Where are MGEM students and instructors from?
Discover the global MGEM community of current students, alumni, teaching assistants and instructors (past and present).
I currently live in Richmond, British Columbia but I grew up in Toronto. After completing my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies (Geography – Biophysical Systems) at the University of Waterloo (2004), I moved to Edmonton to start my career as an Air Quality Specialist with Alberta’s Ministry of Environment. Since 2006, I have worked as a consultant providing air quality monitoring and management services, primarily for non-profit organizations. My first experience in learning about geomatics was in 1999 through introductory courses during undergraduate studies; the clunkiness of GIS applications at the time turned me away from that scholastic path. Fast forward 20 years. With new and improved tools and some self-taught and formal GIS training, I developed a renewed interest in geomatics. The sophistication and ease of use of applications has greatly improved and I am able to focus on the end products of data analysis, visualization, and telling a spatial story instead of butting heads with a software stack! Through MGEM, I hope to both improve my ability to interpret environmental monitoring data and skills to dive deeper into spatial and statistical analyses. I enjoy photography (both ground and drone-based), travel, and exploring British Columbia’s mountain playground with my partner and two Giant Schnauzers, Mezzo and Ellie.
Yang (Aster) Chen
I am from Nanjing, China. I just finished my undergraduate study in Forest Resources Management at UBC and decided to learn more about mapping and GIS through MGEM. I’m passionate about urban forestry and the allocation of green space for tomorrow’s cities. In spare time, you might either find me wandering in the forests or watching different concerts/live shows. Hope I can enjoy and get enlightened by the upcoming program and figure out what I want to devote myself to in the future.
Kit Shan (Wendy) Cheung
I am originally from Hong Kong. I pursued my studies in Environmental Management and Technology at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where my passion for environmental issues took root. Following graduation, I embarked on a career as a sustainability analyst, collaborating with businesses to combat climate change and foster sustainable practices. This experience provided me with a deep understanding of climate risks and their far-reaching impacts on diverse industries and individuals. Motivated by a strong desire to drive positive change in the environmental field, I have chosen to pursue the MGEM program at UBC. I am particularly drawn to this program as it offers the opportunity to gain technical expertise in geomatics and actively engage in real-world environmental projects. My aspiration is to become a skilled geospatial analyst, leveraging my expertise to provide insights into complex environmental issues, contribute to climate change mitigation efforts, and support the development of adaptive cities. Beyond academics, I love exploring hiking trails and diving into mesmerizing marine ecosystems, which allow me to connect with the natural world and reinforce my commitment to environmental conservation.
I am from the UK, but grew up in Geneva, Switzerland. After high school I returned to the UK to study physical geography at Durham University. Following the completion of my studies I enrolled in the British Army as an Officer, completing the one-year commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I commissioned into the British Army in 2016 as a tank commander, and was based in Germany for the following 3 years. I then did a 2-year exchange with the Canadian Army in Petawawa, ON. Following my exchange, I left the British Army and transferred to the Canadian Army, working in the headquarters here in Vancouver. In April 2023, I left the army to go back into full time education. Outside of work I’m a keen mountain biker and backcountry skier. I also enjoy sailing and field hockey when time allows. I decided to take the MGEM as I always enjoyed the GIS work that I did in my undergrad, and was looking to further develop these skills in order to pursue a career in the environmental sector. In particular I am interested in using the skills I develop in the programme to working in the carbon offsetting and ecosystem restoration sector, under the broader scope of helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
I grew up in Toronto, Ontario and I just recently graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography and a Certificate in Urban Planning. Through my four years at Queen’s, I had many exciting opportunities, both educational and personal. My fourth year capstone project investigated erosion after a hurricane on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia using fundamental understandings of sedimentology and analyzing aerial photography using GIS. I also had the chance to participate in an experiential learning field-course that explored the deserts of the American South-West. Led by professors of McGill and Queen’s Universities, the two-week course included intensive observation, presentation, and research experience in the fields of landscape ecology, geology, environmental science, and natural history while camping with my peers in the desert. In terms of previous work experience, I had the opportunity last summer to work for Indigenous Services Canada as a part of the Lands and Environment Teams. In this role, I was exposed to processes of data collection, using geospatial tools to make informed decisions about environmental management and remediation, and executing environmental assessments, for both contaminated sites as well as for reviewing prospective additions-to- reserve (ATRs). All of these experiences have led me to want to pursue the MGEM program. I am looking forward to getting started in this program to strengthen my knowledge of ecological systems, gain a deeper understanding of environmental problems, and the ways in which they can be mitigated using geomatics. Outside of these experiences, I am passionate about sustainability, travel, climbing, skiing, knitting, and camping.
