Current Students

Lucia Alvarez Yates Abad

Being born and raised in Mexico City, I never really interacted with nature. After living in Seattle for the past two years, I became a hiking and camping enthusiast. I loved being surrounded by trees and realized that my true passion was to help conserve forests for future generations. I’ve always been passionate about sustainability, and it’s something I’ve pursued throughout my career. I have an undergrad in Chemical Engineering from Iberoamericana University and a M.Sc. in Energy and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. I worked at a renewable energy fund in algae biofuel development and a 450 MW solar energy project. I co-founded a company to develop fish-free feeds to end aquaculture’s reliance on marine ingredients and conserve our oceans. The MSFM program is the perfect stepping stone for my professional career. I’ve mainly worked behind computers, so I look forward to getting outdoor training, becoming an RPF, and working on ecological restoration of abandoned lands after graduation. In my free time, I enjoy painting, hiking, reading, gardening, sailing, and skiing.

Sheung Lai (Timothy) Au

I am born and raised in Hong Kong and studied for my undergraduate of forest conservation in Toronto. Since then I have been working in a variety of positions ranging from arborist at contractors and consultancy firms, an officer of policy setting, to lecturer in vocational training institutes in Hong Kong. After working in urban forestry for over 10 years, I strongly believe that the conservation of urban forests and forest systems cannot be treated separately. This is what motivates me to further my study at the MSFM program of UBC. I hope to become an RPF and apply both my knowledge and experience in forestry.

Ravdeep Brar

I was born and raised in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Since graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BSc in Natural Resource Conservation I have spent five years in Northern BC working with the BC Wildfire Service and the Mackenzie Natural Resource District. This has provided amazing opportunities to conduct fire suppression across BC and Alberta, develop and implement fuel management treatments, and work closely with Indigenous partners on varying forestry projects. Currently, I work as a permitting forester and continue to pursue knowledge based on my interests in wildlife management, cumulative effects, and forest policy. Through MSFM, I hope to obtain my RPF designation and work credibly in the BC forest industry. In my spare time, I can be found riding my mountain bike on the north shore or looking for my next favourite coffee shop.

Laura Caputo

I grew up living in the city environment- first in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then in Toronto, Ontario. As a kid, I was not exposed to nature much, other than when visiting conservation parks and nature attractions while on road trips.

Today, I have a Bachelor’s major in Environmental Studies from Carleton University and an Ecosystem Restoration graduate diploma from Niagara College. Since graduating college, I have been working all over southern and central Ontario doing various forestry and ecology-related jobs. I have worked on and supervised various forestry operations projects ranging from reforestation to forest resource inventories, to small-scale harvesting operations. Now I am completing the MSFM program as a stepping stone toward obtaining my RPF accreditation. I am highly interested in managing forests through natural disturbance ecology practices, especially fire, and working with First Nation communities in applying traditional ecological knowledge to forest management plans.

I am an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys spending time going on hikes, paddles, camping trips, canoe trips or simply learning about the local ecology.

Zhixuan Chen

I am Zhixuan Chen and I’m from Fujian, China. I graduated with B.Sc in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC. During my undergraduate, I volunteered as a research assistant in phytobiome research and examined the impact of simulated climate warming and nitrogen deposition on some tree species. In my free time, I love hiking and playing basketball. I decided to apply for the MSFM program in order to further my experience and knowledge in forest management. I hope to become an RPF. I’m excited to be a part of this year’s MSFM cohort and look forward to learning from everyone! 

Liam Palmer Curran

I am Liam Curran, and I am originally from Vernon, BC. I studied Earth and Environmental Science while attending UBC Okanagan in Kelowna (2016-2019). In 2017 I joined the British Columbia Wildfire Service (BCWS) on an Initial Attack Crew for a summer job and quickly fell for the camaraderie and work. Since then, I have filled several positions in the BCWS, most recently as a Wildfire Technician with the Provincial Prevention Program supporting the Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction initiative. Working for the BCWS sparked my interest in pursuing a career that blends forestry and wildfire management, which I believe is crucial moving forwards. With my partner and our new puppy, I am moving to UBC from Smithers, BC. I enjoy mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and hockey in my spare time. I am very excited to be part of this year’s MSFM cohort and look forward to meeting all of you!

