What is TRANSFOR-M?
The Transatlantic Forestry Master (TRANSFOR-M) is a 2-year program that is a partnership with other European and Canadian Universities. This partnership is a unique course-based educational experience, which provides students with the opportunity to explore forestry both in Europe and Canada.
Each UBC TRANSFOR-M student will receive upon completion of the program the UBC Master of Forestry (MF) degree and one of the degrees offered by the European Host University: Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (Germany – MSc Forest Sciences), Bangor University (Wales, UK – MSc Agroforestry / MSc Conservation and Land Management / MSc Environmental Forestry) or University of Eastern Finland (Finland – MSc Agriculture and Forestry).
Current TRANSFOR-M Students
I am from Huddersfield in the hills of Northern England. Before entering higher education I worked as a grouse-keeper in Yorkshire and Perthshire, and since then have earned a BSc (Hons) in Arboriculture and Ecology at the University of Brighton. Before joining the TRANSFOR-M programme I studied MSc Forest Science at the University of Padova in the Veneto region of Italy and will transfer to UBC for my second year. By continuing postgraduate studies in Vancouver, I hope to cultivate a global perspective on forest management and protection, and build on my current repertoire of skills, experiences, and interests. I have a particular regard for studying the health and dynamics of forest ecosystems through dendrochronology and quantitative wood anatomy and hope to nurture this whilst at UBC.
I am from Nepal, a mountainous country eminent for Everest, so my affinity and love for nature is instinct. Because of this, I have done my undergraduate in Forestry, which is the core subject of choice for somebody who wish to gain a theoretical base on natural resources, biodiversity and ecology. Besides my course work, I have been an active member of different volunteer organizations, a voracious reader and an obsessive traveler from the very beginning of my college days. It will be an absolute delight and privilege to be studying this program in these revered universities. This will enrich my life not only with a global and in-depth understanding of my subject matter but also with a global exposure with peoples of different countries, backgrounds and beliefs, and experiences of travel abroad. I will be completing Msc. Mountain Forestry from BOKU, Vienna before coming to UBC as a part of TRANSFOR-M program.
My name is Zhiyun Cheng, and I feel lucky to be selected as a candidate of the Transfor-M program. I completed my undergraduate degree at UBC Faculty of Forestry in 2019 and I will begin my study at the University of Freiburg soon! The idea of applying Transfor-M came to me when I was doing my final co-op work term at Okayama University, Japan. I realized that for our generation, the importance of being more internationalized and more open-minded to accept different cultures around the world can never be over-emphasized. I believe that the Transfor-M program will allow me to deepen my knowledge of forestry by looking at how forestry is operated in Germany. In the meantime, I will be able to travel in different countries, expose to different cultures, and learn a new language!
I grew up on a small farm in Southwestern Ontario, shortly down the road from a rapidly developing urban landscape. The drastic contrast of these two settings instilled in me an early interest in the complicated relationships between people and the land. As a result, I pursued my BScH in Physical Geography and Geographic Information Sciences at Queen’s University. Following the completion of my degree, I worked and volunteered for various organizations within the environmental sector. I am excited to be starting at the University of Padova in the fall; but until then you can find me hiking, taking photos, reading, baking bread, knitting, running, petting cats, or singing along to whatever my roommate is currently learning on guitar.
Hi ya’ll, I am Ellie from Nashville, Tennessee. My passion for environmental science began as a young girl playing ‘forest detective’ in the Appalachian Mountains near my childhood home. Refusing to quit the detective gig, my early fascination with nature only continues to grow. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Global Studies from the University of Tennessee in 2018. During my undergraduate degree, I focused on international development, sociology, and dendrochronology. Over the past few years, I worked in paleoclimate and dendrochronology laboratories in the United States and in Australia. I am keenly interested in exploring relative roles of ecology, economics and social science in forest management. In the TRANSFOR-M program, I aim to develop an understanding of value-based and place-based approaches to forest management. I am excited for the new experiences to come- cheers.
I’m originally from Switzerland in the Alps and have always been attracted to nature and every type wilderness I encounter. I am particularly interested in studying how various types of conservation methods are applied to different ecosystems, including the relationship with the social context influencing which practices are selected. I have completed a BSc. in Natural Resource Conservation at UBC where I studied both the Canadian and the New Zealand approach towards conservation, thanks to the Global Perspectives major. The TRANSFOR-M Masters Program is the perfect match for furthering my studies in the field and I’m excited to take the Conservation and Land Management program at Bangor University in Wales. I’m a keen outdoor enthusiast and I like to get out exploring as often as possible, enjoying climbing, hiking, snowboarding, and back-country skiing, ideally while discovering new cultures and people along the way.
