Where are MGEM students and instructors from?

Discover the global MGEM community of current students, alumni, teaching assistants and instructors (past and present).

Current Students

Alex Bastyr

Alex Bastyr

Hi! My name is Alex. I am an athletic, adventurous and curious individual with a passion for the environment. I grew up in Toronto and currently live two hours north on the shores of Lake Huron. I was a competitive swimmer for seven years, but now enjoy skiing, paddle boarding and hiking. I like traveling and experiencing different cultures. I spent two summers working as a lifeguard above the Arctic Circle in Nunavut and a semester abroad, studying at The University of Edinburgh. In May 2019, I graduated from McGill University, majoring in Earth and Planetary Sciences. During undergrad, I was fortunate to complete field courses in the Mojave Desert, the Massif Central region in France and visit Kenya and Tanzania. In France, I enjoyed conducting geochemical analysis and analyzing element mobility during weathering and transportation. This field study piqued my interest in geospatial and data analysis, which led me to UBC’s MGEM program. This unique program aligns with my passion for environmental analysis and innovation in sustainable resources. I am excited to learn from the experience and expertise of the Faculty of Forestry and through connection with my peers.


Spencer Bronson

Spencer Bronson

From a young age, I spent my time camping, swimming, and hiking the mountains and waterways that surround my home in the Fraser Valley. It did not take long for my love of nature to develop into an affection for ecology and a degree in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of British Columbia. Unable and unwilling to end my pursuit of knowledge, I have worked alongside scientists at several organizations conducting research on a breadth of subjects. Given the opportunity to explore isolated islands, traverse remote forests, and teach undergraduates, my experiences have only encouraged my love of science. Most recently, I have been studying yellow-cedar decline on the north coast of British Columbia and the impact of human activity on fire-prone landscapes. Eager to explore the complexities of our world and the technologies which are becoming increasingly influential in the management of its resources, I look forward to studying geomatics within the MGEM program. Upon completion, I intend to apply my newfound knowledge and skills towards educated and responsible resource management practices around the globe.


Siyu Cheng

Siyu Cheng

My name is Siyu, and I was born and raised in Xi’an, a city that is famous for Terracotta Warriors. I have pursued my undergraduate studies at UBC in the Forest Resources Management program. I have had the pleasure of previously working as a Natural Resources Technician on the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en people. I assisted in land monitoring and conducted field data analysis in a forest development planning project. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, hiking, and biking. In the past four years, I spent most of my Christmas holidays at Cypress Mountain and Whistler for snowboarding. I can often be found at the UBC Aquatic Centre in the summer. I am passionate about working with Indigenous Peoples, and I would like to work as a natural resources planner within community forests upon completion of the MGEM program. I am looking forward to honing my skills in creating sustainable management plans and conducting resource assessment with geomatics-focused tools. I am incredibly excited to become a part of the MGEM program and make new friends.


Maya Fromstein

Maya Fromstein

Maya grew up in Toronto, though most recently has called St. John’s, NL and Guelph, ON her homes. Raised in an urban jungle, she found her passion in fields and forests instead and pursued her undergraduate degree in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University’s Macdonald Campus. She complemented her natural science skill sets with a MA in Geography from the University of Guelph, where she gained qualitative research skills studying the intersections of food security and social justice in Toronto. She has worked on numerous environmental and agricultural projects around the world, and is currently an Accounts Administrator at SmartSimple Software where she brings her interpersonal, organizational, and data management skills to life. She looks forward to adding Geomatics to her toolkit to empower her to make tangible change in Canada’s environmental sector. She is passionate about responsibly and compassionately stewarding the land – be it a farm, a forest or anything in between – and believes spatial data analysis can play a crucial role in this effort. Outside of school and work, she can be found teaching yoga, gardening, and hiking with her dog.


