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Okanagan-Columbia Forest Education Zone Highlights

Jennifer Stewart & Kalon Nahachewsky (Forest Educators)

With the start of the 2008/2009 school year, Okanagan-Columbia forest educators have been hard at work organizing forestry camps, ILA van tours, teacher workshops, classroom presentations, professional development days, and recruiter road trips.

Intro to Forestry Camp

Our 4th annual “Intro to Forestry Camp” was held at Silver Lake Forestry Camp in October.  This year, seventeen grade 10-12 students from high schools in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm attended.  Our lead instructor, Kelly Hatfull (BCIT) was assisted by Mike Thomas (Tolko), Mike Closs Logging Ltd., Buddy (Equipment Operator), MOFR Fire Protection Initial Attack Crew, Robert Bazett (Tolko), Jennifer Stewart, and Kalon Nahachewsky.  The program provided students with a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to learn some of the skills required within different parts of the forest sector, as they worked with tools such as maps and stereoscopes, compasses, GPS units, tree measurement tools and firefighting equipment.  They also had the opportunity to view active harvesting and to participate in a ‘Search and Rescue’ exercise.

A special thank you goes out to Debbie Bazett, Forest Education Coordinator (COFI South) for all her assistance in preparing student packages and to Bryan Darroch (Gorman Brothers) for helping out with equipment and air photo packages.

Provincial Intermediate Teachers' Association Conference

For this year's fall teacher Professional Development Day, Forest Education Coordinators Jennifer Stewart and Kalon Nahachewsky, assisted by Debbie Bazett (COFI), participated in the Provincial Intermediate Teachers' Association Conference by organizing a forest education display at the conference tradeshow. Approximately 400 teachers attended the conference, many of whom visited the Forest Education display and picked up free intermediate forest education resources for use in their classrooms around the province.

ILA Forest Education Van School Visit

In October, 109 Grade 1, 3 and 5 students from St. Joseph’s Elementary in Kelowna toured the forest education van.  Some topics of interest included the history of logging, forest health, tree parts and tree ID, wildlife and tree products.  Many thanks to Ann Polson and Betty-Ann McDonald (Canadian Women in Timber) for assisting with these presentations.

Annual Fall Recruiter Road Trip

The annual Recruiter Road Trip is an opportunity for forestry instructors and recruiters to visit local high schools in the Okanagan- Columbia.  Because students study about forestry in their Social Studies, Sciences and Career Prep programs, a variety of classes attend the presentation, which contains a mini-forestry lesson.  This year, sustainable resource instructor, Kelly Hatfull, (BCIT) spoke with 440 Grade 10 to 12 students in North, Central and South Okanagan high schools about the vast array of career opportunities in the forest industry.  Students gained overall knowledge about forest management, in addition to learning about job opportunities and programs of study.

Okanagan College Carer Fair

A forestry career display was set up by Okanagan Columbia forest education at Okanagan College's Career Fair, held in November in Kelowna. Approximately 120 individuals, consisting of high school and post-secondary students, parents, and members of the community, were provided with forestry career and post-secondary program information at the annual Career Fair.  Thanks to Wesley Wolf (Tolko) for his assistance in manning the booth at this event.


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