Zhiyun Cheng

Department of Forest Resources Management UBC

I worked as a geomatics research assistant at Dr Nicholas Coops’ Integrated Remote Sensing Studio for my second co-op term. This is a very relaxed and diverse community. There is no fixed working hours, and people are allowed to bring their dogs to the office. The graduate students here are from all over the world. Everybody here is quite friendly and supportive to me. They invited me to join Slack, their cool internal communication system, which allows people working in the studio to send messages to each other.
So far, I have helped several graduate students here doing different tasks. My tasks include running code in IDL, map production in ArcMap, search socioeconomic data for research, LiDAR image calibration, assisting the Forestry building inventory project etc. I had an opportunity to expose to the software that I have never used before, like Agisoft PhotoScan, Fugroviewer, CloudCompare. I also spend time reading plenty of academic articles and got a better understanding of the process of remote sensing research. More importantly, through the communication with my supervisor and my colleagues in the office, I have a clearer view of graduate study and knew better about what I am supposed to prepare for.
I really appreciate the fact that I joined co-op program. I would highly recommend first-year students to join. This job offers me an opportunity to experience the life of graduate study as an undergraduate student. Co-op is more than a job, it gives you an opportunity to jumpstart your peer undergraduate students and stand out. Co-op also gives me more competence and confidence in my later study and career life.

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