Forest Pathology Research Assistant at UBC Faculty of Forestry in Vancouver, BC
This summer I have been working in the Forest Pathology Lab at UBC. In this role, my main responsibility is to help a master’s student collect data for his thesis on Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe where he is measuring the spread of this parasitic plant from mature forests into regenerating cutblocks. At the beginning of the summer, I used GIS to help identify potential study sites. And, when I had a bit of extra time, helped out with the lab’s annual Swiss Needle Cast counts. Currently, I am helping with data collection where I am learning and honing a variety of skills including stem mapping, dwarf mistletoe rating, drone piloting, orienteering and, more broadly, problem solving. We will continue to collect data at sites all throughout southwestern British Columbia until the end of the summer. So far, this Co-op position has provided me with valuable exposure to new experimental techniques and has shown me what research at an academic institution really looks like.