Kun Han Goh
Hailing from sunny Singapore, an honour’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University, brought about an early interest in engineering applications to climate and sustainable energy. My subsequent work at the National Parks Board as a development regulator and urban planner allowed me to lead teams to safeguard natural and urban greenery amidst urban developments, and formulation of policies to make the city liveable through greenery and recreation. It also introduced me to environmental impact studies, field work and an interest in trees, leading to my ISA arborist certification. More recently, I had the opportunity to share these experiences with graduate students from the Urban Planning Program from National University of Singapore and hosted urban planners from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on their study trip to Singapore. Throughout my work, I have seen how GIS analytics play an increasingly significant role in guiding the many facets of nature and environment conservation and city planning. I look forward to expanding my geospatial knowledge and toolkit as well as gain new perspectives from the fellow MGEM students. Outside of that you would probably find me hiking, rock climbing, cycling or just perhaps, in the lounge with a good book.
I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. I graduated from MacEwan University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree majoring in physical sciences and minoring in anthropology. During my time at MacEwan, I studied a broad range of subjects and courses including Environmental Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Petrology, Planetary Surface Imaging, Geological Information Systems, Atmospheric & Soil Sciences, and Ecological Anthropology. Some of my favorite hobbies and activities to do in my free time include hiking, camping, bike riding, and traveling. I have also recently taken an interest in photography. In the summer months as an undergraduate, I volunteered at stewardship events through the Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) where I helped maintain and rejuvenate various protected areas. My main interest in the MGEM program stems from its versatility and range of applications in environmental sciences. For this program, I would be interested in completing a project in the field of risk assessment and hazard mapping. This includes monitoring hazards such as floods, wildfires, avalanches, landslides, or pollutants. Geomatics would serve as an essential tool to assess and provide informed decisions to planners and development projects in the surrounding area. This could be applied to both hazard-prone areas and areas in need of remediation.
I grew up in Shanghai, China. I graduated from the Faculty of Forestry at UBC in 2023 with major in Forest Operations and minor in Commerce. In my previous study, I love to deal with data and analyze them to make decisions on how to manage the forest. Also, the opportunity of using QGIS in solving problems in some courses has brought this technology to my attention. I became very interested in how to use GIS in forest management. My personal interest in using GIS to solve complex forest problems by spatial analysis makes me believe that MGEM is the program I want, which I could enhance my GIS skill and apply it to real life.
I grew up in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in southwest China, and came to Canada four years ago to pursue my undergraduate study. I have just graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and a Certificate in Geographic Information Science this year. My interest in GIS and Remote Sensing has been stimulated in the second year of my undergrad since I took related courses and found these techniques to be super interesting and could be applied to and benefit many fields of studies. I did an internship in a GIS company in Chengdu in 2021 summer, which mainly work for smart city construction and management projects. I have done many GIS analysis-related course projects and one thesis project during the past four years, and they focused on topics from public health, business analysis, and conservation selection to water resource evaluation. I have been nominated by Queen’s University to receive a 2023 Esri Canada GIS Scholarship. These great experiences in GIS and geography studies make me want to explore further in this industry, especially in the specific application of Geomatics in an industry, so I decide to take my master’s in MGEM where I could learn how geomatics could be applied to deal with environmental issues and natural resources, and I hope to acquire more and enhance my professional skills for my future career. I enjoy traveling, cooking, and sports like volleyball, as they are my way to release stress and make myself positive.
I am from Chongqing, China. I received my Bachelor of Science in Forestry in forest resource management from UBC this June. I am so fortunate that I could work as a previous MGEM program assistant throughout the summer of 2022. This wonderful experience helps me gain a deep understanding of the warm MGEM family. From my undergraduate courses at UBC, I have learned something about the applications of GIS and remote sensing in forest resource management. Through my undergraduate experience, I developed a strong interest in utilizing aerial imagery to support environmental management for natural resources of the world. I believe that by leveraging the power of technology, we can gain a better understanding of the natural world and make more informed decisions to protect it. In my leisure time, I have a love for travelling and experiencing different cultures. I enjoy immersing myself in new environments and learning from the people and places I encounter. I find that this hobby fuels my curiosity and inspires me to approach challenges with an open mind. I also have passion in photography, recording beautiful moments in pictures can give me much happiness. Overall, I am passionate about using my skills and interests to make a positive impact on the world around me.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, where I recently completed my Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Conservation at UBC. During my summers, I have actively participated in fieldwork with the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, where I monitored for the presence of invasive species in the Squamish Estuary. I also worked as a research assistant in UBC’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, using GIS to analyze the impacts of recent wildfires and wildfire smoke on rural First Nations (Carrier and Sekani) communities and to plan for more proactive emergency response in the future. My passion lies in learning how to use geospatial tools to make informed decisions in the conservation and protection of natural ecosystems and human well-being, which is why joining UBC’s MGEM program feels like a natural progression for me. During my free time, I enjoy hiking, photography, and playing golf. I am excited to connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals in contributing towards a more sustainable future!
