Mentor Bios

Arthur Tsai

Arthur Tsai is the Head of Market Intelligence at Paper Excellence Group, developing corporate strategies for its diverse forest products organization ranging from solid wood, pulp, paper, printing/writing and packaging market segments. Before joining Paper Excellence, he worked at Canfor Corporation for 24 years in various departments, including corporate finance, corporate communications and lumber and pulp sales and marketing.

Arthur’s involvement with the Faculty of Forestry includes as a Tri-Mentor, guest lecturer and representing the faculty as the vice-chair of the UBC Alumni Advisory Council. In 2022, He was awarded the Alumni Builder Award for his contribution and for enriching UBC students’ lives. Arthur graduated from UBC Faculty of Forestry with a BSF’95 and an MSc’12.

Ash Nino Torres

 Ash is a dedicated conservation professional from Colombia who is passionate about positively impacting our environment by leveraging multi-national lessons and multi-sector perspectives to create a greener economy. With a background in sustainability consulting and expertise in project management, she leads the implementation of reforestation projects in Latin America as a Reforestation Project Manager at Taking Root, Canada. By enabling smallholder farmers to grow trees and receive payment for environmental services, she drives transparent and robust forest carbon removals while managing the recruitment of new farmers and monitoring tree growth processes. Her previous experience successfully applied conservation initiatives in both urban and forestry environments. Holding a BSc in Natural Resource Conservation from UBC and a Masters in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge, she brings a solid foundation of knowledge to her work. What sets Ash apart is her ability to deliver results in conservation and project management while understanding the needs of the private sector.

Ben Patton

Ben Patton is a Forestry Professional and Wood Waste Expert from North Vancouver, BC. A former tree planter, arborist, and wildlands firefighter, he has created an umbrella of Circular Economy & BioEconomy businesses for Forestry Waste Solutions.

A loving father and husband, he is the Director of Communications for the North Shore Streamkeepers, has been a Sustainable Forestry Initiative Youth Delegate, and also named a Top 20 Under 40 Canadian Forestry Professional by Canadian Forest Industries Magazine.

Ben is helping to grow and develop the National Wood Waste economy in Canada by actively pursues regulatory reform for Forestry Act and Municipal Bylaws surrounding Urban and Community Forest Wood Waste Utilization.

Ben Romanchych

Ben Romanchych is a dedicated professional with a diverse finance, consulting, and wood products industry background. Currently serving as the Vice President of Strategic Projects at the Brian Fehr Group, he is privileged to spearhead initiatives that drive growth and innovation for the organization and its subsidiaries. With solid expertise in scaling businesses in the forest products, real estate, and construction sectors, Ben has been fortunate to operate his consultancy successfully.

Ben’s educational foundation includes an MBA in Finance from UBC, which has equipped him with valuable skills in critical decision-making, leadership, and strategic planning. Throughout his career, he has consistently strived to deliver positive outcomes, navigating challenges and striving to make a difference. Ben is particularly proud of his contributions to developing cutting-edge automated lumber production facilities, managing diverse teams, and providing detailed bank-level financial forecasts.

Beyond professional accomplishments, Ben finds joy mentoring students and contributing to industry conferences. These opportunities allow him to share insights and help others grow, fostering a sense of collaboration and knowledge exchange within the industry.

Ben is humbled by the opportunity to connect and explore potential collaborations. He welcomes conversations about his skill set, which combines strategic thinking, leadership, and a passion for driving positive change in the dynamic landscape of finance, consulting, and the wood products industry.

Bob Smith

Bob Smith began his career at Canfor in 2013 to lead SPF product and market development initiatives in both North American and Offshore markets. In January 2019 Bob assumed responsibility for sales of all for North American SPF and DFL commodity and specialty lumber. In October 2020, his role expanded to include responsibility for SYP lumber sales when he was appointed to his current role as Vice President, North American Sales.

