Lead Faculty:

Dr Nicholas Coops

MGEM Program Director
Instructor: GEM520 and GEM521

Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing
Head of Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (IRSS)
Forest Resources Management

MGEM Program Director
Instructor: GEM520 and GEM521

Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing
Head of Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (IRSS)
Forest Resources Management

My main research focus is the use of remote sensing technology to assess forest resources, both for conservation and production applications. I am specifically interested in advanced forest inventory techniques using high spatial resolution optical remote sensing imagery and LIDAR, use of remote sensing for the ecosystem and carbon accumulation modeling for biodiversity, production and greenhouse calculations, and detection of damaging agents in forests using spectral forest condition mapping.

In MGEM I am one of the faculty mentors and teach introductory and advanced remote sensing courses.

Some papers you may find interesting which I have been working on with my research lab include:

Hermosilla, Txomin; Wulder, Michael A.; White, Joanne C.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Hobart, Geordie W. (2017) Updating Landsat time series of surface-reflectance composites and forest change products with new observations INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION . 63, 104-111

Coops, Nicholas C.; Hermosilla, Txomin; Hilker, Thomas; Black, T. Andrew (2017) Linking stand architecture with canopy reflectance to estimate vertical patterns of light-use efficiency REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT . 194, 322-330

Bolton, Douglas K.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Hermosilla, Txomin; Wulder, Michael A.; White, Joanne C. (2017) Assessing variability in post-fire forest structure along gradients of productivity in the Canadian boreal using multi-source remote sensing JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY . 44, 1294-1305

Rickbeil, Gregory J. M.; Hermosilla, Txomin; Coops, Nicholas C.; White, Joanne C.; Wulder, Michael A. (2017) Barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) behaviour after recent fire events; integrating caribou telemetry data with Landsat fire detection techniques GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY . 23, 1036-1047

Goodbody, Tristan R. H.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Tompalski, Piotr; Crawford, Patrick; Day, Ken J. K. (2017) Updating residual stem volume estimates using ALS-and UAV-acquired stereo-photogrammetric point clouds INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING . 38, 2938-2953

Kathleen Coupland

MGEM Program Coordinator

PhD Candidate – Forest Resources Management

My role within the MGEM community is to coordinate the MGEM program and provide general support to both students and the teaching team. I have been connected to UBC Forestry’s professional masters programs since 2014 when I was a student in the Masters of Sustainable Forest Management (MSFM).

My research is focused on outdoor forestry education. Specifically, I am examining how local urban forests can be better utilized and identifying a methodology for connecting forestry education objectives to different urban forest characteristics. This research combines quantitative and qualitative methods, with a LiDAR canopy analysis of every tree on UB campus and questionnaire and interviews to develop a robust understanding of outdoor education potential.

Kathleen Coupland

Dr Sarah Gergel

Instructor: GEM500 and GEM599

Associate Professor
Assistant Dean, Diversity and Inclusion
Head of Landscape Ecology Lab
Forest Conservation Sciences

Research focus areas:

  • Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services
  • Social-ecological landscapes and resilience
  • Historical dynamics of large river-floodplains
  • Mapping & monitoring with First Nations
  • High-resolution image analysis (satellite imagery and historical aerial photographs)

Support Faculty:

Dr Bianca Eskelson

Instructor: GEM540

Assistant Professor
Forest Measurements and Biometrics
Forest Resources Management

Research focus areas:

  • Estimation of disturbance effects
  • Recovery dynamics after disturbance
  • Spatial copula models
  • Nearest neighbor imputation

Dr Paul Pickell

Instructor: GEM510, GEM511, FCOR599

Assistant Professor
Department of Forest Resources Management 

Paul Pickell earned his Bachelors of Arts and Sciences from The Evergreen State College in 2011, with his area of interest being sustainability and environmental studies. He later completed his Ph.D. at The University of British Columbia in forestry. He has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia, a lecturer at Simon Fraser University, and more recently as a remote sensing scientist with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Teaching for the MGEM Program.   Paul has been teaching geographic information systems at The University of British Columbia since 2017. He has also taught remote sensing, biogeography, urban forestry field school, research methods, and scientific writing. Currently, he is writing an open access textbook on geographic information systems. 

