Current Students

Charles Amar
Vancouver, Canada

Charlie completed his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Since then, he has lived and worked in various locations on Vancouver Island and BC’s Central Coast. His work has included BC Parks projects as well as private First Nations-run initiatives, all within the context of working in and around forest ecosystems. With the MIF program, he is hoping to expand his understanding of the many complex facets of forestry, namely examining the relationship between forest dependent peoples and protected areas.

Yeung Yiu Au
Hong Kong, China

Yeung Yiu (YoYo) completed an undergraduate program in Biology from the University of Sheffield, which exposed her to diverse courses in the field of forestry, sparking a deep interest in plant science and ecology. Following graduation, she embarked on a career as an arborist, gaining valuable practical experience in managing and maintaining trees in both urban and rural settings. Passionate about the preservation and conservation of natural resources, she decided to do the MIF program, driven by the desire to acquire in-depth knowledge and practical expertise through academic research. She aims to deepen her understanding of the field and share this new knowledge and experiences with her community back home.

Putra Daskian
Jakarta, Indonesia

Prior to attending the MIF program, Putra worked in the Indonesian forest sector for nine years, including at a company that owns an FSC-certified forest concession. This involved a wide range of disciplines, from budget management to supervising the construction of facilities, such as a tissue culture laboratory. He sees the forest industry evolving from an extractive model towards more complex environmental management, and was drawn to the MIF program as a way to help him navigate this new paradigm. He also seeks to better understand how a well-planned forest conservation strategy can be economically beneficial to local communities and other stakeholders. Putra studied hotel management at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Switzerland, earning his BBA in 2013. He has gained an appreciation for forests as more than just natural ecosystems, from industrial plantations to national parks. He believes forests can and should be managed sustainably, as national assets capable of generating a variety of economic activity, including tourism.

Gladys Guo
Zibo, China

Gladys moved to Vancouver in 2021 to complete her undergraduate degree, majoring in Natural Resources Conservation with a Global Perspective. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Ecology from Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University, which she completed in the summer of 2023. Throughout her university years, she acquired extensive knowledge in forest-related studies and sustainable development from a forestry perspective. She recently had the opportunity to explore agricultural aspects of sustainable development at a community level when she volunteered at a community garden program in Vancouver. These experiences motivated her to delve into sustainability comprehensively and build her career in this field, prompting her application for the MIF program. In addition to her academic pursuits, she enjoys dancing during her free time.

Zhaochen Li
Zhengzhou, China

Coming from a sand-swept city in northern China, Zhaochen’s initial impression of what constitutes a forest was scattered trees within an urban setting. As he matured, he developed a desire for a healthier ecological environment, fostering a profound appreciation for nature and the vitality of life. Fueled by this passion, Zhaochen chose forestry as his major in university. Upon completing a master’s degree in 2015, Zhaochen secured a position at the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet), a regional organization committed to promoting sustainable forest management and forest rehabilitation in the Asia-Pacific region. Over seven years, he served as a project manager, overseeing forestry-related projects across the AP region. Driven by a thirst for global perspectives and advanced knowledge, Zhaochen joined the MIF program, aspiring to broaden his understanding of forestry issues on a global scale and acquire the skills necessary to tackle challenges faced by forests. In his leisure time, Zhaochen enjoys hiking, fishing, and playing badminton.

Qianhe Lin
Shanghai, China

Qianhe (Kiara) Lin recently completed her undergraduate degree in Economic Law at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. She is passionate about exploring new horizons, and finds joy in various activities such as hiking, reading, creative writing, and photography. While studying law, she delved into the issue of illegal logging in China. This exploration revealed that the current regulatory focus was more on certifying damage than on protecting the environment. Her research into forest governance deepened her interest in pursuing a career in forest conservation. To broaden her knowledge, Kira interned at a consulting company specializing in the circular economy, an experience that greatly inspired her interest in natural resources management. She chose the MIF program as a way to deepen her expertise in this area. Kira is excited about the prospect of learning more about forest conservation and engaging with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and the opportunities the MIF program will provide.

Aria Jiarui Ma
Beijing, China

Aria began her academic journey by completing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and then had the opportunity to film a documentary on the lives of seniors in her community. This was a transformative experience, and immersed Aria in understanding the physical and psychological health challenges confronted by the elderly, particularly their living conditions. This newfound passion led Aria to pursue graduate studies in Gerontology at the University of Southern California, where she was a research assistant at the Rongxiang Xu Regenerative Life Science lab, engaging in numerous collaborative research projects. These academic and practical involvements unveiled the potential of natural therapies in healthcare and highlighted the significance of ecological rehabilitation methods for the aging population. Aria eagerly embraced the opportunity to join the MIF family as a way to build on her experience, and is eager to share insights and collaborate with other dedicated professionals in the field.