Bob has an extensive career history working for two privately held forest industry family businesses. Prior to joining Canfor Bob work in the specialty millwork sector for 10 years in both Production and General Manager roles, focusing extensively on new product and market development. Previous to this Bob worked in the primary manufacturing sector in various business analytics, capital project and operational leadership positions in fibre procurement, softwood lumber and oriented strand board. Bob’s varied background knowledge of fibre supply, operations and market development align well with Canfor’s strategic focus on customer centric market and product diversification.

Born and raised in Barriere, British Columbia, Bob comes from the 3rd generation of a forest industry family and has been around woodlands and sawmills since his early youth. Bob obtained a MSc in Wood Science with a business management minor from the University of British Columbia in 1996.

Calum MacKay

Calum is a UBC Graduate from the FRM program. He began his career working for Interfor in sawmill supervision and quality control before becoming a lumber broker. He then worked joined Conifex’s sales team to build out the customer base for their recently acquired Southern Pine mills in Arkansas.

After 2 years Calum got the opportunity to join Trimble as a Sales Manager selling ERP and Enterprise GIS Systems to Forest Product’s organizations across North America. He is now a Key Account Manager developing partnerships with Trimble’s strategic customers. A problem solver by nature Calum enjoys helping bring digital transformation to the forest industry.

Chazel Solamo

Chazel Solamo graduated from the UBC Forest Operations program in 2020 with a specialization in Harvest Planning and Engineering. She is a Registered Professional Forester and an Engineer-in-Training. Since graduating, she has been working as a Junior Engineer specializing in bridges and roads in the forestry and mining sectors. Her experience includes coordinating projects, designing crossing locations, performing maintenance inspections, and supervising construction projects all over Northern BC. With her current role at Allnorth Consultants, she works on a wide variety of projects involving remote access and land use planning, First Nations consultations, structural bridge analysis, as well as logistics and transportation feasibility studies. 

As a previous mentee for the Tri-Mentoring Program, she hopes to come full circle by sharing her experiences as a forestry student and the path that led to a career that combines her love for the outdoors with her passion for engineering.

Devon Campbell

I have five years of forestry experience in both BC and Alberta working for large forest licensees. My experience is in harvest planning, operations supervision, and GIS management. Throughout my career, I have volunteered with recreation management and search & rescue organizations. I am currently a Juris Doctor student at the Schulich School of Law in Halifax with a goal of becoming a lawyer specializing in Aboriginal and resource law.

Domenico Iannidinardo

Domenico Iannidinardo is a second generation forest worker and UBC graduate with degrees in Forestry and Business. He is also registered as a professional forester, biologist and engineer. As Sr. VP Corporate Engagement and Chief Development Officer for Mosaic Forest Management based on Vancouver Island, he regularly finds himself between competitions for not only various resources on a landscape, but perceptions about what is the best balance associated with those magnificent resources.

Erica Fleet

Erica is a Programme Manager at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) working within its Nature Hub on global projects related to forest restoration, livelihood development, wildlife conservation, and behaviour change. Her most recent work focuses on building multi-partner trust funds with the public and private sector to direct new financing for nature-based solutions. Before UNDP, Erica worked for a Member of Parliament of the Government of Canada, engaging communities on all federal issues including climate change. Erica graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in Nature Resource Conservation (Global Perspectives Major) and has a Masters in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In her spare time, Erica loves spending time outdoors (kayaking, hiking, etc.), travelling to new places, and baking.

Erin Gorby

Erin graduated from the UBC Faculty of Forestry in 2000 with a Forest Science specialty. Post-graduation, she realized that her interests and passions were centered on resource conservation and, to that end, she completed a Master of Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto. Once back in British Columbia, Erin discovered the relatively new and growing sector of Urban Forestry. She began as a consultant working with builders and developers to meet the requirements of municipal tree bylaws, and then transitioned into a municipal government role administering a tree bylaw and reviewing development plans. Erin has spent the majority of her career at the City of Coquitlam in various roles related to urban forestry and park operations. She is currently the Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager where she leads the team doing ecological site restoration, trail maintenance, tree bylaw administration, tree risk assessment and street tree management, as well as the municipal cemetery. Erin is passionate about urban forestry and parks and sharing knowledge about the social, economic and ecological benefits that trees, forests and parks provide to urban communities. Erin feels grateful to be a part of the tri-mentoring program; in her experience she has gained so much knowledge and perspective from the mentees and is thankful to play a role in helping them discover their own passions and drive.

