Stellenbosch University, South Africa
In January 2015, I left Canada’s icy landscape and moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, to complete my last three co-op work terms. Under the mentorship of Dr. Pierre Ackerman, I am working as a research assistant for the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University. For the past three months, I have been involved with studies that focus on maximizing harvesting operations’ productivities and optimizing the wood supply chain. Coming from a conservation background, this has been an immense learning experience for me. Not only have I been exposed to theoretical material on timber harvesting, but I have also had the opportunity to go to the field to collect data on harvesting machines as well as help teach courses on the subject. In addition, I have written and edited articles for the department. From a personal viewpoint, living and working in a foreign country for the first time has been an invaluable opportunity for growth and inspiration. So far, South Africa has been a whirlwind of unpredictable and wondrous events. I am excited to discover what the rest of the year will bring!