Current Students

Kwaghdoo ProfileAgber, Kwaghdoo Sussan

I am from Vandeikya LGA of Benue state, Nigeria, a graduate of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM) with a Bachelor of Forestry Degree in Wildlife and Range Management. Throughout my time at UAM, I pursued action oriented activities to inspire young people to participate in environmental protection, which led to a sponsorship from the University in 2016 to attend the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) in Marrakech Morocco. I am dedicated, gentle, passionate, and someone who cares very deeply about the issues of forest management and the worsening conditions of climate change in Nigeria. My passion for development work, particularly concerning the environment, and translating this knowledge and energy for environmental conservation and improved livelihoods will serve my community. I volunteer with ATO-ClimatEducate Project Philippines as the African Project Regional Manager, Women Environmental Program, Abuja, Team54 Project International as the Project’s Acting Coordinator for Nigeria, Mediatrix Development Foundation Calabar and Devtrain CEDI. I am enrolled in the Masters in International Forestry to broaden my scope of understanding International forest policies, governance and especially in the area of diplomacy and negotiation. I love travelling, making friends and reading.

 Dane ProfileDe Souza, Dane

I am originally from Calgary, Alberta. Since 2013 I have worked for the Government of Alberta as a Wildland Firefighter. This line of work has enabled me to take part in battling fires and protecting communities across North America. Some of the more high profile fires I have worked on include Spreading Creek (2014); Fort McMurray (2016); North Bay (2018): and the Castle Complex (2018). In 2016 I graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of International Commerce with a minor in German. Before graduating I completed my final semester at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. In my free time you can find me driving, camping and being physically active (hiking, sports, biking, etc.). In the past decade I have driven more than 100,000km across North America, SE Asia, Australia and Europe. I am ecstatic to be attending the MIF program at UBC in order to further my understanding of international cooperation and the issues facing communities most at risk in the advent of climate change. Using the knowledge, skills and connections gained at UBC I hope further my career in international wildfire and disaster response.

Prayitno ProfileGoenarto, Prayitno

Having been born in Jakarta I had spent most of my life in the city and did not seem particularly outdoor inclined. However during my undergraduate studies in Montreal, Quebec I began to develop an interest in birds halfway through my program and switched from studying things on the micro to the macro scale. This interest soon developed into a hobby and into a full-time passion, consuming most of my weekends and holiday travels. I am currently working as a conservation officer in a poorly studied, but relatively well-protected peat swamp forest in Sumatra Indonesia. I study and document the rich biodiversity through camera traps and bird surveys. Having been on the ground, seeing the threats faced by birds from the lucrative wildlife trade with my own eyes, I hope that the holistic approaches and multiple perspectives I learn through the MIF program will arm me with the right tools to help tackle the bird trade crisis.

Isabel ProfileIzurieta, Maria (Isabel)

My name is Isabel Izurieta and I am from Quito, Ecuador. I graduated with a finance degree from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 2014. After graduating, I started working at a Fintech called YellowPepper; first, as a Financial Analyst in their Miami office and later in the Quito office as a Commercial Manager. After working there for the past 5 years, I did a short internship at a foundation called Fundacion Futuro, an NGO that is in charge of handling the Social Corporate Responsibility strategy of a group of large companies in Ecuador. Specifically, I collaborated at a project to mitigate the companies’ CO2 emissions through carbon credits issued and sold by the foundation. Some of my hobbies include traveling, hiking, horseback riding and yoga. I am pursuing the MIF program because I value my contact with nature, especially here in Ecuador where we have large-scale biodiversity in such a small area. I want to build a skill-set that will allow me to contribute to the professional field and not just as a hobby. In the upcoming year, I am looking forward to acquiring the knowledge to enable me to work in conservation as a career, gain real-world experience, learn and form connections with my fellow classmates and discover all there is in Vancouver.