Evan Henderson

I graduated from the Conservation program in 2009 and went on to obtain an M.Sc. in 2012 where I studied the ecological and socioeconomic implications of invasive lionfish on the Bahamian lobster fishery. I currently work for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) where I lead the Species at Risk Program Salmon Team, implementing salmon-related responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act. I’ve previously held various other roles within DFO, for example as part of teams that conducted regulatory reviews of major projects, supported Indigenous group in cumulative effects research, and contributed to a national long-term aquaculture monitoring program. I also spent four years at Stantec Consulting Ltd. where I was involved in the assessment of major projects throughout the BC coast. Additionally, I am a Diver’s Certification Board of Canada-certified occupational (commercial) diver and a Registered Professional Biologist.

Finn Wheeler

As a Consultant in Ernst and Young (EY)’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice, Finley plays a crucial role in guiding clients through the complexities of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy and integration, climate and non-financial reporting, sustainability assurance, and policy development

Before joining EY, Finn was actively involved in advancing environmental advocacy within higher education. He is a UBC Forestry alumnus and a graduate of the Natural Resources Conservation program, where he studied as a McCall MacBain Loran Scholar. His major focus on global perspectives has provided him with a unique lens through which to address the world’s sustainability challenges.

Currently residing in Calgary, AB, Finley is dedicated to incorporating sustainable principles and solutions into the energy landscape.

Garry Merkel

I am primarily a builder. I help build relationships, organizations, and processes tailored to the unique characteristics and needs of the groups that I am working with. My objective is to help create something that helps those groups better shape their futures. Over the last 40 years some of the things that I have been involved in creating include businesses, schools, various land management arrangements, public policies, foundations, working relationships, and governments. I am often sought out to help groups work through difficult situations in unknown territory. I use a variety of tools including negotiating, brokering, planning, facilitating, chairing, mediating, strategizing, managing, teaching or any other professional skill required for the situation.

Gerlissa Chan

Gerlissa is a Junior Urban Planner with a Bachelor of Urban Forestry and a Minor in Landscape and Recreation Planning from UBC. With a diverse background in Academia, she has led a field crew in the Kootenays and Cariboo region. Her fieldwork explored forest fire ecology, such as how fuel treatment influences forest fire occurrences and the regeneration process following severe fires. In 2017, Gerlissa interned at the National Parks Board of Singapore. She played a crucial role in planning sections of Jurong Lake Gardens, ensuring a balanced approach to wildlife habitat preservation and recreational spaces. Notably, Gerlissa contributed to the design of Singapore’s first-ever dragonfly habitat, showcasing her commitment to promoting biodiversity in urban environments.

Graeme Dick

Graeme Dick graduated with an MSc from the Faculty of Forestry in 2009 after completing the UBC, Wood Products Processing Co-op program in 2007. His work experience has ranged from optimization of strand-based products, to overseeing the technical performance and capabilities of operations, and managing adhesive development efforts for the forest products industry. Graeme has routinely transformed technical departments and laboratories into results-oriented organizations with an emphasis on collaboration within and between operations.

Graeme is currently the Manager, EWP Development and Quality for Tolko Industries Ltd.  He is responsible for leading EWP product and process development and improvement efforts, while ensuring that quality management systems are effectively deployed across the veneer- and strand-based businesses. He has been trained in, and practices, Six Sigma and is an active member of the ASQ. He has experience effectively interacting with all levels of an organization, driving change through indirect leadership, and employing systematic techniques to problem solving.

