Meet This Year’s Alumni Builder Award Recipient

Bruce Blackwell receiving award

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, alumni ubc created the Alumni Builder Awards in 2017. These awards recognize alumni who, in their own way, have made important contributions to the success of UBC and its alumni community.

The Faculty of Forestry congratulates 2019 Alumni Builder Award recipient Bruce Blackwell BSF’84, MSc’89 whose professional career and volunteer contributions have enriched forestry, community and the Faculty.

Growing up in Vancouver, Bruce Blackwell started his academic career at UBC studying biology before transferring to Forestry and completing a BSF in 1984.

Bruce graduated during the recession but eventually got a job at UBC preparing wood and soil samples for research. That small project grew into a much larger one, then became the basis of Bruce’s Masters research. His thesis on the effects of prescribed fire on soils, vegetation, and fuels was the foundation of his professional career.

Stanley Park restoration

Since completing his Masters at UBC in 1989, Bruce has built a thriving consulting business with a focus on integrated forestry and environmental consulting services. Bruce’s firm has been involved with strategic planning for Vancouver’s urban forests, the restoration of Stanley Park following the 2006 blowdown, a provincial government review of the 2003 wildfires, a watershed strategic plan for the Capital Regional District, and advice during First Nations treaty negotiations. In addition, he and his team have developed numerous wildfire protection plans and wildfire risk management systems across British Columbia and Alberta.

Bruce has consistently hired UBC graduates, especially those from the BSF and MSFM (Master of Sustainable Forest Management) programs. He taught fire science at UBC before Professor Lori Daniels joined the Faculty, and is a popular guest-lecturer in her course. He’s also been a volunteer speaker at the Student Industry Networking evening, offering advice about careers in forestry and last year generously gave his time to be on 2 panel discussions being hosted by the Faculty on wildfires.

In 2015 Bruce established the BA Blackwell and Associates Scholarship in Fire Science. The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student studying fire science.

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