Hello everyone! I’m Gurveen Arora, grew up in the scenic city in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun, India. I graduated from agriculture, took my postgraduate studies in agroforestry (Pantanagar University), and completed a PhD in forestry (Forest Research Institute). I also completed my PG Diploma in remote sensing and GIS from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing. Wildlife goes hand in hand with forests anywhere in the world and I have had quite thrilling experiences. I worked for 4 years in climate change and forestry and want to advance my career. I have rich research experience in devising methodologies for climate change concerns in the forest sector of India. I was involved in data-mining and compiling the science for the Biennial Update Report and National Communication. I have worked in development through REDD+ programs, where I discovered how interconnected and complex challenges are. As part of this, I worked on nature-based solutions, where I demonstrated my measurement, reporting and verification abilities. Forest carbon stock, carbon flux and remote sensing have been my areas of interest. I volunteer as deputy coordinator in Ecology and Silviculture of the pine division. Currently, I am an existing member of IUFRO Task Force “”Transforming Forest Landscapes for Future Climates and Human Well-Being”. I like to spend time traveling to new places and learning new skills. Recreational activities rejuvenate and inspire my curiosity to learn and grow to deal with interconnected global issues. I also enjoy in dancing and face reading. MIF is a gateway to integrate the social, political and economic aspects of forestry and sustainable development at a global level. This program is essential in developing proficiency and leadership qualities in sustainable development. Looking forward to building synergies with communities and natural resources in the foreseeable future.
Mas Davino Sayaza
Hello, I am Vino from Bogor, Indonesia. My educational background is in Communication Management from Padjadjaran University, where I graduated in 2021. Although I was studying communication science, my passion has always been for the environment. During my bachelor’s degree, I completed an internship as a communications intern at the Environmental Research Center (ERC), IPB University. Before attending UBC, I was a communication intern at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Division 6, where I assisted the division by creating publication materials for its website page and social media platforms. After interning at ERC and IUFRO Division 6, my interest in forestry grew as I met many researchers in the field and got to know the current world’s forestry problems. I have decided to join the MIF program as I want to study forest conservation and resource management decisions and utilize my communication science background to tackle forestry problems in my home country. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and creating videos.
I was born in a small town in China, where I learned to be persevering and hardworking. After five years of study in Beijing and Vancouver, my future remained uncertain – I didn’t know what to do. During two years of working, I always thought of the experiences of visiting national parks and enjoying field work in China and Canada. This made me realize that I still love nature – and want to commit to forest-related work. I hope to expand my vision and improve my abilities by communicating with students with different cultural backgrounds and academic backgrounds in the MIF program so that I can return to my motherland and help solve the world’s climate problems by working in the carbon economy with a full heart and well-rounded perspective. I aim to further promote and enhance the development of the Chinese carbon trade. My hobbies are cooking and hiking.
Qingyang (Laura) Li
Laura is from Changsha City, Hunan Province, P.R.China. She enjoys eating, hiking, watching teleplays, reading, and playing video games. And she loves photography, music, and fluffy pets. Volunteering as a panda keeper at the Chengdyi Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (2016) piqued her interest in wildlife conservation. Having transferred to UBC under the 3+2 Forestry Transfer Program in 2019, she completed her Bachelor of Natural Resources Conservation in 2021. After graduating from UBC, she had an internship at the Hunan Academy of Forestry where she participated in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) biodiversity project on wetland conservation and community co-management in the Dongting Lake region. Through the GEF project, Qingyang was inspired, leading her to come back to UBC to pursue her master’s degree in International Forestry. “It is my ambition to bring international awareness to environmental issues by exploring mutually beneficial relationships between humans and nature.”
I was born and raised in Beijing, China but attained my undergrad degree in Environmental Studies (with a minor in Art) at the University of California Santa Barbara, US. I lived there for six years. I’ve done a lot of volunteering and succeeded in internships in conservation, wilderness monitoring, wildlife conservation, and more. I love trail running, Olympic weightlifting, hiking, yoga, pilates, rock climbing, backpacking… just anything sports related. I can’t wait to spend almost a year at UBC to pursue a higher degree in Forestry and to explore British Columbia even more!
