote sensing and geospatial technologies in tackling the past, present and future environmental impacts assessments ranging from decisive farming (agriculture) wildlife and conservation, water security, renewable energy (solar and wind). Thus, making the world a better place.


Darren Smylie

After graduating with a BSc in Geomatics and Biology from the University of Victoria, Darren has gained experience with reclamation, environmental initiatives and GIS in Calgary Alberta. He looks forward to adding new skills and experiences through the MGEM graduate program and is hoping to advance his career after the program, in an environment he is passionate about. In his spare time you will find Darren playing guitar by the ocean and exploring the outdoors.


Vlad Romanescu

Hello! I’m Vlad Romanescu from Vancouver, BC. I’m originally from Romania, but grew up in Toronto since the age of 13. I attended the University of Waterloo and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Geography while specializing in GIS. I’ve been working for the past 8 years as a GIS Analyst for the rapidly growing municipality of Milton. In 2017, I decided to relocate to Vancouver after travelling for a year and a half and also enrolled in the UBC MGEM because I wanted to upgrade my skills in a world class setting and study the dynamics of wildfires. I’m looking forward to interacting with fellow classmates and faculty in the upcoming year while gaining invaluable knowledge that I hope to apply to pressing environmental issues after graduation.


Zhe Shi

Zhe Shi was born and raised in Suzhou, China, a city that borders Shanghai. Zhe shows interests in various outdoor activities, such as traveling and automobile racing. Beyond those, video games are his top priority in spare time. This is why he has thick lens in front of his eyes! Recently, the idea of working out was promoted by an impulse. Hopefully, he could stick with it. Zhe likes exploring new things, and one of the most successful adventures to him is the undergraduate journey in UBC. After completing his degree in forest resource management, he realized that there is still a lot of knowledge and technologies that he wanted to know in this field, especially the application of GIS and remote sensing. Holding with curiosity, Zhe decided to pursue the MGEM program.


Camille van Tassel

My name is Camille and I grew up on Vancouver Island in Victoria, BC. For the past 5 years I’ve pursued my undergraduate studies here at UBC in Geography with a focus on the environment and sustainability. I’m looking forward to furthering my skills in GIS with the interdisciplinary approach of the MGEM program. Upon completion of my degree I plan to pursue a career in sustainability and urban planning. I hope to stay in BC and work on managing the beautiful landscapes I grew up with, while helping build efficient, sustainable and green communities that will allow generations to continue to enjoy these rich, forested landscapes. In my spare time catch me running in Pacific Spirit Park, biking, climbing or playing soccer!


Carmen Taylor

Carmen grew up in the Fraser Valley and spent her formative years learning about the importance of stewardship of the surrounding environment. She recently graduated from the UBC Forestry Forest Sciences program and completed her undergraduate thesis on the dynamics of an Insect-Fungi symbiosis. Having completed five co-op terms during her degree, Carmen has had the pleasure of previously working as a Silvicultural Systems Research Assistant, Forest Health Research Assistant, and Land Authorizations Coordinator. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys biking along the Vancouver greenways and can often be found at the Student Recreation Centre. Carmen is incredibly excited to be returning to UBC Forestry for the MGEM program and is looking forward to expanding her skill set and understanding of environmental management with emerging technology.


Katlyn Wise

My name is Katlyn and I’m from Kelowna, BC. I grew up hiking and camping with my family and spent much of my childhood enjoying the outdoors. It was in my early teens when I truly fell in love with the natural environment. I spent my summers exploring the mountains, lakes and rivers of the back country north of Pemberton. I graduated from UBC Okanagan with a BSc in Biology. After graduating, I spent a year teaching in and exploring the beautiful country of Taiwan. Since then, I’ve been working as a horticultural adviser in the sunny Okanagan. It has been a privilege being able to help tree fruit growers optimize their quality and production to deliver beautiful, locally grown fruit to the marketplace. I’m looking forward to expanding my professional skills in the MGEM program.


Xiaojun Yan

Xiaojun was born and raised in Shandong, China. She pursued her studies in Forestry at Nanjing Forestry University for 3 years. Then, she transferred to UBC as a third-year student, studied Forest Resources Management. During her undergraduate degree, she came to know how urgently these environmental problems needed to be mitigated. She aspires to meet new friends and develop herself through the MGEM program. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and skiing. She is grateful to be a part of the MGEM program and is excited to learn more about the environment in UBC.tackle environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest.


Hang Zhang

Hang Zhang was born in Maanshan, which is a small city in northeast of China. In 2014, he was admitted to Nanjing Forestry University, after first half of study in science in forestry, he developed deep interests in forest-knowledge and decided to study at UBC. In 2017, he moved to UBC for further study in B.S.F, and he graduated in 2019. During his undergraduate study, he found his interests in data science and GIS applications, so he chose to study in MGEM program to equip himself for more professional GIS, remote sensing and application knowledge, and become a MGEM student. He is very excited about the following study and hopes to enjoy his study at UBC. In his spare time, he plays various kinds of sports and hopes to make more friends in the campus.


Zuofang Zhang

My name is Zuofang and I’m from Zhengzhou, China. I graduated with a joint B.S.c degree in Biotechnology and Forest Sciences. My motivation for improving environmental health as well as meeting public interests came from my childhood experience and undergraduate study. I grew up exploring the farmland, various crops, and livestocks – which flourished my love of nature and conservation. My awareness of environmental issues caused by human activities such as urbanization and intensively managed agriculture has developed significantly through my study at UBC. I am looking forward to pursuing my interests in geomatics and its application in environmental management through MGEM.


Chenyang Zhou

My name is Chenyang Zhou and I am from Jiangsu, China. I studied at Nanjing Forestry University and I came to UBC in 2017. My bachelor’s degree is B.Sc. in Wood Products Processing with minor in Commerce. My interest in GIS is from my undergraduate modelling course. A multi-criterion decision problem was presented that focused on the selection of the most suitable lumber production site in the supply chain. GIS is helpful to aggregate and analyze multiple spatial data sources. I am interested in remote sensing since it can help managers assess the quality, composition, and other biophysical parameters for various forests. Learning these techniques in MGEM would greatly increase my professional skills.


Jiaying (Julia) Zhu

Jiaying (Julia) Zhu was born and raised in Nanjing, China. She started to study at UBC since 2014 for her bachelor’s degree in Forestry (Natural resources conservation). She spent her summer to learn the local agricultural sciences and natural resource in Costa Rica which provides a deeper look into sustainable development in the tropics. During her undergraduate degree, she really loves creating data visualizations and exploring landscape change and use by using GIS and remote sensing. She also really loves travelling the world to experience different culture and people. Julia is looking forward to studying in MGEM program at UBC and absorbing new knowledge from this program.