Katarzyna Longina Przystupa
Vancouver, Canada and Tarnów, Poland

Prior to joining the MIF program, Katarzyna (Kasia, she/her) was a French Immersion high school teacher, with a focus on Social Studies, Drama, and Environmental Science. She loves learning new languages and exploring nature, especially going on hikes. She completed a BA in French and Political Science, and a BEd in French Education, both from Simon Fraser University. She became interested in the Masters of International Forestry as a way to learn more about First Peoples’ teachings and perspectives. She aspires to protect the natural world and have sustainability be at the forefront wherever she ends up.  

Levyn Radomske
Salmon Arm, Canada

Levyn recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Honours) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, majoring in Environmental Science, with a minor in Biology and a specialization in Environmental Impact Assessment. During his time at Dalhousie, he also conducted independent research as an intern at a local law firm. These experiences played a pivotal role in shaping his knowledge base and nurturing a strong desire to pursue further education, specifically focusing on forest management and climate policy. Levyn aspires to deepen his understanding in these areas and hopes that the MIF program will not only enhance his knowledge but also provide opportunities to explore various facets within the field. Beyond academics, Levyn is an avid outdoor enthusiast, finding joy in activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and sports, with soccer being a particular favorite.

Zirui Ran
Chengdu, China

Zirui earned a degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University in Philadelphia, USA, igniting a passion for safeguarding natural resources, which led to project-based research on various ecosystems. Zirui’s diverse background includes living, studying, and working in various cities, fostering a comfort with the unknown. After completing her degree, Zirui joined a landscape architecture company, becoming deeply involved in a wide array of projects. She came to realize the importance of government policy at the national and local level in ensuring sustainable development of natural resources, and the importance of data analysis and feasibility studies in the context of urban expansion. This involved monitoring carbon emissions, evaluating carbon sinks, and assessing the carbon storage potential of different tree species. Contemplating the wise management of natural resources amidst the trend of urbanization, Zirui started pondering the future of forestry and environmental economics. Recognizing the need for further academic knowledge and international practice experience in natural resource management, Zirui eagerly anticipates exploring these questions in the MIF program.

Jiawei (Kenneth) Shen
Nanning, China

Kenneth comes from a background in environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, and the environment. Throughout his professional and academic career, he has taken an interdisciplinary approach to the environment, focusing on developing healthy communities and cities. This has helped him appreciate the importance of urban green spaces and green interventions in improving the living environment of cities, public health, and sustainable development. Kenneth has recently become interested in investigating effective and appropriate initiatives and strategies to ensure equitable access to green spaces for all. He seeks to build on his previous studies by researching environmental justice and equity, with a view to enhancing urban sustainability, public health, and well-being. He hopes that the MIF program will enhance his knowledge regarding natural resource management, and allow him to become a more strategic environmental planner and researcher. He also believes that the program will enable him to think about environmental and economic challenges related to forests at the global level.

Chenming Wei
Rizhao, China

Chenming’s journey began in his picturesque coastal hometown, where the natural surroundings ignited his passion for environmental conservation. He earned a BSc in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC and a BSc in Ecology from Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University. His professional experience includes roles such as Junior Resource Technologist at the BC Ministry of Forests, and Climate Ambassador at the Langley Environmental Partners Society. Beyond his academic and professional pursuits, he finds solace in playing the piano and enjoys the exhilaration of basketball. He is the current President of the UBC Local Committee for the International Forestry Students’ Association, and is driven by a profound understanding that forestry issues transcend national borders. He is dedicated to using his expertise to promote international collaboration, bridging gaps, and fostering cooperation in the global goal of achieving sustainable forest management.

Yuyang (Daniel) Zheng
Nanjing, China

Daniel has lived in Canada for eight years, first completing his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics at McGill University. During the 2021 “heat dome” event that hit BC, Daniel and his family witnessed vast areas of forest areas reduced to ashes while traveling to Kelowna. This motivated Daniel to do a presentation on the impacts of climate change at UBC’s Local Conference of Youth in 2022, and sparked an interest in environmental advocacy. Daniel volunteered at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal in 2022 (COP 15), representing the UN Association of Canada, and aided the Global Environmental Institute in organizing a side event focused on ecosystem conservation and comprehensive community development initiatives. During the final year at McGill, Daniel conducted two research projects, on climate factors impact on highbush blueberry yield in Ontario, and on biochar application and bioeconomy in the BC forest sector. Daniel enrolled in the MIF program with aspirations of joining an international environmental organization and contributing to crafting policies that safeguard forests from extreme weather and wildfires. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys studying history and appraising Chinese porcelain and jade.