Jiaqi ProfileLi, Jiaqi (Iris)

I was born and raised in a picturesque town in Shandong province, China, which has beautiful hills and rich forests. Throughout my childhood, this beauty helped developed a genuine interest and love for nature. I completed my undergraduate program and graduated from UBC with a BSc in Forest Sciences in 2019. My previous studies equipped me with knowledge about scientific principles related to the management of complex landscape ecosystem as well as sustainable development of flora and fauna communities. It is a great honour and opportunity for me being involved in the 2019 MIF cohort. This program will sharpen my mind through various global forestry case studies and improve my practical skills to deal with social, environmental and economic issues from an integrated perspective. In the coming months, I aspire to practice my abilities and contribute to global landscape on sustainable development, especially in managing natural resources. Besides, I also look forward to engaging different stakeholders such as local communities and forestry enterprises to establish long-term goals and create an everlasting impact on environmental protection.

Siyu ProfileLi, Siyu

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I graduated with a B.E. in Wood Science and Engineering from Beijing Forestry University and a BSc. in Wood Products Processing with minor in commerce from UBC in 2019. Before attending UBC, I had experience working as a trainee in a flooring company and as a headhunter with a recruiting firm. I also worked as the vice-minister of our Student Union at Beijing Forestry University. My studies and work experiences have enriched my professional knowledge, developed my abilities and cultivated my interest in the international forestry industry. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and dancing, and I am currently a member of the UBC K-Wave dance team. I decided to join the MIF program because I hope to broaden my understanding of global forestry trends and issues from various perspectives. I look forward to gaining professional experience of forestry business worldwide in the coming year.

Jiejing ProfileLin, Jiejing (Olivia)

I was born in Shenzhen, China. In 2013, I came to Vancouver, Canada and started my high school life. In 2015, I started UBC as an undergraduate student in the Wood Product Processing department, Faculty of Forestry. As an undergraduate, I learned a lot about wood science and wood manufacturing. I am very honored to be a part of the Master of International Forestry. In the coming year, I am passionate about learning how the policies of other major forest economies such as America and China affect Canada’s forests and society. I am driven to better understand the economic challenges of global forest change. I am also interested in the forest products global trade markets and the difference between products manufactured in China and Canada.

Liu, Yuping

My name is Yuping, and I am a recent Forestry graduate from Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario). I am excited for the opportunity to be at UBC and the MIF program in particular. MIF focuses on addressing the social, environmental, and economic challenges of global forest change and natural resources management. I believe further study will help my career.

Katherine ProfileLiu, Yanhan (Katherine)

I was born and raised in Zhoushan, China. I graduated from UBC with a Forest Sciences. My internship as a sustainable development assistant in Asia Pulp & Paper inspired my interest in the balance of development and conservation in an under-developed area relying on forests and its products. I am interested in pursuing the MIF program because it can provide me with the necessary academic knowledge and work experience to contribute to the solutions of complex sustainability problems.

Tian ProfileLiu, Tian Yang (Skicy)

My hometown is Shenyang, China, where I was born and raised. I came to Vancouver when I was 18 to pursue my undergraduate degree. I graduated with a Natural Resources Conservation degree and a co-op designation. I like to explore a variety of work experiences, and employment fields in order help find the job that suits me best. I have worked in a Chinese Forestry Bureau as a field and office assistant, in a forestry consultant company as a field technician, in a famous tourist destination as a guest services representative, and currently in Michael Kors as a sales associate. In my spare time, you will see me exploring new scenic places, being active and working out, shopping, and spending time with friends. I am here with the MIF program so that I broaden and sharpen my knowledge in forestry, not from an interdisciplinary perspective. My wish is that completion of the MIF Program will help me identify my future career path.