Jacquie Kwok

With a background in experiential land-based and environmental learning, Jacquie is passionate about enabling transformative educational experiences that not only deepen our understanding of the world, but more importantly, of our places within it. She is committed to supporting students at UBC to act as social and environmental agents of change beyond the classroom by fostering spaces that allow individuals to lean into the unknown, and tap into their own sense of intrinsic capacity and resilience through introspection and creativity. She has worked with SFU’s Institute for Environmental Learning and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association to develop their environmental education pedagogy and community-engaged research programs, was once a forest school teacher, and has worked with the UBC Sustainability Hub supporting their programs. She is now a workshop facilitator on Community Engaged Learning (CEL) topics and runs social impact funding programs with the UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning. She holds a Master’s in Land and Water Systems, and a BSc. in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC.

Jennifer Hong

Jennifer Hong is a policy analyst for the Multilateral Affairs team at the Canadian Forest Service where she supports international commitments related to Canada’s forests and forestry practices. Jennifer graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Forest Sciences program specializing in Forest Ecosystem Services. She has worked for a wide range of organizations including Parks Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dillon Consulting, and Singapore’s National Parks Board. Outside of work, Jennifer is a Global Ambassador with Youth4Nature where she co-leads the Faces of Forestry campaign and supports youth engagement and participation at international fora, such as UNFCCC COP and the UN World Forestry Congress.

Joe Nemeth

Joe has vast experience in the business, manufacturing, and pulp & paper industry. His previous roles include President and CEO of Catalyst Paper Ltd., Green Belt Renewable Energy, and Canfor, where he oversaw strategic visioning and the overall governance of some of the best-known companies in the business. He has additionally held sales, marketing and business, and production development roles with Canfor and Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. Joe retired from the Fortress Board a few years back and is now the General Manager of the BC Pulp & Paper Coalition – an informal partnership between the BC pulp and paper industry and Provincial government with a focus on fibre supply and global cost competitiveness. Joe has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from UBC and an MBA from Western University.

Josh Friedman

Josh is a business lawyer at a leading Canadian law firm. He maintains a general corporate/commercial practice with a growing focus on renewable energy, infrastructure, and financial services. He regularly advises clients in the forestry, natural resources, and energy sectors. He received a BSc in Natural Resources Conservation (Science and Management Major, Co-op) from UBC Forestry in 2018 and a JD (Environmental and Natural Resources Law Specialization) from the UBC Peter A. Allard School of Law in 2022. 

Josh’s UBC Forestry Co-op experience included work terms with the BC Ministry of Forests and the lab of Dr. Suzanne Simard. After graduating from UBC Forestry, Josh worked as an environmental coordinator for a Vancouver-based renewable energy company. While at law school, Josh continued his involvement in the BC renewable energy sector as the founder and principal of his own environmental consulting practice. His professional legal experience includes an internship with a large energy utilities company, as well as a summer and articling term with his current law firm. His writing on environmental and Indigenous law has been published in the UBC Law Review. 

Josh enjoys hiking, cycling, climbing, camping, live music, and playing with his cat.

Kelsey Tikka

I have completed two undergraduate degrees, a BSc in Biology (Wilfrid Laurier University, 2015) and a BSc in Forest and Conservation Sciences (UBC, 2022) as well as a Masters in Forestry (UBC, 2022) with a focus on aquatic sciences. I am currently a PhD student in the Geography Department at UBC working to understand the impacts of climate and land use changes to river dynamics and the implications this has for salmon survival. Through this research I am striving to gain a better understanding of how floods are impacting salmon egg and early life stage survival which can help inform better management and conservation practices.

