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”