Jilun ProfileLu, Jilun

I was trained as a Mechanical Engineer, and worked with DHL Global Forwarding as the manager of Shell’s logistical operations (Pulau Bukom Oil Refinery site). From there, I joined the Singapore Public Service, with the National Parks Board (NParks), which is the greenery authority tasked with safeguarding our natural heritage and transforming Singapore into a biophilic City in a Garden. With NParks, I spent 4.5 years in the regulatory sector, putting my engineering knowledge to good use by challenging the limits of integrating greenery with built infrastructure and mitigating development impacts. I subsequently spent the next 3 years as an Urban Planner, formulating policies and master plans to safeguard a network of parks, natural areas, and nature reserves in Singapore. Being a nature enthusiast at heart, I am also a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, and look forward to the MIF program in providing me a deeper understanding of ecosystem services in a changing world.

Jinhyun ProfilePark, Jinhyun

I am from Daejeon, in the mountainous center of Korea. I studied forestry resources for 4 years, participated in the IFSA (International Forestry Students’ Association), and was part of the Forest Environmental Policy Laboratory at school. During a vacation, I spent time in the German black forests and Swiss Alps gaining an appreciation for many different types of forests. While in school, I went to Mt. Seorak, Korea’s first national park, to camp and do research. IFSA activities sparked an interest in international forests in me through the interaction with students majoring in forestry in other countries. Via Skype, Facebook, and in person, I interacted with students representing countries such as China, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and India to discuss several issues involved with Asia-Pacific forestry. While engaging with them, I learned that each country has their own unique wood products and forest-related comparative advantages, enriching the international trade landscape. I want to better understand the distinctive culture, policies, and biophysical assets that make this happen. I am driven to study international forestry so that I can learn how different countries could deal with the grand challenges of forestry according to their unique situations.

Lucia ProfilePark, Lucia

Hello, my name is Lucia Park. I was born in Seoul, Korea but have called Toronto, Ontario home for almost all my life. I completed a BSc degree in Biology from Queen’s University in Kingston. During my time at Queen’s, I was involved in various grassroots and political organizations. I was a member of the board of directors for Ontario Public Interest Research Group Kingston, which is a grassroots student organization committed to social and environmental justice. I was also an executive on the campus club, Queen’s New Democrats. I have had experience as both a volunteer and a staffer for the New Democratic Party during the Canadian federal election in 2015 and the Ontario provincial election in 2018. It is through these experiences that I have developed an interest in the complex intersections of political, social, and economic systems as they relate to our natural world. Through the MIF program, I look forward to deepening my theoretical and practical understandings about global forest change and natural resources management.

Nikki ProfileSaadat, Nikki

Being Vancouver born and globally raised ignited a passion in me to conserve the vast forest ecosystems present in British Columbia. These forests offer copious opportunities for responsible, balanced, and lasting initiatives that develop resilient ecosystems. While receiving my degree at Antioch College in political economy, my interests expanded to include the interaction of global markets on local forestry systems and environmental change stemming from economic pressures. I became interested in local initiatives that increase self-reliance and ecological responsibility in the consumer. Some of my projects included creating showers and toilet systems utilizing compost as fuel to mitigate local waste and reliance on fossil fuel. While small victories, these projects are important on a large scale as they demonstrate attainable goals for local communities to address climate change. Bringing my background in political economy to the MIF program will allow me to lead with a strong voice that inspires and encourages critical thinking concerning local and global communities’ role in addressing climate change. I hope to spark curiosity and exploration of the unique treasures that exist within this region to shift ingrained habits of a “throw away” lifestyle that will yield change in forest communities, marine environments, even how taxpayer dollars are spent. Education and empathy for every tree, rock and river creates a reverence for the land and its history; and this awareness is vital when properly addressing ecological emergencies happening abroad with speed and care as if was right on our doorstep. My other interests include rewilding habitats, establishing resilient ecosystems, developing local food initiatives, marine forestry, and flamenco dance.