Kendall McLaughlin

Kendall is an alumni from the Natural Resources Conservation Science and Management Program from UBC Forestry 2017. Kendall has experience working in municipality governments, but now focuses their career in the non-profit sector. In the last 3 years, Kendall has been working in wetland restoration around the province with the BC Wildlife Federation creating and monitoring human-made wetlands. They are currently working towards their RBTech designation and specializing in amphibian monitoring

Kiah Allen

Kiah is currently a Knowledge and Capacity Development Officer with the BC Wildfire Service’s Research and Innovation Team. In this role she leads the research program for the Cultural and Prescribed Fire provincial team, building out projects in the areas of fire ecology, wildfire risk, fire behaviour and social science. She is currently a Biologist in Training with the College of Applied Biology and specializes in disturbance ecology. Career highlights include spending 10 seasons working operationally with BC Wildfire Service, most recently as a member of a Type 1 Incident Management Team, working in Smithers B.C. where her work focused on writing wildlife habitat restoration recommendations in post-wildfire burn areas, developing fuel management guidelines for work occurring in sensitive ecosystems, and coordinating ecosystem restoration projects primarily focused on prescribed fire. Kiah is also a whitebark pine enthusiast and has worked on restoration and research projects as a field technician, as well as in the role of the Whitebark Pine Seed Orchard Coordinator responsible for coordinating the implementation of the first whitebark pine seed orchards in B.C. Kiah graduated with a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation in 2017 and a M.Sc. in Forestry in 2019, both from UBC.

Kieran Ray Daniels

Kieran is a recent graduate of UBC’s Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology program and has started a position at ChopValue Manufacturing where they are responsible for a variety of supply chain and operations objectives. Before this, Kieran held co-op/summer positions with FPInnovations, ChopValue, and UBC’s Advanced Renewable Materials Lab where they worked on projects involving under-utilized wood resources and advanced manufacturing. Kieran has also volunteered in leadership/mentorship roles with UBC-affiliated organizations including Geering Up, Agora Cafe, and The Faculty of Forestry. Kieran is passionate about promoting environmental and social justice through novel business and technological ideas, and in their spare time enjoys eating and cooking good food, hanging out in nature, and staying active (usually in the mountains)!

Maria Continentino

Maria graduated with a Natural Resources Conservation (Science and Management) degree from the Faculty of Forestry in 2018 and has been working in the environmental consulting sector since. She is currently a biologist and her work mostly involve freshwater and marine monitoring projects, fish habitat assessments, and aquatic life salvages. Maria also had previous work and volunteering experiences with invasive species management and habitat restoration. In her spare time, Maria likes hiking, paddle boarding and cooking.

Melissa Fietz

Melissa Fietz is a Professional Engineer and Registered Professional Forester graduating with a degree in Forest Operations from UBC. Melissa’s knowledge base stems from over 13 years of experience working in BC. Through her varied employment, Melissa has gained experience in her specialty: bridge site survey, design, and construction supervision as well as design and repair strategies for road and bridges, retaining wall and foundation design, analysis of wood structures, recreational trail and footbridge design, silviculture and hydrological calculations. Melissa formerly sat on the executive of the Engineers and Geoscientists in the Resource Sector Division of EGBC for five years and also teaches as a sessional instructor in VIU’s forest technology program. Melissa lives in Nanaimo with her husband and her four sons.

Mike Harrhy

Mike Harrhy is a Registered Professional Forester and ISA Certified Arborist who works at, Diamondhead Consulting, a Vancouver-based consulting firm. He specializes in managing trees in parks and cities. This includes tree risk assessments, riparian protection measures, wildfire protection, and planning tree management through urban development and large infrastructure projects. Mike is an interdisciplinary professional who taps a range of experience to solve problems at the scale of an individual boulevard tree up to an entire forest. Mike graduated from UBC’s Natural Resources Conservation and Management program, and then went back to complete a Master’s of Sustainable Forest Management in 2016. Mike lives in Vancouver and is a passionate outdoorsperson; enjoying sailing, skiing, and the marvels of the forests.

Molly Hudson

Molly has spent her multi-decade career in the forest sector working throughout coastal British Columbia as a tree planter, timber cruiser, research technician and biologist before joining Mosaic 10 years ago. She is Mosaic’s leader in forest management certification, forestry operations, environmental performance, community relations, and fish and wildlife management, including the species at risk program.

