Since arriving in Canada in August last year I have loved every moment. At the University of British Columbia, I am challenged and supported by my peers and supervisor. The opportunities on offer to me here are both academically and personally stimulating, and I am now working on my master’s thesis alongside a team on likeminded students. My research centres on corridor ecology in Northern British Columbia and will be completed in consultation with the Tsilhqot’in National Government, who represent the indigenous communities located within our study area.
During my first months in Canada, I
enjoyed hiking with new friends
and colleagues, as well as getting to know Vancouver. Coming into winter, I bought a student pass for the ski hill nearby and spent much of my time falling over and rolling down hills while learning to snowboard. Growing up in Scotland, I always wanted to learn to snowboard, but was never able to, I love that during my time here I have been able to not only learn but do it alongside new friends who only laugh a little when I fall. I stayed in Canada over Christmas where I was welcomed in for the holidays and taught how to ski on frozen lakes and snowshoes.
I have been a Teaching Assistant at university for both terms, which I have enjoyed. I am hoping to complete my field research this summer, which will entail using drones to collect landcover imagery and monitoring grizzly bear behaviour during one of Canada’s biggest salmon runs. Alongside this research, I am excited to spend some of my summer exploring more of the area around me and have planned several multi-day hikes and kayaking trips.
Many of my plans are unsure with COVID 19 causing national and provincial parks to be closed as well as putting our field research in jeopardy. I have been well supported by my university over this period and am hoping for the best in the coming year.
All the amazing experiences I have had this year would be impossible without the CMF scholarship. The scholarship has enabled me to fully enjoy and appreciate my time in Canada, without a financial burden.