Sung Hei (Victor) Kwok
I am from Hong Kong. Having been interested in the physical mechanisms that drive the weather and climate around us, I pursued an undergraduate degree in Earth System Science in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It was the programme that provided me with the opportunities to experience the strength of GIS, hence prompting me to work in the GIS industry after graduation. Specializing in the ArcGIS suite at my job, I can really experience and appreciate how spatial tools and analysis are being applied currently at the industrial level at different fields, such as engineering, environmental assessment, smart urban planning, facility management and even more. I really look forward to mastering my technical skills in a variety of spatial analysis tools and applying them in intelligent environment and urban planning/management. During my leisure time, I enjoy travelling a lot, especially to obscure places for the most unique scenery and local cuisine. Would love to explore the surroundings of Vancouver for the scenery, hiking trails and outdoor activities it provides!
My name is Kianna but most call me Ki. I am from Ottawa, Ontario and I studied at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I completed my undergrad in Environmental Sciences and completed a certificate degree in geographic information science. Since graduating, I have been working for Transport Canada as an environmental policy analyst. In this position, I utilized GIS to help inform policy decisions on the protection of North Atlantic Right Whales in the Gulf of St-Lawrence and the protection of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea. My interests include sewing and fashion, anything outdoors, and fitness. I decided to take my Master’s as I wanted to deepen my understanding of geospatial sciences. I am unsure of exactly what I aspire to do post-Master’s, but I know I would like to use my newly acquired knowledge to help solve environmental queries.
I am from Tianjin China. I studied computer science, maths and psychology at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia. I worked as a teaching assistant in a few programming courses at UQ, and also did AI research in machine learning fields. I like ice skating, painting, cooking and swimming. Travelling, reading and coding inspired me a lot. I enjoy exploring new topics and skills, and that’s why I decided to take MGEM to expand my horizon and gain practical skills. I’m passionate to do GIS research in environmental management in the future. And I can’t wait to join the journey with the amazing people!
I grew up in China. I completed my undergraduate degree in GIS and Environmental Management at University of Toronto. Having majored in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Environmental Management as an undergraduate, I enjoy learning the way GIS can combine with environmental management together, to identify, visualize and solve environmental issues. Moreover, I personally love nature and care about the environment as it provides physical and emotional support for human beings. As the environmental challenges are becoming intense and serious, I hope I can make contributions to protecting and regulating nature. I am also motivated to pursue a Master’s degree to strengthen my profession to work as a GIS Analyst or Specialist. Apart from that, I am excited about the combined theory and hands-on learning such as the sector-focus project management training and getting the opportunity to work closely with different experts in MGEM program. Lastly, I believe the MGEM program at UBC will provide me with strong, advanced knowledge and skills.
I grew up in Kenora, Ontario, a small town on Lake of the Woods surrounded by nature. I completed my undergraduate studies in Biology and Geography at Carleton University. I was drawn to courses and projects focused on ecology, conservation, and climate, particularly those investigating spatial and temporal relationships. My Honours Thesis Project utilized GIS to estimate current and future distributions of Canadian Pine tree species based on varying climate projections. This project inspired me to pursue further education that will delve deeper into geospatial methods as they relate to the environment. I look forward to strengthening my GIS capabilities and learning new geomatics skills with UBC’s MGEM program. After completing my Masters, I hope to build a career in the geospatial industry that will improve how people, corporations, and governments interact with the environment. In my free time I like to read, crochet, hike, swim, surf, and see live music.
