Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Since January, I have been working as a researcher at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. During my term, I have learned about the South African forest industry from common practices of plantation forestry and site classification diagnostics to forestry supply chains. In addition, I have learned how time studies are utilized within their industry to improve efficiency and reduce cost. Fortunately, as I am based at the university, I have had the opportunity to sit-in on masters and PhD defenses, which has given me perspective of the country’s common practices and policies surrounding forest management. My role includes a wide range of computer-based tasks such as editing and submitting scientific papers to journals, creating budget spreadsheets for upcoming projects and designing transport cost models to determine profitability of harvesting. Recently, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a South African forestry company on a research project to better understand mechanized harvesting operations. My placement has not only widened my perspective of natural resource management but also has exposed me to a variety of cultures and experiences.