The 2021/22 call for project proposals is now open!

Submit your application below by July 15th, 2021

Call for project proposals

Community partners are invited to submit project proposals that provide students with experience working on real-world geomatics problems. Each year, the majority of our professional masters students are connected with expert community partners to undertake applied research projects in a wide range of environmental management issues.

About the MGEM program

The Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management is a 9-month professional masters program in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. The professional masters students are matched with a researcher or a community partner who scopes out a small, applied geomatics project that the student will complete during the program.

What does UBC provide?

UBC recruits the professional masters students and provides support through teaching assistants and instruction in geomatics, remote sensing, landscape ecology, statistics, programming, experimental design, and scientific writing. Students are guided through writing a project proposal in the first term, which includes recurring peer review, feedback, and meetings with teaching assistants who provide individualized technical mentorship to each student. Additionally, student projects are organized into 3-4 “research clusters” and students receive peer support from other students working in similar topical and technical areas. In the second term, students undertake the project research and are guided through a writing process to produce a final report and archive the project outcomes with the UBC Library.

What does the community partner provide?

The researcher or community partner commits to providing topical mentorship to the student through the entire program from September 2021 to May 2022. Ideally, the partner will identify or provide the necessary datasets to undertake the analysis. The expectation is that the partner and student will hold a project kick-off meeting in August or September and then meet at least three other times before May 2022 to track progress. Additionally, the partner should scope out a project that will consume no more than 250 hours and clearly define the expected deliverables and identify what methods and data are available for the project. Students are required to archive their final reports and final dataset with the UBC Library, create a web-map, and present their work publicly. These are not paid co-op or internship positions and there is no expectation of financial support to students, but the project is a graduation requirement for the student’s program.

Check out our project library to see examples of what past students have achieved.

Project proposal requirements

We welcome project proposals from a broad range of thematic areas (e.g., wildlife habitat, climate change, land cover change, forest health, marine resources, range management, socioeconomic analysis, etc.), but the project should have a clearly defined geomatics research analysis component. In other words, the primary task must involve a research question/hypothesis and should not merely be a geomatics exercise or demonstration. Proposals that are exploratory in nature are encouraged as this allows students to engage more deeply in the project design and critical thinking on the topic. Projects are intended to be proofs-of-concept, so this is a great way to rapidly support some of your research ideas.


  • Submission deadline is July 15, 2021
  • Applicants will be contacted in July
  • Student interviews conducted in August
  • Project work beings in September
  • Application questions:


Students are provided with

  • A laptop
  • ArcGIS Pro software
  • ENVI image analysis software
  • Other Free and Open Source Software (QGIS, R, python, etc.)
  • UBC Library access to research databases

Projects typically involve

  • Land cover change mapping
  • Satellite/aerial image processing
  • Time series analysis
  • Machine learning & classification
  • Fragmentation, connectivity, & network analysis
  • Deriving information from LiDAR
  • Plot data, inventory, & biometrics

How are proposals evaluated?

  • Clearly defined research question and/or hypothesis
  • Data set is known or suggested
  • Proposed methodology is supported by the core program curriculum and expertise from faculty members
  • Scope of proposed work is no more than 250 hours

Tools for current mentors

Report student meeting

Mentors are recommended to meet regularly with students in September, November, January, and March.


Mentor checklist

 Read to Mentor’s Roles and Responsibilities (required)

Read MGEM Program’s Project Archiving Policy

Submit Data Sharing Agreement (if applicable)

Track student progress

  1. September

    Introductions with mentor, project scoping and planning

  2. October

    Research question submitted, writing the Introduction section and literature review of the research proposal

  3. November

    Writing the Proposed Methods and Expected Results sections of the research proposal

  4. December

    Final research proposal due

  5. January

    Initial Results due

  6. February

    Revising the Methods section and final Results and Discussion sections due

  7. March

    Final presentations

  8. April

    Final report due, web map, abstract, and project archiving activities with UBC Library