Sally Enns

My love for forests began from a young age in my hometown of Squamish, where I was constantly immersed in the woods. After I left Squamish, I worked as a tree planter all over B.C for 7 years, and what started as a summer job to fund my B.A in geography at the University of Victoria became a full-time career in forestry. Since 2019, I have been working as a field technician for Chartwell Resource Group, with a primary focus on silviculture management. I have decided it is now time to further my education in forestry and pursue my RPF accreditation through the MSFM program. My foremost interests include community and Indigenous forestry management, and I hope to use my education in this program to contribute to these facets of the industry. In my spare time, I like to ride bikes, go fly fishing, and hang out with my trusty bush dog.

Pauline Flottat

Originally I’m from Alberta but I have lived in BC for over 15 years spending most of my time on the coast. I completed a BSc in math and ecology at UBC and a BEd at VIU. I have worked in forestry as a tree planter, foreman, and silviculture surveyor for over 15 years and decided that I wanted to expand my responsibilities and opportunities within silviculture, and I felt that the MSFM program would be an excellent stepping stone to work toward becoming an RPF. I spent a few years working as a high school math and science teacher but my love for working in the outdoors and mountains brought me back to forestry. In my free time, you can find me scaling up and down a mountain via ski, bike, or foot.

Matthias Claude Gaulupeau

My name is Matthias Gaulupeau, and I am originally from Vancouver. I have a double major B.A. in Geography and History from the University of Victoria. For the past ten years, I have worked in reforestation as a tree planter, foreman, silviculture surveyor, and pile burner. What began as a way to pay for my studies has grown into a genuine interest in a forestry career, and the MSFM program seems like an excellent first step. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, skiing, as well as attempting to fish. I look forward to meeting all of you!

Harleigh Green

Hi, I’m Harleigh and I’m originally from Mooers Forks, New York. I graduated from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science Planning & Management in 2020, where I was first introduced to forest ecology and management during my research on jack pine regeneration after a wildfire in 2018. Since graduating, I’ve worked with Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District in the Adirondack Mountains managing a town forest, as well as collaborating with local highway departments, youth programs, and farmers to educate and complete projects that will lead to a greener, more sustainable future. Most recently, I’ve been working with Connecticut Forest & Park Association as a Trail Crew Leader for the summer of 2022, where I complete construction and relocation projects for the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. I feel as though I’ve learned so much from the natural world on the eastern side of North America, and I’m so excited to finally be able to learn and compare the difference out west at UBC!

Dylan William Harvey

I am from Calgary, Alberta but have also lived abroad in Australia and Thailand with my family growing up. I have been fortunate to witness some of the amazing variety and beauty of our planet as well as the power humanity has over the natural world. I returned to Canada to complete my BSc. of Environmental Chemistry at UBC Okanagan and completed Co-op placements in water quality positions at Larratt Aquatic Consulting and the Ministry of Environment. After my co-op, I started working on tree planting and gained an appreciation for BC’s forests and the silviculture industry. Prior to coming to UBC to start my Master of Sustainable Forest Management, I continued to plant trees and fight fires around northern BC. I now hope to become a Professional Forester and contribute to the sustainable stewardship of the forests and lands of Canada. In my spare time, I enjoy skiing and rock climbing outside and learning to cook many plant-based meals.

