Mentor Bios

Aisha Uduman

A third-culture kid having grown up in Canada, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, I’ve always been drawn to the outdoors and trying to understand the wildlife communities nearby. Having completed my undergraduate degree with UBC’s Geography department, I decided to gain work experience before beginning an MSc in Wildlife Conservation. My goal? To combine knowledge gained from working at WWF-Canada, UBC, UN-FAO, Parks Canada and various Sri Lankan environmental organisations with perspectives gained from my time spent in these widely diverse countries in addressing complex, interdisciplinary issues that are threatening wildlife (and often adjacent human) communities.

Broadly, my research interests include using science to inform wildlife conservation, resource management and to identify and promote practical methods to foster greater human-wildlife coexistence in increasingly shared landscapes. My MSc research is focused in Sri Lanka, investigating both the ecological and social dimensions of leopard-livestock conflict and identifying suitable techniques to mitigate conflict.

Arthur Tsai

Arthur Tsai leads Canfor’s lumber marketing analytics and intelligence for both domestic and international markets. He analyses market dynamics and emerging global trends to facilitate the organization’s long-term sales growth strategies. Key areas of focus include global competitive analysis, commodity price forecast, Lumber Futures hedging and forest products chain of custody certifications.
Arthur has over 25 years of experience in the BC wood products industry and graduated from UBC Faculty of Forestry with BSF’95 and MSc’12.

Ashish Mohan

I graduated from UBC in Forest Sciences and had an incredibly positive undergrad experience due to the campus culture, the great people of the Forestry faculty, and the amazing friends I made. Despite this, I still came out of school confused as to what I wanted to do and what the possible career options were. Years later, I’ve now worked for startups, NGO’s, federal government, and municipalities. I also went onto complete an MSc and am pleased to say I am working in my field of study. I am still looking to gain new skills and expand my horizons, but I would love to provide advice and a sense of scope to the next generation of forward thinkers.

Ben Romanchych

Ben is Manager of Advanced Wood Manufacturing with FPInnovations, where he also held previous positions as Senior Analyst and Business Analyst. During his time at FPInnovations, Ben has consulted with some of North America’s largest forest products companies and industry associations. Prior to his positions at FPInnovations, Ben has held positions at Interfor Corporation, Metrie (formerly Sauder Industries), and Forte Millwork Inc. Ben holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of British Columbia’s Wood Products Processing Program. Ben and his team at FPInnovations provide market intelligence for clients through the combination of data analytics and industry experience, creating actionable insights.

Bev Ramey

Bev Ramey enjoyed a career as park planner with Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver) for 15 years where she oversaw the creation of such regional parks as Minnekhada and Pacific Spirit. The past 20 years of her life she has volunteered (as Board member and/or president) with the nature education and conservation non-profit organizations: Nature Vancouver, BC Nature (Federation of British Columbia Naturalists), BC Naturalists’ Foundation and Pacific Spirit Park Society. Her focus activities include: wetlands, Fraser lowlands, and grasslands. She has contributed to park creation, local community awareness, support for natural areas and to citizen science projects such as the Breeding Bird Atlas. She volunteers as park host in a northern BC Provincial Park, Ecological Reserve Warden, and undertakes invasive species removal in Southern Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

Dane Hedstrom

Dane gained diverse knowledge of BC industrial forestry with West Fraser for the majority of his time with the UBC Forestry Co-op Program. This experience lead him to Weyerhaeuser in the Pacific Northwest, beginning as a timberlands and wood products analyst. Guided by leaders, Dane entered manufacturing supervision of lumber production. Leading teams, improving processes, maintaining quality control, cross-department cooperation, and sharing best practices became the norm. Now he continues learning the full timber products supply chain as Shipping Supervisor at Weyerhaeuser’s local mill which produces Parallam, the product featured as the FSC’s atrium columns.

