What is TRANSFOR-M?
The Transatlantic Forestry Master (TRANSFOR-M) is a 2-year program that is in partnership with other European and Canadian Universities. This partnership is a unique course-based educational experience, which provides students with the opportunity to explore forestry both in Europe and Canada.
Each UBC TRANSFOR-M student will receive upon completion of the program the UBC Master of Forestry (MF) degree and one of the degrees offered by the European Host University:
- Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (Germany – MSc Forest Sciences)
- Bangor University (Wales, UK – MSc Agroforestry / MSc Conservation and Land Management / MSc Environmental Forestry)
- University of Eastern Finland (Finland – MSc Agriculture and Forestry)
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria – M.Sc. Mountain Forestry)
- University of Padova (Italy – M.Sc. Forest Science)
Current TRANSFOR-M Students
I have a background in Forest Resources Management from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. My undergraduate studies exposed me to economics, management, and social aspects of forestry. This has spurred an interest in me to learn about how the world’s forests can be managed sustainably. I have worked as a student intern in various public forestry organisations. Upon graduation, I picked up a job as a graduate assistant in Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan and also volunteered with tree planting projects for a while. I enjoy giving back to the community and this motivated me to volunteer with a local NGO that advocates and sponsors education of children living in low-income communities. I have decided to study at UBC given its high-profile research edge in Forestry and consistent professional forestry record. The Master of Forestry course at UBC aligns with my long-term goal of becoming a high-profile social forester and environmentalist. I also aim to further my postgraduate research in urban forestry while working with NGOs to ensure and advocate for sustainability of the world’s forests.
Hi there! I’m Sarah, all the way from exotic, rural Ontario, Canada. I completed my undergrad at McGill University in Montreal, where I majored in Global Food Security and completed a field semester in East Africa to specialize in International Agriculture. Throughout my time at McGill, I also worked closely with their entrepreneurship office, where I helped design and manage programs to find, teach, and develop students, faculty, and recent alumni wishing to start a startup. When I graduated, I looked to combine my academic background in agriculture and my knowledge of tech startups and gained a position developing the curriculum for, and eventually instructing, an ag-tech course for a non-profit focused on re-/up-skilling workers in traditional industries being disrupted by technology. I then moved to Dublin, Ireland, where I worked for Ireland’s largest tech startup hub for the next three years on a variety of projects, from helping the national utility company develop its innovation strategy to writing insights reports on startup trends for a multinational agriculture company. Like many, the pandemic was a valuable time for me to reflect on my career, and, while I’m immensely grateful for the experience and opportunities I’ve had, I decided it was time to change course and return to study. From my undergrad, I knew I wanted to do more in the arena of food security and climate, and wanted to attend a school with strong ties to leading international research bodies. I’m very excited to begin the TRANSFOR-M program in Bangor this fall and look forward to any opportunities in regenerative agriculture/agroforestry, smallholder empowerment, and the potential for technology to amplify the benefits of nature-based climate solutions.
Hello! My name is Sophia and I’m from Kimberton, PA. Witnessing the degradation of forests I have loved since childhood inspired me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Barnard College of Columbia University and apply to TRANSFOR-M. My connection with Canadian boreal forests began early, at the age of 13. Rigorous canoe tripping expeditions in Northern Ontario strengthened my resolve to pursue a path in forest conservation. Once at Barnard, I began paleoecology research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on endangered high-elevation Atlantic White Cedar bogs before pursuing field research in Bryology at the New York Botanical Garden. My interests in forest conservation then brought me to Dr. Wegryzn’s plant computational genomics lab where I learned more about the devastating effects wooly adelgid are having on Hemlock populations in North America. I look forward to pursuing a MSc in Agroforestry and Food Security at Bangor University where I hope to integrate my passion for soil science within the ever-increasing socio-political and climate pressures on our global food system. Outside of studies I enjoy hiking, baking, music, macro-photography and exploring!
I am from Nepal, a mountainous country eminent for Everest, so my affinity and love for nature is instinct. Because of this, I have done my undergraduate in Forestry, which is the core subject of choice for somebody who wishes to gain a theoretical base on natural resources, biodiversity and ecology. Besides my course work, I have been an active member of different volunteer organizations, a voracious reader, and an obsessive traveler from the very beginning of my college days. It will be an absolute delight and privilege to be studying this program in these revered universities. This will enrich my life not only with a global and in-depth understanding of my subject matter but also with a global exposure with peoples of different countries, backgrounds, and beliefs, and experiences of travel abroad. I will be completing Msc. Mountain Forestry from BOKU, Vienna before coming to UBC as a part of TRANSFOR-M program.