Tawiah ProfileSekyere Tawiah, Collins

My name is Collins Tawiah Sekyere, and I am from Ashanti Region (one of the forested regions), of Ghana, West Africa. I fell in love with nature and greenspace as an infant and have sought opportunities to contribute to its sustainable development, and use, ever since. This encouraged me to complete my first degree (BSc) in Natural Resources Management, specializing in Silviculture and Forest Management. During and after school, I have been actively involved in forest conservation and protection and sounding the “awareness alarm” of its daily depletion, and creating alternative livelihood empowerment programs for the primary dependents of the forest resource – farmers, who are transforming forest lands to other land uses. I’m currently pursuing MIF at UBC to gain more knowledge help my country Ghana, and the West African sub region upon my return. I am humble, hardworking, and zealous for excellence, a Christian, and fun to walk with.

Yifei ProfileShao, Yifei (Bill)

I am very happy to be a part of the Master of International Forestry (MIF) cohort for 2019/2020. I was born in Beijing, China. As a Forest Science student, I spent three years in Beijing Forestry University and two years in UBC for my undergraduate study. During my time as an undergraduate student, I studied forest genetics, biodiversity, and the management of natural resources. In my third year of undergraduate, I took a course taught by Dr. John Innes called International Forestry. From that course, I started to be interested in the global issues of forestry. Hence, I am looking forward to learning more about the issues of natural resources and landscape management in the MIF program. In my spare time, I usually go hiking and cycling, and am also a big fan of NBA basketball.

Manjie ProfileSun, Manjie

I graduated from Simon Fraser University in the summer of 2019. I majored in Resource and Environmental Management. During my undergraduate studies, I was particularly interested in the relationship between humans and nature and have researched environmental communication and ethics. I have worked in the Land and Resources Department and Environmental Protection Department in China, concentrating on framing environmental communication. At present, my research interest is forest community livelihood, including animal well-being and habitat preservation. I highly appreciate the intrinsic values of nature, and have built up my own spiritual connection to various forest landscapes. In the future, I aspire to devote myself to forestry education.

Yichen ProfileWu, Yichen

Hi, everyone, I am Yichen. I am so excited and honored to join the 2019 MIF cohort. I was born in YueYang, China and raised in a small city with fantastic landscapes. I moved to Canada in 2017 and lived in Halifax for the past two years. I finished my BSc degree in Environmental Science at Dalhousie University, and obtained a Bachelor of Agriculture in horticulture from Fujian Agri & Forestry University. During my undergraduate studies, I interned at the Discovery Center in Atlantic Canada to collect first-hand information about tree species, endangered animals, and plants. Learning how to be an effective environmentalist is my entire life mission. I plan to work in a forestry management company or NGO after I finish the impressive MIF program. I would love to dedicate my future to international forestry management in Canada or China. I am looking forward to establishing a strong network of friends in the MIF program; let’s make a strong contribution to international forestry in this world!

Nan ProfileZhang, Nan

My name is Nan Zhang, and I am originally from Nantong, China. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management at UBC. My undergraduate study provided courses that introduced and evaluated forestry from a global perspective, and the knowledge I have acquired inspire me to view forests from different angles, such as socio-economic, biological or technical. In my spare time, I enjoy cinematographic experiences, expanding my comfort boundaries through the exploration of horror films. I will strive to learn from real high-stakes forestry world similarly, by putting myself outside of my comfort zone. I pursue the MIF because both the course and professional opportunities are designed to improve my negotiation, communication and problem-solving skills. I believe that this program can broaden my comprehension of relationship between forestry and society.

Shiyi ProfileZhang, Shiyi (Jennifer)

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I came to Canada in grade 11 and finished my high school in Toronto. I am a recent graduate of UBC Forestry with a major in Natural Resources Conservation, specialized in Global Perspectives. During the summer of my third year, I participated in project at Nanyang Technological University to analyze the land cover changes of oil palm smallholdings in Perak, Malaysia. From this case study, I saw how oil palm plantations improve livelihoods and alleviate poverty in rural areas of the tropical regions. This volunteer experience has confirmed my interest in the International Forestry program. I believe the Master of International Forestry Program is the right place for me to gain well-built problem-solving and negotiation competencies, and a better sense of how to foster a more sustainable world.