David Hamilton

Five years ago I began working in the forest industry because I wanted a summer working outdoors. After realizing that I loved forestry I transferred to UBC and began pursing my degree with the intention of becoming a registered professional forester. Last spring I graduated and formerly registered as a forester in training. After that I worked for a summer at UBC’s Malcolm Knapp research forest. Work went well and I was fortunate enough to get hired full time for Alex Fraser Research Forest. Currently I am working part time for the research forest, completing a masters in geomatics and environmental management (MGEM) and helping TA various operations and forestry courses.

David Jones

David completed a Post Doc at SFU and one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Biology Dept at SFU. After which he left the academic life to accept a position as a charter entrant in a new field as a Professional Environmental Consultant. He believes that incremental change from within industrial and commercial practices of the day offer the best opportunity to halt the gradual degeneration of the environment after only 300 years or so of uncontrolled industrial and commercial growth. He set out on this career first at Sandwell Engineering Ltd a local forestry and mine engineering company and continuously from then to now in a variety of staff consulting and ownership roles in the lively activity of participating in changing the actions of business in a myriad of small ways that lead to bigger ways until today is a time when all business must consider the environment as an essential part of its business success and survival.
David is presently working on commercialization of natural oils from trees. Identifying and evaluating markets for second generation products made from recycled Styrofoam wastes. The development of an integrated urban farm located in Burnaby to be constructed around the provision of fresh organic vegetables from natural soils and hydroponics, with fresh fish supplied from onsite aquaculture, all intended for gourmet markets in Vancouver and beyond. The use of modified wood cellulose as a high energy green supplement for coal and oil fuels.

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 am currently a Fisheries Protection Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) where I conduct regulatory reviews of projects that may affect fish and fish habitat and work with proponents to identify avoidance and mitigation measures that reduce potential impacts. Prior to my current position, I worked with other scientists at DFO to set up 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.

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 types of things that I have been involved in creating include businesses, schools, various land management arrangements, public policy, 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.

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 capabilities of operations. Graeme has routinely transformed technical departments and laboratories into results oriented organizations. He is currently a Senior Technical Director for Weyerhaeuser’s Engineered Lumber business with oversight for the Canadian and Western US operations. He has been trained in and practices Six Sigma and is a member of the ASQ. He has experience effectively interacting with all levels of an organization, positioning oneself for advancement, and employing systematic techniques to problem solving.

Henning Larsen

I am not published and likely will not make it to a list of “rocket scientist” Foresters one-day; but whatever I have done, I’ve always lead with my heart and have put everything that I am into it! Hence, 3rd attempts at my ABCFP registration (… and at least 2 runs at my Applied Science course at university). There are 2 main personal categories, relative to my forestry experience: 1st) starting out as a BCIT technologist and then feeling the need for more and returning to university, to get 2nd) my UBC Forestry Degree. My experience in forestry spans the province: Mahatta River, Chetwynd, Harrison Mills, Woss / Englewood, Burns Lake, Houston, Quesnel, Decker Lake where I have been intimate with woodlands and sawmill operations staff and people and the folks that worked, lived and laughed together in all of those wonderful places. To have worked with, participated and lead in my endeavors for many good and meaningful years with those many folks was my blessing and an honour. I felt clear in my dual focus: attain the UBC forestry degree and to be a member of the association (i.e. ABCFP) like my marvelous mentors that I worked with in the CFP (i.e. Canadian Forest Products) in Chetwynd.

Jeffrey Liu

I graduated from UBC Wood Products Processing and currently work at Taiga Building Products in their Burnaby head office. I have been with them since my second year in UBC, working full time during the co-op terms and part time during the school year. I have been involved with multiple projects throughout the year and in a variety of positions ranging from logistics, analytics, procurement, and inventory management. The wide breadth of experiences Taiga has provided me, has served me well, and as a mentor I strive to share these experiences and lessons learnt from transitioning from the classroom into the workplace.

