REM major finds fulfillment in planning stream after transferring to SFU

April 10, 2024

For Kevin Maars, transferring from Douglas College into the SFU resource and environmental management program (REM) was a personal milestone.

Having a longstanding passion for environmental stewardship, he says he was drawn to REM while he was enrolled in a teaching program at Douglas and decided to make the switch during the pandemic.

“My experience transferring to SFU was very easy. I had no issues making the transition,” says Maars.

After enrolling at SFU and taking PLAN 100 (Introduction to Planning) with REM professor Tammara Soma, he knew his next step would be applying to the planning stream.

“It opened my eyes to the planning field. I felt that planning was where I could best use my skills to make a difference.”

Maars went on to volunteer with Soma in the Food Systems Lab, where he researched and compiled information for an article about the threat of nuclear winter to food systems, published in Analyst News.

“It was fulfilling contributing to something that could start a conversation,” he says.

During two 8-month paid co-op internships with BC Housing, he also ran, organized and assisted with community-building events and vegetable and plant distributions, where he got valuable real-world experience.

“Understanding that there is always something more to learn keeps me open-minded to new perspectives, thoughts, and ideas,” Maars shares about his undergraduate experience.

He is currently in his final semester and plans to do a master’s degree before eventually beginning a career as a planner.

“Or a similar career where I can make a tangible difference in this world,” he adds.