Selected Publications

Pickell, P.D., Chavardès, R.D., Li, S., Daniels, L.D. (2020). FuelNet: An Artificial Neural Network for Learning and Updating Fuel Types for Fire Research IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing

San-Miguel, I., Coops, N.C., Chavardès, R.D., Andison, D.W., Pickell, P.D. (2020). What controls fire spatial patterns?: predictability of fire characteristics in the Canadian boreal plains ecozone Ecosphere 11: e02985

Pickell, P.D., Coops, N.C., Ferster, C.J., Bater, C.W., Blouin, K.D., Flannigan, M.D., Zhang, J. (2017). An early warning system to forecast springtime human-caused fire activity from satellite-observed greenness Scientific Reports 7: 14190

Dr Justin Bull

Instructor: FCOR 500- Leadership and Sustainability

Justin is a lecturer at the Sauder School of Business and Leader of the Sustainability and Ethics Group. He teaches extensively on sustainability, innovation, and strategy, with a focus on graduate and executive learners. He has worked with big companies – like IKEA, Lyft, and Rolling Stone – to implement climate innovations. Justin serves as an advisor and board member to several technology starts-ups and First Nations in Canada. He graduated with a BA in International Relations and a PhD in Wood Science from the University of British Columbia.



Dr. Jocelyn Fraser

Instructor: FCOR 503

Research Associate
Institute of Mining Engineering 

Dr. Jocelyn Fraseris a research associate at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, where she earned her PhD.  Her current work addresses social risk and social responsibility in the global mining sector.  Her research interests are complemented by 15 years of experience as a consultant in public engagement, social responsibility and sustainability in the fields of mining, forestry, energy generation and transmission, and transportation.

  Jocelyn’s research interests include:

–        Public participation and community engagement

–        Social risk and social responsibility

–        Creating shared value

–        Business model change and transformation

 Publications of note

Lister, J., & Fraser, J. (2020). Who are the Carbon Leaders? Improving Rankings and Business Ambition. Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2020, No. 1, p. 18465). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

Fraser, J., Bat-Erdene, Z., & Kunz, N. C. (2020). Social license needs business strategy.  The Extractive Industries and Society. In press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2020.10.007

Fraser, J. (2018). Mining companies and communities: Collaborative approaches to reduce social risk and advance sustainable development.  Resources Policy In Press https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2018.02.003.

Fraser, J. & Scoble, M. (2016). Social risk as anagent of change. AUSIMM Bulletin, April 2016 https://www.ausimmbulletin.com/feature/social-risk-as-an-agent-of-change/

Dr. Stephanie Arbuckle

Instructor: FCOR 501

Adjunct Professor
Sauder School of Business

Stephanie Arbuckle is an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business, in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources department. She is also a practioner, as a project manager and management consultant in the IT industry. Her educational background includes an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa (Marketing and IT). She also has a master’s certificate (Science, Technology & Society studies at the University of Maastricht), and a master’s degree (Liberal Arts at Simon Fraser University). She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.

 Stephanie has over 20 years of experience in the IT consulting, strategic management, and project management fields as a strategic consultant, account manager, project manager and coach. She is especially interested in ways to achieve ‘deep democracy’ on teams, believing this is the best conduit to creative collaboration. Her expertise includes team coaching, project management training, project management maturity assessments, and PMO design. Stephanie has led projects, as well as project management improvement efforts, for biotech companies, engineering firms, web design agencies and educational organizations. She has also led marketing strategy and planning efforts for large firms as well as start-ups.

Dr. Suborna Ahmed

Instructor: GEM530


Suborna Ahmed is a lecturer at the Masters of Geomatics for Environmental Management Program at University of British Columbia. Suborna received her PhD in Forest Biometrics at UBC (2016), from FRM Department, completed postdoctoral researches in the FRM and the Department of Wood Science at UBC, and previously completed MSc (2008) and BSc (2006) degrees in Applied Statistics from the University of Dhaka. Previously Suborna worked as a statistician for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in Ottawa, a biometrician consultant at the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, and a statistical analyst in various forestry-related projects.

 Research interests include

–        Quantitative analysis of complex forestry datasets in various areas: tree improvement, tree plantation, experimental trials, permanent sample plots (PSPs), fertilization trials etc.

–        Educational research on subject-specific teaching evaluation and identify effective implementation plans.

–        Effectiveness of open sources for teaching and learning geospatial data analysis using Python.

–        Quantifying quality control tool based on machine learning approaches.

 Selected Publications

·       Ahmed, S.S., LeMay, V., Yanchuk, A., Robinson, A., Marshall, P., and Bull, G. (2020). Meta-Modelling to Quantify Yields of White Spruce and Hybrid Spruce Provenances in the Canadian Boreal Forest Forests. 11(6): 609. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060609

·       Ahmed, S.S., Cool, J. and Karim, M.E. (2020). Application of decision tree-based techniques to veneer processing. Journal of Wood Science. 66. https://doi.org/10.1186/s10086-020-01904-0

Tom Urban

 Instructor: FCOR 520

Assistant Professor
Forest Measurements and Biometrics
Forest Resources Management

Tom Urban is the Founder of Agribusiness Advisors, an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of British Columbia and an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business. Tom has worked in the agriculture and start-up world for 30 years. Agribusiness Advisors currently has 20 early-stage investments in its portfolio representing a broad cross-section of the Ag value chain.  Tom received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.