Before attending the University of Waterloo, Monika completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in environmental biology and forestry at the University of Toronto. During her degree she spent her summers working in Petawawa research forest and Haliburton research forest collecting environmental monitoring data with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests. Her main interest in later years of study was urban forest management in terms of resilience planning. She spent time between her bachelors and masters studies working full-time as a laboratory assistant in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto.
What draws her to planning is the challenge of reconciling what a community has inherited by previous planners and where they want to go given their present priorities.This is particularly interesting when noting the rise of advocacy for environmental sustainability, and consequently, advocacy for trees and greenspaces within cities. Greenspaces that do not fit into the traditional definition of parks, such as ravines and woodlots, are of particular interest to her as they are more ambiguous in terms of their purpose and the risks/benefits they can provide. She hope to study how notions of sustainability and equity manifest themselves in the planning and management of ravines in particular.
Monika is excited to work with the School of Planning as a member of the Association of Graduate Planners. In her spare time she enjoys cycling and maintaining her interest in botany by adding to her collection of plants and seedlings.