Hi, my name is Caleb (he/him). I grew up in southern Vermont, USA but I am currently based out of Victoria, BC. In 2013 I came to Canada to study at McGill University. While working on my bachelor’s degree in Environment and Development, I was active in the McGill Outdoors Club and lead hiking, climbing, paddling and ski trips. For the last six years I have worked as tree-planter and planting crew-lead all across BC, from the north Island to the Kootenay’s. Tree planting introduced me to the complex world of forestry in BC and, more broadly, the intersection of natural resource industry, land tenure, and culture. I am excited to be a part of TRANSFOR-M and to combine my enthusiasm for outdoor recreation, forestry, and learning with a multi-cultural international experience. This fall I will be in Padova, Italy. Eventually, I am interested in the ASFIT pathway to becoming an RPF, working with Community Forests and indigenous forestry groups, and learning about progressive tenure reform.
Hi all, I’m Bryce. I’m from Eureka, a small coastal town in Northern California. I grew up among the old growth redwoods, mountains, and wild coastline of Humboldt County and have carried a love for forests and the environment ever since. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (2020) with a dual degree in Ecosystem Management and Forestry (BSc) and Conservation Resource Studies (BSc Hons). My academic interests have primarily focused on sustainable development and natural resource management in Latin America. I’ve spent time studying abroad, conducting research, or working in Bolivia, Chile, and Australia. Since graduating I have worked in Northern California for CAL FIRE, GrizzlyCorps (AmeriCorps), and for the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, where I have been managing the Forest Health and Resiliency Program prior to my participation in the TRANSFOR-M program. After two years of enriching experience working in forestry, I am excited to return to academia at both UBC and Bangor University, where I will pursue a MSc in Agroforestry and Food Security. I hope to continue pursuing my interests in socio-ecological sustainability and development and its intersection with forestry. Outside of work and studies I love hiking, backpacking, traveling, and photographing.
My name is Hayden Lake I will be entering the Master of Forestry Program in September 2022 with my first year in Vancouver at UBC and my second year at the University of Eastern Finland. I completed my BS in Forestry at the University of Vermont in the US. I am originally from, and continue to live in Vermont, where I have been running a forestry consulting business since 2010 managing privately owned woodlands, developing long-term management plans and designing and implementing timber harvests among many other things. I am beyond excited to step away from my career and further my studies, and to experience living in not one, but two new places. While I do intend, ultimately, to return to Vermont and further develop my forestry business, I will welcome new opportunities if they arise. I can’t wait to become a part of the UBC forestry community.
Hi all! My name is Chloe and I grew up on a small island near Seattle, Washington, USA. Growing up in the lush temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest cultivated my interest in nature, biology, and the environment. One of my favorite activities as a kid was finding and admiring the vast array of invertebrates that share our world, from spiders and beetles to worms and moon snails. My interest in arthropods, especially spiders, shaped my undergraduate studies and led me to double major in Organismal Biology and Dance at Scripps College in California. At Scripps I worked as a biology tutor, a biology lab teaching assistant, a research assistant, and a research fellow. As a research fellow I had the opportunity to research in the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica regarding social behavior of the golden silk orbweaver (Trichonephila clavipes). It was this research experience that deepened my interest in forestry and forest sciences; I am beyond excited to study these subjects in Padova and in Vancouver. I am particularly drawn to forest entomology as my focus and also hope to learn more about natural resource economics and explore the intersection of these two areas. Outside of my studies I enjoy reading, listening to music, dancing, hiking, running, and photography (specifically of invertebrates).
Hello! My name is Margot (she/her) and I grew up in Chelsea, Quebec. I was surrounded by forests from a young age, whether I was walking behind my childhood home, wandering around the sugar bush at my elementary school, or skiing in the Gatineau Park. Over the course of my B.Sc. Honours Environment (Biodiversity and Conservation) at McGill University, I explored my interest in forest ecology, in part through a summer field course at the Haida Gwaii Institute and also through my honours thesis. Since graduating in 2020, I have worked outside of the environmental field and am very much looking forward to furthering my education through the TRANSFOR-M program. I will first be studying Agroforestry and Food Security at Bangor University before attending UBC in my second year of the program. My intention is to build on my scientific background while transitioning my focus toward management practices that mitigate the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems and resources.
I am from Edmonton, AB, where I studied Conservation Biology at the University of Alberta. I have spent most of my time away from working in the social services field but most recently have worked for Alberta Parks at William A. Switzer Provincial Park. I enjoy the hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, photography and painting. I chose the TRANSFOR-M program to learn about Environmental/Forestry practices overseas as well as domestically. I wish to learn more about the differing perspectives in resource management and forestry. I look forward to my two years in the TRANSFOR-M.
