Studies in Forest Sciences offer natural surroundings and tools for solving global issues

Mohammad Imangholiloo came to the University of Helsinki to develop his skills in Forest Sciences. Three years later he works as a research assistant and is excited to begin his doctoral studies in Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources.

Mohammad Imangholiloo completed his Bachelor’s studies in Forestry in his home country Iran. Then he took a diploma course in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation for Natural Resources Management in the Netherlands.

”While I was studying in the Netherlands, I was on a hunt for a great place to develop my skills in forestry, remote sensing and geoinformatics. I came across the University of Helsinki and got interested in the Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences”, Imangholiloo tells.

The University of Helsinki was also recommended to him by his friends in the field and he was impressed by the university’s great rankings. The Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences is based on the research at the Department of Forest Sciences which has been ranked 4th in the world, placing the department as one of the best in the world.

”In addition, the high-quality education system and vast forested lands were also appealing factors to me.”

Studying surrounded by nature and forests

Imangholiloo started in the Master’s programme in Forest Sciences at the University of Helsinki in autumn 2015. His studies focused on and applied knowledge in biology, environmental sciences, geoinformatics and information technology.

Imangholiloo especially enjoyed studying the applications of remote sensing and geoinformation in forest resources.

”My favourite courses included a basic course in programming and a course called ”Simulation of Forest Growth Modelling.”

The study environment has also been more than suitable for Imangholiloo’s studies. Forest Sciences are taught at the Viikki Campus, one of the four campuses at the University of Helsinki. It is also known as the Green Campus, because it is surrounded by nature and forests are only a walking distance away.

During his many field courses, Imangholiloo got to explore the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, one of the seven research stations of the University of Helsinki. The field station is located in the middle of state-owned forests and peatlands, approximately 235 kilometres from Helsinki.

Imangholiloo also enjoys the fact that his teachers have always been very easy to approach and that the hierarchy between students and professors is non-existent.

Forest Sciences can make the world a better place to live

During the Master’s programme, Imangholiloo was introduced to many multidisciplinary courses based on the latest research. These courses and studying at the University of Helsinki has widened his perspective on forests and their use.

According to Imangholiloo, it is important to study Forest Sciences because it is diverse and highly linked to global issues such as climate change.

”A graduate with a comprehensive knowledge and skills from Forest Sciences can help the world become a better place to live, for example by combating the climate change and carbon sequestration, which is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide”, he says.

In the Master’s programme in Forest Sciences, the students can get opportunities to participate in research projects that seek solutions to these type of global issues, for example by writing their Master’s thesis within a research project. They can also complete it as an assignment commissioned by a research institute or a company. Both are excellent opportunities to establish networks and contacts with potential employers.

For example, Imangholiloo did his Master’s thesis in collaboration with Simosol, a Finnish company providing services for biomass resource mapping and analysis as well as solutions for sustainable forest management.

”I worked six months for Simosol developing a tool for them and wrote my Master’s thesis on the process. Interestingly, I even got the opportunity to present my thesis orally at the 39th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing.”

The future career path of the Forest scientist

Imangholiloo graduated from the Master’s programme in September 2018. Currently, he is working as a research assistant. He has also worked as a teaching assistant and has been giving lectures on remote sensing since spring 2017.

”I love both learning and teaching!”, Imangholiloo says.

Next, he will focus on his doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources.

With his versatile and multidisciplinary study background, Imangholiloo has many options for his future career. On the one hand, he would like to pursue a career in the academic field. On the other hand, he would like to participate in the research and development in forestry companies in Finland or abroad.

Luckily, no matter what direction Imangholiloo chooses, his studies have provided him with all the right tools to succeed.