Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
As a graduate student, I have the flexibility to approach answering research questions from completely new perspectives. I have the freedom to try new techniques and methods within and environment that supports thinking outside of the box. It is this inherent flexibility of being a graduate student that has attracted me to pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I completed my BSc in Natural Resources Conservation in 2017 and went on to defend my MSc in Forestry thesis in December 2020, obtaining both degrees within UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. During both previous degrees I had the opportunity to complete co-op work placements and integrate my research with work being completed within Natural Resources Canada. Returning to UBC’s Faculty of Forestry allows me to continue to integrate my work with other organizations.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My past research has been focused on bioenergy and biomass supply throughout BC. Broadly, I am interested in how climate change is affecting the forest sector and how we can better inform forest managers and policy makers on appropriate climate change mitigation strategies. Pursuing a graduate degree in the Faculty of Forestry allows me to contribute to this field of knowledge. Not only is this an important contribution to understand direct climate influences on forests, but I can also imagine using this model of tree mortality to help analyze mitigation strategies in the forest sector.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Vancouver is an incredibly diverse place; as a student at UBC I have to opportunity to interact and work with students and faculty from all over the world. This diversity is incredibly valuable, both personally and professionally.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I have had the opportunity to work within academia, government, and the private sector. Having these experiences has allowed me to gain a better perspective on how work I complete can be useful within each of these structures. I do not think I would be as prepared for my current work had I not had these varied experiences.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I am an avid hiker and I completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2017. I also train for and compete in triathlon, cycling, and running races.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Take advantage of the amazing community that you are a part of, both professionally and personally. Network with the students around you to develop your research, but also sign yourself up for sports teams or classes. Prioritize your wellbeing, not just your work, and I promise your research will benefit from it!