Current Students

Where are MGEM students from?




Henry Flanagan

Henry Flanagan was born and raised in Seattle, USA, where he grew to love the beautiful Northwest coast. He was excited to study at UBC during his undergraduate years, and after four years in Vancouver he completed his degree in geography with a focus in environment and sustainability.

While at UBC he was fortunate enough to learn about the newly founded MGEM program, where he could pursue his interests in conservation, sustainability, and using geospatial software.

Henry looks forward to expanding his knowledge about GIS, remote sensing, ecology, spatial statistics, and more as an MGEM student.

In his free time, Henry enjoys snowboarding, watching baseball games, and exploring new places in the lower mainland.






He Jiwen (Vicky)

Jiwen was born and raised in Beijing, China. Surrounded by numerous skyscrapers and overpasses, she was long for the landscapes of forest, mountain and grassland. Every summer, she spent her vacation in different places, and enjoyed her embrace of nature. Jiwen enrolled in Renmin University of China (RUC) at 18, focusing in resources and environmental economics, where she firstly began to consider sustainable environmental design and management. Now, Jiwen is pursuing her master degree of the same major out of interest. Expecting to learn more about geomatics and combine it with economics, she applied for the united training between UBC and RUC. Jiwen is looking forward to enjoy her study in Vancouver.








Junjie (Michael) Zhan

Junjie (Michael) was born in a small city in China called Fu’an. The city is embraced on three sides by mountains and one side by sea. The diverse natural resources in surrounding environments cultured his love for nature. Junjie moved to Vancouver in 2013 and graduated with a B.Sc. in Natural Resource Conservation at UBC in 2017. Throughout his bachelor degree, many of the projects he has worked on involved the principles of geospatial science and required geomatics-focused tools. His passion for geospatial technologies motivated him to pursue the MGEM program and study geomatics in greater depth. Junjie looks forward to becoming a conservation practitioner equipping with technical skills to operate geospatial systems for collecting and analyzing spatial information about the land and natural resources.


Hulda Rós Helgadóttir

My name is Hulda and I’m from Reykjavík, Iceland. I gained my B.Sc. degree in Geophysics from the University of Iceland in 2015 and have been working in the Natural Hazard team at the Icelandic Meteorology Office for the last two years, monitoring and reacting to natural hazards in Iceland. The MGEM program in Vancouver will be a great addition to my studies and fits well with my interests. I have always been fond of nature and outdoor activities. In my spare time I enjoy climbing, skiing, hiking and training with my local Search and Rescue Team.



Alison Ashby

Alison was born in sunny Oceanside, California and grew up in the beautiful Colorado front-range. She attended the University of Colorado where she received a degree in Environmental Studies specializing in resource management as well as minors in ecology and evolutionary biology. Since graduating, Alison has been pursuing her passion and has been working as a wildlife field biologist across the American West. She has worked in Wyoming, New Mexico, California, and Nebraska conducting avian related research. Through these career experiences she has honed her personal research interests which include understanding avian movement and habitat selection in order to create sustainable management strategy. She hopes that by obtaining her Masters in Geomatics for Environmental Management that she will be able to assist in the development and implementation of management for avian species of concern by combining creative technology as well as her background in wildlife field research.


Ben Hamilton

Ben graduated from Quest University Canada with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. His undergrad thesis was a report on  the capacity of three delta areas to adapt to sea level rise, featuring maps of sea level rise projections. Since then, he has been living in Squamish and spending his spare time climbing, split-boarding, surfing, operating heavy equipment, and crashing cheap drones in his living room. He is looking forward to building skills in geomatics and learning more about the spatial analysis industry.










David Hamilton

David Hamilton was born in Vancouver and grew up on the west coast of British Columbia. David’s first experience in forestry was working as a technician collecting stand data in the Caribou.

Realizing that he wanted to learn more about forestry and desiring professional designation, David came to UBC in 2014 to pursue a BSC in forest resource management.  Over the course of his undergraduate degree David worked across the province with a variety of firms for numerous clients.

He has experienced the massive technological changes that have affected the industry first hand. He has come to the MGEM because he wants to gain a better understanding of the technical changes taking place and learn more about GIS systems. David has also worked as a TA in the forestry operations department and at the UBC research forest in Vancouver. David’s pastimes include participating in UBC’s logger sports team, the Thunderjacks, captaining the forestry intermural dodge-ball team and playing D&D.


Susan Winters

I grew up kayaking and exploring beaches on the north shore of Long Island, NY, but it was during annual family hiking trips across the United States that my love of the environment flourished.I knew I was most passionate about the environments I hiked in and wanted to pursue anything that would support this passion.

I moved to Ontario to pursue a B.A. in Geography and GIS from the University of Guelph, and I began working for the Green Mountain Club (GMC) in Vermont as a back-country caretaker during the summers. There, I found meaningful work outdoors and realized how integral GIS is for environmental stewardship.

I have held positions with the GMC, the U.S. National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service since graduating, which exposed me to different environmental management approaches. I am excited to continue learning about the environment in beautiful Vancouver.