Molly holds a Biology degree from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma of Technology in Forest Ecosystems from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is a Registered Professional Forester and Registered Professional Biologist and is passionate about forestry’s role in a climate-smart future and about creating a diverse and equitable forest sector.

Nancy Moloney

Nancy is a sustainability and management consultant with 18 years of international leadership and operational experience. Her most recent role was as CEO and Executive Director at the Jane Goodall Institute Australia. She has also served as Non-Executive Director on several boards including Greenpeace Australia Pacific and worked as a management consultant at two of the “Big Four” professional services firms: Deloitte and EY.

Nancy is a graduate of the Natural Resources Conservation program in UBC’s Faculty of Forestry and also holds an MBA and MSc (Ecology). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and trained as a Climate Reality Leader under Al Gore.

Nancy has recently happily relocated back to Vancouver from Sydney with her family.

Neal Aven

When I graduated from the Cons program at UBC, my first job was with the Business Operations section of Surrey’s Parks Division. While I had always envisioned working in the field and getting my hands dirty, this role was almost entirely an office-based database and work management system administration role. It turns out I really enjoyed the work! The job provided me with valuable experience to build upon my formal education and also allowed me to stay connected with the ever-evolving realm of urban forestry in Surrey. I served as Surrey’s urban forestry manager for more than 4 years and now I am Surrey’s director of parks. In this role I oversee long range planning and parkland acquisition; park design and construction; athletic field, structure, and landscape maintenance and operations; community enhancement and park partnerships; the operation and maintenance of the city’s three cemeteries; and urban forestry within Surrey’s parks division.

Nick Reinhardt

Nick is a Registered Professional Forester and Partner at Chartwell Resource Group Ltd. Since graduating from UBC, he has always had a keen interest in Ecosystems Based Management (EBM) in Coastal BC. Over his career he has gained an in-depth understanding of Ecosystems Based Management on Haida Gwaii and its application in operational forestry. Beyond EBM, Nick is passionate about emerging technologies and remote sensing. Part of his role at Chartwell, is researching the ways new technologies and devices can be used to improve productivity and deliver great services to his clients. Nick is also committed to mentoring the next generation of forest professionals and believes that the UBC Tri-Mentoring Program is a great program for students looking to navigate the next steps of their careers.

Noora Hijra

Noora is a Landscape Designer whose practice ranges from large-scale municipal planning to human-scale site design. Regardless of the scale of project, Noora looks to balance the many pragmatic and poetic considerations which underpin culturally meaningful spaces. With a background in Urban Forestry, they bring a specialized knowledge of ecology, governance, and geospatial analysis which is integral to the design of sustainable landscapes. As a committed member of the design community, Noora supplements their work at LEES + Associates with positions in teaching, research, and academic service.

Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy is a 1955 UBC Forestry alumnus and a Varsity Outdoors Club and Thunderbird Ski Team alum, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, a Masters from Yale and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. He is the founder of Vancouver-based international environmental consultancy, PJB Duffy and Associates.

Patrick’s first professional job involved solving local frost occurrence problems in Ontario, after which he moved to Alberta to research on lodgepole pine and white spruce productivity while managing a forest research team on land classification. Following his doctorate, Patrick spent a year in Australia and Papua-New Guinea on land classification, then moved to Ottawa to coordinate land classification across Canada and to manage the Canada Land Inventory, which involved teams from the provinces. Patrick has over 55 years of experience working in Canada and overseas in over 40 countries on projects which were for the United Nations, including the FAO and the World Bank, industrial and non-government organizations. He has served as a mentor at UBC Forestry since the program’s inception about 20 years ago. In his spare time, he has enjoyed trekking in the Canadian Rockies, ski racing, classical music, and is interested in international affairs, governance of Canada, and climate change.