Samuel Lalonde

I was born and raised in Montréal, Québec. I studied economics and politics at Université de Montréal from 2015 to 2018. After my undergraduate studies, I travelled to New Zealand, Europe, and Western Canada. While visiting British Columbia, I had my first work experience in the silviculture industry and my first contact with the forestry field. I quickly developed a passion for the tree planting profession and for our forest while igniting my interest in the current state of this resource. Since then, I have worked for multiple silviculture companies across BC, Alberta, and Québec. I am now ready to embark on a new challenge by pursuing a career as a registered professional forester via the MSFM program. The MSFM is the ideal opportunity for me, to strengthen my forestry ecology knowledge, deepen my understanding of the industry and help me reach the RPF certification. For the upcoming years, I aspire to work in forest conservation, silviculture, and possibly private forestry. On a more personal note, I love travelling, mushroom picking, and cooking. It is a real pleasure and honour to be part of this year’s MSFM cohort and I am looking forward to meeting everyone.

Aaron (Gui Yan) Lee

Hi Everyone. I am Aaron Lee from Hong Kong. After earning my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Geography and Resource Management from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), I have been working as an arborist for around 2 years in my hometown. I love watching different sports competitions, like NBA, MLB, and Premier League. Also, I love doing different kinds of sports. I applied to this master’s program to equip myself with knowledge in sustainable development and forestry. I am aiming to become a forester and earn credentials in arboriculture.

Laura Monk

I grew up in the flat farmland and suburban landscape of southern Ontario, and had little exposure to the forests of BC until I became a tree planter in 2016. I have now worked as a planter and crew boss in BC for seven seasons and have been involved in reforestation projects across the country including coastal planting, pipeline restoration and caribou protection efforts in Alberta, and carbon sequestration in the maritimes. I love the physical challenge and outdoor aspect of the work, as well as learning about forest ecology and the various components of the industry. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University in 2019 and then spent the past few years planting, travelling and dog-sled mushing to avoid having to work indoors every day. Through the MSFM program I hope to become an RPF and combine my understanding of systems and processes with my passion for the outdoors, ecology and sustainability. In my free time I love reading, trail running, bike riding, snowboarding and playing hockey and rugby.

Rory O’Brien

My name is Rory O’Brien, I grew up in the Comox Valley. My family has roots in forestry here in BC and I stumbled into the forestry industry after doing a Geography degree at UVIC. I’m excited to understand the theory behind the operational practices that we use in the field.

Zac Wagman

I’m Zac and I’m from Ottawa, Ontario. I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of Ottawa in 2015. I have previous work experience in resource management with Parks Canada, honeybee research with Agriculture Canada, and have most recently been supporting youth employment opportunities and increasing forest literacy with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada). In 2019, I cycled across the country on a wooden bike to promote employment opportunities in Canada’s forest sector through PLT Canada’s Green Ride for Green Jobs. I love spending time in forests and enjoying the outdoors. I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s MSFM cohort and to bring my new understanding of SFM back to SFI!

Zhiyao Zhang

I am from China. I grew up in Hefei City, the capital city of Anhui Province. As a student of the 2+2 program, I graduated from LakeheadUniversity with the degree of Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management and Anhui Agricultural University with the degree of Bachelor of Forestry. It offers me a chance to improve dramatically both in academics and skills. My career goal is to be a senior ecology consultant in forest management and sustainability. The reason why I decided to take this program is that I have a great passion to work in the forestry field and think it has a lot of potential. I think I am a person who is easy-going, and who has great ability in independent thinking. I also enjoy communicating with people and exchanging thoughts with them. In my spare time, I like doing sports, such as swimming, hiking, and climbing. I enjoy the beauty of nature.

Chendong (Thomas) Zhu

Hi, I am Chendong Zhu originally from China. I completed my BSc in Natural Resources Conservation at UBC and tried some forestry-related jobs such as Forest Ranger and Tour Guide. Those experiences draw me into this world of fabulous nature and pushed me to start enjoying uncertainty and challenges in the subject. After graduation, I worked in a farming company located at Vanderhoof, BC, as Agricultural Technician for about two years, and my daily tasks included plant/soil condition monitoring, potential biological hazard detection, harvesting plans making, and business negotiation with fertilizer suppliers, government staff or customers. I am really excited to have the opportunity to both obtain RPF designation and enjoy working outdoors. Lastly, hiking, skiing, gardening, range shooting, and off-road driving are my hobbies.