Bruce Hoar

Bruce Hoar

I received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Saskatchewan. For several years I was in private practice, treating everything from cats and dogs to cows and horses. I returned to the U of S, followed by the University of California, Davis for a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology (study of the distribution and determinants of health-related events in populations). I then joined the faculty at UC Davis and worked in the Food Animal Field Service Unit. I moved to Laramie, Wyoming six years ago and am now the Brucellosis Research Coordinator for the University of Wyoming. Brucellosis is a disease of bison, elk, and cattle that can also affect humans. It is economically important in the Yellowstone Area of the United States, as well as several other countries. In the era of Big Data and newer, more advanced geospatial tools and analytic methods, I feel a need to update my toolbox and become familiar with data management systems, spatio-temporal network analysis, real-time use of GIS and remote sensing for animal disease surveillance and policy making. In my spare time, you can usually find me outdoors, enjoying all things natural, or in the kitchen, enjoying all things tasty!


Xiyu (Evelyn) Huang

Xiyu (Evelyn) Huang

Evelyn (Xiyu) grew up in Liuzhou, China. She completed her bachelor’s degree of Environmental Science in the University of British Columbia in Spring 2020 and joins MGEM in Fall 2020 as a Master’s student. As an Environmental Science student, Evelyn has been a big supporter of sustainability and environmental conservation. Her field of interests include waste management and plastics replacement. Besides her passion on environment conservation, she is also broadly interested forest conservation and reforestation. She is excited to be part of the MGEM team and hopes to develop her academic skills and insights including the application of geospatial tools to plan and manage land-use and resources. Outside of study, Evelyn enjoys hiking, cooking and music.


Mary Kristen

Mary Kristen

My name is Mary and I was born and raised in Washington State. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in Geography with a focus on Environment and Sustainability. Living in the Pacific Northwest my whole life has sparked my love for the outdoors and my interest in environmental sciences and the applications of GIS. Last year I enjoyed the opportunity to use GIS for research in the Hydrogeoscience for Watershed Management Research Group at UBC. Additionally, I am passionate about climate justice and have been involved in climate justice efforts at UBC and in Seattle. In my free time, you can probably find me either skiing, biking, or climbing in beautiful BC. Looking to the future, I am especially interested in exploring potentials of citizen science and bringing environmental management education and the benefits of geomatics to small communities. I am excited to build off my background in geography and learn about using geomatics to make environmental management decisions to work towards tackling the environmental issues we face in BC and around the world.


Taelynn Lam

Taelynn Lam

My name is Taelynn, and I moved to Canada in 2013 and have been calling Vancouver home since. I am passionate about integrating the urban built environment and nature as well as fostering human-nature connections. These have led me to complete the Bachelor of Urban Forestry at the University of British Columbia. My time in school has led me to be captivated by the power of maps and other visual presentations in communicating geospatial patterns. I am also fascinated by how remote sensing technology and imagery have enabled humans to see beyond what we conceive as “visible”. These have inspired me to pursue the MGEM program. I am excited to be part of the MGEM program to learn the tools and skills to support decision making in environmental planning and management in the future! In my spare time, I enjoy hiking in our rich forests, taking long walks around the city, and exploring the vastness of our world through documentaries.


Yingxin (Irene) Li

Yingxin (Irene) Li

I was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. I came to Vancouver for my undergraduate study in Global Environmental System and earned the Bachelor of Environment with a certification in Spatial Information System. My undergraduate study has introduced me the importance of reaching the balance between environmental management and urban development. I look forward to applying the hands-on geomatics skills gained from MGEM to improve the ecological environment and regulate urban development in China.


Johnny Li

Johnny Li

Johnny was born and raised in Fuzhou, China. Johnny completed a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management in 2020. Through 3 years at UBC, he enjoyed multiple terms participating in different courses and projects involving remote sensing and spatial analysis. Last summer in Vancouver, he worked for the Tree Ring Lab at UBC and conducted research regarding a forest fuel map at the scope of British Columbia. Johnny is a big fan of basketball and a car nut. He aims to broaden his skill set in remote sensing skills in the upcoming journey with the MGEM program, and he looks forward to contributing to solving ecological, environmental, and industrial problems in the future.