Rayyan Hussain

Rayyan is a recent graduate of the Master of International Forestry and Bachelor of Forest Science programs from UBC’s Faculty of Forestry with a passion for sustainable development, urban planning, governance and policy-making through a decolonized lens on management of land and water. As a former UBC Forestry Co-op student, Rayyan has had the opportunity to work with Greenways Land Trust in Campbell River, BC as a Conservation Projects Assistant where he was involved in field work, data collection and community outreach on a variety of environmental conservation programs including stream stewardship, invasive species management and ecosystem restoration. This role helped him understand the significance of local, community-driven efforts for conservation. Rayyan’s current role as a Projects Coordinator for Musqueam Indian Band’s Intergovernmental Affairs department involves facilitating oversight of project files for projects occurring in Musqueam territory as it relates to Musqueam’s inherent Rights and Title, liaising with external agencies including government and regulatory bodies as well as project proponents and, providing policy-related, strategic and administrative support to the border Title and Rights Division under Musqueam Indian Band administration.

Ricardo Pelai

Ricardo Pelai has over five years of research experience applying insights and methods from the social sciences to better understand and address environmental problems. He currently works at the Canadian Climate Institute as a Research Associate working on climate change adaptation policy research. Ricardo previously worked as a Research Associate at the Council of Canadian Academies in Ottawa synthesizing evidence to inform federal public policy, and completed an internship with the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat in Montreal. At the University of British Columbia, Ricardo investigated how different types of expertise are included (or excluded) in developing forest policy in response to climate change, and the role of targets in governing biodiversity conservation. Ricardo holds a M.Sc. in Forestry and a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of British Columbia.

Rob Landucci

Rob has over 10 years’ experience overseeing the management of parks and urban forestry in Surrey and Port Coquitlam. A Natural Resource Professional with the Association of BC Forest Professionals, his work experience includes habitat restoration, forest health management, tree risk assessments and wildlife research. Rob has a Bachelor of Science (Natural Resource Conservation) from the University of British Columbia, is an ISA Certified Arborist and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor.

Ryan Wiersma

Ryan began his schooling in the field of Electrical Engineering, but a brief presentation on the Wood Products Processing program immediately grabbed his interest. Ryan opted to complete the Co-Op program, as well as the Minor in Commerce option. Participating in the Co-Op program provided invaluable experiences that helped push Ryan towards the manufacturing side of the industry.

Ryan now works for Weyerhaeuser as a Production Shift Supervisor at the Annacis Island division and has been in this role about eight years. He enjoys the changing day-to-day dynamics and the unique challenges that a leadership role brings. While the Shift Supervisor is responsible for overseeing the daily production operations, the job goes much deeper than that. Ryan is responsible for ensuring his team works safely and efficiently and is empowered to make decisions that effect their daily tasks. Front line leadership is the interface between upper management and the production teams on the mill floor, and as such can be a difficult position to be in but can be very rewarding when successes are realized.

On top of regular duties, Ryan is also the lead of the Production Hiring Committee, a lead on the Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) project and acts as the back-up to the Production Manager.

Sam Coggins

Sam has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources Management and a PhD in Forestry from UBC. He has been a Registered Professional Forester since 2012. Sam has a diverse range of experience in natural resources management including forestry, fisheries, environmental science, oil and gas development, environmental assessments, land management, and geomatics. Sam’s career began in 1993 in the UK in operational forestry. After completing his education in 2011, he moved to Terrace, BC. Northwest BC offered opportunity to work for First Nations governments in technical and administrative roles, and also in consulting on major project developments in the Northwest. From 2017 until 2020 Sam was the Director of Investigations for the Forest Practices Board and became an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. He is now self-employed and based in Smithers BC. Sam works mostly with First Nations in natural resources management and workforce planning and development.

Samantha James

I had a couple of research assistant positions during my undergrad that took me from Inuvik in the NWT to Banfield on Vancouver Island. After graduating, I worked as an environmental consultant in Alberta doing water quality surveys mostly. I then came back to BC and worked as a research assistant doing salmon research on the central coast. I loved it, so started my MSc in Oceanography studying juvenile salmon diets, after which I started with the Pacific Salmon Foundation. I’m just returning to work from parental leave and manage a PIT tagging salmon survival program along the east coast of Vancouver Island.