My name is Lydia and I am from Athens, Greece. I left at age 16 to study at UWC Atlantic College, an international boarding school in Wales, before returning to Athens. I graduated from Deree – The American College of Greece (ACG) with a BSc in Environmental Studies in 2020. While at Deree I worked at the ACG Center of Excellence for Sustainability, where I assisted with sustainability awareness-raising campaigns and biodiversity monitoring amongst other projects. Over the past year I have been volunteering with a couple Greek environmental NGOs, helping out with translations and graphic design work. Outside of my studies I enjoy playing football (soccer), debating, photography, and 3D animation. I am beyond excited to be spending a year in Vancouver and a year in Padova. As a Greek/Canadian, I was torn between continuing my studies in Europe or pursuing a master’s degree in Canada. That is why when I came across TRANSFOR-M I knew I had to apply. In the next two years I hope to learn more about conservation practices and land use, as well as investigating the environmental, social, and economic benefits of urban forests.
I’m from San Diego, California. I’ve always loved plants and nature, so when I went to Wesleyan University for undergrad I majored in Biology. I graduated in 2023 and during my first few years I originally took many cellular and molecular biology courses and did research projects in fly genetics and molecular plant science. However, after taking a forest ecology class, I realized that my true passion lies in forests and environmental science. I participated in a research project studying the health of Ash trees in Connecticut, which was a great project and helped confirm that I want to continue studying forest ecology. I also love studying languages, so the TRANSFOR-M program stood out to me for its unique opportunity to study internationally. I am hoping to be able to combine these two passions and be able to help study and protect the world’s forests. I am excited to be going to the University of Padua in Italy this year, and UBC the next year. Outside of my studies I love baking, painting, and moving around outside (such as playing soccer, running, and climbing) and I am currently learning to surf!
Quintana, Paulina Vasquez
Hey there! I’m very happy to introduce myself today as a student of the TRANSFOR-M program at UBC. For the last year (2021/2022) I’ve been studying at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna, Austria. My passion for being outdoors and understanding the processes of nature started from a young age. I enjoyed my weekends in the temperate forests of central Mexico, close to where the monarch butterflies hibernate in winter. I decided to study Biology at UNAM in Mexico City, where during the multiple fieldtrips across my country I could understand the entwined relationship between nature and people. Before enrolling to graduate school, I worked for two years at the urban forest of Chapultepec in Mexico City where I coordinated scientific and operational activities at the botanical garden and supported public participation in the space. I’ve experience in fundraising for environmental NGO’s, project management, value chain and forest ecology studies. I’m looking forward to keep walking this path and meet many inspiring colleagues. In my free time you’ll find me swimming, hiking, listening to Balkan and Brazilian music, visiting some archeological site, and spending time with friends and family.
I was raised next to an eastern hemlock forest in Connecticut, though the last six years I have been fortunate to call California home. I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2020 with an Environmental Studies degree, studying music on the side. Post graduation, I took a trip to the Olympic Mountains where I became fascinated by old growth forests. Once back in California, I started working on tree crews, eventually becoming a consulting arborist. I wanted to work towards protecting natural environments, so last year I led and worked on ecology field crews, mainly studying the effects of fire in the Sierra Nevada. Mentors at the US Forest Service inspired me to pursue a masters, both for the experience and to break down barriers of entry in the conservation world. For my first year in the program, I’ll be in Padova, where I hope to soak up as much as I can both in school and as a young person abroad. After, I’m excited to work in the Hamelin Lab at UBC, studying plant/fungal interactions through the lens of forest health. I hope to continue with forest ecology after graduating, either through PhD research or as an ecologist for a forestry/conservation organization. My hobbies revolve around nature and music, and include surfing, snowboarding, backpacking, and playing guitar and mandolin. Looking forward to what lies ahead!
I’m originally from Kurdistan, Iran. My academic journey in forestry began when I pursued a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Engineering with a specialization in Forestry at the University of Kurdistan, Iran. During my undergraduate years, I immersed myself in the captivating world of forest management and conservation. Currently, I am pursuing an M.Sc. in Forest Science at the University of Padova, Italy. Before embarking on my M.Sc. journey, I worked as a Forest and Rangeland Expert with the Department of Natural Resources and Watershed Management in Baneh, Iran. Over seven years, I had the privilege to contribute to various vital projects, such as forest fire prevention and suppression, erosion management, flood and soil erosion control, and the implementation of natural resources cadastral plans. Throughout my career, I remained an active member of the Baneh Green Environmental Association, a local NGO focused on promoting natural resources awareness in schools and rural communities. Engaging with the community and spreading environmental awareness has always been close to my heart. The TRANSFOR-M program at UBC offers an exceptional opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge, enhance my research skills, and collaborate with experts in the field. I am eager to expand my horizons and explore innovative strategies for sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. I look forward to contributing to the field of forestry and advocating for sustainable resource management practices to safeguard the environment for future generations.