I am from West Simsbury, Connecticut. I recently graduated from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY with a degree in biology. During my undergraduate studies, I conducted research habitat connectivity between the Adirondack mountains and Algonquin Provincial Park. This summer, I am an intern for an organization that works towards conservation, protection, and rehabilitation of the watershed of the Housatonic River, which encompasses three states. While studying in the Adirondacks, I deepened my understanding of forest ecosystems and their impact on the watersheds that we all rely on. The experience of working on landscape connectivity led me to forestry and TRANSFOR-M. I love outdoor recreation; namely, hiking and skiing. I find equal enjoyment in exploring a city, watching films, cooking, and reading books. I am looking forward to all of the learning and outdoor opportunities that I will have in Bangor and Vancouver!
I am from Qingdao, China. I have been graduated in UBC with a BSc in Forestry with honours in 2018. I have completed about 16 month Co-op jobs in Forestry during my bachelor studies. The work experience as Land Authorization Coordinator in the Crown lands team was my favorite one. My study interest is remote sensing. I have done some research in the area of UAV LIDAR. My hobbies including hiking, taekwondo and swimming. I want to get a PHD degree in future. So I am very excited to be a part of the TRANSFOR-M program and ready to face challenge in UEF in Finland.
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec where I also attended school for my undergrad in Environmental Biology at McGill University. During the course of my degree I took a number of classes relating to ecology, forestry and conservation. This included a three week course in southern United States where I got my first taste of working in the field. Since then I have worked a few contract jobs in the Herpetology and Fish department at a local zoo. Thanks to my schooling and work experience, my passion for animals and the environment continued to grow. I am excited to go back to school and head to Germany in the fall to work towards my masters. I am passionate about schooling and am excited at the chance of learning as much as I can about forestry and conservation. I hope to use the knowledge gained from UBC and the University of Freiberg to make a positive impact on the environment and forestry business.
I come from Nantong, China. My undergraduate major is BUF (Bachelor of Urban Forestry). Some of my previous jobs include Citizen’s Coolkit Designer in Collaborative of Advanced Landscape Planning team, Greenest City Scholar on Vancouver Parks Board, and International Student Coordinator in UBC Forestry Faculty. I like reading, singing, piano, painting, swimming, and badminton. Having an international mindset, I really hope that Transform Master Program in the following two years can broaden my horizon on Forestry and Urban Greening in different contexts and perspectives.
Hello to everyone! My name is Veronica and I am from Rome, Italy! After attending classical studies in Rome, my interest in science and ecological themes came out, so I began my bachelor’s degree in Environmental and forestry sciences in Italy, Viterbo… having the big chance to develop my final thesis in South America! I definitely fell in love with tribal cultures … for this reason, after my graduation, I decided to take a break from my studies and have a work-volunteering experience in collaboration with an NGO in Africa. I had the big chance to live almost one year in a rural village within the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya, working about water access, food security, women empowerment, education, and food forests! During this path, I did several internships concerning forest management plans in Italy, reforestation and land recovery in Ecuador, and cooperation in Kenya! Since I think that every goal is a new starting point, I decided to begin my master in Padua, where I have been studying one year before coming to UBC! I love making new friends and know new cultures, so I will enjoy this multicultural environment in Vancouver for sure! I am a big fan of outdoor activities, indeed I also worked as a naturalistic guide! Anyway, I never forget about relaxing time, so I hope to meet people for both amazing experiences or a cup of coffee! I love cooking, art, music and exploring! I hope to make the most of this amazing experience too!
I’ve always been curious about what causes some people to care more about the environment than others. Growing up in urban Singapore, I’ve often felt disconnected from nature despite the abundance of parks, gardens and green spaces in our city. As a Geography and Outdoor Activities teacher, as well as a trainee Forest School practitioner, I witnessed the long-lasting ways in which contact with nature can build character and encourage people to love and care more for the environment. Coming into TransFor-M, I thus hope to gain the skills needed to help conserve urban nature and provide more opportunities for people to enjoy, appreciate and harness the many psychological & physical benefits of spending time in nature. I strongly believe in the role of education in influencing young minds to help combat climate change, and thus hope to eventually share my knowledge of conservation and forestry with youths and inspire urban conservation. In my spare time, I play Ultimate Frisbee at a competitive level, and I love hiking, reading, and having good coffee with an insightful book or a thought-provoking conversation. The opportunity to enjoy the amazing natural landscapes of North Wales and Vancouver, as well as to meet like-minded students from all over the world, really excites me, and I’m STOKED to begin my year at UBC!