I am from Montreal, Quebec. I hold a B.Sc. in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from McGill University where I majored in Honours Environmental Biology and specialized in Wildlife Biology. I also hold a Diploma of College Studies in Environmental Science from Dawson College. Studying at UBC and experiencing the West Coast has been a long-term ambition of mine, and so I’m thrilled about undertaking the MGEM program this year. Before attending UBC, I worked short-term contracts as an Assistant Conservation & Animal Care Technician at the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital in Orillia, ON, and as a Nature & Wildlife Interpretation Intern in Monteverde, Costa Rica. On a seasonal basis, I also work as a Boat Attendant on the Atwater Quay in Montreal. My reverence for nature & the outdoors probably developed as a Beaver Scout, which led to over a decade of experience in outdoor recreation and leadership with Scouts Canada. I’m interested in hiking, skiing, camping, and running. I’m also an avid traveler, and I enjoy cooking, reading, and attending concerts, events, and Drag shows! Through the MGEM program, I hope to acquire the technical skills and training in geospatial analytics and landscape ecology that will propel my future career in wildlife management and conservation. The program will help expand my job opportunities in the field, and strengthen my candidature as a young professional. Upon graduating, I would like to work for NGO’s, research institutes, or branches of government to help them meet their conservation or research goals.
I am from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China. My hometown has a wide range of mountains, so it is naturally rich in forestry resources. Before I came to UBC, my undergraduate major was geographic science, and I developed a strong interest in geomatics during my studies. I especially like outdoor activities, such as climbing, hiking, and I always look for opportunities to get close to nature. My growth environment, educational background and hobbies are all very suitable for the major I will study at UBC. I hope that I can go farther and farther on the professional road, and hope to have the opportunity to study for a Ph.D., or work hard in a professional-related field. I hope that in the next campus life at UBC, I can continue to realize myself through true knowledge and meet more like-minded mentors and friends.
Guangxiu (Nora) Ran
I was born and raised in Shenyang, and moved to Vancouver when I was 16. “I was fascinated by the power that humans can reshape the landscape and environment affects human behaviours,” this thought has supported me through my past studies and explorations in environment-related fields. I completed an undergraduate degree in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University and a Certificate in Spatial Systems to explore geography-related application techniques. I recently graduated from MURP at the University of Sydney and analysed the Urban Green Space accessibility in Greater Sydney supported with the ArcGIS network model as my capstone project. I am a fan of natural scenes but bad at outdoor sports (or all sports). In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, visiting museums and travelling. I believe that enrolling in Geomatics for Environmental Management master’s program will further focus my research interests and enable me to bridge the gap between advanced remote sensing techniques and environmental management applications.
I am interested in how carbon measurements can inform climate solutions. Through this Master’s program, I hope to grow my geomatics skill-set and increase my capacity to be an effective lifelong ecologist. Previously, I’ve worked field-based roles in forestry, marine biology, and environmental monitoring. I completed my undergraduate in the Environment & Business co-op program at the University of Waterloo. In the spaces between canoe trips, alpine excursions and conversations with trees, I enjoy live music and pursuing creative outlets.
Graduate student (MGEM) at the University of British Columbia, with prior industrial research experience. I am from India and have completed a master’s from Punjab Agricultural University in Botany. My areas of expertise are stress physiology, biochemistry, agronomy, molecular biology and plant breeding. I wanted to excel in my field with modern technologies and I found this program suitable to shape my career at advanced levels.
Growing up in the interior of BC on traditional Secwépemc territory, I was lucky to spend much of my time outdoors building a relationship with nature. I would explore from the deserted mines on Mt. Ida, through the interior cedar-hemlock forests, to the clear waters of Shuswap Lake. From these experiences, I gained a deep appreciation for the connections between ecosystems. I recently graduated with a BSc in Ecological Restoration, where I was exposed to the issues we are faced within resource management and conservation. Through research projects, I was exposed to the applications of GIS and remote sensing. From supervised classification experiments for invasive species detection to LiDAR modeling to explore the impacts of drought on western redcedar, it became apparent to me that these are vital tools for effective environmental management. I am looking forward to learning more about these tools in MGEM and applying them to the marine environment. I am passionate about restoring intertidal ecosystems and I am excited to build the skills to do so on a large scale. In my spare time, you’ll find me tide-pooling, kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking with my dog.
Sander van Walraven
I was born and raised in Ottawa. Before coming to UBC I studied Environmental Science at Carleton University and this past year I was also working for the Geological Survey of Canada. What brought me to UBC’s MGEM program was its focus on landscape ecology and the chance to learn multiple professional skills that are applicable to many different professional fields. I spend most of my free time cross-country skiing, as well as trail running, and reading.
