Resource Assistant at Ministry of Forests in Merritt, BC
Stewardship Resource Assistant with the Ministry of Forests in Merritt, BC. This summer I have been given the incredible opportunity to work with a hardworking and inspiring group of RPF’s, RFT’s, and other professionals.
Most of my work is wildfire related. For instance, I collect field data by using the line intersect fuel sampling method to accurately assess surface fuels (loading, type) for areas that are treated within the Wildfire Risk Reduction (WRR) program. The WRR program is administered through the Ministry of Forests. Program highlights include fuel management planning and treatment activities, prescribed burning, and risk reduction activities. Additionally, as part of my responsibilities within the WRR program, I am undertaking the task of creating a comprehensive maintenance spreadsheet which will identify and schedule necessary maintenance activities for WRR areas. Examples of maintenance activities include prescribed fire or thinning. Courses such as CONS 340 have allowed me to utilize ArcMap to create field maps. For instance, the field data collection sites were selected by overlaying a 100 m grid over the treatment area. I plan to continue to develop and grow my GIS skills when I return to school as they have proved crucial.
I am also contributing to the Forest and Range Evaluation program (FREP) by evaluating sites for values such as water quality, riparian, and stand level retention. FREP, which was established approximately 20 years ago, serves the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the results-based Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). In conclusion, I am incredibly grateful to be working with the Ministry of Forests this summer. This experience has broadened my skill set and enabled me to employ my academic knowledge in diverse and meaningful ways. I wholeheartedly recommend that fellow students consider participating in the co-op program to gain firsthand experience in the field of forestry.