Ella Furness

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Climate change: Assessing the Adaptive Capacity of Community Forests
Harry Nelson
Torrington, Devon
United Kingdom
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I was a community worker, working with small organizations similar in structure to community forests, then I decided to get a practical skill and trained as cabinet maker. After doing that for a while, I combined both and set up a workshop as part of a community wood recycling organization. I came back to school because I wanted to learn more about community forest organizations, and be able to THINK all day.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I googled forestry and it was the first place to come up! It looked great, had a massive range of courses, a great reputation for research, relatively affordable fees and Vancouver looked progressive, open and interesting.

What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

If we can identify which factors are of pivotal importance for a community forest in adapting to climate change we will be able to assist the organizations in focusing their resources in the most efficient way to continue delivering community benefits in a changing climate.

What are your future career goals?

I think I may just be a highly educated cabinet maker. I want to take what I've learned here and apply it to working in a community organization - to implement the research, and to do that I want to be part of a community organization managing forests or woodland sustainably, making furniture from the trees and aiming to benefit people on low incomes in the wider community with training or experience in cabinet making or forestry.

What has been your most memorable Vancouver experience so far?

I cycled an hour to school and back every day from October to April. It was wet and dark, but it made me feel alive and I made myself a medal to celebrate at the end of April. My friends Sara and Doug getting married on the beach. Going on a march to ask for more affordable housing in the Downtown Eastside. Vancouver Public Library. The concert in Stanley park to celebrate Vancouver's 125 birthday.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Canadians are incredibly welcoming, polite and generous. Vancouver has great music, everyone loves coffee, it's multicultural and open minded, the drivers stop for you when you cycle (and it's great for cycling incidentally). The costs of living is very high. It rains twice as much here than in England (really!). The houses are beautiful and made of wood. You'll fall in love with the city.

Personal Interests / Hobbies

I like working out how to make things better, and reading - both of which are useful for research! I also love food, and running, and music, and hiking and jumping into cold water, yoga, soccer, and cycling. Oh, and I also like lying around staring at the trees. After working for the Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake I also love measuring trees and taking Greyhound buses.


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