Sydney Baker

Sydney graduated from the Natural Resource Conservation program in 2012, and then went on to complete a MA in Human Geography at the University of Toronto in 2019. Her thesis looked at an extended producer responsibility program for tires in South Africa. She then spent 4 years working at Ontario’s regulator for recycling programs for tires, batteries, electronics, hazardous products and printed paper and packaging. Sydney is currently working as a consultant with Dillon Consulting Ltd. on the waste advisory team and works on a variety of projects related to waste management planning, diversion and the circular economy.

Tim Hawkins

Tim Hawkins graduated from the BScN program in 2016 from the Science and Management stream. In and since his master’s in forestry, he has worked with First Nations across BC and in the Northwest Territories on natural resource management, focusing on water, fish, and riparian forest management. Thesis involves working across scientific and Indigenous knowledge systems and connecting with people about the land, water, and animals that matter most to them. Tim now works as a facilitator with West Coast Aquatic in Port Alberni, where he supports multi-party, collaborative processes in the fish and aquatic management space. Current projects include Chinook Salmon rebuilding planning, watershed drought resilience planning, and facilitating salmon harvest roundtables across Vancouver Island.

Tom Lundgren

Graduate Britannia 1971, BCIT Forestry 1973, UBC BSc Forestry 1977, RPF 1214 1979. Summer work timber cruising Kitimat and Vavenby, road and block layout Mackenzie. Engineering MacDonald Cedar Products 1977 – 1980, Administrative Forester (appraisals, tenure management) Whonnock Industries 1980 – 1986, Silviculture Superintendent (reforestation program) Interfor 1986 -1990, Assistant Chief Forester (reforestation program, negotiations with First Nations and ENGO’s, company environmental standards) Interfor 1990 – 1992, Chief Forester Interfor 1992 – 1995, General Manager (responsible for business unit of 1.5 million m3/yr) Interfor 1995 – 1998, Manager Forestry (electronic mapping, reforestation, negotiations with First Nations, ENGO’s, government agencies) Interfor 1995 – 2012, Senior Forestry Manager 2012 – 2013, retired 2013.

Tori Verkaik

Tori Verkaik is a Land and Resource Specialist for the Ministry of Water, Lands, and Resource Stewardship, where she works on regional landscape strategic initiatives. As a Land and Resource Specialist, she works on landscape management plans for watershed resilience, protections, and improvement measures for wildlife habitat and develops post-wildfire habitat protection programs. After graduating from the University of British Columbia in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management, Tori worked for Skeetchestn Natural Resources, becoming a Restoration Forester and immersed in Indigenous forest landscape management programs. She worked primarily on post-wildfire ecosystem restoration projects within Skeetchestn’s traditional territory, working towards creating ecosystems resilient to future natural disasters and climate change. Tori is a Registered Professional Forester with the Forest Professional of British Columbia association and is completing her Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University.

Yeganeh Asadian

A highly proficient hydrologist with over a decade of global experience in hydrology and environmental sciences, showcasing expertise in formulating mitigation, compensation, and environmental management plans for diverse projects, including hydroelectric, linear, and mining initiatives. Proficient in employing statistical and hydrological numerical modeling to develop flood forecasting and management strategies. Extensive background in water resource development planning, encompassing the monitoring of water usage and rainfall. Played a pivotal role in the design and implementation of computer systems for streamlined data collection and analysis.
In the capacity of Environmental Stewardship Manager at xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), established and led the Environment and Stewardship Department. Successfully oversaw and supported policy, programs, and projects related to Musqueam’s environment. Additionally, served as a sessional instructor at the Native Education College, contributing to the Indigenous Land Stewardship Program. Demonstrates exceptional leadership, strategic acumen, and an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. Recognized for a respectful and tactful approach, with a consistent track record of producing accurate and timely reports meeting Federal and Provincial environmental guidelines.