I was born in Nottingham, England, and I grew up in Big Rapids, Michigan. Growing up by the Great Lakes and the Eastern White Pines, I grew to love the natural environment, having always felt more at ease in nature than in cities. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. After my studies, I participated in a one-year AmeriCorps Fellowship with the Billings Parks and Recreation Department in Montana, implementing a citywide fruit tree project and community garden leadership team. This past year, I was a Fellow at the City of La Mesa in southern California, working on a variety of climate action plan implementation projects including analyzing the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan. Over time, I have realized how passionate I am about trees, and I hope to back this passion up with technical knowledge and practical application. I am looking forward to starting my studies at Bangor University in Wales this fall followed by UBC in 2024. Through TRANFOR-M, I hope to learn more about the type of world we are still capable of building with sustainable forest management, land stewardship practices, and community education. In my spare time I enjoy trivia nights, playing board games, hiking, and reading.
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON I had the privilege of completing Lakehead University’s Environmental Management program. With a thesis focused on the biological impacts of coarse woody debris, I made the decision to move to the West of Canada and explore this idea further through the MF program at UBC. Having a travel bug, I sought this opportunity to increase my network in forestry. I aspire to work in the world of policy administration (locally or abroad) in order to increase the probability of a sustainable future. In my spare time I explore the world of geography by evaluating the impacts of music on various cultures, this has led me to Korea, Spain, England, Ireland, Portugal, Cuba and parts of the Southern USA.
Hey there, I’m Zach from Mississauga, Ontario. I grew up in Ontario and spent much of my childhood exploring the Great Lakes region. After my dad moved to Victoria, I spent a lot of time hiking the temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island. That was an awe-inspiring experience—I’ve held a passion for wild spaces ever since. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Queen’s University, where I focused on political theory and environmental studies. Since graduating I have invested my time working with a non-profit called Mining Shared Value which works at a policy and advocacy level to improve standards in the global mining industry. Coming to UBC, I am interested in learning more about the topics of restoration ecology, agroforestry, and climate change. In particular, I would like to learn more about the effects of climate change on forest dynamics in temperate and subtropical regions. I’m truly grateful to have the chance to participate in the TRANSFOR-M program and look forward to getting to know everyone.
I am originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In 2022, I completed my Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree at the University of Waterloo in Geography and Environmental Management. I am currently living in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia where I work in silviculture forestry for Taan Forest. I have previously worked as a Forestry Engineer for local Haida contractors. I was intrigued by the TRANSFOR-M program because it presented me with an opportunity to strengthen my credentials in the industry and aid me in my pursuit of an RPF designation in the future. My career goals are to manage a sustainable forestry firm that provides Haida Gwaii with economic and environmental benefits while protecting its natural beauty for future generations.
Hello everyone, I’m Khawlah from Toronto, Ontario! Although I grew up in the urban matrix of the city, for as long as I can remember, the forest has been an escape for me and the place I feel most myself. Despite this, I found myself pursuing human biology during my undergraduate studies and I quickly came to realize that my true passion was for trees, plants, and everything to do with nature. I was fortunate to be able to fuel this passion through a multitude of field ecology courses and research projects that summated to my final thesis project: exploring bee pollinator effectiveness in Toronto urban areas. Through these valuable experiences, I was able to graduate from the University of Toronto completing my HBSc in Conservation and Biodiversity and Human Biology. This past summer, I worked with a local urban forestry organization, where I assisted in tree planting events and worked with Toronto communities to spread awareness of the urban forest. I am looking forward to starting my Masters of Forest Science at the University of Padova this fall, to explore rich perspectives of the global ecosystem further. Through TRANSFOR-M, I hope to combine my passion for nature with my interests in ethnoforestry, ecology, and agroforestry, to ultimately find my place in the vast world of forestry. Outside of my studies, you can find me reading, baking, running, knitting, and hiking!
Benjamin is from Boulder, Colorado, and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz. While attending school at UCSC, he experienced the 2020 CZU Complex Fire. This significantly impacted his interest in forestry and ecosystems’ response to disturbances. After graduating with a double major in Ecology/Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, he worked seasonally in 2022 as a Forestry Technician, and again in 2023 on a Timber Stand Improvement team for The Great Basin Institute as a crew lead. These positions allowed him hands-on experience and motivated him to pursue a Master’s in Forestry and Land Management as a means to prepare him for more senior roles in the field. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, climbing, and any other excuse to get into the outdoors.