Jovan Larre

Since graduating from Wood Product Processing with honours in 2003, I have been employed at Superior Cabinets in Saskatoon, Sk. where I have had the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills developed at UBC to a 50,000 square feet manufacturing facility. Initial work involved taking production from a large batch processing to a lean, small batch production process. This involved purchasing new machinery, redesigning the entire cutting department and implementing the new process flow. Further projects involved updating and expanding the finishing department including spray booths and a new flatline finishing line. The next major project I lead was the implementation of a new software system throughout manufacturing including an interface to sales order system, complete configuration of all products, machine interfaces, and implementation of bar code scanning on shop floor. Currently I am working on new product development and prototyping.

Nadia Chan

Nadia has a B.S.F., Forest Operations from the University of British Columbia, is a Forester- in – training, an ISA Certified Arborist and an ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. After graduating, Nadia took a position with a consulting firm doing silviculture field work in Northern BC. She then moved back to Vancouver to work for a local non-profit environmental organization. Since then, Nadia has worked for the City of Surrey in various positions, and is currently the Manager, Trees and Landscaping with the City’s Planning and Development Department. In addition to over 15 years of experience in urban forestry, Nadia is the Director of Public Outreach for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, a Director with the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia and sits on BCIT’s Forest and Natural Areas Management Program Advisory Committee

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 manager 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; and urban forestry within Surrey’s parks division.

Nick Reinhardt

I was first hired by Chartwell Consultants in the summer of 2008 as an entry-level forest engineer to aid in basic cutblock layout and design. After graduating from UBC in 2009, I took a full-time position with Chartwell and have been based out of North Vancouver ever since. My job has given me the opportunity to work in a variety of places across the province and work in a variety of roles. One of my many roles these days is looking into new technologies and how we can start using them in the field, this includes drones and remote sensing data.

Paul Rosher

I went to BCIT for the Renewable Resources Diploma from 1992 – 1994 and then on to UBC from 1994 – 1997 in the BSF Forest Operations program and has been an RPF for 17 years. I have worked all over the coast for 14 years and have been in the interior for the last 10 years. I have worked for the Ministry of Forests, Mac Millian Bloedel, Western Forest Products, Weyerhaeuser, JS Jones, and most recently Tolko in the Okanagan valley.

Peter Ackhurst

Peter Ackhurst worked as a field forester for MacMillan Bloedel, Crown Zellerbach, Crestbrook Forest Industries and Peace Wood Products. Since that time he has gone on to top managerial positions with the BC Ministry of Forests where he played an active part in forestry activities at regional and provincial levels. He has served as President of the Association of BC Professional Foresters and National President of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. He has also chaired the Tree Improvement Council and Forest Productivity Council. He possesses strong management and leadership capabilities, a broad based knowledge of British Columbia and Canadian forestry and extensive international experience. Peter worked as a forest consultant with a large consulting firm, and is presently an independent consultant to the forestry sector. He has been the forest manager of the Cheakamus Community Forest at Whistler for the past 5 years. He has additionally worked for 2 years in Tanzania with CUSO International, in Chile with the United Nations/FAO, and in Malaysia for 3 years with CIDA. Peter is now happily retired and living in West Vancouver.

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. He is a Vice Chair of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver and on the Urban Forestry Committee with the Association of BC Forest Professionals.

Sam Coggins

I have a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources Management and a PhD in Forestry from UBC. I am also a Registered Professional Forester and have held a professional designation in geomatics.

I have a wide range of experience in natural resources management including forestry, fisheries, environmental science, oil and gas development, environmental assessments, land management, and geomatics. My career began in 1993 in the UK where I attained 8 years’ experience in operational forestry. I moved to British Columbia in 2002 to pursue an education in forestry.

In 2012 I moved to Terrace, BC, to work in forestry and as a GIS technician for Nisga’a Lisims Government where I was responsible to complete a forest inventory of Nisga’a Lands, finalized FLNRO obligations on silviculture and roads, finished community wildfire protection plans, and completed day-to-day mapping for government. I was then employed by two environemntal consultants and worked directly on several major development projects in the Northwest to ensure compliance with environmental standards. After that I was the Director of Lands and Resources for Kitselas First Nation where I reviewed over 20 major resource development projects in Northwestern BC. I am now the Director of Investigations with the Forest Practices Board and am responsible to answer complaints.

