Liam Donovan (Forest Resources Management)

Research Assistant at UBC (Faculty of Forestry) in Vancouver, BC

Liam Donovan, UBC Forestry Co-op student, standing in a pit holding a rock and smiling.

For my first co-op term I have been working as a research assistant with the University of British Columbia, on a project led by Dr. Sue Grayston and master’s student Christophe Boyer. The project is a collaboration between UBC, the Ministry of Forests, and Taan Forest, a Haida owned forest company in Haida Gwaii. The goal of the project is to assess the effects of nitrogen fertilization on western redcedar in Haida Gwaii. 

For the first five weeks of my work term our team was in the field collecting data and samples from our plots located in some of Taan Forest’s replanted cutblocks. During these days I got to do tasks like measuring tree heights, digging soil pits, and taking plenty of notes. Now, my supervisor and I are working in the lab at UBC, where we spend our time processing or analyzing our samples. Each day I may be doing anything from drying, sieving, and encapsulating soils to measuring their pH levels. I have learned an immense amount this work term, about soil science, the research process, and forest management in Haida Gwaii. Co-op has been a very valuable companion to my knowledge gained in the classroom and has helped me develop connections and learn more about a potential career path.

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