Chenyao (Jamie) Wang
I was born in Chongqing, China, the city of Hot Pot. I love traveling, snowboarding, and spicy food! I completed my Undergraduate Degree in Urban Studies from the University of California Irvine in 2017 and my first Graduate Degree in Transport Policy and Planning from the University of Hong Kong in 2018. My undergraduate studies introduced regional planning, sustainability, and GIS to me and captured my interest. After spending 5 years working as an administrator at Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission, participating in city general planning, economic policymaking, and major school project management, I recognized the significance of keeping the balance between economic development and environmental management. I hope that I could further my studies in the field of environment management, make a lot of amazing friends, and apply what I learn in MGEM to make a more sustainable society.
I was born and raised in China, and came to Canada when I was 15. I graduated from UBC with forest resources management degree. Years of academic learning combined with my field experiences provide me comprehensive understanding of dynamics of forest resources, informing forest management plan based on biological, physical, and social frameworks. Now, I am eager to hone my hands-on spatial data manipulation skills that integrate with my academic knowledge to support my aspiration: finding a new path of environmental management with quantitative analysis in the digital era. While at the university, I gained research experiences in tree ring analysis from long-term forest experiments to understand how trees can cope with climate extremes. Analyze spatial pattern of changing resilience and interaction of external and internal factors using ArcGIS and R studio, and Data quality control and exploratory data analyses by utilizing specialized tree-ring software. This experience allowed me to realize the urgency of addressing climate change challenge, not only in forestry sector that we are doing in this lab to maintain forest resilience and growth under climate change but also in respect of anthropogenic climate change around the globe. Therefore, this illuminated the importance of incorporating spatial data techniques and geomatics tools in tackling environmental problems to prevent biased solutions, which prompted me to explore a clear path of mitigating climate change issues and sustainable natural resources qualitatively and analytically.
I grew up in Nanning, China. I have just graduated from McMaster University in Earth and Environmental Science. During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to learn about geology formation, resilience, and mineral identification. In particular, I developed an interest in environmental resilience and carbon management. I believe that the world needs more accountants for carbon, instead of for money. Additionally, I have always been interested in GIS, as it is widely used in various industries and scientific fields. I hope to acquire more professional and practical geomatic skills here at MGEM, enabling me to create amazing maps and critically analyze environmental-related statistics. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and dancing. I am excited to embark on this new chapter of my life and contribute to the field of environmental science and geomatics.
I am from Beijing, China, and I’m pumped to be joining the MGEM program at UBC. Before this, I studied Forestry and became a field technician in south central BC, where I got a taste of geomatics in action. When I’m not nerding out over maps, you’ll find me exploring new hiking trails and getting lost in the beauty of nature. So why am I here? Well, I’ve decided to level up my geomatics skills and stay ahead of the game. The MGEM program at UBC caught my eye with its focus on the latest tech trends. I’m all about riding the wave of new technologies and figuring out how they can revolutionize geomatics. When it comes to the future, I’m all about those trending technologies. I’m super intrigued by the fusion of geomatics and AI, where we can find mind-blowing solutions to environmental and societal challenges.
Zige (Stephanie) Yang
I am from Xining, Qinghai, China, and embarked on my academic journey at the University of Science and Technology, Beijing. After three years of study, I transferred to UBC in 2019, where I successfully earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation. Following the completion of my studies, I gained practical experience as a Project Assistant in an esteemed urban environmental service corporation, contributing my skills and knowledge for a period of three months. Presently, I am actively engaged in a professional capacity at Crius Financial Corporation in British Columbia, further honing my expertise and making meaningful contributions to the organization.
My academic journey has been a diverse and multidisciplinary exploration of various fields. I completed my undergraduate degree in biological sciences in China and my master’s degree in energy management at NYIT Vancouver. Before joining UBC, I gained hands-on experience in forestry and plant breeding as well as climate change, paleoclimate reconstruction, and paleoecology research projects through my past studies and internships. My research interests originate from my fascination with nonlinear complex systems, atmospheric processes, and climate sensitivity drives my research interests in the complexity of climate and biological systems. The reason I chose to join UBC MGEM was to improve my skills in GIS, Statistical Analysis, Mathematical Modeling, as well as Quantitative Analysis skills, which are critical to interpreting spatial data, understanding complex ecosystems, and have broadened my career opportunities in areas related to sustainable resources and the environment, data analysis, and remote sensing. Also, UBC’s community culture would respect diversity, inclusion of self-expression, and respect for minority communities. In addition, my hobbies are gardening, collecting potted plants, and traveling outdoors. I also like to create related earth models, such as creating maps of land and ocean distribution change in geological history and collecting climate data maps for corresponding periods.