Kate Peterson

Climate-sensitive forest growth and yield modelling
Tongli Wang
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I chose to pursue a graduate degree because I’m passionate about learning, and conserving forests in the face of climate change. The forest has always been my happy place, and I’ve always felt a strong desire to understand the complexities and interwoven processes of what makes a forest grow.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I chose to study at UBC because the forestry program is one of the top programs in this industry. The experts and scholars in the forestry field present at UBC were a huge draw for me. Additionally, I had visited Vancouver in the past and fell in love with the forests on UBC campus and around the city, and I really wanted to learn more about the types of forests that thrive here.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The chance to collaborate with so many experts in the forestry industry, as well as the focus on a well-rounded education. I graduated from a very small forestry program at the University of Winnipeg, which I loved, but the huge forestry faculty at UBC was very appealing.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The best surprise about life in Vancouver was how close to nature you feel in the city and on campus. It has been so amazing to be able to walk a few minutes to get to a gorgeous beach, or take a quick drive to be in the mountains or sightseeing along the coast.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I have been involved in forestry from a young age, starting from volunteering at events for a forestry non-profit, spending summers working in forestry jobs, and I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to be involved in many different aspects of forestry. My experiences in different forestry-related roles have provided me with a good understanding of how multidisciplinary this industry is, and how passionate a topic it is for many people. My graduate program involves collaborating with various stakeholders and my experiences have prepared me well for that.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Academically, I think one of the most important parts about graduate school is keeping an open mind about constructive feedback. We have the privilege of getting advice from experts in our fields, and listening to and incorporating their feedback is one of the best ways to improve the skills we’re here to develop. Also, make sure to prioritize your mental health, and enjoy what Vancouver has to offer while you’re here!


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