Derek Li

Derek Li

Hi there, I’m Derek. I was born in Vancouver, BC but spent most of my childhood in Chengdu, China. During my time in undergraduate at UBC, I had a chance to get some hands-on experience with GIS products and I had lots of fun with mapping and GIS. Therefore, I decided to pursue a master degree in geomatics. I am looking forward to linking the modern remote sensing technology with the sustainable management mindset to better understand the current situation of the global environmental problems and challenges. I am eager to learn more about remote sensing and geomatics for future career. For instance, I have great interest in Giant Panda habitat and population restoration and I believe remote sensing can greatly improve the current management plan. In my spare time, I am a big movie lover and a food fanatic and I am lucky that Vancouver and Chengdu have some of the best food in the world.


Ella Li

Ella Li

Ella Li was born and raised in Beijing, a city filled with historical traits in China. She moved to Vancouver by herself and started her new life when she was 15. With an obsession with forestry and design, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Urban Forestry at UBC with a minor study of landscape and recreation planning. During her undergrad, she developed a strong understanding of ecological values of forests as well as planning strategies of urban green space management. In 2018, Ella worked as a project assistant at the Chinese Academy of Forestry to carry out the DUS test in China. As an international student, she recognizes how much inspiration forest management has drawn from Eastern cultures. However, the ecological and social elements of forests have not been fully explored in some countries, where air quality is a real and pressing issue. By joining the MGEM program, Ella believes geospatial data and visual representation have the potentials to seek environmental problems directly and provide analysis to come up with effective management plans. She is looking forward to participating in real-world projects to build leadership skills and becomes more confident and passionate to solve environmental issues through geomatic technologies.


Chris Liang

Chris Liang

My name is Chris and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I completed my degree in Environment and Geo-Information Science at McGill University in Montreal, where I found a second home and got to appreciate many outdoor adventures. During my undergrad, I developed an interest in spatial analysis and had the chance to investigate the potential effects of climate change on various ecosystems. Currently, I am developing an interactive campus navigation tool at the McGill Geographic Information Centre. I enjoy bike rides, spending time in nature, and sketching in my spare time. I am an advocate for open data and new urbanism, and I believe that GIS can be a powerful tool for solving many environmental and social challenges. Through this program, I hope to gain expertise in remote sensing and computational methods to inform ecological protection strategies. I aspire to contribute to solutions for biodiversity conservation and habitat restoration.


Helen Liang

Helen Liang

My name is Helen and I grew up in Vancouver, BC. I completed my undergraduate study with a degree in Wood Products Processing at the University of British Columbia. I discovered my interests in GIS and remote sensing from one of my undergrad classes. In the future I’m planning to pursue my career in environmental management and geospatial analysis. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, jogging, camping, travelling and watching movies. I am looking forward to expand my professional skills in GIS applications from the MGEM program and excited to be part of the GIS family!


Blessing Mangwanda

Blessing Mangwanda

Blessing is a determined and hardworking individual who possesses a drive, self-initiative and a passion for environmental sustainability and climate change. Having grown up in a community dependent on peasant farming, he witnessed poor environmental practices and micro-climates affecting the livelihood of his family and he resolved to improve farming and environmental practices within communities in Zimbabwe. Blessing studied Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Earth Observation at the University of Zimbabwe. Despite his humble beginnings, he graduated top of his class and received the Dean Honor Award. Blessing is also a goal-oriented leader who has demonstrated strong ethos of giving back. While a student and teaching assistant in Geoinformatics at UZ, he worked in partnership with multiple NGOs including GEF, Oxfam, SAFIRE and UNDP to break technological barriers, improve environmental management and scale up climate adaptation for smallholder farmers. Among other milestones, his team developed an environmental and climate information system which has impacted more than 5000+ to date. At UBC, Blessing will pursue the MGEM program to gain the skills and knowledge to grow agro-economies. Blessing plans on starting an NGO that will impact African farming communities heavily affected by climate change. He also wishes to expand his reach to environmental energy with a focus on renewable energy in African societies heavily dependent on non-renewable energy. Blessing is also enthusiastic about business development and data science. In his spare time, he likes to code, learn how to dance and watch movies. Blessing is excited about his upcoming studies and being immersed in the community in Vancouver.