Samantha Smolen

I graduated from UBC in 2013 with a Bsc. Natural Resources Conservation- Global Perspectives Major. I am a FIT (Forester in Training) and Registered, Accredited Silviculture Surveyor. During my time at UBC, I worked as a Jr. Forest Technician for Tolko Industries Ltd. as well as BCTS in Campbell River. After completing my degree, I went on to work for a community based company out of Alkali Lake (Esk’etemc), Alkali Resource Management (ARM). I worked for ARM for 5 years as a Forest Technician and Silviculture Supervisor. I currently work for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) as a Resource Technologist in the Sea to Sky District, while taking a few Forest Operations Courses at UBC part time.

Scott Shaw-MacLaren

Throughout my high school and university career I worked for a number of Forest Companies as a field engineer in the summer seasons. After completing a degree in natural resource management from the University of Northern BC, and a GIS Advanced Technical Diploma from the College of New Caledonia in 2004, I landed a final co-op placement with the now defunct Land and Water British Columbia Inc. in Fort St. John. My eligibility for registration with the ABCFP allowed me to move into an officer position disposing of Crown land for various industrial, commercial and residential purposes. I then moved to the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Arts responsible for land management of Adventure Tourism projects in the Peace region. In 2007 I was transferred to the South Coast region and based in Squamish to manage the adventure tourism industry here. With the restructuring of the natural resource ministries, I became a Natural Resource District Operations Manager and expanded the portfolio beyond tourism to include traditional forestry, land development, planning and biology.

Sonny Jay

Growing up in Vancouver, both my father and older brother worked in the forest industry. As I had a keen interest in outdoor recreation, enrolling in forestry at UBC was an easy decision.

Following the subject area of my bachelor thesis, my first job after graduation in 1985 was as a field assistant on a deer habitat study. In the next 4 years I worked in diverse jobs with consultants, contractors, the provincial government and a community college.

In 1990 I started a long career with West Fraser Mills Ltd. in Terrace BC with a stint in Fraser Lake. I worked in a variety of areas including silviculture operations, timber development, resource planning, and overall divisional woodlands management.
Recently I also had opportunity to work with an environmental consulting company primarily with their partnerships with aboriginal business. Now I am trying retirement and enjoying many days of alpine skiing, with some field stints in summer helping friends with their forestry business projects.

In my work throughout my career I had much opportunity to apply knowledge from my education in many technical areas and above all, in working with people and organizations with diverse backgrounds, interests and perspectives.

Theraesa Coyle

I am an Aquatic Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), currently acting as the Pacific region program lead for the Aquaculture Monitoring Program. Though I am mainly marine science focused now, my career has involved multiple transitions between forest and ocean ecosystems, and between government, private sector and academia. I have a BSc in Environmental Science from UBC, and an MSc in Geography from McGill University. My Masters work was focused on biodiversity in agroforestry systems of southern India, and I was briefly situated as a visiting student in UBC Forestry. After completing my degree, I worked both in government and in environmental consulting before accepting a permanent position with DFO. Throughout my academic and professional career, I chose to specialize in GIS and spatial analyses, which has enabled me to more easily move between sectors and study areas. I hope to continue to gain experience in variety of different work environments, particularly in program management.

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.


Ye Huang

After completing a bachelor degree and a master’s degree in Forestry from UBC in 2013, Ye worked as a field silviculture technician and crew leader in the Peace Region of both British Columbia and Alberta for both consultants and timber licensees. Now Ye is working for a major timber licensee in Campbell River as Planning Forester and GIS Analyst. He is responsible for strategic planning, spatial analysis, LiDAR acquisition & processing and database management. He is using the latest available technology to support forest management practices in BC Coast, particularly in the world renowned Great Bear Rainforest. Other than his main job duties, he is the chair representing his department in divisional Occupational Health & Safety Committee and is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees. Ye is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) in British Columbia