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Northern Interior Forest Education
Chris Lear (Forest Education Manager)

Igniting Student Interest in Forestry Careers

Three programs recently hosted by COFI Northern Operations Forest Education Program seem to be igniting student interest in forestry careers.  The three career awareness programs, Trades and Technologies in the Forest Industry, Harvesting Careers and Natural Resource Management Post Secondary Programs have attracted interest from both teachers and students right across north-central BC.

The Trades and Technologies in the Forest Industry career Awareness Program offered students in Prince George area high schools two full days of interacting with tradespeople in area sawmills and pulpmills as well as touring the College of New Caledonia Trades Department.  By combining the tour of trades departments at the college with time spent with tradespeople in the mills, students could better assess where they are now in high school, what courses they will need to enter trades programs at the college, and what skills, attitude and aptitude they will require to get hired and be successful tradespeople in the forest industry.

The Harvesting Careers Awareness Program was hosted in Fort St John, attracting students interested in careers as machine operators, providing them with a full day exposure to various machines involved in harvesting and processing trees. Spending a day on a harvest site allowed students to not only observe the machines in action, but also an opportunity to interact with the operators and learn about the challenges and rewards of running harvesting equipment.

A new program, Natural Resource Management Post Secondary Programs, saw selected students from School District No 28 (Quesnel), School District No 91 (Nechako Lakes) and School District No 57 (Prince George) converge on The College of New Caledonia and the University of Northern British Columbia to learn first hand about their respective Natural Resource Management Programs.  Students spent half a day at each institution participating in various hands-on labs such as soil analysis and bird identification, and interacting with both faculty and college and university students.

Hands-on Career Awareness Programs Help Students Set Career Goals

COFI Northern Operations Forest Education Program wrapped up its spring career programs hosting two two-day Natural Resource Career Awareness Camps May 19-20 in Prince George and May 26 – 27 in Quesnel. Some 60 Grade 10-12 students and their teachers from school in Prince George and Quesnel attended the two field camps to learn more about forestry-related careers by participating in hands-on workshops run by resource professionals drawn from industry, government, forestry consultants and post-secondary institutions.

If you asked Dan Broderick, Sustainable Resources and Forestry Teacher at Correlieu Secondary School in Quesnel, what the key element of success is in these programs, he will say that it is ‘the opportunity to work with professionals in the field’. "This", says Broderick, "is how students best gain information and inspiration to set challenges and rewarding career goals". Dan is a great supporter and partner in the Quesnel camp who is key in recruiting students for the program from Correlieu Secondary School.

At the two camps, students and teachers participated in hand-on workshops in wildlife management, fish management, forest ecology, field navigation/GPS, fire suppression, forest engineering and timber cruising.  The final workshop at both camps was the Amazing NRM Challenge where student teams competed through seven resource management challenges to be crowned the winning team.






For more information, please contact Chris Lear, Forest Education Manager,  by phone at: (250) 564-5136 or by email at [email protected].

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