Ramon Melser

Ramon Melser

My name is Ramon, I am originally from Spijkenisse, The Netherlands, but have been living in the Vancouver area since I moved to Canada in 2012! I completed my undergrad at UBC as a BA in Environment and Sustainability at the Department of Geography, and got my hands dirty with a variety of topics, such as GIS, Remote Sensing, Cartography, Geomorphology, and more! Through my studies at UBC I fell in love with environmental studies, and I am incredibly excited to continue that academic journey through the MGEM program, and develop my skills further. I am particularly interested in quantifying and mapping variables such as ecosystem services, and hope to apply the knowledge I will gain to the public sector of the Greater Vancouver Area. In compliment to my academic interests, I am an avid fan of recreational outdoor activity, and love to go kayaking, hiking, and swimming. In addition, I am extremely passionate about music, and have been drumming in Jazz and Metal bands, theatre productions, and more, for over a decade.


Brent Murray

Brent Murray

My name is Brent Murray and I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I graduated from The University of Winnipeg with a B.A. (Honours) in Geography with a focus in Geomatics. Upon completion of the Honours thesis, I interned in Melbourne, Australia where I was researching the use of multi-temporal RADAR imagery for forest structure mapping; as well as data fusion techniques for mangrove alliance distribution. I am a wilderness adventure guide and spend much of my free time canoeing, backpacking, and camping. Through the MGEM program, I hope to increase my knowledge and experience in the use of geomatics for environmental issues and conservation.


Zhongfang Qian

Zhongfang Qian

My name is Zhongfang Qian and I am from Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. I studied at Nanjing Forestry University for 3 years and then I came to UBC in 2018. My bachelor’s degree is B.Sc. in Forest Resources Management. I’m delighted to be part of the MGEM program, which gives people the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective. My interest in GIS came from the remote sensing courses I took as an undergraduate, as it can help managers assess the quality, composition, and other biophysical parameters of various forests. Learning these techniques in MGEM will greatly improve my professional skills and contribute to my future career. In my spare time, I love Japanese animation and hope to make more friends on campus.


Yifei (Bill) Shao

Yifei (Bill) Shao

I am very happy to be a part of the Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management (MGEM) cohort for 2020/2021. I was born in Beijing, China. As a Forest Science student and former MIF student, I spent three years in Beijing Forestry University and three years in UBC for my previous study. I used to work as a teaching assistant in Dr. Coops’ course. From the course, I started to be interested in the application of remote sensing and GIS. Also, the maps in the MIF program make me realize the importance of GIS application. Hence, I am looking forward to learning more about the advanced technology in the MGEM program to link what I learned in the MIF program. In my spare time, I usually go hiking and cycling, and I am also a big fan of NBA basketball.


Sandy (Jia Yi) Song

Sandy (Jia Yi) Song

My name is Sandy and I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I came to Canada when I was in grade 7. I completed my high school in White Rock, which is a beautiful town near the US border. As I am earning my undergraduate degree of natural resources conservation at UBC this year, I have accumulated a great deal of background knowledge on sustainable development and its relation to ecology and forestry, and I am excited to learn more about Geomatics to expand my skill set and gain more opportunities for my future career. In my spare time, I enjoy modelling and travelling, and I have been modelling for 4 years before I attended UBC. Despite the artistic side of me, I have volunteered to save wildlife in many developing countries such as Africa and Indonesia. Upon the graduation of my degree, I want to combine the knowledge of Ecology theories to the practical application of these new technologies in various job fields. I plan to do more internships in these developing countries to accumulate my experience.


Weiye (Victoria) Song

Weiye (Victoria) Song

I am Victoria from Harbin, China. I was a 3+2 wood product processing student at BFU and UBC. During my study in the university, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about wood industry. I would like to extend my study field so I decided to take MGEM to acquire new knowledge. In my leisure time, my hobby is to take great photos including portrait and landscape using digital cameras as well as film cameras. To capture every moment using camera in my life is my favorite thing. Besides, I am also interested in cooking and doing exercise. Stay hungry, stay foolish. I hope I can learn more knowledge and skills in this program.