Okafor Ebere Mercy

Mercy graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Wood Technology.

She has great passion and interest in Geospatial Science. Her desire to know more about Geospatial technologies was stimulated during her undergraduate studies in the university as she joined the Centre for Space Research and Application in collaboration with the department of Remote sensing, FUTA, where she acquired salient knowledge on Geospatial analysis.

This worthwhile experience greatly influenced her career and personal goals of becoming an expert in this field.

A privilege to be part of the MGEM program with full scholarship from MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC will furnish her with skills and strategies needed to provide solutions to lingering environmental challenges in Nigeria and Africa at large.


Osama Qubain 

Osama Qubain was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. He has lived in Vancouver for the past six years where he completed a combined major in Physics, Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences at UBC. Through these fields, Osama became fascinated by the complex narrative and cultural divide between society and nature, the urgency of sustainable development on all scales, and the management of ecosystem goods and services and their integration into the economy. Since then Osama has worked in various fields such as film, construction, retail and adventure guiding where he developed a wide range of skills. During his free time Osama enjoys the outdoors rock climbing, biking and camping. He is also an avid sailor. He is always looking for opportunities to expand his knowledge, add-value, build awareness and achieve community based sustainable development.


Hong Zhang

My name is Hong Zhang, and I’m from Qingdao, a beautiful seaside city in China. I moved to Vancouver in 2014 to pursue a B.S.F. in Forest Resources Management at UBC. I love trees, flowers and wildlife, and my curiosity for nature is the reason why I choose to study forestry. Throughout my undergraduate years, I’ve received a lot of knowledge and training about forestry, and I realized how useful and important geomatics is in planning and implementing forest management practices. As I conclude my bachelor’s degree, I want to continue broadening my exploration of geomatics and forestry through MGEM program. I believe my studies in the MGEM program will make me well-equipped with the abilities to model forest ecosystems and address forest concerns.



Steven Brownlee

Steven grew up in Summerland, BC. Thanks to a horticulturalist father and the nearby landscapes he developed an interest in the natural world. He enrolled in the BSC program at UBCO and joined a lab on campus studying the history and ecology of freshwater mussels in Okanagan. Further coursework as well as the lab’s studies solidified an interest in landscape ecology. He hopes to use the experience gained in the program to study endangered organisms and their interactions with the environment.

Jinna Ma

My name is Jinna Ma. I was born in Anyang, which is  a small town with a sparse population and is situated in the north of China. It is renowned for its historical sites and vibrant life. In 2013, I came to Beijing to pursue  undergraduate  and postgraduate at Renmin University of China. In the future, I hope I could contribute to instituting policies that target problems like air pollution in China. Learning in MGEM would help me consider all angles and communicate with numerous stakeholders through diverse landscapes.  I am excited to be a member of MGEM cohort and look forward to the study life at UBC!



Sohail Dham

My name is Sohail and I am from, Ottawa. Born in India, I moved to Vancouver where I lived for 10 years before moving to Ottawa. I have completed a B.A., Hons degree from Carleton University majoring in Geomatics with a minor in Physical Geography. I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors, hiking, and working with maps in various aspects; which is the primary reason I got interested in geomatics. The natural beauty of Vancouver and the learning opportunities at UBC have been the primary reasons the MGEM degree has been so appealing to me. I have worked on map production, geo-database development and spatial analyses. I am extremely excited to begin my MGEM studies as this will be a wonderful way for me to expand my geomatics skill-set, particularly in the field of remote sensing.


Shucong Shen

My name is Shucong Shen, and I am from Nanjing, China. As a 2+2 student, I moved to Vancouver in the summer of 2015 to pursue a B.Sc. in forestry in UBC, after finishing my first half of study in Nanjing Forestry University. In the last 3 years, internship jobs I did in the China and Canada gives me an overview idea about forestry and wood industry. In the field, I generally realize the importance of GIS and remote sensing. Without it our crew will be lost in the jungle and there will be no way for the company to achieve woods standing that far in the forest. I am highly interested in data processing procedure in GIS and RS, wishing to apply it into not only forest but also marine, urban aspect.








Alle Adeola

Alle Adeola is from Ìmẹ̀sí-ilé, Osun state, Nigeria, but he was born and raised in the commercial city of Lagos. He graduated from the Federal University of Technology Akure with a Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning.

Professionally, Adeola spent the last year working as a Town Planner at the Department of Parks and Recreation, and as part of his professional development he is pursuing a graduate professional degree in Geomatics for Environmental Management so as to improve his analytical skills using geospatial tools.

He is interested in the role government institutions play in the management of the environment and the preservation of the beauty that lies therein. He is also passionate about landscapes and this is quite evident in his fondness for travelling and landscape photography.

In his spare time, Adeola enjoys activities such as debating, playing football, swimming, cycling, running and catching sunsets.




Stephen Murphy

Steve Murphy was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Geography, he went on to complete a post-graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems – Geospatial Management at Niagara College. He now looks forward to further developing his GIS skillset and applying these skills to environmental issues. The ultimate goal for Steve is to use geomatics to help mitigate climate change in any way possible.