Hi, everyone! I was born and have grown up in China. This will be my first time studying abroad and it’s my great honor to join the MIF family. I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in 2009 and 2012 respectively, both majoring in Landscape Architecture. Since graduation, I have worked in the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, land use, and real estate development for almost 10 years in China. During my work, I frequently face decisions involving the balance between existing trees and other natural resources while developing the land. It could be a large-scale public park in the city, a forest park, a scenic spot, or a nature reserve. How respect and making use of the current conditions of the site is the primary objective of landscape design. But designing based on a balanced strategy of natural resources exploitation while minimizing ecological impacts is a tough task. To better understand and answer these questions, I want to learn more about forestry and natural resource management, economics, and forest governance and policy. Collaboration between landscape architects and foresters will benefit both, as shared ideas lead to innovation about what comprises ‘land’ and ‘landscape’. Nowadays both professions are re-examining forests, and there is an opportunity to enhance the collaboration of landscape architects and foresters and to integrate the two practices. Joining the MIF program helps me develop my holistic understanding of forestry resource systems and strategize how to best work across both professions. In my spare time, I like painting, photography, hiking, and gardening.
Veronica Daniela Panama
Hi! My name is Veronica, I am originally from El Salvador and moved to Alberta, Canada in 2007. I graduated with a bachelor’s in Health Science from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. I have always loved spending time in nature and over the years I developed a passion for forests, sustainability and conservation. During the completion of my degree, I was able to work in research projects and learn about the connection between sustainable practices, protection of habitat and healthy communities. After graduating, I completed an internship at a wolfdog sanctuary where I was able to educate visitors on the importance of apex predator conservation for forest ecosystems and the impact of humans on wildlife. I also worked in the tech and veterinary industries but I decided to continue pursuing my passion and complete my Master’s in International Forestry (MIF). By completing the MIF program, I hope to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to help communities promote sustainability, wildlife protection and forest restoration. I would also love to implement educational projects on the importance of creating sustainable solutions for the environmental challenges we face at a global scale.
Rory George Read
Originally from Bath, England, I completed a 4-year undergrad in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. After graduation, I traveled to Japan and then to Australia where I discovered my passion for indigenous land rights. This interest led to an internship at Land Equity International, an international development company focusing on securing equitable land rights for women and ethnic minorities. My time at LEI allowed me insight into a range of land tenure projects across the globe including direct input to a GIS-based open access map and database of Indigenous lands and their associated elders across Australia. However, the projects that captured my interest most were those centred around forest custodianship rights, political advocacy for forested areas, and sustainable forest practice in South East Asia and Indonesia. I am undertaking the MIF to deepen and broaden my knowledge of forests through an interdisciplinary approach. In doing so, I intend to pursue a vocation to work to protect forests and ensure the rights of those who call the forest home. Outside academia, I am a passionate musician singer/songwriter. I also love trips to the mountains for the snow and the ocean for the surf!
Hi, my name is Haowei, and I am from China. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in economics from Jilin University in 2021. I have worked in finance, technology and consulting companies, all which related to forests in different ways. During my work, I participated on projects that focused on the intersection of environment, food security, and sustainable development as they relate to forest resources management. These experiences inspired my interest in pursuing ecological approaches to management and protection. I hope to explore the frontiers of sustainable development as it relates to forestry and ecological approaches to forest management. I am looking forward to participating in the MIF program to help me achieve my goal of working in the field of environmental resource conservation and sustainable development in Canada and around the world. I enjoy travelling, hiking, cycling, and landscape photography in my spare time.
I was born and raised in Nanjing, China. I graduated from Nanjing Forestry University with a bachelor’s degree in ecology this year. I volunteered at the Native Species Conservation Area at the Hongshan Forest Zoo in my spare time. It is the first zoo in China to eliminate animal shows and focus on educating the public about local ecosystems and species diversity conservation. I also love birdwatching and always carry binoculars and a camera with me everywhere I go. When I was growing up, my hometown was experiencing rapid urbanization, so I witnessed a lot of habitats being expropriated for building sites. I hope to learn how to handle the balance between economic development and ecological conservation through the MIF program.
Shona Vishani Williams
Hi everyone! My name is Shona and I’m from Toronto, Ontario. I graduated from Carleton University in 2022 where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Biology. This degree allowed me cultivate an interest in an interdisciplinary approach to science, especially conservation, through a variety of courses. My Honours Thesis focused on the impact of cultural beliefs on conservation and I am currently continuing this project in the Bennett Lab at Carleton University. During my undergrad, I was selected to participate in the One Health Challenge where I worked with a multidisciplinary team to increase biodiversity in low-income communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. I chose to join the MIF program to further my understanding of community and forest interactions. I am interested in bridging the gap between conservation science policy and community management strategies. I aim to enhance my skills and knowledge in order to form practical, sustainable solutions that benefit both communities and the environment.
Ethan (Julaiti) Yimirang
I’m Imran, but you can also call me Ethan. I am a Uygur student who is going to attend the MIF program. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta this April. My passion for forestry and the idea of sustainable development persuade me to choose this unique program at UBC. I’m pretty much open to every outdoor activity, so don’t hesitate to ask me out!