Wenjun (Juno) Su

Wenjun (Juno) Su

My name is Wenjun Su and I am from Guangdong, China. I pursued my undergraduate studies at Beijing Forestry University for three years and then transferred to UBC in 2017. My Bachelor’s degree is B.Sc in Wood Products Processing with minor in Commerce. With the undergraduate study and a short-term internship experience in a Forestry Company in China, I develop a deep interest in environmental management and sustainability. I look forward to gaining more expertise in geomatics technology and interacting with classmates and faculty from the MGEM program. For my future career, I plan to work as a Geomatics Technologist in my hometown, hoping to make a difference to the local environmental issues. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and playing the Bass Guitar.


Nigel Tan

Nigel Tan

My name is Nigel and I’m from Coquitlam, BC. I recently received my B.A. in Geography with a specialization in Environment & Sustainability here at UBC. I enrolled in the MGEM program to further develop my abilities with GIS and remote sensing techniques, as well as pick up some programming skills. I hope to be able to apply these skills working in the areas of clean energy planning and sustainable development. In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games, cityscape photography, and reading the news.


Huanyu (Aimee) Yang

Huanyu (Aimee) Yang

I am an international student from China. I studied in the major of Forest Resources Management at UBC previously and graduated in 2020 May. Global warming issues and fast-growing urban agriculture are two fields that I am currently interested in. I look forward to having a chance to study in the MGEM program and hopefully I am able to get hands on experiences to real-world challenges in environmental management through labs, projects, and workshops!


Shiqi (Harper) Yang

Shiqi (Harper) Yang

Hi! My name is Shiqi Yang. You can call me Harper. I was born in Jiangsu, China. I spent the first two years of my university life in Nanjing and then transferred to UBC in 2017. I graduated from UBC this year and got my bachelor’s degree in Wood Products Processing with a minor in Commerce. Apart from study, I enjoy traveling and now become interested in installation art. I feel that digital technology such as GIS and remote sensing can bring together diverse information into a single unified view. It is beneficial to more sophisticated analytical skills. My goal is to gain a working knowledge of how to apply digital technology to the forest industry. Meanwhile, I think geographic information technology can be used in multiple areas of interest to me, such as epidemic information tracking and intelligent transportation. Thus, I am quite excited to attend the program and find the most suitable direction for me in the process of learning.


Mason Young

Mason Young

Hello! My name is Mason Young and I am from Mission, BC. I graduated from UBC with a degree in Environmental Sciences in 2019. Throughout the program I was introduced to a variety of disciplines, however, it was not until my fourth year that as I was introduced to remote sensing and GIS. I quickly became interested in the functions and potential applications of different geomatic tools and began looking for ways to further pursue these interests. I was pleased to come across the MGEM program as I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to combine my interest in geospatial technologies with my desire to help the environment. I look forward to expanding my computer, coding, and GIS skills and learning further how they can be used to solve complex environmental issues. In my spare time, I enjoy learning French, mapping for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, exercising, and spending time outdoors.


Peiyao Zhang

Peiyao Zhang

I’m Yuki and I come from Wuhan, China. I came to UBC in 2016 and recently completed a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. I have experience working in our local Environmental Protection Agency and I have realized the environmental pollution situation in our city, which made me decide to continue to study environment-related majors in the postgraduate stage. During my undergraduate stage, I learned GIS course and I realized it is important for environmental management. Therefore, I choose to enter the MGEM program and want to develop GIS skills and learn how to analyze policies. I have many hobbies, such as photography, music and reading. Recently I started learning Japanese and painting, and I’m going to learn piano in the future.


Xiaobin (David) Zhuo

Xiaobin (David) Zhuo

I was born and raised in southern China. I completed my undergraduate study at UBC, majoring in Geography. During my undergraduate career, I developed a strong interest in Geographical Information System (GIS), as I realized that GIS could be a powerful tool that allows me to efficiently gather and analyze a massive amount of information. In my spare time, I love gaming, reading books about philosophy, and trading stocks in the U.S market.