Alex Yang

Han (Alex­) Yang was born and raised in Jingzhou, a Chinese city on the banks of Yangtze River. His hometown was known for its long history as the origin of Chu culture. Han went to UBC in 2015 to pursue the Bachelor of Science in Wood Products Processing. After finishing his undergraduate courses, he learned the environment management was fundamental to the sustainable development of forest resources. Combining his interest in data science and his knowledge of forestry, Han hopes to continue his study in the forestry sector by taking the M.G.E.M. program.






Xiaoxiao Wu

Xiaoxiao Wu was born and raised in Guangzhou, a beautiful subtropical city full of good food in Southern China. She spent her first two years of university life in Beijing Forestry University where she got the opportunity to come to UBC for exchange. Since her arrival at Vancouver four years ago, she fell in love with this friendly city and decided to complete her degree here. During the capstone course of her degree in Natural Resources Conservation, Xiaoxiao became interested in geomatics and has been enjoying mapping. She is so excited to join the MGEM program and it will be a great chance for her to gain more knowledge before stepping into the geomatics industry.


Natasha Han

မင်္ဂလာပါ and 你好 everyone! My father is Burmese and my mother is Chinese-Canadian. I grew up in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing, then moved Vancouver to complete my Natural Resources Conservation degree here at UBC Forestry. Growing up in Southeast Asia, I’ve witnessed poverty, environmental degradation and the intersection between the two. I experienced the earthquakes in Nepal in April/May 2015, and saw how the poorest were most severely affected by them. Southeast Asia and it’s people will be at risk in the future to natural disasters, so I plan to use my MGEM degree towards natural disasters mitigation in Southeast Asia. In addition, my experiences include working at local and international schools in developing countries. My goal is to incorporate environmental and natural resources policy into poverty alleviation solutions. I’m grateful to be continuing my education in the MGEM program and am excited for the next year!





Jiayang Yu

My name is Jiayang. I was born and raised in Wuhan, China. I moved to Toronto in 2013 and recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor degree in Geography and GIS. During my undergraduate degree, I found my passion for geomatics through various course and lab projects involving land observations and vegetation/carbon analyses through satellites. I am hoping to expand my skills and knowledge in remote sensing and GIS through the MGEM program and looking forward to visiting Vancouver for the first time. In my spare time, I enjoy visiting museum exhibits, taking photos and running.









Emma Cunningham

Emma was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. In 2018 she completed her BSc. in Natural Resource Conservation: Science and Management from UBC. After being introduced to the applications of remote sensing and GIS through various classroom and work experiences, she decided to pursue her interest in these areas through the MGEM program. When not at school Emma spends most of her time outdoors and enjoys skiing, hiking, surfing, wake-boarding, and soccer.









David Ruan

I’m Depeng (David) Ruan from Hefei, Anhui, China. Yellow Mountain is inside my province, so I haven’t been there. I came to UBC in 2013, and had my Bachelor in Forest Resource Management in 2018 summer. Based on the concept of “field experience should be combined with advanced technology”, I decided to join in MGEM Program.

I wish to experience how the university life actually feels like in my master. In a small community which everyone knows everyone else, interesting things could happen.

Soccer is one of my favourite things. Soccer pitch is the place where I could stay calm and fully-engaged.







Julia Brin

Julia Brin was born in Montreal, Quebec, and grew up in a outdoor-loving family. She pursued her studies in Civil Engineering at McGill University, particularly interested in urban systems and sustainable development. This led her to travel to Asia and the Scandinavian countries to explore urban diversity and disaster management. Her passion for environment and urban planning then brought her to Vancouver, where she is pursuing her Masters in Geomatics for Environmental Management. She hopes to gain skills in geospatial science to apply for sensible resource management, city development and resilience. She loves to enjoy nature anyway she can – cycling, skiing, climbing, hiking – and believes in a career that works to protect it.






David Fluharty

David was born and raised in West Virginia, USA. He grew up rafting and kayaking on the New River and wanting to explore the west coast. He studied Natural Resources Conservation for his undergraduate degree at UBC, and also completed the Co-op program. His Co-op terms included work for the environmental consulting firm BA Blackwell, as well as research for the Below Ground Ecosystem Group and the Tree-ring Lab at UBC. These positions gave him a solid understanding of GIS, photogrammetry, mapping, and modelling. David looks forward to meeting new classmates and gaining a wider skill-set in remote sensing technologies and their applications to the natural world. Outside of school and work, David enjoys photography, music production, concerts, and any camping opportunities.







Andrew Chadwick

Andrew was born and raised in Toronto, where from a young age he began exploring the city’s ravine systems. He has been camping and hiking throughout Ontario for most of his life, with Algonquin Park and Flowerpot Island standing out as some of his favourite haunts.

Andrew has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University, specializing in environmental management and completing a certificate in GIS and remote sensing. Andrew sees a specialization in geomatics as a crucial skill set for coming to know and protecting our world’s ecosystems. As such, he is extremely grateful and excited to be a part of the MGEM program at UBC!