Category Archives: Education Stories

Lessons in Campus Forestry

UNBC forestry students get an overview of tree hazard management within a stand next to the UNBC administration building (Photo: Dr. H. Massicotte).

Earlier this month, a  group of UNBC undergraduate forestry majors braved frigid temperatures to tour the sites of planned stand management treatments  at  UNBC’s Prince George  campus. The treatments were developed by Mike Jull, ALRFS Manager, to mitigate fire and danger tree hazards on campus.  Selective tree removals  for the inner campus  will take place at the end of February, when students will have the opportunity to observe the effects after treatments are completed. Surrounded by forest, including a greenbelt to the west, UNBC campus serves as an important  location for hands-on learning  in a variety of environmental and natural resource management labs such as soils, basic  field skills, silviculture, vegetation assessments, and wildlife management.

A Swedish Invasion!

Students consider the implications of managing for old growth forests on carbon sequestration.
Mike Jull describes managing for landscape level old growth, as the SLU students consider the implications for carbon sequestration.

Twenty-two graduate students and instructors from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) visited ALRF on October 9th as part of a two-week intensive field course. Coordinated in partnership between SLU and the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest, the group traveled through BC’s lower mainland and the Interior to speak with various forest practitioners and learn about our diverse management issues. In addition to touring the ALRF, the students’ two-day stay in Prince George included pine forests and caribou habitat near Bear Lake, as well as a visit to the Ancient Forest before continuing on to the McBride Community Forest.

Not Just Any Field School

Tiffeny, a forestry major at UNBC, has fun with a fungus while learning about stand dynamics at ALRF.

Doctors learn in teaching hospitals… natural resource managers learn in the woods.

Last week, ALRF hosted nine UNBC students enrolled in the Field Applications in  Resource Management course taught annually  by Roy Rea, Senior  Lab  Instructor,  UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management Program. This is by no means  your basic  field skills training.  It is an advanced level, 3rd year course where students  are pushed  to apply their university training to address real-life, diverse, complex, and sometimes contentious natural resource management problems.

Biologist Jesse LaFramboise
Biologist Jesse LaFramboise of DWB Consulting Services, Prince George, uses Hansard Creek to explain the importance of assessing and protecting stream habitat for sustainable forest management and road development.

Students are taught through hands-on  modules (from  2 to 4 per day)  led by  both faculty and  natural resource practitioners ranging from forestry to guide-outfitting to mining. And it’s not all about hard science either, students are taught soft skills including concepts in multi-stakholder consensus-building and the social and spiritual importance of the environment to First Nations people. The UNBC students themselves represent several disciplines including Forestry, Environmental Science and Biology Majors, which promotes peer-learning.

This week the students wrap up thier 2-week intensive educational journey at the John Prince Research Forest where they will assemble all their learning to address  year’s case study project  theme: “Boundary Issues”