Program of Study: Natural Resources Conservation
Country of Origin: Mexico City, Mexico
Why UBC Forestry?
I chose the Natural Resource Conservation program because of the interdisciplinary nature of the degree – everything from social sciences to applied biology comes together throughout the four years. I also liked how the Global Perspective Major offered flexibility for focusing on the areas of interest, an international component, and a solid broad base to move on to more specific areas of resource management or environmental sciences later on. Besides the program structure, the option of doing co-op to gain some professional experience while studying really appealed to me.
Thoughts on UBC and Vancouver
One of the highlights of my undergraduate experience was working on FSC forest certification and biodiversity conservation in Chile during my second co-op work term, where I was able to witness the differences between the forest industry in BC and in South America, and to apply many of the concepts learnt in the classroom to real-life scenarios.
Another great experience was my semester abroad at the National University of Singapore, where I fulfilled my course requirements in a tropical garden city that is in the forefront of green urban planning and urban forestry. Not only did I meet amazing people and professors from other Universities, but also got the chance to volunteer at the Centre for Tropical Forest Science at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (where I worked on plant surveys while being surrounded by monkeys!).
Another highlight was the month spent in China travelling through Jiangsu province during the Exploring Forestry and Conservation in China group study program based in Nanjing Forestry University. The best part was the hands-on learning from the many field trips to research stations, nature reserves, wood processing facilities, and forest parks.
I am particularly interested in the social aspect of natural resource conservation. For instance, I would love to work in international development projects related to community-based resource management. After the semester in Singapore, I also became interested in urban greenery and sustainable green buildings, so working in certification standards or green innovations for the urban setting would also be something exciting I would love to do after graduation.