Ricardo Pelai (Natural Resources Conservation)

Social-Ecological Systems Research Group – UBC

For the summers of 2015 and 2016, I’ve worked as a Research Assistant with the Social-Ecological Systems Research Group at UBC. I’ve been involved in 3 main research projects: (1) I conducted research on global targets in conservation governance assessing the progress towards implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Canada. The project resulted in a publication in a scientific journal! (2) I also analyzed data on sensitivity to climate change of key wild foods of concern to the Namgis’ First Nation, which resulted in a report that was brought back to the community. (3) Finally, I recently attended the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – World Conservation Congress in Hawaii to explore forest conservation agendas in global policy-making.
Working as a Research Assistant was an invaluable experience that opened many doors for me. I acquired new knowledge (e.g. about biodiversity policy) and skills (qualitative data collection and analysis), and further developed other professional skills and competencies (e.g. written communication). I was able to grow my professional networks through regular interactions with graduate students and faculty, and benefit from multiple mentorship opportunities. I learned much more than I anticipated! Most importantly, this experience made me realize that I have a passion for research. It gave me the tools and inspiration to come up with a topic for my thesis this year, and it has inspired me to attend graduate school so I can ultimately land a research-based career in the future.

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