I grew up in Montreal and from a young age my parents instilled in me a love for the outdoors. I never thought about studying forestry before I spent a summer planting trees in Northern BC and Alberta. Shortly after, I started my Bachelor of Forestry at UBC. During my studies, I kept planting trees and worked for a summer in a forest engineering firm. I decided to enroll in the TRANSFOR-M program to expand my horizon on forestry. I look forward to coming back to British Columbia after a year abroad and reconnect with the local mountains and the forest. They give me so much energy. In my free time, you can find me running up and down those mountains, always keeping an eye out for the biggest trees I can see!
I am originally from Brampton, Ontario. I gained a love of forested ecosystems growing up in scouts and hiking the Bruce trial. I previously studied Physical Geography, Earth Science and Studio Art at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. During the summers of my Undergrad and over the past 8 years I have been working and, for the most part, living in the forest as a Field Resource Tech or similar in several industries all over Ontario, Alberta, and now in British Columbia. I have worked in the Forestry sector for the past 5 years in various positions. On my spare time in the city I enjoy nights out on the town, dancing, social gatherings, and rugby. I also enjoy metal and wood working and have built several of the tools I use in the field. I enrolled in the Transfor-M program to broaden my understanding for forestry at an academic level as much as possible so that I can contribute at a more impactful level to forestry in Canada. I’m really looking forward to my upcoming year in Wales, both to experience the culture and gain a European perspective on forestry practices and philosophies.
I come from Nanjing, China. I completed my BSc in Forest Recourse Management at The University of British Columbia. I am specifically attracted to the fact it is an international program where students have access to forestry knowledge regarding North America and Europe. Since I anticipate completing a thesis project in the future, the TRANSFOR-M program will allow me to select my desired topic in Europe and continue working on the same topic when I return to UBC. I will also have opportunity to learn in different academic environments. I would like to pursue a career in landscape ecology in the future to research the relationship between land and human by various tools.
I call Calgary, Alberta home. I took my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Western University. After graduating, I spent 6 months as a conservation intern on a green sea turtle project in Phang Nga, Thailand. Since then, I have spent the past year working in the education department at the Calgary Zoo. Ideally, I will be surrounded by animals for the rest of my life. I love to be outside and have meaningful conversations. I will be spending my first year in Padova, Italy, where I am excited to learn, grow, ride bikes, and eat pizza. I am extremely excited by the unique opportunity of the TRANSFOR-M program to understand the perspectives from two countries with distinct cultures, economies, and histories, and how this has led to differing approaches to managing natural resources and dealing with environmental issues. I can’t wait to challenge myself, meet new people, and see what the program has in store for me!
Born and raised in Weimar, a small town in central Germany, I moved to Cottbus to receive an international B.Sc. degree from the Brandenburg Technical University in Environmental and Resource Management. As part of my degree I spent one semester in Santiago de Chile, where I attended courses from the Forestry Engineering programme. This academic experience together with seeing Patagonia’s beautiful forests while traveling through the South of the country are the origin of my wish to specialize in forestry. Before attending my first year of TRANSFOR-M in Freiburg I did an internship with the Icelandic National Forest Service, where I learned a lot about their national afforestation efforts. Loving to move around, to live and learn in other countries, I am very happy to study at UBC next year. My research interests have developed towards the field of carbon and restoration forestry and I am curious to see how this will change or manifest throughout the time in Vancouver. Always looking for some creative in- and output I hope to again join an improvisation theatre group and to find some time for yoga, swimming and enjoying the Pacific breeze.
Hi, my name is Julius Willig and I am from Giessen in Germany. In my Bachelor’s (undergrad), I studied Forest Sciences in Göttingen. For my Master’s I got a spot in the TRANSFOR-M program and started my first year in Freiburg. My second will be at UBC. I applied for the program because I like the international exchange and wanted to get some experience in forestry elsewhere than Germany. In my free time I enjoy outdoor activities, soccer and climbing. I am looking forward to get an interesting input from university and to discover the vast landscapes of Canada.